Before their show at The Pat on January 22nd, 2004 with EVE6 and Jersey I got to speak with the Yellowcard’s drummer LP, and guitarist Ben about sticking out above the bland and some of the influences they had along the way.
Punkoryan: First off I was on your website yellowcardrock.com and I found links to over 37 interviews. Do you ever find you have been interviewed to death? Are you tired of the same questions over and over?
Ben: Well you know its all for a cause. We’ve got to get the word out, we all have a story to tell.
Punkoryan: It seemed the same question came up every time: “What’s up with the violin?”
LP: Yeah that’s pretty much what everyone asks us, about the violin.
Ben: Ryan writes all of the songs and brings the chorus and verse to the band group and then everyone puts their parts in. LP’s rhythms bring the music from part A to part D you know, and every person changes the song to something completely different. Sean writes violin parts, and it’s completely a teamwork effort. Sometimes Ryan will already have a riff or a chorus written, sometimes we’ll have a cool riff and it doesn’t even go to the studio with lyrics yet. We’re just making music you know. You never know what your going to get, it would suck if it was just an assembly line.
Punkoryan: We’ll I promised you I wouldn’t ask you the same 10 questions you always get so I’ll put you to work. If I was in a music store, and only had enough money to buy one CD, why should I buy your new album Ocean Avenue?
Ben: Well I’d say it’s deep, it’s well rounded, you get a lot of different emotions that come from it. It’s not dark all the way through or something like that.
LP: I would say, well that’s kind of a hard questions because you know I’m not going to tell you to go buy the record if you don’t like it, but it explores all genres.
Ben: Exactly! …. Well except for hip hop and techno…. [Laughs]
Punkoryan: Well speaking of how the show sold out. Something I noticed with this show was that #1 my “snob punk” friends who normally wouldn’t listen to two chords of anything indie or “pop punk” were excited that you guys were coming and #2 my friends who normally wouldn’t go to shows got tickets before I did. You guys have a really original sound. How does it feel to be a band that sticks out above others and can draw people like that?
LP: That’s great!
Ben: That’s awesome! Not often do we get told that in an interview. But that’s awesome; it just makes us want to keep going. I think there are just a lot of elements in our music, and parts that just make all types of people want to stick around, whether it’s the vocals, the drums or the guitar.
LP: Well for us it’s always been like that, we’ve grown up playing bars. I couldn’t even tell you how many bar shows we’ve played. But we like it because it’s a smaller environment so you can really feel the energy from the crowd.
Ben: This is the second of the last four shows we’ve had that isn’t all ages. Definitely we feel like a lot of our fans have to miss out. This time we had to prove ourselves because we’ve never played here before so EVE6 was nice enough to let us come but we will be back and we’ll be headlining next time.
Punkoryan: One last cliché question. What’s in your CD player right now?
LP: What I’m listening to right now would probably be a Road Runner compilation with some metal on it.
Ben: Okay, we’ll put you to the test, you tell me.
(Ben then reaches over and pushes play on the CD player and asks me what it is)
CD Player: “Last night, I had a dream, that we went to Disney Land, went on all the rides, didn’t have to wait in line”
Punkoryan: Ataris of course!
LP: When we were seniors in high school it was that, Lagwagon, Good Riddance, NOFX, Guttermouth. That’s where our music comes from.
Punkoryan: Did you know Guttermouth were actually kicked out of Canada because of a show they played here at Louis’ for indecent exposure?
Ben: I’d believe that! [Laughs]
All Pictures Copyright 2004 Ryan Jackson