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Interview:
Yellowcard returns to Ocean Avenue
 

By GARY GRAFF
@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

» See more SOUND CHECK

Yellowcard wanted to do something special to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Yellowcard's most successful album -- "Ocean Avenue," which has sold more than 2.5 million copies and spawned hits in the title track, "Way Away" and "Only One." The solution was "Ocean Avenue Acoustic," which came out in August and, according to frontman Ryan Key, allows fans a fresh listen to some very familiar material.

But, he adds, it's not necessarily a lighter experience.

"We've played so many of the songs acoustically over the years, so many times," says Key, 33, who co-founded the alt.rock troupe during 1997 in Jacksonville, Fla. "What was important to us with this was to capture the vibe of the original song, not just have the wall of guitar and blasting drums. So what we tried to do was sit down in a room with a smaller drum set, softer sticks and acoustic guitars and play them the same way we play them electric.

"So there's still the same driving energy behind the songs. We wanted to represent them as we recorded them but just in a different way."

Key adds that he and his bandmates were also heartened to see the songs on "Ocean Avenue" still resonated a decade later.

"I think what I noticed the most is how relevant so much of it is to us now," Key says. "So much of the concept, what that record was about -- for the lack of a better cliche, following your dreams and believing in yourself, no matter what -- is something we still hold onto today. It's not easy going out there and making a career out of it, especially in rock music. It's become a battle to keep it alive. So that's still there."

On the other hand, Key adds, "the relationship songs are pretty amazing to go back and look at. At 23 I was looking at my life, wondering if it was going to work out. Now I've got my amazing wife and I'm totally in love with her and everything is awesome. It's fun to realize how ridiculous those (songs) kind of were, but those ridiculous relationship songs work for people, too."

Yellowcard and Geoff Rickly perform Sunday, Sept. 15, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $23. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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