He Likes It Loud: Attila Frontman Talks About the Band’s Heavy New Album

Concert Preview

It’s a little over a week into the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour and Chris “Fronz” Fronzak, frontman for the metalcore band Attila is having a blast. “We don’t feel any pressure to deliver after the other acts have played,” he says. “We’re just doing what comes naturally. We’re here to destroy.” The band’s new album, Guilty Pleasure, is the group’s most aggressive to date. The first single, “Proving Grounds,” features heavily distorted bass and drumbeats as Fronzak sputters and spits like he’s possessed by some kind of evil spirit. Fronzak phoned us from a tour stop to talk about the tour which Attila is headlining.

You were still in high school when you started the band. How did the group come together?

I just wanted to play music and be in a band. I was a freshman and our drummer was a senior. We met up and started the band. We started from the bottom and now we’re here.

Was there a good metalcore scene in Atlanta at the time?

To be honest, there was a decent metal scene but everything that was coming out was really, really gay. Christian metal was the fad. We were different than everyone else. Everyone was playing Christian God metal. We were rebellious party metal. We were different from everything at the time, especially living in the South. It was a good local scene to grow up in for sure.

What pushed you in a different direction?

Religion is really prevalent in the South, but I just thought it was really, really stupid. I thought metal and rock ’n’ roll should be about rebellion and going again the rules and not about worshiping a bible or something. I don’t think that belongs in rock ’n’ roll. I think that’s gospel music, which is not metal. I thought there should be a metal band about partying and that’s why we started.

Were you listening mostly to rap or metal?

To be honest, both. We listened to a lot of hip-hop. We like heavy music too so that’s how you get Attila.

Talk about the recording process for Guilty Pleasure. What were you going for sonically?

We wanted to produce an album that was heavier than the last album. We wanted to incorporate seven-string guitars and new tuning while exploring our nu-metal side while still keeping our sound. We just wanted to bring something new to the table. I’ve heard people say it’s a combination of our last album and one of our oldest albums. That’s what we went for — a new blend of old and new.

Talk about the recording process.

Recorded with Joey Sturgis in Detroit, which is where we recorded our past couple of albums. He’s just got really good tones. His mixing is on point. Since we’ve recorded the past few albums with him, he knows our sound and knows what we’re going for. It’s a no bullshit environment where we get a lot of work done.

You like Detroit?

I like it as long as we’re up there when it’s not cold. I really hate the cold. I like it for half the year.

Talk about the concept for “Proving Grounds.”

That song is just about when you’re in the space of despair and people are going against you, you should do your best to prove them wrong and show them what you’re made of. That’s the overall gist of that song. It’s really, really heavy. We wanted to make a brutally heavy song.

You just released the video.

Yeah, we shot it in England. We were supposed to release it a long time ago. I don’t know why that didn’t work out.

Did you have any second thoughts about using the word “faggot”?

No, not at all. I said it 250 times on our last album. Not a single person said anything about it. I said it twice on the new album and every single person heard about it. I didn’t regret it all. It’s like where were you on the last album when I said it way more? I think I said it at least once on every song and everyone loved the album and no one said a single word about it. People are picky and choosey. They want to get upset about something and they just always find something about us to get mad about. They’re still putting us in the headlines, so I don’t care.

Why do you think your last album became your most successful album?

I think it was our time to shine. We had just come off a big tour. We had a lot of people rallying behind us. It was just our time. I know for a fact that this album will be significantly bigger so I’m excited.

Metalcore has gone through some cycles. Is the music on the upswing?

Definitely. I think this tour we’re on is proof of it. Every night, 1500 people or more are coming out to see us. We’re not playing radio music. We’re playing super heavy shit. So there’s definitely a market for it. People definitely like it. The more dumb pop music that comes out, the more popular we get because people want something different.

Any good memories from playing in Cleveland?

The last show we played in Cleveland was on Warped Tour and it was easily one of the craziest dates on the tour. It was on this stage in the middle of the woods, which was weird, but People were going apeshit crazy. We had more crowdsurfers at that show than at any other show.

Monster Energy Outbreak Tour 2014 with Attila, Crown the Empire, Like Moths to Flames, Sworn In, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, House of Blues, 308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583. Tickets: $21 ADV, $23 DOS, houseofblues.com.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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