This article is by our new writer, Luminous. Enjoy!
Punk Rock electronic artist, ATHRS, born Mike Torres, performed for his second time at Imagine Music Festival (IMF), this year in Hampton, Georgia. The Orlando, FL, native often performs in the Southeast and said Atlanta’s premier electronic music festival is one of his favorites. “I love performing in Atlanta, this is my second year at Imagine. Glen and Maddie (of IRIS Presents) throw one of the best festivals out here and it’s always so amazing to be a part of it,” he said.
Rock and EDM have been in an increasingly intertwined relationship ever since Skrillex burst onto the DJ circuit after leaving his post-hardcore band “From First to Last.” Steve Aoki was a singer and guitarist in the scream band “This Machine Kills,” EDM powerhouse, Zedd, was once a member of death core band Dioramic, and bass legend, Bassnectar, also was once in a metal band. Some acts leave the “rock sound” almost entirely, trading guitars for synthesizers and hard bass, at times only referencing their roots in mashups or remixes.
ATHRS has managed to evolve into EDM while keeping his pop punk influences intact. This has allowed him to create original music that melds the two genres in a genuine way. ATHRS played for an intimate show for a crowd at the Six Feathers stage, splitting the set between his laptop and DJ Controller, and grabbing his guitar to leave behind the booth and rock out on stage and right in front of his audience.
Growing up on pop and punk music, ATHRS says he is influenced by bands like All Time Low, Green Day, and blink-182. He also has a penchant for DJs like Kayzo and Borgore, and says Adventure Club, who played IMF this year, is one of his biggest influences: “I was super hyped to see them! They killed it; it was an ABSOLUTELY epic show!” The pioneers of vocal dubstep put on an epic show full of lights, lasers, and their signature sound, famous for attracting many fest-goers into the electronic scene in the first place.
ATHRS thinks the diversity of sound within EDM music has attracted more and more people to American EDM music and events. He uses his platform to produce a unique combo he calls “pop-punk electronic” with vocals characteristic of punk rock, interwoven with synths, energetic beats and high energy drops. His songs vary from highly rock influenced to more house influences like his single, “Shed My Skin.” During his performance of “Under My Skin,” a cut from his upcoming EP, ATHRS croons about not letting the world get to him before a crescendo of heavy, melodic guitar riffs, with a dance beat picking up to join the melange of sound
“People are hungry for real talent, drive and ambition, and that’s what I hope to bring them. They also get to see [my] vulnerability. I think it really comes through in the music,” he said. ATHRS’ fans, at Imagine or people who want to hear his unique brand of punk EDM, can catch him next at Uncle Lou’s entertainment hall in Orlando, FL, on October 14th.
ATHRS’ latest EP “Pop Punk is Dead” will be releasing soon and a music video for his single, “Rollercoaster” was recently released on Youtube. Fans can find more of ATHRS’ music on Soundcloud, and Spotify.