Alter The Press!


UK Exclusive Interview: Yellowcard

When the Florida pop-punk outfit, Yellowcard, announced in April 2008, that they would be going on a break, the majority of their fans thought their favourite band was done for good. The group that brought the world classic pop-punk anthems such as: 'Way Away', 'Lights and Sounds,' 'Only One', and the 2004 breakthrough track, 'Ocean Avenue,' inspired a generation of bands with their unique musical style.

Two years later, in August 2010, Yellowcard announced they are back; working on a brand new album, after signing to Hopeless Records.

In his first UK interview since the return, front man Ryan Key exclusively spoke to Alter The Press about: Yellowcard's new album, the band's upcoming UK tour with All Time Low, signing to Hopeless Records, the reason behind the two year break and more.

Alter The Press: You've just announced your first UK tour in four years. How does it feel to be coming back?
Ryan Key (vocals/guitar): We are beyond excited. In 2006 we had to cancel what would have been our last trip to the UK due to complications with my vocal cords which ended up needing surgery to fix. I know our fans there were upset and then to have 4 years go by I am sure they thought about giving up on us. But now that we have announced this tour, the overwhelming support we have received online is just awesome. The band is also really looking forward to going to Dublin for the first time. March can't come fast enough.

ATP: What can fans expect in terms of a set-list?
Ryan: It may be a little early to tell. I will say that we are loving everything we are working on for our new record right now so there will definitely be some new material played.

ATP: What are the advantages in supporting All Time Low for your first tour back as opposed to going out on your own?
Ryan: All TIme Low are really doing a great job at building their career and they are having a lot of success right now, especially in the UK. Since we have been unable to tour there for a few years we are so lucky to be able to play for all of the people that are coming to these shows. It gives our fans a chance to see us, but also gives us a chance to play for a lot of people who may not know about our band. I think its just a great way to rebuild for us over there.

ATP: How is being back together with the rest of the band after the two and half year break?
Ryan: We have been so focused on writing songs that we really just got right back in stride. Everyone is really working well together and I think with the break we have had a chance to reflect on what Yellowcard means to each of us and how important working together as a team can be. There is an amazing positive energy surrounding the band right now.

ATP: What prompted the break from Yellowcard in the first place?
Ryan: There were several reasons that led to the decision. I can't speak for everyone, but I know I needed some time to do a little self improvement. We had been on the road for 8 years when we decided to break. I was feeling pretty disconnected from my friends and family and really wanted to move out of Los Angeles to be closer to them. I used the time to just get my feet on the ground and I think that having the time to do that is going to make me the best I've ever been as a part of Yellowcard.

ATP: The band has now signed to Hopeless. Why the switch from Capitol Records?
Ryan: We parted ways with Capitol in early 2008. This year when we decided to get the ball rolling again Hopeless just stood out as the best fit for the band. They are as excited as we are to revive the band and they are involved at the ground level with all of the new social networking and digital aspects of the music business. I think we are going to make a great team.

ATP: Sean O'Donnell has now joined the band on bass. How did Sean come into the picture?
Ryan: Sean has been a friend of the band for over 10 years. He and I were both in bands on Tooth and Nail Records that toured together in 1999 before I joined Yellowcard. After that he started a band called Reeve Oliver and we were all big fans of their music. They supported Yellowcard on several US tours and now we are all so excited to have him on the team. He is an incredible addition to our song writing process, and I think our fans are really going to enjoy having him in the band.

ATP: How is the recording coming along so far with the new album?
Ryan: We have been writing and demoing songs for most of this year. I think the best part is we have never gone into a recording session with this much material ready to go. There's only two songs that still need lyrics at this point. Usually I am up until the sun rises on the last few nights of the recording trying to finish the lyrics. So this time around it is nice to have that weight off of my shoulders. Sean O'Donnell has been a big help in that department too. We are all fans of his work in his previous band so it has been awesome to have another lyricist to work with in the band. We are also really focusing on Sean Mackin and the violin. I think we want this to be a violin heavy record and so far his parts are amazing. Ryan Mendez will be shredding as always on the lead guitar, and Longineu (Parsons III) has stepped in just this past week to really start bringing the rhythm section to life.

ATP: What can we expect from the record?
Ryan: We are really focusing on the things about Yellowcard that moved people in the beginning. Musically there is a very explosive energy that I think fans will be extremely happy to hear. Lyrically I think I am continuing to grow and mature. This record will have a lot for people to hold on to in the words. There has been a lot to write about over the last couple years with my life shifting and changing directions pretty dramatically at times. We just can't wait for it to be out there.

ATP: How would you describe the music in comparison to your previous releases?
Ryan: While we continue to evolve as songwriters, I think this record really captures the best of all of our releases. We are definitely conscious of what we want to happen to a crowd when we play these songs as we write them. We want people to feel amazing while they listen to our music whether its in their car or at a show. So we are just writing what we love, and hoping that will translate into songs that fans love.

ATP: When do you think the new album will see the light of day?
Ryan: Right now it looks like it will be released in March right around when we come to the UK. I wish it was tomorrow!

ATP: What is the plan with Yellowcard in 2011?
Ryan: Tour. After two years off of the road, we all want to be touring for as long as possible on the new record. We are starting it all off right by heading to the UK! We can't wait to see everyone at the shows!

Yellowcard will release their new album in March 2011 on Hopeless Records.

- Jon Ableson

Alter The Press!