After a four year hiatus Yellowcard is back. It is, pretty much, the same band with a brand new album, “When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes”. Earlier this year, they toured the album overseas, as openers for All Time Low. Last week they began their U.S. headlining tour.
I had the chance to talk to Ryan Mendez last week about the band, the album and the tour. They were about a week into this tour and already a number of musicians are suffering from colds. Mendez pointed out that it’s one of the toughest parts about touring. When you’re home, writing and recording you can get the required rest to be well in a few days. But sleep is not a luxury one gets on the road so illnesses tend to hang on for weeks. He says everyone’s drinking a lot of tea and juice and taking Vitamin C.
There are a number of things to consider when a band reunites after being off the radar and away from each other for so long. Yellowcard has been fortunate in that their chemistry reestablished itself quickly and easily. Ryan credits new bassist, Sean O’Donnell. Sean is an old friend of the band and seems to be the piece that the puzzle needed.
Next was writing a record that would bring back the old fans and catch on with new ones. Mendez says that when the band sat down to write “When You’re Through…” they started with the goal of making the record fun. They wanted it to be energetic and something that people would enjoy hearing live. Since its release the album has been compared to “Ocean Avenue” in its overall sound. Ryan says it wasn’t intentional but they like that response. “When You’re Through…” is totally organic and has no agendas.
So besides getting along and putting out good music, that last important consideration is audience. With such a long time away from the stage, any artist will feel some trepidation as to whether their old fans will return, much less garnering new ones. Yellowcard’s last tour before their hiatus wasn’t even a headliner. They were opening for Blue October. This time around they started the road back to live performances again as an opener. All Time Low tends to have a younger fanbase and Yellowcard was more than happy to introduce a new batch of pop-punk fans to their sound. Now that their name is at the top of the bill, they are getting a guage on new fan demographics. Ryan says it does appear that they are drawing some new and younger fans along with the fans that have been with them all along. He said there’s no black and white, stark contrast between age groups though. There seems to be a nice blend.
Yellowcard returns to Connecticut this Saturday to The Webster stage. It’s been a while since they were last here. Mendez is looking forward to this stop as he gets to spend time with an old friend who lives in the area. I brought up the fact that there was a special moment in Yellowcard’s history that took place in this state. Ryan remembers well when they made the second announcement of the album title for “Paper Walls” at a show at Southern Connecticut State University in 2007.
As for what is in the future for Yellowcard? I asked, even though it’s more than half a year away if the band is considering a run on Warped Tour next summer. Mendez says they’ve actually thrown the topic around and would really like the opportunity. The last time they were on the tour they only had a limited group of dates as they had other obligations. It was a great experience and they’d wouldn’t mind doing more time on VWT next year.
In the very near future though, the Floridians will be heading to Europe later this Fall. I noted to Ryan that it looked like they would be in Russia for Thanksgiving. He said it was funny I should have mentioned that as the band was just discussing it. In the past they have toured over the holiday but have had a little time that they could at least celabrate it among themselves and their crew. This year, however, they won’t even get that as their flight schedule has them traveling the whole day. The consolation is though, that they will return to the U.S. in time for Christmas.
For ticket information, visit http://www.webstertheater.com/mainstage.php#October Doors are at 6 p.m. and tickets are $20 on-line or $22 at the door. Openers are Every Avenue and Go Radio. Also visist Yellowcard’s site at http://yellowcardrock.com/