JANUARY 3rd 2018



Welcome to MetalTitans, Guardians of Music Entertainment, worldwide. We got a chance to do a written interview with Kyle Stratton of Atala. Thank you for doing this interview with us.

Pre-Order Link: https://saltoftheearthrecords.com/salt-of-the-earth-records-store

Interview By: MetalMom

1. Who came up with the name Atala, and why?

I came up with the name Atala. It was based off of the novel Atala, ou Les Amours de deux sauvages dans le désert is an early novella by François-René de Chateaubriand.

It was inspired by his travels to North America. While other European authors were condemning the natives of North America during their fight against the British imperialism over the land and it's people. Francois-Rene did not. Instead the story is one that portrays the settlers in a bad light. It is written about a religious leader who leaves his people to live with the so called Savages. He falls in love with one of the indigenous women and has a child. She was named Atala, she was half Christian settler and half indigenous. I could relate to the story being a mixed racial/cultural person. You see I had always thought, I was only taught the White  "Christian" ways of Anglo Saxon dominated culture. In fact even my Hawaiian relatives had assimilated to identify with the dominate culture. They had lost their own language, religious beliefs and any sense of pride that comes with knowing one's own culture. So it spoke to me because I had always felt like an outsider in our culture and I always felt I didn't know who I am or where I belong.

2. You have played in other bands, what made you decide to come together and start up Atala?

 I was leaving my last band Rise of the Willing. I wanted to do something a bit different, I had envisioned that could encapsulate all the emotions I feel. I was trying to express it all. The extreme anger I feel as well as the sadness, sometimes even wonder and hope. I met Jeff, he was a soft spoken dude who I could tell didn't fit in, I liked that. First time I ever jammed with him we knew there was a connection. Not just on a musical level but we were like brothers.  He is a rare bird and so am I. So we clicked some where along the line. Sure I come off as the tough guy and him, he is real, honestly we are both nerds. So we made Atala our nerd band. We have had three bass players, but the two of us have always been the creative force.

3. How did you find each other to form the band?

 I worked with Jeff's brother at a tattoo shop. He suggested we jam. We did and it was cool, so kept doing it.

4. You picked a more doom style, why?

We didn't pick any style it is just who we are. People called us doom so we embraced it. We never tried to be anything. We just are what we are, plain and simple.

5. Who sits down to write your lyrics?

I write all the lyrics. I only played music to write poetry.

6. I read your inspiration comes from what surrounds you, do you ever get tired of it, or there is always something to write about?

 I wake up everyday tired of this place! But, that's life, I don't like this world much. The good thing is there's always something fucked up to write about.

7. Living by Joshua Tree National Park, it must take you forever to get anywhere, to play a show or work in the studio? And hot, how do you manage to do any band work when it hits temperatures like 130?

 Well, it's just life. We are used to the heat but you definitely find shade and A.C. in the summer. I personally love being away from the scene, it helps us carve out our own path.`

8. What can people expect to hear from this album?

 Well, I would say expect to be surprised. The thing I feel we did well was write a record you can not pin point or label. Sure some people will generalize and compare it to other things. But, if you truly listen you will see it is all over the place and quite different. It has a lot of different colors and textures going on.

9. How did you come up with “Labyrinth of Ashmedai” for the name of the album?

 The name "Labyrinth of Ashmedai" came from the demon Ashmedai, I had found him after doing some research on the occult. I am trying to present myself as being Satanic. I find it fun to poke fun at folks who believe in fairytales. I used to do that to kids when I was young who believed in Santa Claus. Or, later in life when kids would play Ouija board. I would always pretend to be a demon and scare them because they were so gullible. I guess I have always liked scaring people in a playful way. This is me doing it again.

10. What does the name mean?

It's about the Labyrinth of lies this guy Ashmedai supposedly spun inn order to fool all the angels in heaven and God himself into letting him form Hell. I find it to be a very well written fiction just like all biblical stories. In case you can't tell I find it all to be bullshit.

11. Who created the artwork for the album?

 I did all the art myself.

12. Did you give the artist some ideas, or did they come up with the cover on their own?

 I received the ideas from Lucifer himself.

13. Will you be doing a tour after the release to support?

 Word from management is yes.

14. Where do you expect to see yourself, say in 5 years?

 I don't know, hopefully alive.

15. What kind of music inspires you when you are not working with Atala?

I like all music by Sepultura, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Lamb of God, EYEHATEGOD, Pantera, Electric Wizard, Yob and Neurosis, metal like that. Also I enjoy alternative metal, like Tool and Deftones. Hard rock like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Smashing Pumkins, Janis Joplin and Neil Young. To Hardcore Rap like Necro, Immortal Technique, and Jedi Mind Tricks. Even Gangster Rap, like Dr. Dre, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, you know, west coast shit. I could go on forever, but, lots of Bob Marley and the Beatles too. Right now I am listening to Frank Sinatra.

16. Living in the dessert area, I always imagine dangerous reptiles, what would be the most dangerous in your area?

 Rattles snakes are deadly, we see them all the time. We gotta be careful. But, we have mountain lions and bob cats too as well as big horn sheep.

17. Are you ready for Christmas, it isn’t too far off?

 Barely got cold here. Is it Christmas? Huh, I didn't even notice.

18. Done all your shopping?


19. What and where will you be on Christmas day?

Who knows - I don't like to make plans.

Is there anything you want to add to this interview?

Sorry if I offend you. That's what I do.

ATALA'S Playthrough Drum Video Link: