Rap/metalcore band Attila seems to thrive on courting controversy.
Since releasing 2008 debut album Soundtrack to a Party, the Atlanta-based act -- currently comprising singer Chris "Fronz" Fronzak, guitarist Chris Linck, bassist Kalan Blehm and drummer Sean Heenan -- has engaged in a Twitter war with Senses Fail defending its use of a gay slur, took flak for selling Fronzak's phone number to fans for $50 per month and, just last month, faked out fans and haters alike by feigning remorse for its bad behavior as a stunt leading up to its decidedly unrepentant, profanity-laced single "Public Apology," the lead track from new album Chaos (due Nov. 4 on SharpTone Records).
Despite the publicity stunt, Fronzak says Chaos is Attila's most "mature" album to date -- a sentiment seemingly echoed by the fact that the latest song from the album, "Let's Get Abducted," only includes a single swear word. He also sees the slime-green, alien-themed, Gorillaz-style animated video for the song as "something different" for the band, which in the past has taken a more Beastie Boys-meets-My Chemical Romance approach with costume-themed clips (featuring the band patrolling the streets as cops, preppies or gold-chained gangstas).
"We've always wanted to do a cartoon video, and this was the best song to do one for -- because it's difficult to recruit real-life aliens for a video," he jokes, adding that he indeed believes in extraterrestrials. "We are just a speck of sand on the beach in the universe; you'd have to be foolish to think that we are the only life forms. They may not be slimy, green creatures, but aliens definitely exist."
Billboard is exclusively premiering the video for "Let's Get Abducted" today. Watch it below:
Attila is kicking off a 28-date headlining U.S. club tour on Tuesday (Oct. 18) in support of Chaos and promises lots of "insane circle pits and walls of death," according to Fronzak. The band is also hand-signing every copy of Chaos that is pre-ordered at its website to show its appreciation to fans. Attila's charismatically antagonistic lead singer answered a few burning questions before heading out to the tour's first stop at the Underground in Charlotte, N.C.
For those who are not familiar with the band, how would you describe your sound?
I would tell them that we are "fun metal music." It's heavy and in your face, but overall the vibe is very fun and carefree. When most people think of metal, they think of really dark, evil shit, but we're actually the opposite: We are metal music that you could play at a party! Our influences range from Pantera to Biggie Smalls.
What's the concept behind "Let's Get Abducted"?
It has multiple meanings. On the surface, it's about getting abducted by aliens, and they actually end up being really cool. I like to imagine that they would want to party with us and exchange knowledge. The deeper meaning of the song is about embracing the unknown. People are so quick to pass judgment about things they don't know much about. Sometimes, if you give that thing -- or person -- a chance, it ends up being really amazing. Don't judge the unknown! Give everyone and everything an opportunity.
You have been compared to everyone from Eminem and Kanye West to Fred Durst and, oddly, early-'90s hair metal band Enuff Z'Nuff. Thoughts?
[Laughs] I love it. I don't mind the comparisons. I've heard just about everything at this point. We are definitely influenced by both rap and metal, so all of those comparisons are fine by me.
Some of your songs are filled with expletives and other offensive words. Do you purposefully try to push people's buttons?
Of course -- I love pushing people's buttons. My purpose as a musician is to make people feel. Whether that feeling is overwhelming excitement or anger is fine by me. People are offended by everything nowadays, and I honestly think it's hilarious. When did the world get so sensitive?
What's your response to people who think Attila is a "joke band"?
We've been together for over 12 years now, we tour the world doing what we love, and we all own houses. I wouldn't call that a joke. I don't care about people's opinions -- if someone thinks we're a joke, good for them. They're the ones still living in their parents' basements working shitty jobs because they don't have the balls to venture out and pursue a career they are passionate about. Now that is a joke.
[Editor's note: This story originally contained an incorrect figure for the cost of Fronzak's phone number.]