ROBERT VAN WAR (ATTIKA): “One Club Owner Tried To Pay Us In Cocaine”

The Warrior Has Arrived:

On February 26, 2021, Melbourne, Florida Power Metal act Attika will release their third studio album Metal Lands [review] through Pure Steel Records. This will be Attika’s first album in nearly 30 years. What happened to the band after the release of their last album? What’s going on now? I caught up with Attika vocalist Robert Van War to find out.

Metal Express Radio: If I knew absolutely nothing about Attika, how would you describe the band’s music to me?

Robert Van War: Attika is classic American Power Metal. We try to be non- repetitive in our approach. Each song and album are different from the other.

MER: Your new album Metal Lands is set for release on February 26, 2021 through Pure Steel Records. Can talk about what inspired the song’s lyrics….

“Metal Lands” – This is actually a continuation of the “Black Rose” song featured on When Heroes Fall. It is post-apocalyptic song that includes a protagonist.

”8 Track Days” – It has undeniable 80s feel with a catchy hook. It represents life, you can’t go back and you can’t fast forward.

“Like a Bullet” – This is a fun song about young men sometimes finding themselves looking for a woman, only to find they have to pay for that attention.

“Darkness of the Day” – This is about 9/11 and how it affected me personally.

“The Price” – This song really is a culmination of thoughts I had when I realized everything has a price.

“Thorn in My Side” – This one has two meanings. Bill wrote this after surviving cancer and the thorn represents his daily life with dialysis. The other is how Paul the apostle speaks of the thorn in his side being the devil.

“Run with the Horseman” – It’s pretty much just being aware and ready for the coming apocalypse end of the generation scenario and looking forward to the new life.

”Sincerely Violent” – this is song was written like a letter to the politicians in the US. Regardless where in the world you live none of them are worth keeping in power.

“Gold” – I can’t take credit for this one, except that I saw Jonathan Stewart live in 1979 when that song was popular and it captured me.

“One Wish” – This is really an emotional song. I left it open to interpretation lyrically so more people could connect to it.

MER: Metal Lands is your first new album in 30 years, were the songs written recently or are they from the past?

RVW: 5 of the songs were demoed in different versions earlier. The other 5 are all new.

MER: How did your deal with Pure Steel Records come about?

RVW: Andreas the owner came to me personally to interest me to work with Pure Steel.

MER: Who designed the album’s artwork and what is the story behind it?

RVW: We were looking for something different cover wise. The Warrior is the main character in the “Metal Lands” song. The idea behind the cover was my idea, however I let the artist interpret it alone. This album is dedicated to his memory.

MER: There’s going to be a limited vinyl run for Metal Lands. Are you a fan of vinyl yourself? What are some of your favorite classic vinyls?

RVW: Honestly, I really like vinyl. However, I am not good with vinyl. Im a little careless and they tend to get scratched etc.. So I stick with CD and digital.

MER: Attika released their debut self-titled album in 1988 and When Heroes Fall in 1991. What happened to you and the band after the album in 1991?

RVW: The time in between was a growing time for each of us. We were involved in different bands, demos, etc. In 2015 we decided to get back together.

Attika 1991

MER: The 80s Rock scene was known for its excess and debauchery. Do you have any crazy “rockstar” stories from back in the day?

RVW: One club owner tried to pay us in cocaine.

MER: What brought the band back together?

RVW: Glenn called me and wanted to know if I wanted to be involved in a new band. Well, that didn’t really go anywhere. Before we knew it we were all together again and decided to go on as Attika.

MER: In 2019 Attika played the Headbangers Open Air with bands such as Queenryche, Exciter, Sanctuary, Heavy Pettin’, and Blaze Bailey. Did you get to hang with any of those bands and do you have any interesting stories about them?

RVW: We did get to meet a few people the short time we were there. I spent a few minutes with Allan of Exciter. Talked to a few of the Sanctuary guys. It was also great to meet some long time Attika fans as well.

MER: Attika is from Melbourne, Florida, which is not really in much of lockdown. Any chance of touring to support Metal Lands?

RVW: Not at this time.

MER: What inspired the band’s name?

RVW: We were looking for a name and Joe came up with the idea of Attica the famous prison from Dog Day Afternoon with Al Pacino. I added the K and the rest was history.

MER: Anything else you want to mention that I might have missed?

RVW: Keep up the great work. All bands deserve to be recognized. Thank you.

Attika is:

Robert Van War – Vocals
Glenn Anthony – Bass
Bill Krajewski – Guitars
Jeff Patelski – Drums



  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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