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Yellowcard is a rock band from Jacksonville, Florida. Their music can be also classified as pop punk. A characteristic of the music of Yellowcard is their use of a violin.
Yellowcard was formed in 1997 in Jacksonville, Florida after meeting at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. The band was made up of six members: Ben Dobson (vocals), Todd Clarry (vocals, guitar), Ben Harper (guitar), Sean Mackin (violin), Warren Cooke (bass guitar), and Longineu W. Parsons III (drums). Yellowcard got their name from partying. Whenever anyone did something stupid, such as drop a beer on the carpet, they enforced soccer rules and gave them a "yellow card" for committing a "party foul". At the beginning of their career there was confusion over how their name was spelled, with or without a space. The band has clarified this by publicly announcing that is spelled "Yellowcard", without a space.
The band released their first album, Midget Tossing, in 1997. While Sean Mackin was featured on some of the songs, he was not a full-fledged member yet. Where We Stand, their second album, featured the same lineup as Midget Tossing, except this time Mackin was accepted as a full-time member. Soon Ben Dobson lost interest in the band and left, while others believe he was sacked from the band because of a cocaine addiction. He was replaced by Ryan Key (vocals) who convinced the band that they would not achieve success in Florida in the long run, so they decided to move to Southern California. 2001 The band recorded the "Still Standing EP". Soon after "Still Standing EP" was released, Todd Clarry left the band. Ryan Key then filled both Clarry's and Dobson's duties: vocals and guitar.
The new group released their debut album, One for the Kids (Lobster Records), in 2001, and followed up with The Underdog EP (Fueled by Ramen Records) in 2002 which were both well-received by fans. However, soon after "The Underdog EP" was released, Warren Cooke got into a fight with the other band members and left. The band then asked an old friend, Pete Mosely from Inspection 12, to play bass for them.
Yellowcard's real public reception came after signing with Capitol Records in 2003 and releasing Ocean Avenue. Fans loved the album's sincere lyrics and unique musical style (mostly due to Mackin's violin playing). During the recording of Ocean Avenue, Mosely left, citing personal problems. The band began the search again for a new bass player and found Alex Lewis. The band released the first single from the album, which was Way Away. The song did well on MTV2 and rock radio, peaking at #25 on the modern rock charts, the song created enough buzz for the band's mainstream explosion that was about to happen. In the middle of the band's tour in support of Ocean Avenue, Pete Mosely returned from his semi-retirement and asked if he could rejoin. Because Mosely had been an integral part of the writing for Ocean Avenue and had been friends with most of the band's members since high school, Lewis was asked to leave and Mosely was reinstated as the bass player.
In late 2003, the band released what would become their breakthrough single, Ocean Avenue. The song was premiered on MTV's TRL program, and quickly shot up the charts to #1. Radio eventually picked up on the single, and the song made it to #37 on the Billboard Hot 100. Suddenly, Yellowcard were everywhere from the covers of Alternative Press, to be headliners of the 2004 Vans Warped Tour, to on stage at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards, performing Ocean Avenue and taking home the MTV2 Award as well. Following Ocean Avenue's success, the band released the single Only One, a rock ballad which also did fairly well on TRL and radio. Eventually, the Ocean Avenue album sold over 2 million copies in the US alone.
As Ocean Avenue's popularity began to die down, the band spent some time contributing songs to different soundtracks. The first was a song called Gifts And Curses for the hit film Spider-Man 2. The other was featured on the Rock Against Bush compilation album, which was a cover of Lagwagon's song "Violins". At the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, Yellowcard performed a cover of the song Don't You Forget About Me during a special tribute to the movie The Breakfast Club.
Lights and Sounds
For a large part of 2005, Yellowcard worked on their new album, entitled Lights and Sounds. The album was released on January 24, 2006. Pete and Ryan moved to New York City in January of 2005 and started writing the album while the rest of the band recuperated in California from 18 straight months of touring. The album is something of a concept album, with many songs based on the band's negative feelings towards Los Angeles. 20 songs were recorded for the album, 14 of which are on the CD, plus a B-side available on import versions, CD singles and at the iTunes Music Store, called "Three Flights Down". Shortly after recording the album, lead guitarist and founding member Ben Harper was dismissed amid unknown claims. He was replaced by Ryan Mendez.
The title track, "Lights and Sounds," was the first single released and is also featured on Burnout Revenge. In the first week of release the album sold just over 90,000 copies. "Rough Landing, Holly" is the second single, with a video released in March 2006.
Lights And Sounds was generally considered a failure when compared to the band's previous effort, Ocean Avenue. The album didn't garner nearly as much attention and had poor sales overall. Some point towards the negative media attention surrounding the dismissal of Ben Harper around the album's release, others say the album's more mature and darker sounds may have scared away some of Ocean Avenue's fans, while some just say Lights And Sounds was a poor album.
Yellowcard are currently on a small club tour around the U.S., and they are already heading back into the studio in fall 2006 to record their next album, which is slated for a summer 2007 release.