The Ataris are an American pop punk band from Anderson, Indiana. They have released five studio albums, and their most recent E.P. was released on November 25, 2010 on the Gainesville, Florida based label, Paper + Plastick. It contained two new tracks entitled “All Souls’ Day” and “The Graveyard of The Atlantic”. The band has said they are going to release a new album titled The Graveyard of the Atlantic; however, the release date and status of the album is unknown, as it has been delayed since 2009.
Formed in 1995, the band originally consisted of singer, songwriter, guitarist Kristopher Roe and guitarist Jasin Thomason. Using a 4-track, Roe wrote and recorded demos in his bedroom, using a drum machine while he searched for a full-time drummer. The band’s first big break came in 1996 when Roe attended a show at the club Bogart’s in Cincinnati, where Jasin passed one of the band’s demo tapes to a roadie from the band. The roadie gave the tape to Joe Escalante, bassist from the band The Vandals who owned their own label, Kung Fu Records. A few weeks later, Roe received a call from Kung Fu Records, who told him they were interested in putting out their record, even though he was really only searching for a drummer. The Ataris signed to Kung Fu and the label passed the tape along to various drummers. Eventually, Roe decided upon ex-Lagwagon drummer Derrick Plourde. The band then proceeded to record their debut album Anywhere but Here, tracking the whole thing in less than a week. The album was released on April 29, 1997 and the band held a release show party at Missing Link Records in Indianapolis on May 2.
In June 1997, Roe moved from Anderson, Indiana to Santa Barbara, California. Shortly afterward, Marko Desantis joined the band on bass for a short time. Thomason decided to leave the band to stay in Indiana, and the group toured as a three-piece for a short while. After a brief tour in October 1997, this lineup disbanded. Roe, out of money and living in a van, contemplated moving back to Indiana. But the band still had an upcoming tour booked with Dance Hall Crashers and Unwritten Law, so Roe decided to give the band one more shot. He got his friend from Santa Barbara, Mike Davenport, to play bass. Davenport shared a small rehearsal space on East Haley Street with his friend Marco Peña, who was in a different band. One day at the rehearsal space, Roe and Davenport heard the drummer of Peña’s band, Chris Knapp, playing and immediately asked him to join The Ataris. While Roe and Davenport joked that Peña would be upset over them “stealing” his band’s drummer, Peña surprised them by showing up at their practice the next day, strapping on his guitar, and playing along. It turned out Peña had learned all the songs from Anywhere But Here. He joined the band as a second guitarist and the foursome went on their scheduled tour. However, Peña soon left the band due to personal reasons and was replaced by Patrick Riley.