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Kris Roe of The Ataris Q&A on IRC
9pm EST 2002/03/06, #ataris

You're on the Weezer tribute album - how did that come about? Did they approach you, or did you approach them? And why Butterfly?
Our friends midtown were doing the comp. and on warped tour we sat around on heath's acoustic a few nights and played cover songs and they mentioned they were doing that comp. so I told them to ask the guy if we could do it., he said cool and that was that, we chose butterfly becasue it to me represented a big part of my life when I was going through my break -up with my ex. angie.
pardon my slow shitty typing skills... to the grammar police. :)

I'm not sure at what point you got married, so this question may not be valid, but has getting married had any effect on your writing, good or bad?
when I wrote blue skies I was single so it is about alot of different people over a large period of time, so it may feel a bit more diverse lyrically to some people. I feel I have written my share of realationship based songs and I'm kind of trying to do some things differnet for our next record.
there are a few songs that will obviously have influence from my realationship but that is becasue it affects me on a day to day basis and you write what you know.

I'm wondering what style your new album will be - will it be like "End is Forever" or like some of your older stuff or maybe a mix of both?
I feel we are trying to progress naturally and to me I learned alot from writing end is forever. I learned that to me I tend to overcomplicate things musically sometimes and I feel that the ataris are best at writing more simple rock songs, lyrically I felt a bit rushed since we came right off tour and had no time to practice the songs so it has a very road warn feel.
this record we are rehearsing every day and the songs are defintely more straight forward rock style in the vein of blue skies .

What do you think when people say you have sold out, or they think you might eventually sell out?
I think that our goal as a band is to let as many people hear our band as possible if this means we are a sell out becasue we want to get our records out to the mass public then fine we sold out. I don't care. (I love this response - this is what music should be all about - Ed.)
We are doing everything the same way we always have and no one will ever take that away from us.
no one.

Who do you think is a really good artist/band that just hitting the music scene right now?
My few favorite records of this past year are, the strokes, this band from Australia called Lo-Tel, the good life, this band from the inlad empire in CA. called Breakdance Vietnam -in fact they are doing the pop disaster tour with Green Day and Blink., I think Kung Fu has signed some really good new bands lately, No Motiv are swell guys. I listen to so many bands I can never think of everything.
glen phillips.

I heard that John, Mike and Kid wrote a couple songs for the new album - are they like the classic Ataris songs about relationships and such, or maybe their own style?
We wote alot of the songs together but I still write all of the lyrics. They don't write lyrics at all and if they did I don't think they would feel right if someone else sang them.

How do you go about writing your songs? Does the music come first, then lyrics, or do you do lyrics first, or do they tend to come at the same time? Any advice for songwriters?
I write music first usually always and keep journals when I travel and then later see if any lyric ideas will work with any of the vocal melodies I have in my head for the songs, I always have a vocal melody in my head from the time I first write the song idea.

The moog seems to be appearing on more and more songs. How often is the moog used in the new album? And what started this trend?
not that much, I feel that as soon as something seems overdone I try to move on to the next thing, I think the cars mastered it first and then Weezer made it popular again.

Have you chosen a producer to work with for the new record?
No producer finalized but we know who we want to work with.
we'll kep you posted, should know this week.

Kris, When's the home video coming and why is it delayed so much?
I think this project is put on the back burner for now, we have loads of great footage but we have no time to pieve it all together and now we're doing our new record so we'll probably want to add more footage from that on there so I can't see us putting it all together until maybe early next year. sorry. Anywhere but here however is finished for re-release and will be out in May.

Kris, how does your family feel about you as a punk rockstar and all?
My family have always been very encouraging of what our band does and I could never be more proud to have the parents I do.

What advice do you give to bands just starting out?
Make agood quality demo with a few of your best songs (not ten or more) only a few! send/give it to bands and labels you like and if you have good songs someone will listen as long as you don't give up. Good songswriting speaks for itself.

How did you get to be such a good singer? Lessons or just natural talent? Or both?
thanks for the compliment, I learned to sing mostly from singing along to my favorite records in the car when I drive, I started trying to sing when I was around 13 but I feel I only recently got to point where I think I pull it off. So yeah, I probably crdit my vocal coaches as ALL/Descendents , Bad Religion ), Misfits (Danzig can fucking sing man,) Joey helped me alot also.

Whats are your views on drugs - especially cannabis. Are you against it or would you promote it?
I think people should make their own positive descisions for their lives and the government should defintely not have too much control in that however I have seen many friends make the wrong descions and I myself do not do any drugs and I rarely even drink anymore I just feel that life is too short and I have too much to live for to screw it up with substances.

How many hours do you put into your music? Is it an everyday thing or just every chance y'all get?
our music takes up all of our time pretty much, none of us do anything anymore except the band and our personal lives which are often neglected when they should be payed attenton to. :)

What's the strangest thing a fan has ever done to get your attention?
There is currently a girl named Rosalie in Pennsylvania who lately has written us an average of a few letters a week all strangeky decorated and even sent us a tray from a fast food joint with her letter written on it and decorated, I think she wins the prize. :)

First off, I want to say thanks for taking me and other kids in NYC who had no ticket into the show to see the Teenage Riot video. My question is this: Has any musician ever motivated you to keep your band so down to earth and intimate with fans?
Great question. Hands down 100%..... AVAIL and ALL everytime when I wrote to them they would always write me back and still to this day what alot of people don't understand that the reason I take so much love in trying to keep our band on a personal level is becasue I still am the world's biggest fan of so many bands, I totally get star struck all the time and I still love to meet all of my favorite bands except now it is even weirder becasue we get to actually play with some of them , I think the coolest moment in my entire life to this day was gettting to sing "Coolidge" with ALL when they toured with us, it was rad enough that ALL were on tour with us but that was the best period.
I pretty much owe my life to that band. - ALL are hanmds down my favorite band ever next to Sludgeworth from Chicago and F.O.N. from Muncie, Indiana.

When the September 11th attack occured you made the t-shirt to go to the wtc fund. Did September 11th make any impact on your music or anythign else? (there's always one, isn't there... - Ed.)
I tried not to write anything inspired by that day, I figured that I would leave that to Paul Mcartney and Bruce Springsteen as well as countless others. We made that shirt to do something cool to everyone affect by what happened on that day and figured that would be our part.

This is irrelevant to your music, but curiosity inspires the question... Are you religious?
I am a Christian, I was baptized at the church where my parents go in Indiana last year.

A lot of punk fans are also big bootleggers, how do you feel about bootlegging your concerts, songs, and other stuff and do you support the underground music network with bootleggers and other people participating in it?
I've said this before... I feel that online music resources such as only help bands at our level, however if you are as big as britney spears then it is a different story, regardless it is a fact of life, I copy cd's for my friends but I also buy them, to me it's a losing battle.
if you ever want to say hi to us personally we can usually be contacted at our store down on haley in Santa Barbara, @ 414 e. haley ST. If we are not here then usually an employee will find us to come down and say hi and sign shit.

Would you consider the band punk or emo? I've been wondering this for a long time now.....many arguments would be settled with this one
we play rock music. emo is stupid and punk.... well I think the word punk is overused, punk is about attitude, I don't think we really piss people off enough to be called punk nor do we care to, I think that we are what you want us to be.

Did you really write your names on the observation deck of the eiffel tower ;)
of course.

Freestyle answers and quotes:
my favorite song I have written is "Fast times..." cause it has alot of personal meaning
my favorite movie is "after hours" by Martin Scorsesee.
nope , we're not on warped tour. we're doing our own tour of the world at smaller sized all ages clubs.
I think I need to go practice in a few minutes ... any mmore good questions?
As long as there are good questions I will try to give good answers. I can not stand when people ask things such as when are you coming to such and such town or etc...
the most important thing in life to me is being true to yourself, your friends and your family, trying to be an honest person and not letting anyone make your decisions for you. .. however I am not darwin I am a songwriter.
thanks to everyone for doing this, it reallly means alot to us that you all listen to our music, if any of you feel you had an actuall good question that I did not answer, you can e-mail it to me with the subject line -"CHAT QUESTION" I will look at it and will answer it if I feel it is a good question.
my e-mail address is, any FAQ will be deleted, do not send questions with any other subject line other than "CHAT QUESTION" or I will probably miss it. take care and stay true. -your friend -kris roe

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Etc. Etc. and so forth

The Ataris are an awesome band.. You have heaps of great music listed, Lifehouse is one of my personal faves. But holy hell! You are hot! Why, bless your mother just for giving birth to you. You look a bit young though. What is your age?

Re: Etc. Etc. and so forth


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