photo by Grayson Hary, from Facebook
On Saturday, July 19th, we met up with Matt Orr and Youssef Chamma of Atrocities at Sonshine Festival in Willmar, MN to ask them a few questions about their most recent album, the recording process, what they like about being in a band, and more.
What are your names and what is your role in Atrocities?
Matt – I’m Matt and I play vocals.
Youssef – I’m Youssef and I play bass and do vocals.
How did all of you meet, and how did you form the band Atrocities?
Y – We knew each other from being in different bands and were playing shows together a couple years ago and there came a time when none of us were in bands and we just kind of came together.
What is your favorite thing about being in a band, or more specifically, this band?
M – My favorite thing is playing shows. This is the first Christian band I’ve ever been in and it’s just spreading the message of Jesus to people who don’t usually hear it through music. It’s a lot better fit for me.
Y – I just like playing loud and fast music. And like Matt said, I like spreading Jesus to a hardcore scene of people. We’re from the scene in Fargo and it’s just a really non-Christian scene of bands and it’s just kind of nice not to be in that scene of bands and to stand out from them.
How did you get into music and performing?
M – I’ve been playing shows since I was like 13 or 14. I didn’t know how to do anything and I was not musically talented at all and my friend was like “Hey, join my band and play bass,” so I got a bass guitar and learned how to play bass. And then I decided I wanted to do vocals.
Y – My story’s like exactly the same as that. I didn’t know how to play anything and my friend was like “Hey, play bass,” and that was around the time when With A Voice just started out and they asked me to join because they didn’t have a bass player and from there I just kept playing.
Describe your most recent album.
Y – If you like fast music, you’ll like it. It’s got some catchy parts, fast melody, lots of yelling. The EP is called Set Free, and we have songs on the EP about things like suicide, and the way that some of us get caught up in material possessions, and the people who claim they spread Jesus but they spread hate rather than that. And it basically means that we can be set free from all of that.
Which song off of your EP Set Free has the most significance to you and why?
Y – I’m gonna go with “Wasting Away” because it was a song I wrote about dealing with lust and pornography and just the struggles a lot of Christians have with that. And the song “Wasting away” talks about whatever people are struggling with, whether it’s addiction or whatever, and how they’re just really struggling with that and feel like they’re slipping away. That’s just kind of what it means for us.