For the first time in 10 years, the four band members of The Ataris — a punk-rock group from the early 2000s — have reconvened to play music for devoted fans and rekindle the band members’ longstanding friendship.
At the start of March, Kristopher Roe, Mike Davenport, Chris Knapp and John Collura embarked on a monthlong reunion tour to perform songs from their most popular album, So Long, Astoria.
Released in 2003, the album saw unexpected and sudden success — selling more than a million copies — and the group became well-known for its hit cover song, “Boys of Summer.”
But the band split up soon after and hasn’t played together since. Collura explained the reasoning behind the split during a recent phone interview with The PHOENIX.
“Everyone had a different direction they were headed when there was some success,” he said. “I don’t think we were all on the same page. We should have discussed our problems but it was sort of too late at that point.”
Collura delved into the band breakup story, adding that acquiring the wrong audience after the release of their cover song was also a contributing factor.
“I think it gave our audience a false impression of who we were. We put out this cover song but that wasn’t us as a band. When you go into that situation with a bigger label, you think you still have control of everything, but you don’t. I think if we embraced it better and capitalized on it instead, maybe it could’ve worked out.”
Now, a decade later, the four guys have grown up, and their lives hardly resemble that of rock stars anymore. Some are married, some have kids, and they have spread out all over the country. Roe is in Phoenix, Ariz., Collura in New York, and the other two members are in San Jose and Santa Barbara, Calif.
Despite their lack of prep time, the band members will put on about 26 shows throughout March — a lineup that required a year of planning.
Collura is excited to play in Chicago, since he hasn’t been to the city in a while, and says he even considered living here at one point.
“Sometimes you get a feeling in a particular city. I was really considering getting a place out there just to write.”
The reunion tour is, in his eyes, a chance to be with his old best friends and just play music again. He started playing guitar at age 15 and maintained humble aspirations.
“Once I got into punk-rock, all that rock star bullshit was not even on my radar. It was all about just music for me. I don’t really care about that stuff. I still don’t really care about that stuff.”