Varkatzas with Atreyu in 2006
Alex Varkatzas is the lead vocalist and lyricist for the metalcore band Atreyu. He performs the screamed vocals found in the band's music, but began performing more clean vocals starting with the band's 2007 album Lead Sails Paper Anchor. In 2011, following the band's hiatus, Varkatzas also started a hardcore project with Bleeding Through vocalist, Brandan Schieppati, named I Am War.
At 14, Varkatzas, along with guitarist Dan Jacobs and drummer Brandon Saller, formed a punk band called Retribution. By 1998, when Varkatzas was 16, Retribution developed a heavier style and changed names to Atreyu, as seen on their 1998 independent release, Visions. After their 2001 EP, Fractures in the Facade of Your Porcelain Beauty, fell into the hands of Victory Records, the band signed to Victory and released their debut album, Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses in 2002. Since then, the band has released four other albums before embarking on hiatus,: The Curse in 2004, A Death-Grip on Yesterday in 2006, Lead Sails Paper Anchor in 2007, and Congregation of the Damned in 2009. After ten years of worldwide success, the band went on hiatus.
On July 1, 2014, the band officially announced their return from Hiatus by playing several festivals including Aftershock and Slipknot's Knotfest. A new single was released on their official YouTube channel titled "So Others May Live" and plans for a new album titled "Long Live". Long Live was released on September 18, 2015.
I Am War
After Atreyu embarked on a hiatus in 2011, Varkatzas started a hardcore project named I Am War with Brandan Schieppati of Bleeding Through. The band released an album entitled Outlive You All in 2012.
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During the early days of Atreyu's tour cycles, Varkatzas was an alcoholic which greatly affected his vocals during live performances. Since The Curse, he has edged away from alcohol and drugs and has since found fitness and training to be a more suitable way to relieve anxiety and stress. Varkatzas ran Hellenic Crossfit and Muay Thai in Orange County, California until November 1, 2015, and practices Muay Thai, Boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He wrote about a lot of his drinking problems on A Death-Grip On Yesterday, which was the lyrical inspiration behind songs such as "Ex's and Oh's" and "The Theft".