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Yellowcard is a band from Jacksonville, Florida. While Yellowcard are generally considered an pop punk band, their music features a unique contribution to the genre with the use of a violin. The follow up to their 2006 effort, Lights and Sounds, is due for release July 17th, 2007, titled Paper Walls.


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, backing vocals), Warren Cooke (bass guitar), and Longineu W. Parsons III (drums). Yellowcard got their name from a phrase they used in high school. Whenever somebody did something "stupid" at a party, 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 it is spelled "Yellowcard", without a space.

Early years

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, as he still objected to many of the band's messages. Where We Stand, their second album, featured the same lineup as Midget Tossing, and Mackin was featured on more songs. Soon Ben Dobson lost interest in the band and left. He was replaced by Ryan Key (vocals & Rhythm Guitar) a local of Jacksonville that was currently playing in a band called Craig's Brother. In early 2000 The band recorded the "Still Standing EP". Soon after "Still Standing EP" was released, Todd Clary left the band. Ryan Key then filled both Clarry's and Dobson's duties: vocals and guitar. After sending the new EP to friend Steve Lebarski at Lobster Records the band signed their first recording contract in June 2000 and by November had headed west to Camarillo, CA to begin working on their next full length.

The group released their third 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 left the band due to personal reasons. The band then asked an old friend, Pete Mosely from Inspection 12, to play bass for them. Somewhere between the time the EP was released and when Warren Cooke left, the band filmed an un-released music video for the song "Powder". The video was later put on the enhanced version of the band's next album Ocean Avenue, and can also be seen on video streaming sites like YouTube.

Ocean Avenue

Yellowcard's real public reception came after releasing Ocean Avenue in 2003. Fans loved the album's sincere lyrics and unique musical style. 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, whose sister, Alieke Wijnveldt, contributed vocals to the Ocean Avenue track, View From Heaven. 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 was everywhere from the covers of Alternative Press, to be headliners of the 2004 Warped Tour, to on stage at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards, performing Ocean Avenue and taking home the MTV2 Award as well. They were also featured on an episode of MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge, performing "Way Away" while cast members trashed a mockup hotel room in true rockstar fashion. The album's 2nd track, "Breathing", also appeared in EA's Burnout 3: Takedown. 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 various soundtracks. The first, Gifts And Curses, appeared in the hit film Spider-Man 2. Another, a cover of Lagwagon's Violins, was featured on the Rock Against Bush Vol. 2 compilation album. 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.

A song on the album, entitled "Life of a Salesman" was written as a reference to Ryan's father during his childhood.

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 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 from Staring Back. Up until the announcement of this, Ben Harper's own record labelTakeover Records was about to record Staring Back's next album. Since Yellowcard, Ben Harper joined the band Amber Pacific but, soon dropped out. Harper is now in the band Hey Mike! and runs Takeover Records.

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. World-wide "Lights and Sounds" sold over 1,000,000 copies."Rough Landing, Holly" is the second single, with a video released in March 2006.

For this album, Yellowcard chose to fade their unique violin style in the background and settle for more of a rock feel.

Paper Walls

On October 16, 2006, the band announced over their official website that they were back in the studio recording a new album. Guitarist Ryan Mendez posted on the official Yellowcard message board on October 21, 2006 that 3 songs are currently completed and states "I really think fans of both older and newer Yellowcard are going to be very happy."Pre-production began in October 2006 and tracking began on January 2007.

From January to March 2007, studio footage labelled "Yellowcard Sessions" regarding the band's progress on making the album was posted on the band's MySpace, with a new video added every Thursday. In total 10 videos have been posted, with additional footage to be released with the album on the deluxe CD/DVD edition of Paper Walls. Additionally, in January 2007, some sample demo songs were released on the band's MySpace, though they were only rough recordings from pre-production and not the final recorded versions. The first demo is 30 seconds long and features a violin line, and the second was a 30 second clip of an unmixed version of Light Up the Sky.

The first Yellowcard show since October of 2006 took place on March 29th 2007, at the Troubadour in Hollywood, California. At the show lead singer Ryan Key announced to a sold out crowd that the new album will be titled "Paper Walls". He said he will "probably get in trouble for this," but went on to announce the title anyway. Key also announced the album title during a concert at the University of New Haven claiming he would get in trouble for doing so as well. During the Troubadour show, Yellowcard played two songs off their new album ("Fighting " and "The Takedown"). Yellowcard played an acoustic set the next night at the Troubadour and also played two new songs, "Shadows and Regrets" and "Light Up the Sky". At an Indiana University and University of New Haven concert, they played "Fighting" and "Light Up The Sky."

Paper Walls will be in stores July 17, 2007 according to the band's MySpace page. They also have the studio recordings of "Five Becomes Four", "Fighting" and "Light Up the Sky" on their music player. Yellowcard announced on May 15 on their Myspace blog that the first single will be Light Up the Sky. The tracklisting for the album was posted on absolutepunk.net and has been confirmed as real by Ryan Mendez, and will include 13 songs.

On May 22nd 2007, the cover art for the album was posted on the band's myspace, along with new pictures which are likely to be found inside the album's cover. It has been announced in a press release for the new album that Paper Walls will be released in an additional CD/DVD format, much in the same vein as Lights and Sounds was the previous year. The DVD will contain exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the band, an extensive photo gallery and two additional live bonus tracks."

As of June 11, 2007, Yellowcard has chosen a new website design for the new album, and has updated their website from the temporary layout. They have also updated their myspace page to a new layout to match their theme of the album.

In an interview with Jason Tate of absolutepunk.net released on June 17 (one month before the release of the album), Key described the album as

"...very much a record of hope and finding yourself again. It’s after you’ve come through all of that – going to the height of it – and picking yourself back up again. And by “hitting rock bottom” I don’t mean in record sales or fame or any of that shit. I mean personally – emotionally...Paper Walls is the story, the feeling, of what it’s like to be out of those holes, looking back, no regrets, but smarter and having grown through them."

On June 22nd Yellowcard performed at the NHL Draft at Nationwide Arena, in Columbus, Ohio, where for the first time they played "Keeper" from their new CD.



Ryan Key (2000 - present) : vocals, guitar

Peter Mosely (2002 - 2003, 2004 - present) : bass

Sean Mackin (1997 - present) : violin, vocals

Ryan Mendez (2005 - present) : guitar

Longineu W. Parsons III (1997 - present) : drums


Ben Dobson (1997 - 2000) : vocals

Todd Clarry (1997 - 2001) : guitar, vocals

Warren Cooke (1997 - 2002) : bass

Alex Lewis (2003 - 2004) : bass

Ben Harper (1997 - 2005)(most recently of Amber Pacific): guitar



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