When you come to a concert by Atlanta metalcore band Attila, feel free to leave your Miss Manners Guide to Concert Etiquette at home.
"Nothing bothers us," beams frontman Chris Fronzak. "About a week ago in Germany, we had like 100 to 200 people onstage with us. And it was fine. When the crowd came onstage, I just went out to where the crowd was, and my guitarist just climbed up to a balcony and started playing from the balcony."
Since getting together back in 2005, Attila have strived to become the rock world's preeminent "party metal band." The outlook fits nicely with their rowdy musical output — with plenty of roiling guitars, Cookie Monster vocals and songs about partying, women, rocking out, living by your own rules and other weighty topics.
The formula is paying off. Attila's 2013 album, About That Life, debuted at No. 22 on Billboard magazine's all-genre Top 200 album chart — a strong showing at a time when hard rock bands struggle to sell albums.
"I feel good about where we're at," says Fronzak. "But I didn't start screaming in a band because I thought I was going to be a pop star. I kind of knew from the get-go what I was getting myself into. And you know, I do believe that the sky's the limit, and I don't think there's like a certain end to how big we could become. My goal is to be like a jumbo-jet, Iron Maiden-type band, to where we could just fly our personal jumbo jet around the world and do things like that."
Attila's newest album, Guilty Pleasure, was released Tuesday. In tried-and-true fashion, Fronzak screams and raps his way through 13 songs filled with harsh, swirling guitars — courtesy of guitarists Chris Linck and Nate Salameh — over muscular rhythms provided by drummer Sean Heenan and bassist Kalan Blehm. But the band did switch a few things up.
"We did drop our tunings for this album, and we switched to seven-string guitars," says the singer. "We just wanted to bring a new element to the table for this album, so we used the seven strings and we started playing some low-tuned, groovy-assed shit. So yeah, I mean overall it's just heavier. It's just pummeling. Each album that we put out ends up being heavier than the last, and I kind of like the fact that we're doing that, because a lot of bands take an opposite route."
The other change took place after tracks for Guilty Pleasure were in the can, as guitarist Salameh left the band to pursue a less party-driven lifestyle better suited to his personal health and well-being.
"The touring environment just wasn't very good for him as an individual," Fronzak says. "He's been our friend for our whole lives and we love him dearly. But we just wanted the best for him. The environment that we're exposed to on tour is not always the healthiest environment."
Meanwhile, Fronzak promises, Attila will carry on as a four-piece with their party-band attitude intact. "To us, if you're coming out to these shows, you want to be entertained. We're not trying to get really emotional with people or preach weird things to people. We're literally just trying to entertain — and that's exactly what we do."