EXCLUSIVE: Yellowcard’s Ryan Key Plays the ‘Elder Statesman’ Role on Tour

Ralphie Aversa  —  04/13/2011 — Leave a comment

If Yellowcard is taking another trip down Ocean Avenue with the release of When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes last month – the street has certainly changed a bit since 2003.

“I don’t even know that a record release is as relevant as it used to be,” admitted lead singer Ryan Key. The front man called in to “The Ralphie Radio Show” while on tour with All Time Low and Hey Monday in Tempe, AZ. “People are buying digital singles and things like that and the way you can talk to your fans online, through Facebook and Twitter… it’s so much more in your hands.”

Key was referring specifically to the delayed release of Lights and Sounds. The band hoped to release the record in ’05 – and had launched a tour to support the album based on that. However after Yellowcard hit the road, Capitol Records pushed back the date. Key cites this moment as one that not only soiled the band’s relationship with the label, but killed the momentum built from the previous album, which went platinum in the states.

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Now in 2011, Yellowcard finds themselves back together, making music, performing live, and fulfilling radio commitments. Now the “elder statesman” on the road (at least on this tour: YC just announced a June co-headlining trek with Good Charlotte), its Key who is sharing his war stories with bands like All Time Low about the joys and pains of recording on a major label. Meanwhile Key’s band has found new life, not just with a new LP, but with a new audience.

“We don’t really get a chance to play for a lot of people who haven’t seen our band or heard our band before,” said Key. “This tour is a really great opportunity to do that because All Time Low and the other bands have younger fans. Yunno, their fans are the age that are fans were back in ’04, ’05 when our band was kind of taking off.”

But despite the age, err, generation gap – Key still finds a highlight every night on stage – performing “Ocean Avenue.”

“Especially on a tour like this, where that’s a really familiar song for a lot of people who never got to see a show or don’t have a record but they know that song,” Key explained. “That really brings the whole crowd together. It’s pretty amazing.”

The next single from Yellowcard’s latest LP is “Hang You Up” and can be listened to above. It’s the only track on the album that Key wrote completely himself.

Ralphie Aversa

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