Atreyu singer Alex Varkatzas: “We invented metalcore”

"That may sound cocky, but I don’t care"

Atreyu, photo by Thaib A. Wahab

The origins of metalcore date back to the late ’80s and early ’90s when a number of metallic hardcore bands like Earth Crisis, Shai Halud, Intergrity and Converge emerged, with hardcore and metal bands of the mid ’80s having acted as a precursor to those acts.

However, metalcore, as we know it today — with its screamed verses, melodic choruses and breakdowns — really took flight at the turn of the century with bands like Killswitch Engage, Avenged Sevenfold, As I Lay Dying and Atreyu.

Now, in a new interview with Rock Sound TV, Atreyu singer Alex Varkatzas claims his band was responsible for inventing what is known as metalcore.

When asked about where his band fits in today’s metal scene, Varkatzas responded, “I don’t think we fit into any genre. I think we are hard to pin down. When we first started it was a little easier. We were a metallic hardcore band with singing parts. There wasn’t anything else like that when we were doing it. People get confused and say, ‘you’re a metalcore band,’ but we invented metalcore.”

He went on to say, “That may sound cocky, but I don’t care. We pre-date Poison The Well and Killswitch Engage and all those bands. I’ve been doing this since I was literally 12 years old.”

Atreyu return with their newest album, In Our Wake, which arrives on Friday (October 12th). According to Varkatzas, the album was influenced by last year’s tragic deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, which occurred during the time Atreyu were writing the record.

“It really got us thinking about legacy and what we leave behind,” explained Varkatzas in the same interview. “I think that became a big vibe within this record. For me, no matter what song I was writing those two dudes were in the back of my head.”