Photo by Katie Hovland.


[POP PUNK] As forefathers of the pop punk resurgence in the early 2000s, Yellowcard have always followed one rule: stay true to yourself. It’s that mantra and their originality that’s helped them persevere—with a brand new record, Lift a Sail, a huge fanbase, and a passion for exploring new musical territory. This week The Public talked to singer Ryan Key about the band’s musical process and the new record, which will be on full display at their show Saturday, April 18 at the Town Ballroom with Finch.

If you were to choose a theme for Lift a Sail in one word, what would it be and why?

Strength. There are so many levels to a record, but this record was important for us to make. Some of us were going through intense life experiences while recording, so being strong was something we needed to put down in music.

How did the past few years of changes impact you when you were writing this record?

We’ve been pretty charged since we picked it back up again a few years ago. We’ve been making records and touring without a lot of time off at all. The process wasn’t really too different for this record. We were pretty excited to make a new record. I think things going on in our personal lives had a profound effect on it.

Do you ever look to past albums you’ve created to influence a new record’s sound, or do you choose to always look ahead?

It’s a bit of both. You don’t want to make the same record twice, so that means exploring new territory and going outside of the box and going beyond what people expect from us and what we expect from ourselves, but it means also really digging into the roots of the things that have defined us as a band.

In terms of musical construction, what was the most significant change from the last record to this one for you?

Tempo is the most noticeable difference. A lot of songs on Lift a Sail are mid-tempo, where songs on the last record were up-tempo. We settled into this alternative rock kind of sound, but there’s still a lot of pop-rock going on. Melodically, I challenged myself and pushed myself. It took some getting used to, but it’s a good change I think.

Besides social changes and personal experiences, what inspires you when writing a song?

I really pull from what’s going on with me and my life. Sometimes I write outside of myself and write about experiences of people close to me. But most of my songs come from a very personal place. I use the music we write to help me come up with a direction and let it inspire me.


Yellowcard will stop by Record Theatre, 1800 Main St., at 4pm as part of Record store day.

For more info, check out our guide on Record Store Day 2015. 



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Town Ballroom

681 Main St.
Buffalo, NY
Phone: 716-852-3900