As Van’s Warped Tour makes it’s way to Seattle, WA this month, we thought we’d take a look back at the tour when we covered it during our first year of operation, as well as bands who have been associated with it.
Yellowcard is still doing their thing this year on Van’s Warped Tour. Here is our interview with them from five years ago…
It doesn’t always work this way. We all know of the infamous one hit wonder syndrome and that doesn’t always have to do with the band or singer involved, sometimes it’s just the flavor of the month. I am sure many of you out there who were in high school during the early 2000’s remember Yellowcard being the band you just HAD to have on your playlist with all your other favorites. There is a difference however between Yellowcard and your other favorites….after eight years, guess who is touring Europe and selling out shows around the United States? If you guessed Yellowcard…..you would be right. I caught up with Ryan Mendez during their last tour for a quick chat on life after Ocean Avenue
LM: So how is life on the road?
It’s great, this tour has been incredible, all the bands have been great (Hey Monday, All Time Low), the crowds have been awesome, pretty much every show has been sold out.
LM: What’s it been like touring with Hey Monday and All Time Low?
Yeah it’s great every band on the tour has this great set of fans, they are all great and although each band has its own fans, they all are really supportive of each band.
LM: I remember being such a huge fan of Ocean Avenue when it came out and although you had some great albums after that (Lights and Sounds and Paper Walls), When You Are Through Thinking, Say Yes seems like almost an answer or a continuation to Ocean Avenue. Would you agree with that?
I think there is definitely the same kind of energy and freshness on it, I am not sure if we set out specifically to do that. We definitely have been receiving that kind of reaction though in reviews and such, as well as people saying its our freshest album since Ocean Avenue and I would agree with that. I think it just kind of happened like that, we had been on hiatus for a couple years and were all kind of doing our own thing. Coming back to it, I think it’s only natural for it to be that way, we were very re-energized, which was similar to how we felt when we were brand new and made Ocean Avenue.
LM: How would you say you’ve changed as a band since Ocean Avenue?
There have obviously been a few member changes, so obviously that creates a different vibe in the band. Everybody has also had more life experiences since 2003, it’s been eight years now. The band sold a bunch of records with Ocean Avenue and then the next album wasn’t received quite as well, so we definitely went through the ups and downs of major label music. The band has definitely been on quite a journey. I think this is the best lineup the band has had, we are all very focused and on the same page and I think that’s the first time it’s been like this since the Ocean Avenue era.
LM: Being a fan myself, I was so happy to see fans become so ravenous over When You Are Through Thinking, Say Yes. Were you expecting that? Or has it been a surprise?
We totally were surprised! I think we were really happy to announce we would be getting together to make another record, I don’t know if we expected the response to be quite as overwhelming as it was. I don’t think we expected it to be bad, but to see the response be so huge, it was a pleasant surprise, it’s nothing short of incredible for us. Our fans are so diehard and loyal and it proved our fans didn’t go anywhere over the past couple years.
LM: So a question I have had since I started listening to you guys is about the violin, I have likened it to sounding like a canary in the midst of chaos in the best way possible. How did adding it to the band come about?
That was actually something that happened way back when the band started in high school. It started even before Ryan (Key) joined the band. The guys were like 17 and 18 going to school in Jacksonville, FL, Longineu (drums) and the original guitarist, Ben Harper were playing more fast paced, aggressive, punk rock stuff and they were friends with Sean Mackin, our violinist. They were getting ready for a show and they said “hey do you wanna come up and play with us for a show?”, like it would be a fun thing to do, he was a friend of the guys you know? That basically ended up turning into him being in the band. It definitely wasn’t a planned thing. It just kind of stuck, everyone seemed to like it, it was a unique thing.
LM: As you are getting ready to wrap things up here soon, what have been your favorite moments of the tour so far?
Well I will separate this into two tours, since we just got back from an international tour as well. Our international tour included Japan, Philippines, Russia, Finland, UK. That was incredible. On that tour, I would have to say Japan is always amazing, but going to a few places that we had never been before like the Philippines, Russia and Finland was incredible, showing up there to people who knew the band and knew the words was awesome. Never having been to a place before and having that response is humbling and just kind of inspiring. On the American tour, I would have to say the Florida shows and Atlanta. The south has always been good to Yellowcard, obviously since the band started in Florida, but the energy at those shows was so amazing, its like we never stepped away.
LM: You’ve already released two videos for songs off of the new CD, are you going to be releasing more soon, what is the plan for the rest of the year?
We are going to be doing a lot of touring, pretty much non stop, going everywhere we can. We are definitely hoping to release another single this year, but are really pushing “Hang You Up” right now. There are plans to do another video this year if “Hang You Up” does well, so we are definitely hoping it does, so if we did do another video it would be later in the year, but really we are just going to see how everything goes. For now, we just know for sure that we will be on the road all year.
LM: How are you guys keeping busy during the downtime on the road?
We watch a lot of movies and a lot of sports. Myself and Ryan (Key) are huge soccer fans, the MLS season just started up and we are both big Galaxy (Los Angeles) fans. We have also been following the European Leagues. I personally am a huge hockey fan too, and the NHL playoffs are about to start, so I am definitely going to be paying attention to that. When the sports aren’t on, we will basically flip through the channels and see what good movies are on and will watch those. I don’t get a chance to listen to a lot of music, but I know when I get a chance I will be playing the new All Time Low album a lot, they played it for us the other day and it is really good.
LM: Going back to sports, I noticed your twitter avatar is the Detroit Red Wings logo, so it’s safe to say you’re a fan?
Absolutely! Like my whole life!
LM: It looks like Vancouver is storming through the Western Conference, but it’s always nice to see some Red Wings magic, this is after all there 20th consecutive playoff appearance.
I know, they have the record for most post season appearances of a professional sports team. It’s awesome. Vancouver does look good, but you know, just like the Sharks (San Jose) they seem to just not have it in the post season. L.A. Kings look better than last year, but the injuries are going to hurt them.
LM: Of course on the soccer front…I am a huge Seattle Sounders FC fan, so we will just stay away from any talk about the L.A. Galaxy..
::laughs:: I don’t have any problem with Seattle, I love the city of Seattle, Sean Mackin is actually a Sounders fan, he’s lived in Seattle the last couple years, so we always watch when were together. It doesn’t get too crazy, he’s more of a football fan, so yeah. I am just really glad that the MLS is expanding and is selling more tickets, that is great to see.
LM: Have you ever been to an MLS game?
No, and funny enough I was supposed to see L.A. play Seattle last year and then it didn’t end up happening, but I really want to and have been meaning to.
LM: It’s definitely an amazing experience, I love going to Sounders games.
Yeah and from what I hear Seattle comes the closest to matching the atmosphere of European games.
LM: Personally, what has been the best part of this record for you?
You know, that’s a tough question, but I really just have been so happy with the response. When we started getting some of the press feedback in December (2010) and there were no negative comments, I was really blown away and the whole band was so happy. With all the work that goes into making a record, you don’t always get to sit down and really see what you have done until the end, so getting this kind of feedback is incredible and we are all so proud.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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