Interviews

Ryan Key of Yellowcard: We still have a lot of life left as a band

By CJ AngEvents - 10 September 2012 12:00 AM

Ryan Key of Yellowcard: We still have a lot of life left as a band

Do you know Yellowcard? Bet you do.
How about the discography history of the band? Sure, maybe quite a number of you out there are mouthing the figure 8 for the number of album releases so far.
What about the fact that the band has been in existence since 1997? Okay, we see only the diehard fans with their hands up.

A brief introduction about the band – Yellowcard is a pop-punk band consisting of members Ryan Key on vocals and guitar, Sean Mackin on violin and vocals, Longineu W. Parsons III on drums and percussion, Ryan Mendez on guitar and backing vocals, and Josh Portman on bass.

Besides the unique involvement and entanglement of a violin and its playing member, the band is also well known for energetic, anthemic hits like ‘Only One, Lights and Sounds’, as well as their biggest hit ‘Ocean Avenue’ that propelled the then-newbies to punk rock stardom – not forgetting, casting an ex MTV VJ in their music video for ‘Hang You Up’ along the way.

Ahead of their concert happening on the 15 September at The Coliseum™ located at Hard Rock Hotel® Singapore, Resorts World™ Sentosa, we put frontman Ryan Key in the hotseat.

As a band, Yellowcard has been through its trials, indefinite hiatus and reformations. How does it feel now as a band as of the present?

Lucky. I think that's the best word. I joined Yellowcard 12 years ago… I can confidently say that this is the best version of Yellowcard that I have been a part of. Positivity and hard work are what we focus on now. 

Lyrically, Yellowcard seems to have matured along the years. What caused the change?

Lyrics tend to be the most personal part of the songwriting process. Being the lyricist for the band, I'd have to say I'd be pretty upset if I hadn't matured and grown stronger over the years. So I think it has been a natural progression.  

How is the band reacting to the rave reviews for ‘Southern Air’?

The positive response to ‘Southern Air’ has been overwhelming… I think ‘Southern Air’ is the best record Yellowcard has ever made. I would hope listeners take away the fact that we still have a lot of life left as a band.

In a lot of ways (after taking almost three years hiatus) I consider ‘Southern Air’ our second record. The last year and a half has been such a new beginning for us. I hope people are inspired by this record, and know that we will continue to write the best music we know how for many years to come. 

The video for ‘Ocean Avenue’ will probably go down as one of the most memorable in music video history. How do you feel about that?

As a fan of Music Television in the 80s and 90s I don't know that we belong in that category, but thank you for the compliment. I have always been very proud of that music video. When making [it] I remember how much fun we had, and how at that time we had no idea that song would be the flagship for the rest of our career. 

Share with us the band that no one knows, off-stage and away from public awareness.

We are pretty much an open book. There isn't much that our fans don't know about us at this point. We do work really hard off stage to maintain a solid career as a band. The future is important to us so we are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that Yellowcard has one. 

If you can have the ownership of any one song and make it the band’s own, what would it be?

I think I'd have to say‘Everlong’by Foo Fighters. It is hands down one of the best pop rock songs ever created. Long live the Foo's. 

Yellowcard will be playing at The Coliseum™ located at Hard Rock Hotel® Singapore, Resorts World™ Sentosa on 15September, Saturday at 8pm. The tickets are available through Sistic.



CJ often lurks in the dark - the least, at concert venues. He is also a classic example of someone who scored pretty badly in English but has never stopped trying. With a history of writing on the now-defunct Ooostage to Kevin Mathew's fronted Power of Pop, and interviewing artistes from Zee Avi to Underworld, he hopes that the music exploration journey ahead is - as Paul McCartney famously once sang - a long and winding road.