After facing the possibility of never singing again, Yellowcard frontman Ryan Key has recovered from emergency throat surgery and is glad to be back on the road. Key underwent surgery in mid-May to remove a cyst from his vocal cords caused by overworking his voice. The cyst forced the band to temporarily halt promotion of its new Capitol album, "Lights and Sounds."
"We were put in a place where we realized how fragile the whole thing is. This industry that we've somehow fallen into, it's so true, the cliche of it could be here today and gone tomorrow," Key tells Billboard.
After spending 10 days completely silent, with a dry erase board as his only means of communication, Key had time to put the band's success into perspective. "We were out supporting and touring but [the album] was not getting the response that the last one got," he says. "Unfortunately, having that response on the first one is going to set you up to expect that on the next one and I wish that didn't happen."
The band's previous release, "Ocean Avenue," has sold 1.7 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan; "Lights and Sounds" has shifted 309,000 since its late January release.
But now, with Yellowcard fever dying down, Key is learning from his experience and readjusting what he says is his normally pessimistic attitude. "You just can't help thinking, why isn't it working like it worked that one time?" he said. "But we just need to get back out and have a good time again, pre-'Ocean Avenue' vibe."
For Key, this includes talking with fans after shows, enjoying his time on stage and ignoring the fact that the band is not selling out venues like it used to.
"Those are the things that we're trying not to think about," he says. "We're trying to think more about, remember the time when they weren't sold out anyways? It didn't matter then. Why does it have to matter now?"
Key is still unsure of how his voice will hold up on the tour but he's refusing to dwell on what ifs. "I'm trying to take that energy that's nervous about what's going to happen and turn it into more of an excitement to get back out there again and get things rolling," he says.