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The Ataris Discography :

Origin Anderson, Indiana, United States
Genres Emo, Pop punk, Alternative rock


Formed in 1995, the band originally consisted of singer, songwriter, guitarist Kristopher Roe and guitarist Jasin Thomason. Using a 4-track, they wrote and recorded demos in Roe's bedroom, using a drum machine while they searched for a full-time drummer. The band's first big break came in 1996 when Kris attended a show at the club Bogart's in Cincinnati, where he passed one of the band's demo tapes to a roadie from the band. The roadie gave the tape to Joe Escalante, bassist from the band The Vandals who owned their own label, Kung Fu Records. A few weeks later, Roe received a call from Kung Fu Records, who told him they were interested in putting out their record, even though he was really only searching for a drummer. The Ataris signed to Kung Fu and the label passed the tape along to various drummers. Eventually Roe decided upon ex-Lagwagon drummer Derrick Plourde. The band then proceeded to record their debut album Anywhere but Here, tracking the whole thing in less than a week. The album was released on April 29, 1997 and the band held a release show party at Missing Link Records in Indianapolis on May 2.

In June of 1997, Roe moved from Anderson, Indiana to Santa Barbara, California. Shortly afterward, Marko Desantis joined the band on bass for a short time. Thomason decided to leave the band to stay in Indiana, and the group toured as a three-piece for a short while. After a brief tour in October 1997, this lineup disbanded. Roe, out of money and living in a van, contemplated moving back to Indiana. But the band still had an upcoming tour booked with Dance Hall Crashers and Unwritten Law, so Roe decided to give the band one more shot. He got his friend from Santa Barbara, Mike Davenport, to play bass. Davenport shared a small rehearsal space on East Haley Street with his friend Marco Peña, who was in a different band. One day at the rehearsal space, Roe and Davenport heard the drummer of Peña's band, Chris Knapp, playing and immediately asked him to join The Ataris. While Roe and Davenport joked that Peña would be upset over them "stealing" his band's drummer, Peña surprised them by showing up at their practice the next day, strapping on his guitar, and playing along. It turned out Peña had learned all the songs from Anywhere But Here. He joined the band as a second guitarist and the foursome went on their scheduled tour. However, Peña soon left the band due to personal reasons and was replaced by Patrick Riley.

From there, the band gradually increased in popularity in the underground rock scene, a lot due to their consistent touring and personal, DIY approach to the band. They then found more success with their EP Look Forward to Failure. However, it wasn't until the release of Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits in the year 1999 that they started to gain widespread acclaim. The album's name comes from the name of a mobile home park along Highway 101 in Santa Barbara. Also, "...next 12 exits" refers to a nearby sign on Highway 101 North that reads "Santa Barbara, Next 12 Exits". The album contained personal, storytelling lyrics and heartfelt tales of relationships, discovery and things once left behind. After this album, Riley left the band to go back to school, and Marco Peña re-joined the band.

The band's third full length studio album, End is Forever, was released in 2001. This album painted more intensely personal side of the band's storytelling and personal relationships. Due to their persistent touring schedule, a lot of the arrangements and lyrics were worked out at the last minute while in the studio and then the vocals recorded while Roe had a bad cold. Roe maintains that he was not completely happy with half of the songs, although he went on to state that in spite of this, several of the songs such as "Fast Times at Dropout High" and "Road Signs and Rock Songs" were still to date some of the band's strongest of their earlier career.

Albums :

(1997) - Anywhere But Here
(1999) - Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits
(2001) - End Is Forever
(2002) - So Long, Astoria
(2007) - Welcome the Night