From ataris.com - The Ataris, one of the most successful independent rock bands of recent years, have a new album, so long, astoria, the group's eagerly-awaited major label debut on Columbia Records. so long, astoria is the first full-length Ataris album in nearly two years. "In This Diary," the album's first single, has been slated to be lensed as a video by cutting edge director Steven Murashige, whose résumé includes clips for Incubus and Rage Against The Machine. The song itself finds Kris admitting that "Being grown up isn't half as fun as growing up" before offering up the hope that "...eventually you'll finally get it right." For Kris, getting it right means connecting in a real way with the band's audience and the Ataris are ferociously dedicated to their fans. "We are a very personal band with our fans," Kris is eager to stress. "We definitely go out of our way. We take it an extra mile. We write all our fans back personally, we run our own website personally. We have a kid from the audience get on stage and play guitar on a song with us every night. We opened up a record store in Santa Barbara, where we live, so that when we're off tour, people can come visit us. We even rehearse and practice there so when kids come, we'll let them jam with us. We listen to the demos kids give us and we've helped a few bands get signed to indie labels. We want this to be known about our band: all we are is a bunch of music fans who got lucky and happen to be living our dream. We are a band that exists solely for the purpose of our fans." The Ataris are: Kris Roe (lead vocals/guitar), Johnny Collura (guitar/vocals), Mike Davenport (bass/vocals), and Chris "Kid" Knapp (drums). The group was first discovered in 1997 when songwriter Kris Roe passed along his demo tape to Joe Escalante, bassist for the Vandals and owner of Kung Fu Records. Moving from Anderson, Indiana, to Santa Barbara, California, Roe assembled The Ataris' line-up and recorded the group's first full-length offering, Anywhere But Here, for Kung Fu. The Ataris subsequently recorded an EP, Look Forward To Failure (1998 - Fat Wreck Chords), as well as the additional Kung Fu albums: Blue Skies, Broken Hearts... Next 12 Exits (1999) and End Is Forever (2001), each of which has sold more than 100,000 copies in the U.S. and has achieved similar sales successes around the world. A virtual touring machine since the band's inception, the Ataris have shared bills with Jimmy Eat World, Social Distortion, Blink 182, the Hives, 311, and others. The group has been a main stage attraction on the Van's Warped Tour and has sold out tours in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.