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AP.net Photos: The Early November / The Wonder Years / The Swellers / Young Stat
05/24/12 at 09:35 PM by Thomas Nassiff
AP.net was lucky enough to have our photographer friend, Dana Burke, attend the Early November's show at Irving Plaza in New York City on May 23, 2012. The Early November was accompanied by The Wonder Years, The Swellers and Young Statues, and Dana managed to get some photos of each band. Check out all the photos below.

The Early November

The Wonder Years

The Swellers

Young Statues

Tags: the wonder years, the early november, young statues, the swellers
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If You Get A Chance To Win, Take It: The Wonder Years Too Long; Do Read
04/17/12 at 01:33 AM by Thomas Nassiff
The Wonder Years have grown from 2010’s diaper dandies to 2012’s pop-punk powerhouse.
How did they get there? By getting a little better every day.

Words and Photos By: Thomas Nassiff

ABSOLUTExclusive song streams courtesy of Hopeless Records

It’s almost 5 p.m. and Dan Campbell is having trouble adjusting to the light outside.

The Wonder Years frontman just finished soundchecking with his band at The Social in Orlando, Fla., intermittently belting out lines from the new Menzingers record while running through “Don’t Let Me Cave In” and “Washington Square Park.” The band is only hours away from playing a show they sold out a week in advance, but right now, Campbell really just wants to get his hair cut.

The mop on his head is too long and scraggly, and although it hides his receding 26-year-old hairline, it’s time to clean up a bit. His beard has grown to gnarly proportions, so we’re about to trek along with guitarist Casey Cavaliere and stage tech Conor O’Brien to what we’re told is something of a punk-rock barbershop. But when we step outside, the light of the Florida sun is blinding in comparison to the shadowy innards of The Social. Campbell doesn’t have much time to adjust – there is a trio of fawning young women and a couple of giddy young men outside who just remembered why they wait outside the venue three hours before doors open.

“Sure, we can take a picture,” Campbell says. “But we only have time for one, I have to get my hair cut.”

He does his duty and we quickly shuffle past the line of waiting show-goers, then traverse the downtown Orlando traffic to find, in fact, a punk-rock hair cuttery. The owner of Liberty Barbershop is named John, stands about 6-feet tall, is covered in tattoos, sports a grizzly (but well-kempt) beard of his own, and is snipping away at a current customer. He’s a fan of ‘90s punk rock and has a few tour stories of his own. He cuts hair because “not everyone has to be a tattoo artist.” We arrive just in time. He stops taking customers at 5:30. If Campbell would have stopped for a couple more pictures in line, we would have been too late.

O’Brien is the first subject of the scissors, so Campbell, Cavaliere and I head to a bench outside to chat. It’s still pretty bright out, but the usually unforgiving Florida heat isn’t so bad today. The Philadelphia natives are grateful.

Campbell gets his hair cut at Liberty Barbershop in Orlando, Fla. "I can just see the AbsolutePunk caption now," Cavaliere muses. "'Dan Campbell Shaves Off Sadness.'"

We talk about change. A lot is different for The Wonder Years on the Glamour Kills Tour. A weird van/bus combo called a Rock-It Ship has replaced their normal maroon-ish passenger van. It has bunks, so they can actually…you know…sleep. They don’t have to split the driving time between gigs during this tour, either – there is a hired, designated driver now. Their normal entourage of six band members and a tour manager has swelled to include three more crew. They’re selling out venues they’ve never headlined before.

But some things stay the same.

“When was the last time I showered?” Campbell wonders aloud a little while later, back inside the barbershop. The conversation continues along while he looks around silently and thinks. It’s a couple of minutes before he recalls a concrete answer. “I think the last time I showered was in Little Rock. I think that was it.”

Other things stay the same, too. As tour manager John James Ryan and bassist Joshua Martin are quick to point out later the same night, a bigger crew doesn’t mean the band is sitting around relaxing all day. They still work just as much as they did on their first “real” tour, which they recall as a 11-day trek in England – there’s just more work to go around now, so more people are piled in the van…erm…Rock-It Ship. Besides, they’ll be back in their normal van and back to their normal crew size after the GK Tour ends.

“The venues have grown, the number of people that come out has grown, everything else has stayed the same,” Ryan says, decked out in a Hawaiian shirt and blue shorts, which reveal a variety of tattoos ranging from Ronald McDonald to Rugrats characters. His personality might be riddled with childlike wonder, but when it comes to tour managing The Wonder Years – which he has done for three years now – Ryan is all business.

“We run the same tight ship we’ve always run, we’re always there when we’re supposed to be there, we’re always prepared for everything. Nothing has gone to anyone’s head – everyone’s the same exact person they were when I met them.”

That latter part is proving to be especially important. As Martin describes it, The Wonder Years have been on a “fast, furious, and time-consuming ride” since The Upsides came out. But nothing has changed in the minds of the six bandmates…there are just more kids coming out to watch the punk shows.

ABSOLUTExclusive: The Wonder Years - "Me Vs. The Highway" from the Punk Is Dead. Get A Job. split out April 24.
The Wonder Years - Me Vs. The Highway

Even as fan adoration has quickly ballooned to creepy levels, the band has kept itself firmly planted in the earth. Campbell recalls a recent incident where a female superfan posted on Tumblr a completely fabricated 30-minute conversation she allegedly had with Campbell, adorned with fake quotes from him and all. And the letters from fans, enthusiastically thanking the band for writing such meaningful songs…those haven’t slowed down in a couple of years.

“It’s weird seeing that type of fan with this type of band,” Ryan says. “It’s definitely a weird thing. But [this stuff getting to the band’s head] isn’t important, because it just doesn’t happen. It’s like, here’s a letter. ‘Great!’ We made you these things. ‘Thanks!’ We baked you these cookies. ‘There might be poison in them, we’ll eat ‘em anyway!’ We take it all, all the submissions, all the demos, all the trinkets and the gifts, but it’s no importance. It doesn’t change anything.”

Still other things remain the same. As the band’s steady growth to popularity since the release of The Upsides has shown, The Wonder Years have made a point to simply progress every day. It may not be perfect, and at times it hasn’t been pretty, but progress has been the name of the game.


It’s February 3, 2010, and I think I accidentally just woke up Campbell. I’ve never met him before and I’m not sure what he looks like, so I decide to give him a call outside The Farside in Tallahassee, Fla. He answers and we exchange a couple of sentences, then I see him groggily stick his head out of his band’s van. I climb in and we do an interview. He had just woken up from napping on the second-row passenger bench because he drove the rickety van late into the night, but he manages to form coherent sentences and even teach me a fist-bump handshake that I still remember to this day. I’ve never interviewed anyone before in my life, but I manage to ask 11 questions.

A lot of the questions are about The Upsides, which came out eight days before this show took place, and Campbell shares with me that they’re pleased about the early sales numbers. They sold around 1,700 units in the first week. Somewhere 3,000 miles away, No Sleep Records will soon realize to realize that The Upsides will be a launching point for it too. After the interview, Therefore I Am finishes a short set, Man Overboard plays for about a half-hour, and The Wonder Years rip through nine songs. The Farside, if packed to its brim, could probably hold about 60 people, including the band playing and the merch guy. There is no stage. A guitar amp impedes the entranceway and it’s a little cramped when you walk in. But The Farside was not packed to its brim that night.

That show in Tallahassee, the first time I saw The Wonder Years, stands in stark contrast to what I saw Thursday night. Over 400 people sold out The Social this time – at a venue that wasn’t even sold out when The Wonder Years opened for Four Year Strong a little more than a year ago – and, for lack of a better phrase, completely lost their minds for the band.

Glamour Kills Tour in Orlando. Campbell leads the crowd in a sing-along. Jacob Tender edited this photo.

It helps that the GK Tour – what Campbell is calling the band’s first “big-boy headliner” – features a stacked package. Polar Bear Club, Transit and The Story So Far offer direct support during the whole tour, with Into It. Over It. on the first leg and A Loss for Words on the second leg. The band is quick to point to the strength of the package as a big reason for the success of these shows. “This is a tour that we would actually want to go see,” Cavaliere says.

He and Campbell won’t say it in as many words, but the six-week trek is something of a statement. A statement to those who have doubted, and a statement to other bands, that The Wonder Years can pull their own weight.

After releasing Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing in June, the band actually spent several months out of the spotlight, despite the album’s phenomenal reaction. They played two months on the Vans Warped Tour, then played third out of five bands on the Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour in support of New Found Glory. They took the winter off and decided to pull out all the stops for their big-boy headlining tour – and it paid off.

They put together a tour split, featuring all six of the bands covering each other, which was a mountain of a project that miraculously came together. They let fans vote on Facebook for which B-side they wanted to hear every night. They expanded their set list to 17 songs. The result? Over a month of shows that are sold out almost every night. The result? Hundreds of kids in every city freaking out for about four hours each night – oftentimes, Campbell says, they’re almost deliriously tired when it comes time to sing the closing “All My Friends Are In Bar Bands.” Still, when asked about how the tour has been going, the band doesn’t revel too much.

How has the tour been going?

“Well,” Campbell says.

“Strong,” Cavaliere says. “But we gotta say something more than, ‘Well.’”

“But ‘well’ is such a good summation of the tour,” Campbell counters. “It’s definitely going well.”

“Does ‘well’ sell it short, though? How about ‘extremely well’?”

“Shockingly well.”

The banter continues but finally, Campbell expands. “The bands that I always perceived as ‘big bands,’ the bands I would buy tickets for in advance and not just assume that I could show up at the door, we’re playing the venues they would route through. Which is crazy to me. Like, where I saw Brand New play, or The Movielife.”

He says his band may have even sold itself short in some cases. They added second shows in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia because those sold out so quickly. In Chicago and New York, they actually played two shows in one day – one full-album performance of Suburbia as a matinee feature, and one “normal” set. But nothing was normal about those days. Those were long days. In Boston, they had to bump up the room size and ended up playing to 1,000 kids – double what they thought they could play in that market. This is all new territory.

You want to talk about progress? Suburbia outperformed records in 2011 that were put out by bands that The Wonder Years opened for within a calendar year of the album’s release. Set Your Goals’ Burning At Both Ends? Four Year Strong’s In Some Way, Shape or Form? Suburbia had higher first-week sales than both of those albums. Its 8,100 units sold in its debut week speak to how much more attention surrounded the band in June 2011 as compared to January 2010.

Certainly, those facts should be taken with a large grain of salt. Album sales are anything but indicative of a band’s true reach in the climate of today’s industry. But it’s just another rung in the ladder of slow and steady growth The Wonder Years have been exhibiting for years now.

ABSOLUTExclusive: Stay Ahead of The Weather - No Money, Mo Problems from the Punk Is Dead. Get A Job. split out April 24.[/fs
Stay Ahead of The Weather - No Money, Mo Problems

In fact, that growth has led to a point in time where there is another movement among the band’s older fans. They’ve reached the point that many bands reach where getting called sell-outs and being criticized for their popularity is commonplace. Signing to Hopeless Records? Sell-outs. A t-shirt in Hot Topic? Who are you, Nickelback? Having a driver on a tour? Lazy bums. The Wonder Years are no longer just your band – that band you told your best friends about but never wanted to tell everyone about. You didn’t need to tell everyone…they already found out for themselves.

Campbell puts it into perspective more eloquently than most. “A lot of times when a band gets to a level of popularity and you start to see that fucking kid you hated in high school wearing their T-shirt, kids are like, ‘But no, that’s my ba – oh fuck it, fuck this band,’” Campbell says. “And I can’t blame them, I did it too.”

Just another piece of the progress.


“There are so many bands that are around, and so much music coming out, that you wanna give back to the people that listen to you,” Martin says, the show time in Orlando now creeping closer. Transit is playing inside the venue. In the band’s Rock-It Ship, drummer Mike Kennedy, guitarist/keyboardist Nick Steinborn and John James Ryan are getting matching Deathly Hallows tattoos on their legs. Guitarist Matthew Brasch just finished getting a gnarly-looking rendition of the Alkaline Trio heart on his arm. Punk rock is truly alive in Orlando this evening.

Martin is talking about his band’s tendency to constantly stay active in the release of new music, even when they’re spending two-thirds of the year out on tour. More so than their peers, there is hardly a time where you can manage to go a long while without seeing the band’s name in the new release section. After the June release of Suburbia, a Japanese-only B-side was unearthed over the fall and the GK tour split was put up for stream in early March. On April 24, another “new” song will be released on a split 6” with Stay Ahead of the Weather – “new” is relative because “Me vs. The Highway” was recorded a year ago, there just was never a perfect time to release the split until now. It’s a classic Wonder Years ditty, with Campbell’s realist lyrics owning the bridge.

“We definitely didn’t have to do this [GK tour split] for this headliner, but we thought it might be something that people enjoy,” Martin says. “It’s also fun, we had a lot of fun covering each other. It’s fun to stay busy instead of writing one record every two years and doing one headliner, we’ll tour as much as we can and support bands we like.”

Guitarist/keyboardist Nick Steinborn gets a Deathly Hallows tattoo before playing The Social.

The band will have a rare summer off this year after playing Bamboozle and a doing short run with The Early November that extends into early June. But they won’t be relaxing too much – they’ll be writing their fourth LP, which should come out on Hopeless Records in late spring or early summer next year. Recording that album will take place around an as-of-yet-announced, month-long fall tour in November or so. Campbell has already started collecting lyrics that he’s been jotting down for a while.

While we may not know what LP4 will sound like, or how the community will react to it, one thing we can bank on is that The Wonder Years will constantly try to keep moving forward. Even when you ask the band or their friends individually about where they see The Wonder Years in a couple of years, it seems like there’s a common vision in place.

“They have a good head on their shoulders of where they are and where they want to be,” says Mitchell Wojcik, a long-time friend of the band who is photographing and documenting the GK Tour. “They see things growing and they’re like, ‘Well if we can build from this, let’s build from this.’ They’ve been growing slowly for a long time, and unless they put out something completely different from what they’re all about, I see them continuing to grow just at an exponential rate. It’ll get bigger and bigger.”

“Hopefully we’ll just keep going on more tours,” Martin says. “We have this summer off but hopefully we’ll be real busy next summer promoting a record that just came out. I don’t see it slowing down. I see us on tour, grinding away, finding more bands to tour with and to support.”

There’s no end in sight to The Wonder Years’ increasing reach. There’s no end in sight to the progress.

In the immediate future, you can check out a new song called “Me vs. The Highway” right now, which will be released officially on April 24. You can check out The Wonder Years live at Bamboozle and on their run with The Early November. Campbell also teased us with details about a new music video that has already been recorded and what he calls a “secret, major project that’s going to be really cool. It’s not so much rooted in music, but it’s going to be really cool and we’ve been preparing it for over a year now.”
Tags: the wonder years, stay ahead of the weather, too long do read, absolutexclusive
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Alive and Kicking: The Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour and Why New Found Glory...
10/23/11 at 10:10 PM by Thomas Nassiff
Alive and Kicking: The Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour and Why New Found Glory Refuse to Let This Genre Sink

Story by Thomas Nassiff
Photos by Samantha Gomez

Pop-punk isn’t dead, but boy, is it tired.

At least it is right now, as a couple of representatives from three of the bands on the Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour walk across Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville, Fla., toward the warm, inviting hue of a Denny’s.

As the crowd heads in and the hostess fixes a table for a dozen, a bunch of usual tour shenanigans are taking place. Dan Campbell, vocalist for Philadelphia’s The Wonder Years, digs into his pockets for 50 cents to play a crane game. Brad Wiseman, guitarist for Walnut Creek, Calif., natives This Time Next Year, aligns himself on the machine’s left side to give Campbell some extra depth perception as he aims for a Halloween-themed penguin.

“A couple of the guys on tour are really good at these crane games,” Campbell said later on. “They win them every time they play. I just want to feel like I’m a part of something.”

Pete Dowdalls and Justin Collier, vocalist for This Time Next Year and guitarist for New Jersey’s Man Overboard, respectively, are wandering around, unable to find a restroom. A waitress points them in the right direction and gives them an odd glance as they walk by. Only Wonder Years bassist Josh Martin keeps an eye on the hostess, looking anxious to sit down and dig into some food. It’s like a sweatier, beardier, more heavily tattooed version of the Brady Bunch waiting to be seated on the one night a week they get to go out for dinner.

“The four support bands have all been on tour with each other a bunch of times,” Martin says. “I’m stoked to have kind of this family out on the tour.”

The Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour may very well be the most hyped tour package of the year. Set Your Goals, The Wonder Years, Man Overboard and This Time Next Year – four pop-punk bands generating an enormous amount of buzz – all opening for New Found Glory, the by-default godfathers of the genre. Today, an off-night date in Jacksonville provided a rare opportunity for the support bands to play a more intimate show. They played to just over 300 sweaty, stage-diving young people at a venue called The Pit – an enormous contrast to the 2,000 that packed the Orlando House of Blues to its brim just three days earlier.

With all five of the bands supporting recently released full-length records, the excitement of each show has been on a level that some have never experienced.

“If you have a tour where you have four or five relevant bands like this, kids are bound to like a majority of the bands,” Dowdalls says. At the Orlando show, Dowdalls revealed to the crowd that it was the largest This Time Next Year had ever played to.

“We get stoked on it,” he continued. “I’ve never seen kids react to us this way in such a loud, crowded environment before.”

Pete Dowdalls, This Time Next Year

While each of the groups have varied amounts of experience playing to bigger audiences, they all have a common mindset – to work hard, stick together and support each other. It’s that DIY, take-nothing-for-granted attitude that this portion of the pop-punk scene has become known for.

An innate willingness to get the job done and a desire for collective success has taken a group of individual bands and turned them into a community of teammates.

“It’s not really something that can be defined as a musical genre so much,” Campbell says about the sense of community on the tour. “It’s more like a group of people with the right idea and I think everyone on this tour has the right idea. I think that’s the most important thing to have in common.”

While the spotlight is being shed on the Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour at the moment – for good reason – the entire group is quick to recognize its equally hard working peers in the scene.

Running simultaneous to their tour is the Alternative Press Fall Tour, featuring Four Year Strong, Title Fight, Sharks and The Swellers. Campbell recalls his friends in Polar Bear Club, Fireworks, Balance & Composure and Make Do and Mend recently wrapping up another stacked tour.

“On any tour when you have friends in a positive environment, and the bands playing are all positive, then it becomes a positive environment for the people who come to the show,” Martin says. “And each night it’s like that – the sum is really greater than all of its parts.”

Martin and Campbell reminisce about the summer they spent weaving throughout the country on the Vans Warped Tour, and how bands in other genres were much less willing to help their peers succeed. They talk about bands playing metalcore or other styles of music popular on the tour, referring to some of those camps as “shit-talk city.”

“Some people on the other side of the fence, genre-wise, are real competitive where we are, as a genre, really supportive and we promote one another and want to see each other do well,” Martin says.

“We’re just at an advantage in general,” Collier adds. “We come from punk scenes that are really supportive, whether it be punk or pop-punk or hardcore.”

Wiseman jumps on Collier’s hardcore reference, saying he feels comfortable and at ease on tour knowing he’s driving cross-country with people who will have his back no matter what. He tells the group about This Time Next Year’s first tour ever, where they played to only a couple dozen kids each night. He says some bands in other genres might not be okay with only playing to a handful of kids, but groups in this scene will still get excited about it.

“We played a warehouse in Colorado Springs [on that first tour], and there were like, maybe 30 kids there and 10 of them were going off,” he says. “And we were like, ‘Holy shit, we’re in Colorado playing a show to 30 kids and 10 of them are freaking out.’ Two of them knew the words to every single song. Not everyone, I feel, can have that appreciation. The difference with us is that I think we can all accept that that is awesome.”

Man Overboard

While some of the contingencies at the table don’t draw the parallel to hardcore music quite as much as Collier and Wiseman do, they can all recognize the comparisons.

Campbell says that while The Wonder Years’ music isn’t similar to hardcore at all (“We’re not a hardcore band, we just aren’t.”), he can see the similarities between the ideals of the genres.

“There are metalcore bands that have ‘core’ in the name,” Campbell says, “[and] they have a lot more to do with hardcore I guess, to an extent. But those bands in that scene have never played a show not on a stage. They’ve never played on a floor, they’ve never played a VFW.

“If we all come up together, we can all keep playing together. There are bands that we enjoy being around, there are bands that we enjoy playing with, and we will keep doing these kinds of tours. I would much rather it be this way.”

As plates of fried food begin making their way to the table, the group agrees on another significant common ground – the importance of New Found Glory to not only their own music, but the genre in general. As stories are swapped about listening to New Found Glorys’ self-titled record at ripe, young ages, it becomes clear that without the Coral Springs, Fla., natives, these bands might not exist at all.

Dowdalls, for example, says, “[New Found Glory] and Saves the Day are the only two reasons why I wanted to be in a pop-punk band.” It’s an ultimatum like this that crystallizes New Found Glory’s immense weight on a genre they very much helped build.

“Influentially, when you think about the top three pop-punk bands of all time…it’s Blink-182, New Found Glory and Green Day,” Martin says as the rest of the table murmurs in agreement. “At least in my brain, they’re on that level eternally.”

Some of the bands have been more influenced by New Found Glory than others. Guitarist Chad Gilbert produced This Time Next Year’s most recent full-length, Drop Out Of Life. At the same time, guitarist and songwriter Steve Klein was in the studio producing Man Overboard’s self-titled full-length. Now, as they’re all touring the country together, the younger bands are beginning to see the full brunt of New Found Glory’s role as leaders in the genre.

“[New Found Glory] would talk to us about how they handled their career,” Campbell says, speaking of The Wonder Years’ several dates with New Found Glory in 2010. “They gave us a lot of sound advice that we used over the course of that year.”

“They’re like the older brothers to all of us, but they definitely don’t need to be,” Wiseman adds.

Collier talks at length about Klein’s straight-up attitude in the studio, trying to give Man Overboard advice not only on what direction to go with their music, but career moves they could take and certain things they should avoid.

“They’re in a position where they can help if they want to, and if they don’t, they can just not give a shit and they’re still New Found Glory,” Collier says. “But they do, [they] genuinely care.”

Collier adds that with Klein on the same tour now, he’s helping execute the record he just helped create. It’s a different gear of producing, on many levels.

“It was awesome being in the studio with Man Overboard,” Klein says via a phone interview. The self-titled album was Klein’s first foray into the industry as a producer. “In a way, I feel like a proud father.”

Daniel "Soupy" Campbell, The Wonder Years

While Klein continues extensively about his time in the studio with Man Overboard, he says New Found Glory believes in keeping the genre going via live performances as well. They take bands on tour, he says, who they feel portray the right ideals.

“We tour with bands that have the same mentality as us,” Klein says. “There’s no bullshit. A band who plays their music, they don’t do makeup before their set, they don’t give a shit what they look like, there’s no light show. They just play and how much they’re into their music and the crowd is what makes them stand out. To me, that’s the best part about punk rock, about pop-punk, and the live performances are what we feel makes the genre go.”

If the first few weeks of the Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour are any accurate representation, all signs point to Klein’s statements being correct. As far as giving advice to the younger bands on the tour, he says it’s all been a part of the community since it began.

“When we started out, Less Than Jake, Blink-182 and Green Day and bands like that took us on tour and they all helped us out. We’re just trying to pass it down,” he says. “I feel with us, we’ve gone through all the crap you could go through as far as managers, labels, press people, whatever. We talk to the younger bands and try to give them advice on what is a good or bad way to go about things.”

Campbell and the rest of the group at the Denny’s table, which has seen its food become scarfed into oblivion, keep coming back to New Found Glory’s history of helping younger bands every few minutes. Wiseman recalls talking to a member of The Starting Line, who told him how Chad Gilbert helped push his band on Drive-Thru Records over a decade ago. The Starting Line caught a huge break when New Found Glory took them out on tour; a similar result isn’t out of the question for This Time Next Year.

He references another story Gilbert told them about Dashboard Confessional and Further Seems Forever. “He’s always had people’s backs,” Wiseman says about Gilbert. “You don’t find that in a normal, everyday scenario.”

Martin refers to the band as “mentors,” saying that even almost a decade after influencing new bands with their music, New Found Glory has taken it to the next level by helping those bands keep the genre above water.

Pop-punk, for all intents and purposes, is a genre that New Found Glory helped propagate to a great amount. Having been around for over a decade now, the group has outlasted many of its peers who became notable around the same time in the early 2000s. While New Found Glory’s peers might have broken up (and, more recently, reunited), the band has turned its sights on seeing the scene thrive, even as they continue to release their own new music. Radiosurgery, the band’s seventh studio LP, dropped in October.

“New Found Glory is definitely interested in the preservation of the genre,” Campbell sums up.

“A lot of kids nowadays … are like, 'Wow, it’s pop-punk resurgence,'" Klein says. “But for us, pop-punk never went anywhere. There have always been good pop-punk bands in our minds.”

Daniel "Soupy" Campbell and Josh Martin, The Wonder Years

As the Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour continues to weave its way through major markets, it will eventually reach its last stop and end its six-week, cross-country run. But after the #PPNDTour Twitter hashtags are long gone, after the Tumblr posts detailing excitement for an upcoming show are shunned to archived status, and after the glowing show reviews from music critics are forgotten, these bands will just pick up their instruments, pack them in a trailer and do it all over again.

While the tour and the genre have an immense light shined on them at the moment, the fact of the matter is that these bands have a certain DNA embedded in them; that DNA tells them to keep fighting, supporting their friends and helping build a community that existed before them and will exist long after them. It’s a day-to-day grind – and while there is plenty of attention being paid to these bands today, if there’s ever a day when no one cares, they’ll probably still do their own thing.

As James Carroll sings on Make Do and Mend’s “Oak Square,” from their most recent full-length, End Measured Mile: “There’s something to be said for a firm lack of common sense, because God knows getting in the van isn’t paying rent.” Fans of the genre will have to hope that Make Do and Mend, The Wonder Years, This Time Next Year, Man Overboard, Fireworks, The Story So Far and so many more of their peers continue on in their path of “a firm lack of common sense.”

That’s the only way the pop-punk scene will stay alive; it’s the only way for the current crop of young bands to evolve, one day stepping up to the plate and offering their own advice to newcomers.

The one thing that is an agreed-upon conclusion as the group exits Denny’s is that the fight is a collective one. What’s good for one is good for all. The barriers that one band breaks, says Martin, can open up doors for others.

Campbell, just hours after belting out 14 songs to 300 kids who knew every word like the lyrics were engrained in their throats, rubs his eyes and takes a sip of Diet Coke.

“We came up playing basements together,” he says.

“And if we have to, we’ll go down playing basements together.”
Tags: article, the wonder years, new found glory, this time next year, man overboard
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Early Thoughts: The Wonder Years (two new songs)
04/23/11 at 10:57 AM by Thomas Nassiff
Y'all can just read it here, too lazy to copy/paste
Tags: the wonder years, early thoughts
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It's Mailtime! Episode Two
07/13/10 at 02:05 PM by Thomas Nassiff
Today I got my Four Year Strong - Rise or Die Trying 12" in the mail. It's the yellow/nuke color of the first press and there are only 100 that were made. This was the last vinyl to come in out of all the ones that I wanted to buy this summer, so with Set Your Goals' Mutiny! and New Found Glory's Sticks and Stones, I have three of my favorite pop punk records. And with The Wonder Years' The Upsides, I have what might be my four favorite pop punk albums ever, which I'm really excited about. So this episode of It's Mailtime is....the perfect storm, pop punk edition.

Tags: it's mailtime, four year strong, new found glory, set your goals, the wonder years
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Last Updated: 08/27/12 (84,577 Views)
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