Earlier in the year we caught up with Yellowcard as they were releasing their new album ‘When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes‘ via Hopeless Records. Now it’s been out a few months, and they’ve since been announced to hit Australia later in the year on Soundwave Revolution, we thought we’d check in and see how the band has been travelling since the release of the record. Sean Degan spoke with Ryan from the band. Click below to expand this post and check it out.
How are you going Ryan?
Yeah good man. How are you?
Doing Well Thanks. So you’re heading to Australia again, first time in a long time?
Yeah last time we were there was 2007 with Sum 41. It was actually awesome hey. It was a great trip. It was one of the last trips we did as a band before we went on a break for a couple of years.
Yeah so the ‘break’. What was the leading point for you guys to take a little bit of a break?
Well basically it got to a point where we either had to take a break or make a new record only about six months after we had released the last record (Paper Walls). We worked really hard on that record for Capitol Records and by the time Christmas came around 2007, pretty much no-one we ever worked with before worked with the label, everyone we had worked with had moved on or had been let go. It just wasn’t good. So the record was kind of dead in the water and we had gone out and had done a lot of touring for it, a lot of pro bono touring you know, to kind of set it up. So we weren’t really getting paid to do that. Then it was kind of over all of a sudden, so that means we had to go back in and write a new record or bail for a little while. I don’t feel anyone was feeling creatively excited at that point. The fact that we made that choice to bail for a while, I think, is what caused us to get excited again to come back and make this new record and have such an amazing time doing it. We finally had a minute away from it and as clichéd as it sounds, once it’s gone you kinda know what you’ve got. Everybody was ready, after two years away from it, to do it again. I don’t think we would’ve made as good of a record as we did if we hadn’t taken the break and went back into the studio in 2008.
Yeah I see where you’re coming from. It’s something you can’t really force I suppose. You don’t just sit down and say “alright I’m going to write this record” its something you’ve got to give you self plenty of time to do. And be in the right frame of mind.
Yeah that’s right. You don’t want to feel like you’re writing a record just to play catch up or to make up for the one before it. You want to make it because you’re passionate about making a record. I think we were this time around and it was great because this whole process so far has had a real energy and a real positivity. Its great just being excited about what we’re doing again and it’s been a while, as a whole group, that we’ve felt this way. It’s a good thing and I think its all because of the break we took.
That’s true. And I think it showed that all the positivity and energy was back when you released ‘For You and Your Denial’ on absolutepunk.net and pretty much crashed the site straight away.
Yeah! That was amazing dude! We were definitely sitting at our computers following that by the minute. It was really exciting for us just to see that people were still excited about the band. We definitely had this moment where we were like “Well we were gone, so this is either going to work or it’s not” so that was one of the first things that made us realise that we really still had something great in our hands. We have a lot of fans that we owe a lot to because obviously they have been there for us all of this time.
Well I think they’re quite grateful for it. As a fan myself I was very grateful when I first put the CD in my car and to be honest it is still sitting in my car since its release in March. So it must have done something right.
Ha Ha well alright, that’s great!
So you guys have been tweeting as of late about some sort of surprise that is going to be coming up. Can you let us in on this or is it still a secret?
Well it depends on which thing you’re talking about.
Oh, there’s more than one?
Well I posted on Sunday that we were going to release some news on Monday. Is that what you were referring to?
I’m not sure, I read a tweet saying that you were in the studio recording something?
Oh yeah, that. No sorry man, I can’t tell you anything about that. But I can tell you what we released today, that we are heading to Europe and United Kingdom in November and December with Saves The Day as direct support for the tour when we’re in Europe and they will be co-headlining with us in the UK. I’m a, (well we all are), but I mean I am a massive Saves The Day fan and I have been for a long, long time so I am just absolutely beside myself that this is happening and we get to play all these shows with one of my favourite bands.
Yeah man, that’s great news.
Yeah. And the studio news that you’re talking about is well basically you’re going to wake up one day and there will be this surprise but I can’t tell you anything about it.
Alright, I suppose I can wait.
Sorry. Not everyone is following our twitter as close as you are it seems.
So you’re playing Soundwave Revolution this year, it must be pretty exciting to be playing it. Not only are Van Halen and Alice Cooper playing, and your label mates We Are The In Crowd and The Dangerous Summer but also bands like Relient K and Dashboard Confessional. So I’m guessing this is an exciting opportunity for you guys?
Yeah, it’s going to be awesome man. I think the thing we’re most excited about out of all of it is that we finally get to play some shows in Western Australia, which we’ve never done. We’ve been coming there since 2004 and we’ve never gotten to play Perth or Adelaide. Now we’re finally getting to go to both of those cities on this trip and I know our fans there are really excited about it, as are we.
That’s really good to hear. So as we’ve just spoken about, the reception for the latest album ‘When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes’ has been, well, great. Is that giving you guys motivation to write something new or is there something new in the works, even though you’ve only just released this latest effort?
We’ve talked about when and what the plans should be. But we haven’t started writing anything yet. I mean we’re still definitely in the heat of battle with this one. I think toward the end of the year we will start talking more seriously about how long do we keep touring in support of this and when do we stop to make another album. But I do know that what ever we do, everyone feels really charged right now and doesn’t want to take an extended amount of time off from anything. So whenever we decide to do it we’ll pretty much come off the road, into the studio and then back on the road again. That’s the plan, I’m not sure when, but we’re definitely not thinking about writing the songs yet. Probably in the next few months we’ll start talking about it.
Awesome. So as we started talking about before with your old label and it falling apart and losing employees and what not, what is it like moving to more of a “indie” label with Hopeless. Is it more that everyone is working together? Like a tighter family?
It doesn’t feel different to what Capitol felt like in the early years. We were really lucky as a band to have the major label experience we had when we got signed. The team of people that were working there really did feel like a family, even though it was a major label. Everyone was always communicating. I was there, at the building, all of the time meeting with everyone one and talking about the band and the marketing of the record and the whole thing, it was great. And we do that now with Hopeless. A lot has changed now though at Capitol and it began to feel a lot more like a major label in a negative way. Now I think getting back to the feeling that we had when we first got signed then is helping us feel recharged and has given us this energy to get something started. That’s how it feels at Hopeless. I mean, obviously there is a lot less money to be spent but I don’t see that is as important anymore. I mean, back then in 2000 you had to spend all the money on marketing and everything. I mean, the internet, the websites, the access you have to fans has changed dramatically over these past years. I don’t think you have to spend as much money to reach people as you did back then. The money is not that important and the ‘family’ is more important. I think we have been able to recapture that within Hopeless. That’s why we signed to them.
Well you kind of answered my next question around Social networking. Have you found that has made it easier not just for Yellowcard but most bands these days to promote themselves? I mean, someone just needed to mention the slight possibility of a Yellowcard reunion on absolutepunk.net and then there was this thread explosion. So do you find it makes it a lot easier?
Dude, I could spend an hour in a separate interview talking about this and my ideas of the internet and what it has done to music and business with bands. I think there is so many pros and so many cons. For us it is definitely a great tool to have contact with fans, especially in places outside of the United States where we don’t have this global music corporation like we had with EMI (the parent company for Capitol), we had labels in every country. But now, you know, we have to do a lot of it ourselves but I think that way the fans can feel more connected to the band. Because of that I can do whatever I want. I can post what ever I want and I think it still gives to them in the same way that people were spending a lot of their money on. But negatively I think the internet has done a little bit in the way of providing a little bit to much of a choice. I feel that there is too many choices for people and you could be really into something that you like and then five minutes later the internet is going to tell you that because you liked this one thing you should check out this other thing and you should like it too. I suppose that is good for bands I guess, because people are finding out about their bands, but at the same time it is spreading the fan bases so thin and it is so hard to keep up with your fans because one minute they’re into one band and then the next minute they’re into another. I think that that in a lot of ways is a little bit negative for me. But, you know, I just try to make the best of it, man. I don’t have a facebook page of my own I probably wouldn’t have a twitter if I wasn’t in the band, it’s just not my thing you know what I mean? But I understand all things people do get out of it and I understand how connected it makes the band with the fans. So in the long run it is something that we try to do and do well.
Yeah, I suppose you’ve just got to take those couple of negatives with the positives you’re getting out of it.
I think the pro’s outweigh the con’s for sure. But it is just one of those things I suppose, you can’t live with it, you can’t live without it. You know what I mean.
Yeah I definitely do. So what can Australian fans expect from the shows that you’ll be putting on when you get here for Soundwave Revolution?
Well, I will say that as a band, we are playing the best we’ve ever played. The shows have been leaving us feeling really good at the end of the show I don’t think there has been anytime where we felt “ well we didn’t do too well tonight”. I mean they all haven’t been perfect but I feel like there is a certain cohesiveness in the band right now that is great. There has been a lot of fans, in the first U.S. tour that we did since the reunion, that has seen our band 15-20 times that come up after the show and say “That’s the best I have ever heard you guys sound.” So to be doing this still and then restarting it again in this point in our career and hearing that makes us feel good. We’re just excited about coming back over there and to keep doing what we’re doing. Like you said, it’s been a long time since we’ve been there so I’m hoping everyone there is excited, as we are, for us to get there. The shows are still crazy and high energy. We love doing what we do and we mix it up with old songs and new songs. The set list has been really great too, so we’re excited
There has been a lot of excitement since word spread you were coming back over here. Do you know if there is going to be any headlining show while you are here?
I don’t know, man. I know it’s been talked about but I don’t have a schedule with them on it yet but I know we were talking about doing some sideshows on the days off in between all the festival shows, so I’m sure it will all work out.
Awesome, fingers crossed then. Well we’re almost out of time so I’ll ask my favourite question to ask band members. What have you been listening to or what would you recommend to people at the moment?
I have pretty much had the new Explosions in The Sky on repeat it’s called ‘Take Care, Take Care, Take Care”. I am a total geek for that band. With that new record they’ve totally knocked it out the park with it. I highly recommend it.
Awesome. Well Ryan, it seems like we’re out of time but Thank You so much for taking the time and from a big Yellowcard fan for the past 10 years this has been a dream come true so sorry if I’ve come across as a bit of a fan boy.
Hahaha no not at all, man.
Sweet. Thanks again for taking the time to chat. Is there anything you’d like to add before we hang up?
Just that we’re so stoked to be coming back and especially that we get to meet and play for fans in Western Australia that we haven’t gotten the chance to meet before, so its going to be a great trip!
YELLOWCARD – When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes
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