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03-08 Story of the Year Reunite/Tour

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Story of the Year

July 2002: St. Louis-bred fivesome Story Of The Year (then known as Big Blue Monkey) hits the stage at the Phoenix, Arizonastop of the Vans Warped Tour in the Peoria Sports Complex. But, there?s no real stage ? rather, the group is crammed ontoa rickety platform that?s relegated to a remote corner of the venue. Although temperatures are well north of 103 degreesand the assembled audience is largely unfamiliar with the band, Story Of The Year doesn?t just play the songs on the setlist ?they live for it and deliver.

July 2004: Story Of The Year hits the stage of the Vans Warp ...read more

July 2002: St. Louis-bred fivesome Story Of The Year (then known as Big Blue Monkey) hits the stage at the Phoenix, Arizonastop of the Vans Warped Tour in the Peoria Sports Complex. But, there?s no real stage ? rather, the group is crammed ontoa rickety platform that?s relegated to a remote corner of the venue. Although temperatures are well north of 103 degreesand the assembled audience is largely unfamiliar with the band, Story Of The Year doesn?t just play the songs on the setlist ?they live for it and deliver.

July 2004: Story Of The Year hits the stage of the Vans Warped Tour, though this time it?s on decidedly different terms ? forstarters, they?re playing the main stage. Thousands of dedicated fans rush to the front in an effort to gain a glimpse of thegroup well before the first note is even heard. Precisely as they?d done two years prior, the fivesome doesn?t just play thesongs on the setlist ? they live for it and deliver.

It?s this remarkable consistency that?s embedded within the collective mindset of Story Of The Year. Though they. remusicians first, the band also takes time out for a bit of good, sometimes-not-so-clean fun and games. ?You can?t be seriousfor too long,? says bassist Adam Russell.

And it?s this well-balanced attitude that?s worked to the benefit of the group, particularly in the success of 2003?s nearplatinum, Maverick debut Page Avenue.

The next several months post-Page Avenue?s release were filled with whirlwind blurs of touring stints, both domestic andinternational, interrupted by mere days of rest. In fact, Story Of The Year wouldn?t have a significant break from the roaduntil the end of 2004, when it came time to write and record their follow-up to Page Avenue.

Writing sessions began almost immediately after the band?s touring cycle ended. ?We pretty much got together in the winterand just started working it like a 40-hour-a-week job,? Marsala says. Most of the writing took place at guitarist Ryan Phillips?house, whose residence also doubled as the band?s practice studio.

With songwriting sessions wrapped up, the band joined forces with veteran producer Steve Evetts (Snapcase, Hatebreed) tobegin tracking their new album. ?[He recorded] a lot of old records that I grew up listening to, some of my favorite records ofall time,? says Marsala of Evetts. ?That?s one of the main reasons why a bunch of us were like, ?Yeah, we should talk to thisguy and see if he?s cool.? And the first time we met with him, it was like instantly good chemistry. He really knew what wewere trying to go for and we all agreed and were on the same page.

?We felt like we were always a little heavier than [Page Avenue] sounded,? he adds. ?Live, we always played heavier thanour record actually sounded, so we wanted to try and capture our live sound on this record..

Capturing Story Of The Year?s stage sonics also meant being physically able to perform on record as the band had done ontour. During initial tracking sessions for Josh Wills? drums in a Chicago studio, Marsala, Phillips, guitarist Philip Sneed andbassist Adam Russell performed alongside Wills, making sure to incorporate all their stage maneuvers.

?We did the drums with everyone in the room and we were actually jumping and stuff!,? says Marsala. ?It was really cool, weacted like we were playing a show. Even Steve was in the room, rockin? out with us..

And when the drum sessions were complete, Wills made it a point to let everyone know. On the last take for the last song onthe record, ?Josh stabbed the heads of drums with his drumstick, pushed his drums over and we were all screaming,? Russellrecalls. ?We were feeling the fire!.

That same fire blazed its way back to St. Louis, as Story Of The Year continued its sessions at what became the primaryrecording studio for the new album ? Phillips? practice room.

?It?s just a big room, so we can run around and sweat in there,? says Marsala. ?We made it really soundproof and withProTools now, you can record anything anywhere. We did guitars, bass and vocals all in our practice room. It?s easierbecause you?re at home, you can spend more time, you don?t have to drive anywhere or go anywhere..

The band spent plenty of time at their new studio, mostly recording, but at times, blowing off a little steam with plenty ofpranks ? much like the sort found on their recent DVD release, Live at the Lou/Bassassins ? like tossing snap bags at eachother. (Don?t try this at home!.

?Phil took off his shirt, and I was throwing handfuls of ?em at him,? Russell says. ?He was like, ?Dude, throw two more!? Ieventually threw like 15 at his chest and he ended up with all these red marks. We took a big straw and started shootingthem at each other.

Weeks later, Story Of The Year finalized their sophomore Maverick full-length, aptly dubbed In The Wake Of Determination. . We were really excited to write a new record, we knew exactly what we wanted to do, and we knew how we wanted to comeacross,? says Marsala. ?We were just really determined, so it seemed as if the title worked really well. That was our mindsetthe entire time..

Firing off with the first single, ?We Don?t Care Anymore,? In The Wake Of Determination immediately finds Story Of The Yearon a full-throttle course throughout its dozen tracks. The track offers tight, synchronized guitar riffing interspersed withbroad choruses, and according to Marsala is about ?the pressure of making a second record for a band like us, or just thepressure in anyone?s life, you know. Having to follow up to your first record, you can?t ruin what you already had, or elseyour band will be over. We could worry about all these things and have the pressure get to us, or we can do things forourselves, do it the way we want to do it, and just have fun doing it..

?Five Against The World? finds Story Of The Year reflecting on its success and accomplishments over the past couple years. ?These are good days and we?ll remember this stuff for the rest of our lives,? Marsala says. ?We?re happy to see where we. ve gone. We never thought we?d get as far as we did. It?s just an awesome thing..

As one of the most propulsive tracks on In The Wake Of Determination, ?Jarhead? recalls the hyper-tempo bursts of thelegendary East Coast hardcore scene. As its title might suggest, ?Jarhead? also points out miscreants whose sole purpose isto cause a commotion.

?From my whole life of going to shows and over the last few years of playing shows, you?d see those guys in the crowd whoyou could tell aren?t there for the music whatsoever,? says Marsala. ?They?re just there to beat up as many kids as theycan. But it?s not only about going to shows; it?s about any random, tough guy who thinks he?s tougher than any other guy inthe world. He takes his aggression out to prove how cool he is. Why are you here? We?re here to have a good time, not totry and fight people..

In addition to having a good time, Story Of The Year also has plenty of reason to celebrate. And looking back at the band. sroots as a hard-working, independent operation, Marsala understands just how much the band?s hard work and effort hasfinally paid off.

?It helps that we were that band that nobody knew and we?d try to go around and sell our CD,? Marsala recalls. . Especiallyon Warped Tour, I see a lot of bands do this now ? but at the time we were one of the only bands that would walk out thereand try to put headphones on people?s heads and sell them our CDs. It?s good to have that background of working like that,just to appreciate how lucky you are to make it as far as you did..

After all, such determination (interspersed with an ounce of good humor) isn?t just the story of the year ?? it?s the story of alifetime. « hide

Similar Bands: Lostprophets, Senses Fail, Silverstein, Funeral for a Friend, The Used

LPs
The Constant
2010

3
195 Votes
The Black Swan
2008

3.2
329 Votes
In The Wake Of Determination
2005

3.4
355 Votes
Page Avenue
2003

3.5
529 Votes
EPs
Story of the Year
2002

Truth in Separation
1999

Three Days Broken
1997

Live Albums
Live in the Lou/Bassassins
2005

3.9
29 Votes
Compilations
Page Avenue: Ten Years And Counting
10/08/2013

4
20 Votes
Our Time Is Now: Two Years in the Life of...
2008


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