Pop punk catalysts Yellowcard have had a very successful career in what they do best, making music and doing it for the fans. Killyourstereo.com gets the opportunity to sit down with Sean Mackin (violin/vocals) to discuss all things Yellowcard and a little bit extra.
How are you Sean and what’s been happening?
Things are great thank you for asking, I’m enjoying a little bit of time off as we have the end of 2013 packed with Yellowcard goodies. We are doing a Yellowcard Ocean Avenue end of year anniversary acoustic tour, we are releasing Yellowcard Ocean Avenue acoustic album as a thank you to our fans for our 10 year anniversary, we have new merch and we have all kinds of cool stuff happening. I’m just super excited, so right now they’re giving us a little bit of a vacation, then do a little world tour. We’re going to come see Australia then we’re going to tour the States, it’s big for Yellowcard right now.
That’s fantastic. I’ve been keeping tabs with where you guys are at and in early May some information was leaked regarding the acoustic ‘Ocean Avenue’ album. I caught wind of this and I think fans all around the world will be totally stoked to see that show and hear the music that you guys are going to release. Is that something you guys had planned in advance or just wanted to do to give something back to the fans?
Well we had this little thing in the back of our minds coming up on the 10 year mark. So many bands that we’ve toured with have released their albums and got the jump on us and done these tours and we kind of wanted to do something a little more special. A lot of our songs in the Yellowcard camp start off as acoustic versions. We’ve done some acoustic shows, an acoustic tour and the acoustic record. And there’s always been that outcry for more acoustic Yellowcard material. So we kind of put our heads together and we spent like two months on this. With a full studio recording we wanted to make sure everything was up to par, so people are putting it in their car and they’re listening to it and it’s not just some demo but a full on studio Yellowcard work.
So we had the plans to do it and coming up very shortly we are going to release all this material and the tour.
On the record we were kind of undone a little bit by the internet, which seems par for the course nowadays in the marketplace that we are at here in the music industry in 2013. But really it’s all for the fans, as long as they’re excited about it then we’re going to get out into the world.
Like I said, we are going to see some of the world, come to Australia, we are going to go back to America and back to Europe. We want to make sure we hit all the points here and just to say ‘thank you’ to all of our fans. It’s been 10 years and this is a big part of our legacy, this record. I mean it was our first major label release and we sold the most albums out of any of our Yellowcard albums. So we just wanted to give back to the fans a little bit, we worked hard on it and we hope people will love it.
On the back of ‘When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes’ and ‘Southern Air’, you guys toured for about two years solidly. How was that process going through those two albums and seeing a lot of the world and doing a lot of shows in a short amount of time?
It’s definitely hard work to be away from your family and your loved ones. You miss being at home.
You know when you have a bad day and you’re on the road you kind of don’t have anyone. Unlike having a bad day at work when you get to go home and be with your family or your dog or whatever you have.
So I don’t want to paint you this awesome picture where it’s cotton candy and rainbows all the time, but we do realise that we have the best job in the world. There’s a lot of Yellowcard fans out there that we just want to hang out with and meet, and over the past 12 to 13 years it’s been the Yellowcard way. We don’t want to go out and half ass it. We want to go out and play a show in America and want to play shows in Europe, Japan and Australia. Making sure we can have a relationship with those fans out there is really important. Without our fans we wouldn’t have the opportunity to do this, so we work very hard the Yellowcard way. We know no one is going to give anything to us so we like writing songs, we like being able to travel to other countries, but we want to work hard for it.
For sure. Now I see you’re about to hit the road again. You have some festivals and tours coming up; Riot Festival in Chicago, Warped Tour in Europe and the UK is that right ?
Yeah we’ve got lots of stuff. We’re hitting the tail end of festival season at the end of July/August. Then we’re going to come down and spend some time in Australia, do a US tour, then we’ve got the UK Warped Tour and other dates in europe as well. So we have a busy year right now. We’re enjoying a little bit of time at home now, you know trying to refocus ourselves for a really heavy back half of the year.
That’s awesome news. You’ve got a lot of fans here on the back of when you toured here last year. I remember Ryan stated "We are going to come back and play Southern Air a lot more for you guys". I think all of us were thinking, "when is Yellowcard going to be touring here again", are there set dates this year that you are going to be coming to Australia?
We are going to be in Australia at the end of October, I mean I don’t know if the dates are released yet but i am allowed to talk about them so I am excited. I think between the 25th and the 31st we’re in Australia. I love your country so much, I think I might come down a little earlier to just relax, hang out and take in the sights, so yeah at the end of october. I dont know exactly what days we are in what cities but I know from the 25th to the 31st of October we are playing shows in Australia. Yellowcard is super pumped. We are going to bring Ocean Avenue but we’ve got some Southern Air songs on lock. We are just going to bring a high energy show and we can’t wait to get down and see our Australian fans.
That’s huge news. Everyone is going to be really stoked and pumped for that tour coming up. A couple of other things for you, so besides the Ocean Avenue acoustic album, do you guys have anything else in the pipeline towards a whole new album next year or anything?
No, I mean right now we are just focused on Ocean Avenue acoustic. I think as we look ahead into 2014,
with Southern Air having come out in August of 2012, it’s not absurd to think we may do a record in 2014. For now, our sole focus is being on the road, playing shows for our fans, making sure everyone gets their hands on a copy of Ocean Avenue acoustic. I just want to sing songs and hang out with as many of our fans as possible. That’s what we are focused on. I know in the Yellowcard machine we are always going to be writing songs and we are always going to want to tour. So it’s not absurd to think that in 2014 we might have some new material but for now it’s a special time for us and we want to take it in. Ocean Avenue is a big part of our legacy and it’s been 10 years since that album release. We put our heads together and worked our asses off and hopefully people will enjoy this. Most of this is original but there is a fair amount that has been reimagined and hopefully people will enjoy it and the evolution of these songs over the past 10 years.
Yeah that’s wicked, I know it was one of my anthem albums growing up as a teen so I’m definitely stoked and I know all the Yellowcard fans here in Australia will be stoked too. I have a couple of random questions for you just to finish up. Obviously now you are going to be coming back in October, what do you want to tick off from your bucket list next time you are here?
Oh, what do I want to tick off my bucket list? You know I don’t really have a bucket list because I’ve kind of accomplished it all. I just really want to hang out, I think if I can carve out some time, maybe bring my wife down and just show her your beautiful country. She’s always wanted to come see your country because I would come back and tell stories of how awesome everyone is and how much fun we always have. So if I can make that happen, that’s what i want. I’ll bring my old lady down, show her your country, have a couple of beers and just enjoy being in Australia.
That would be awesome bringing her down here to take in the sights and sounds as well. Last but not least what is your favourite movie quote and from what movie?
I think I would definitely have to go with, like Ryan and i do the maverick and goose thing. He and I are like the Batman and Robin of Yellowcard. Whenever we have a bad day or something doesn’t go according to plan, which in Murphy’s Law is "if it’s going to go wrong, it will go wrong", we always hit that one up. Just like some of the key things to life, roll with the punches when you’re on the road.
Yes that’s right indeed. Well thanks a lot for taking the time to talk to me and Killyourstereo. I’m looking forward to the upcoming tour and getting my hands on that Ocean Avenue acoustic album. Keep up the good work and look I’m looking forward to hearing from you guys soon.
Thank you for your time Simon and take care now.
Yellowcard tour this October. Dates and details here.