For those who came of age afterwards Y2K, we bethink the exciting canicule of heart-on-sleeve pop punk, authentic by bands like Fall Out Boy, Cartel and Panic! at the Disco, radio-ready acts that were as relatable as they were kitschy. However, few annal encapsulated this timeframe with the bluntness of Yellowcard’s Ocean Avenue.
Ocean Avenue, the 2003 Capitol Annal absolution that advance Yellowcard into the Top 40 spotlight, was an anthology that managed to ascertain the believing admiration for a bearing of teenagers. With a 17-year career beneath their belts, Yellowcard has alluringly managed the pitfalls that appear with actuality a longstanding pop bedrock band.
They’re one of the aftermost vestiges of the Total Request Live generation, bands that brindled the aboriginal ’00s with the pop jailbait that’s categorical into the after-school memories of millennials all over. Back Yellowcard plays the Nile Theater in Mesa on Saturday, January 18, they’ll be bringing some of those aboriginal celebrity canicule with them, touring abaft aftermost year’s acoustic analysis of Ocean Avenue.
Though he abutting up with the bandage afterwards their platinum ascent, Yellowcard guitarist and Tempe citizen Ryan Mendez has been on lath for about nine years, accepting formed with the bandage for over bisected of their career and accidental to Ocean Avenue Acoustic. “It absolutely wasn’t accessible at aboriginal because that’s affectionate of a boxy bearings to airing into, into a bandage that’s already absolute up, but nowadays it’s absolutely fine,” he says.
But Mendez’s admittance into the bandage came at a hardly agitated time, afterward the band’s accommodation to customs founding advance guitarist Ben Harper due to conflicts aural the group. It was a adventitious buzz alarm to violinist Sean Mackin, a longtime acquaintance of Mendez, that led to his abutting Yellowcard.
“I absolutely alleged Sean in 2005 to allure him to my bells because he had been acceptable accompany with my wife and I, and he’s like ‘Sorry, I can’t appear to your wedding, but do appetite to appear comedy shows with us? We’re attractive for a guitar player,'” Mendez laughs. “So it was affectionate of a funny, one-two blazon of thing.”
Yet Mendez wasn’t initially accustomed by diehard Yellowcard fans. As with any bandage with a afterward garnered from anthemic pop albums and TV performances, like prototypal Little Monsters or Katycats, Mendez’s almost abrupt actualization as a affiliate of the bandage afterwards a platinum-selling almanac could be apparent as shocking. “Any time you accept a bandage that comes out of a arena area the admirers feel so carefully complex and a allotment of that band, any time you see any calendar changes that action [backlash occurs],” says Corrie Christopher, Yellowcard’s booking abettor aback 1999. “I anticipate the actuality that the blow of the guys were so aflame to accept him in the band, it was appealing axiomatic to the admirers that he wasn’t activity anywhere and that he adapted the position.”
After nine years with the band, accepting crisscrossed the apple and alike demography on assembly and bond aspects of 2011’s Back You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes appropriate actuality in the Valley, Mendez couldn’t be happier with his position. He and his wife emigrated to Tempe in May of 2008 as she pursued her masters amount at ASU. Despite an batty touring agenda and an accepted absence from the majority of the Phoenix scene, he’s still fabricated an accomplishment to analysis out all we accept to offer.
“In the time that I’ve been here, again seems to be a bigger metal arena than a jailbait or pop bedrock scene,” he says. “That’s accomplished for me, I accept to a ton of metal and accept gone to a agglomeration of shows aback I’ve lived here, mostly at the Marquee, which is a abundant venue. I was affectionate of complex with the guys who ran Krank [Amplification], and they are based actuality as well, so I would go to shows with them.”
It was additionally actuality in our backyard that abundant of the latter-day Yellowcard actual was formed as well, whether in the anatomy of accumulation contributions or demos of newer records. Mendez’s affection for bond and assembly adapted into a bedchamber amusement into a able apparatus for the band.
“[My wife and I] bought a abode in Tempe and I adapted one of the bedrooms into a home studio, and Ryan Key and I wrote a ton of being during that time,” Mendez explains. “We did this ancillary activity and we wrote thirteen, fourteen songs and some of those songs concluded up on the aftermost Yellowcard almanac — acutely a little redone.”
The affluence with which Yellowcard produces today hasn’t consistently been such a aqueous process. Their history is pockmarked by a cogent aperture in 2007 that continued out over four years, in which Mendez acid his assembly assignment and added bandage associates pursued claimed endeavors. The adventure abaft that break, however, is abundant added involved. “Basically aggregate that happened with [2007’s Paper Walls] was a agitator for us demography our hiatus,” he says. “We did the record, and again the Capitol ancestor company, EMI, got bought out and aggregate accepting to do with the characterization was arctic — all promotion, all everything. We had aloof accomplished Paper Walls, and it aloof got killed. The aggregation that came in and bought EMI came in and capital to move aggregate around, freezing all assets, so annihilation that was alive at the time went assuredly dead.”
It’s far from the aboriginal time that a label’s accumulated accomplishments accept hindered a band’s release. For Yellowcard, this was added than a accessory setback — it was the harbinger that bankrupt the camel’s back.
“The aboriginal distinct off that almanac was a song alleged “Light Up The Sky” and it was absolutely charting, jumping over to pop radio and started at article like #37 on Top 40, and that exact aforementioned anniversary was the anniversary they appear the [buyout] and it aloof died,” he added explains. “It was really, absolutely a affliction for all of us because things were activity absolutely able-bodied and we had no options afterwards that. It aloof seemed like the best accommodation for all of us, to aloof booty a footfall aback and amount out what we capital to do activity forward.”
So Yellowcard is still affective forward, beginning off a apple bout and about to commence on another. For all the adverse lows, including the alarming blow aftermost year that larboard diva Ryan Key’s wife, able snowboarder Alyona Alekhina, bedridden from the waist bottomward — Mendez says that the bandage has been “150% abaft him” through the tragedy — they’re a bandage that consistently seems to appear aback swinging. Christopher, accepting been by their ancillary for the majority of their career, has witnessed Yellowcard’s trajectory, acceleration and avalanche included. She’s not afraid about them, however. Yellowcard, from their admirers to their history, is one of the figureheads of the ever-resilient TRL era.
“They were actual adolescent back they started this band, and they’re a little bit earlier now and they’ve catholic the apple and accept acquired a lot from those adventures and they’ve bigger on what was already a solid foundation,” she says. “They are some of the best loyal bodies I accept anytime formed with. We fought through being together, and I anticipate that says a lot about them as people.”
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