FEATURE: The Ataris – Blue Skies… (Retrospective)

Indiana punk veterans The Ataris make their anticipated return to Australia this June. Performing on a five-show headline run, the international outfit will play cuts from their sophomore album ‘Blue Skies, Broken Hearts…Next 12 Exits‘, as well as songs from 2003’s ‘So Long Astoria‘.

In the lead-up, vocalist/guitarist Kris Roe recently checked in with Killyourstereo.com to provide two reflective/retrospective pieces regarding the impact of the aforementioned albums. Today, Roe discusses an important album in the band’s career, ‘Blue Skies, Broken Hearts…Next 12 Exits.’

“Blue Skies… was the album that was kind of [like] the first intro to our fans. We did our first album ‘Anywhere But Here’, which we released through a small label called Kung Foo Records, and it sold 600 copies. The label gave up, I moved to California and was homeless and broke, and I had a kid, but I left my family behind to achieve and follow my dreams of music. I was about to give up on everything but I had a friend, Mike, who ran Fat Wreck Chords, and he agreed to put out an EP of a few new songs we had until the Blue Skies album came out. We were on tour when the EP came out, we noticed by a label who had NOFX and Green Day on it, he put ‘San Dimas’ on his compilation album for free.

“We were on the West Coast, where we had played in the basement of the Bagel Shop in Mexico. We were paid next to nothing and five people showed up. We got given five bagels for our payment because they felt bad for us and yet it was the most amazing time of our lives. We were poor, we were broke out there, but at least we knew we were doing what we loved. By the time we got to the East Coast more and more people were hearing the songs and it was all based on the compilation that the ‘San Dimas’ song was on, and suddenly 50 people, 100 people, then 200 people were coming to shows and then the next album was ‘Blue Skies’ and that launched the career of the Ataris. That – to me – is what I think of with ‘Blue Skies’. It was the entry point for our band, the entry point for what I’m doing to this day. I don’t take it for granted, and I love playing these songs and I can’t wait to play them on [this] tour, and also some other surprises.”

You can read Roe’s first retrospective piece, detailing ‘So Long, Astoria’, here.

Destroy All Lines, Chugg Entertainment and Killyourstereo.com present The Ataris on tour, with Columbus, this June. Tickets are available via: tickets.destroyalllines.com.

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