The Ataris may have channeled Don Henley in the studio, but frontman Kris Roe says the “Boys of Summer” video will conjure something a bit grungier.
“It’s kind of a dark video in the vein of [Nirvana’s] ’Heart Shaped Box,’ with a lot of visuals,” the singer/ guitarist said recently of the clip for their version of the former Eagles drummer’s 1984 classic. “[It’s] dark and visual but also kind of chaotic and punk rock still.”
The Ataris shot the video the day after they appeared at the Los Angeles KROQ radio station’s annual Weenie Roast in Los Angeles (see “Pink Teams With Transplants, Good Charlotte Unplug For Weenie Roast” ). It was directed by Steven Murashige, who has worked with Incubus and Rage Against the Machine and also shot the video for “In This Diary,” the first single from the Ataris’ latest album So Long, Astoria.
“Our last video was mostly crowd-oriented, because we kind of wanted to incorporate our live [performance and] show with a lot of energy for the people who didn’t know that we had been around for six years,” Roe explained. “This video is kind of artistic, I guess — or autistic, whatever you may wish. It’s some of us performing but mostly it’s based around kind of this weird, trippy visual story.”
Fans can also see the band performing on its new DVD, “Live at Capitol Milling,” which includes a mini-concert that was shot in January on the set of the “In This Diary” clip.
After several years of slugging it out on the DIY touring circuit and putting out records through the indie-punk labels Kung Fu and Fat Wreck Chords, the Ataris are currently enjoying the success their major-label debut has given them, as well as the opportunities their somewhat unintended second single (see “Ataris’ Plans Zapped By Radio Stations Who Can’t Lay Off Their ’Boys’ “ ) has opened up. Thanks to “Boys of Summer,” the band — rounded out by drummer Chris Knapp, bassist Mike Davenport and guitarist John Collura — has been invited to perform during part of this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Weekend.
Not bad for a band that started out as just Kris and a friend playing shows with a drum machine in Indiana basements, before the Vandals’ Joe Escalante singed them to their first record deal.
“What we do as the Ataris is totally surreal,” Roe said. “I feel like every day I have to pinch myself. Just like, thanks God and thanks everybody and all of the great friends that we have … [We] just try to stay humble and let our fans know that we’re all just huge fans of music. And the reason this band exists is for our fans. To go out there and try to give them the most personal, audience-participation feeling that they can get.”
Right now, the Ataris are doing their best to tear down the wall between band and fans as part of the Warped Tour (see “Where Mouth Geysers Meet Cheesy Macaroni — Warped (Tour) Indeed” ), taking the stage this year as seasoned Warped veterans.
“Warped Tour is our favorite tour,” Roe said excitedly. “I’m stoked to see Andrew W.K., man. That guy is incredible. He’s got so much energy and he’s just so honest and real. There are just so many good bands — like Rancid are such sweethearts, man. It’s going to be such a great time again — lot of fireworks, lots of late-night barbeques and listening to good music with all your friends. And some of the best memories you will ever make.”