The Ataris On Air

Jeff: (INTERVIEWER) I caught that commercial for I Mac on TV. What made you guys want to do that?

Mike: (ATARIS) Well, it wasn’t supposed to be shown in America first of all. They asked us to do it for a presentation becasue they said we were the number 2 band on mp3 next to the Offspring and the Offspring turned it down. So as the number 2 band on mp3 we said of course we’ll do it because we worship computers and half of our fan base comes from our website. We are a very internet friendly band and for some reason our fans are in tune with computers also. Apple wanted a band from our genre and they said that they loved the song “The Radio Still Sucks” cause it ties in with our i radio deal but you can’t name bands or cuss. So we had to go in and re-record the vocals. They said they were going to use it for a demonstration in Tokyo and that it would never go farther than that. Then the next thing you know a couple of my friends call me and say that they saw it on their website. We called Apple and they said that it would never go farther than that. Next thing you know a friend from Australia called me and said that they saw it on tv in Australia. Once again they said oh it will never go farther than that. Then one day I get about 20 phone calls from all across the United States saying that they saw the commercial on tv. Then Apple said oh we did that but it’s great. We dig computers so it’s awesome.

Jeff: Have you caught any flak for selling out from this commercial?

Mike: We haven’t seen a cent from it so I don’t consider it selling out. On our website it’s a big deal. People are saying, “Oh the Ataris have sold out,” but whose gonna know that’s us unless your a fan because nobody else will recognize that song. They probably think it’s like a jingle or something. Only the Ataris fans will know it becasue it doesn’t say our name anywhere on it.

Jeff: I read your bio on the website, and being so close to the people at Kung Fu records if you were offered a bigger deal with a larger record label would you take it?

Mike: I’m not sure. Kung Fu is awesome and we totally dig it right now. We have been offered other things but Kung Fu is so attractive I think we might do another record there. I’m not saying we will or we won’t because The End Is Forever is out brand new right now and all we are doing is pushing it to its limits now. I love Kung Fu though. They grew up with us you know. We weren’t completely happy with them when we were a baby band and they weren’t completely happy with us but as we grew up you know, everyone is on the same page and we love it.

Jeff: I noticed that you repeated the songs “Song For A Mix Tape” and “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” on the new album. Why did you choose to do this?

Mike: Our favorite bands, Nirvana especially, would rework songs over the years. They have a song called “Been a Son” and I think I have 12 different versions of that song. Songs are like children. You can work them and raise them and change them or maybe they are like slaves or something. Songs are yours and you can do whatever. You play them live and you can experiment different things and you grow older and I like the way that we are constantly fucking with songs. I would love to put out Anywhere But Here again now because the songs we play live every night are fucking awesome and they are way better than we ever did them before. Songs should never be finished.

Jeff: I really dig the new album. Do you think that you guys put more effort into this album than others because it is your first full length in a couple years?

Mike: No, fuck no. Blue Skies had just as much effort. The only difference is that the longer we’re a band the better we get. So it’s the same effort but we’re better. With Blue Skies we had been a band for about a year when we recorded it and now we have been a band three years so there is a difference.

Jeff: If you had to choose one, what would be your favorite song on the new album?

Mike: Oh, definitely “Summer Wind Was Always Our Song.” It’s only because of the diversity of the song and the live experience. All that put together is definitely why it’s my favorite song on the record. I like “Teenage Riot” too because I rip. Other than that that song makes me look good just like “Not a Worry In The World” did on the Fat ep. Those kind of space songs obviously are cool because they are a challenge and they are fun and all that. Kris writes the bass lines and I have to learn them. Summer wind justs gets me you know.

Jeff: I have to agree with you. That’s my favorite one also. When I was coming up with some questions to ask you my friend Dava gave me one and she made me promise to ask it.

Mike: Ok shoot.

Jeff: Ok, what’s your favorite color.

Mike: As a child if you asked me what my favorite color was it would have been red. Now as an adult I would say that I like green and blue equally to red. I don’t know why that happened because as a kid everyone wants to know your favorite color and so you always have one color but as an adult I’ve kind of like spread out.

Jeff: Thanks a lot Mike I really appreciate this.

Mike: Anytime man. Thanks.


Interview by :
Jeff from Villanova, obtained from