TagWorld Exclusive Interview – Yellowcard By: Patricia Dao
Patricia: So we’re at Bamboozle today at Cal Poly Pomona, are you guys stoked to be here?
Ryan: Yeah, we love it here…Orange County is kind of our home away from home so, yeah we love it here!
Patricia: Are you guys from around here?
Ryan: No, we’re from Jacksonville, FL but when we moved out to California about 6 years ago…wow, it’s been 6 years dude…anyway, yeah a lot of our first shows we started playing early in our career were here in Orange County, Pomona, Anaheim, places like that so, we feels like our hardcore and oldest fans are from this area so, we love it here.
Patricia: Nice…what bands are you excited to see here?
Ryan: I’m excited to see Brand New because I hear there going to play some new songs and we’ve been friends with them for a long time and haven’t gotten to hear anything of the new record yet, as no one has so, I’m excited to hear them.
Sean: Thrice is one of my favorite bands and they are playing right after us, so yeah, I’m excited to see that!
Patricia: Are there any other bands that you might collaborate with?
Ryan: We haven’t really collaborated with any other bands but, I know this is a little “off the wall” but on “Likes and Sounds” the record that we’re touring on for now, Natalie Manes from the Dixie Chicks sang on a song, I’m a huge fan of the Dixie Chicks I’ve just always have been. I dated this girl in high school who would sing that song “Let Em’ Fly” all the time, and my girlfriend was an incredible singer, so after that it just kind of stuck with me, and I love their later records I’m not really into their earlier stuff. Anyway, so that’s probably our biggest artist we’ve collaborated with…
Sean: Lil’ John
Ryan: Haha…yeah right…LP wishes! But, we would ummm, I don’t know, probably a big common influence would be the Foo Fighters, we all really love that band…Green Day, Weezer…
Ryan: Yeah, that’s like a whole separate thing and its one big influence. NOFX, Lagwagon, No Use For a Name, when were in high school the Warped Tour started my sophomore year in high school was the first year of Warped Tour ever so, that was like our life long dream was to be one of those bands.
Patricia: Is it crazy playing Warped Tour and now being this headlining act, I mean how has your lives changed?
Ryan: Yeah, I mean it’s insane! Like I said, that’s all we ever wanted to do and we did our first year on the tour in 2002 and then by 2004 we were like you said for all intensive purposes, “headlining” the show and it was really mind-blowing to be a part of it at that level, and also because we got to be friends with NOFX and Lagwagon to the point where we’re still in touch with them. So, its not just acquaintances there actually like friends of ours which, that’s like amazing to me…they’re like our childhood icons…and they don’t look at themselves like that you know…there old punk rockers. We love them and we love what they did for our careers and that style of music really inspired us to do a lot of things and kind of gave us our whole DIY attitude we had when we first started out, just charge it and get in the van and go play everywhere all the time because that’s what they did so yeah, it was a good map to follow you know, a good book to learn from.
Patricia: How about “Lights and Sounds” lets talk about that.
Ryan: I think “Lights and Sounds” would be the counterpoint of all of that it’s coming thru you know…umm…becoming as successful as we did…who are you on the other side of that, you know what I mean?...and I mean like…I’m not going to lie me personally, I defiantly went through a tough phase of my life when I probably should’ve been like just full of happiness, smiles and joy of the fact that our band was big as it was. I really was actually pretty low and bummed out a lot and umm…I mean how can you be ready for that, no one can be and everybody deals with it differently…
Patricia: Do you think the change was too quick?
Ryan: I think maybe for me it was, I mean Sean has always pretty much had a good attitude which really annoys the crap our of me because he like never gets bummed about anything and I’m just such a bum out all the time…
Sean: It’s because I’m Asian and I just have a better outlook on things…
Ryan: haha...yeah, “Lights and Sounds” was like, at least for me, writing the lyrics on it was kind of like therapy in a way you know…it maybe wasn’t a record necessarily so much for the fans of our band and I think a lot of people feel that way, but I don’t know at the time I think that’s what needed to happen you know, we had to sort some things out and that’s how we do it by writing music and…
Sean: We also wanted to like change and like grow and show off different musical aspects that we hadn’t had opportunities to show yet either so, not just like you (Ryan) being sad all the time it was just like we had been a band a long time and we play music and there was something beyond the surface of what everyone knew as “Ocean Avenue” and we wanted to showcase that as well.
Patricia: What’s the difference between your music now and your music at the beginning of your career?
Sean: Just probably our age…that whole evolution of being 16 into being 27…haha…yeah, so we get to look back and look at all the mistakes we made and try to fix them or try to roll with them, and try to have the most fun and kind of do what we do you know…it’s all a learning process, we still have so much we don’t know.
Patricia: Yeah, so what does the future hold for you guys?
Ryan: We’re actually going to start working on a new record tomorrow. We’re going to our little place where we write music, we have a place in Hollywood where kind of just get together in a little room and write the songs. We’ve been writing on the bus and stuff but today is actually our last day on tour and so tomorrow we’re going to get into the studio and start working and see what we come up with. We’re looking to try to finish by mid-February and get back on the road.
Patricia: That’s kind of a relief after touring for so long.
Ryan: Yeah, this one was kind of short record you know, it came out in January so I mean, an 8 month touring cycle for us is like not that long I mean “Ocean Avenue” was almost 20 months without a break and so this is really fast but, we had a lot of hang ups this year with me having vocal surgery and before the surgery we had to cancel a bunch of stuff, it’s been like stuttered, stop and start for us and I think we lost some of the momentum we would of liked to have on the record. We’re really proud of this record and like I said we kind of made it for us and each person had an individual effort more than so much like the band doing a record together which is a really interesting way to make a record but it’s kind of what ended up happening. We each just worked our way through it. So, we’re really stoked about to get out and show people that but it’s been like so frustrating. It’s not like oh, that record sucks lets put it behind us it’s like the best way to get onto the next thing and stop getting hung up is to just go in and start fresh and we have a window right now to do it so we’re just going to take it and do it and make a new record.
Patricia: Cool. So, we’re internet company and we have tons of fans that love you guys on our site. Do you have anything that you want to tell them to watch out for?
Sean: We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the internet and everyone knows that the internet sort of jump started our career so, thank you and we don’t forget about you. We’re going to have lots of little stuff while we’re in the studio and we’re going to be on our website which is yellowcardrock.com so don’t be shy about coming over there and visiting us and putting up daily blogs and say hi to all the people who have like been there for us.