We are coming up on the tenth anniversary of Yellowcard's landmark album, Ocean Avenue. The album was originally released in July of 2003 and following the success of the record, Yellowcard's music was reaching more people than ever before. The following two albums never managed to capture the hearts of so many people like the band's fourth album and their major label debut for Capitol. Eventually lineup changes, outside pressures, and a relentless schedule caught up with the group and they forced themselves to switch to hiatus mode.
After the time off, the band came back and they came back with a vengeance. Signing with Hopeless Records, the comeback album, When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes was released in 2011, and just this past summer they released Southern Air. Yellowcard is back and better than ever. Speaking with Ryan Key, Yellowcard's longtime frontman, Alternative Addiction asked about the band's busy year.
"I think going all the way back to February of 2011 with the last record, we’ve been more busy than we’ve been for a long time," said Key. "We haven’t stopped for much more than a Christmas before we were back in the studio making Southern Air. But it’s been great, and in the most cliché of terms, we’re striking while the iron is hot. Things are going so well, and it’s such an immediate society these days, you have to take advantage of things when they come your way. We just keep getting amazing opportunities for the band, and we’re taking them all. But it’s definitely been insane; I’ve flown somewhere around 120,000 miles this year."
Before the summer hit, 2012 was already shaping up to be a busy year for the band. The opportunity for a major slot on the Vans Warped Tour was offered and the guys jumped all over it. The only catch was, Key and co. had to rush to get their new album finished, even though it wouldn’t be released for months. But the band got to revisit a longstanding relationship with the summer’s hottest ticket, and Key said it was everything the band had hoped it would be.
"It was amazing, it was something we were looking forward to for a long time and that was the driving force for us in getting the record done so quickly. We wanted to make sure we were ready to go for Warped Tour and we weren’t going to have to wait until the fall to record. We went into the tour with a little trepidation and a little bit of fear wondering if people were wanting to see us on Warped Tour just because they saw us once before and they want to relive those days. But some of the shows that we played were so massive and so overwhelming that it couldn’t have been further from that. People were there and back on board; they wanted to be a part of what we’re doing. That’s the vibe we were getting and that’s really kept things fresh for us."
People are excited about Yellowcard again, maybe now more than ever. A lot of that can be credited to the band's relentless work on the road their past two albums, but positive outlook on everything, including making their latest album, Southern Air get’s its fair share of props too. Key talked about the making the new record and the positive approach the guys took.
"There was a perfect balance of focus and inspiration on this record.”For me, I went in going, ‘okay, you’re not going to be negative, and you’re not going to stop until you’re finished.’ I wrote “Rivertown Blues,” that was the first song I wrote lyrically, and after that the flood gates opened up and I was writing every night. I actually went in to the recording process with nine out of ten songs melodically and lyrically structured and ready to record, which I’ve never done before. Normally, I’m lucky if I go in to the first day of tracking with like half of the lyrics I want to put on the album. So there was fuel for the fire for sure and I’m really happy about that. I love this record and I think as a band, we all feel confidently feeling that this is the best record we’ve ever made."
Yellowcard will be out on the road finishing up their 2012 dates next week. They’ll get right back to things in 2013 with a Canadian tour before traveling overseas for a European tour. Southern Air can be purchased online through AmazonMP3 for just $5.00.