"Rough Landing, Holly," the latest single from Florida modern rock troupe Yellowcard's "Lights and Sounds," was the No. 1 most-added song at Modern Rock and Top 40 radio stations. It's also one of several on the album that references an iconoclastic character -- who frontman Ryan Key assures us is not his girlfriend.
"On this album I didn't write so much about my girlfriend or my mom or dad or the things I've focused on in the past," Key, 26, explains. "I'm still dealing with things from my life, but I developed this character, Holly Wood, to represent them.
"She's the one you love and the one you hate, the angel and the devil on your shoulder. She's the love of your life. She ruins your life. She's all of it -- but, no, she's not one specific person."
Key says that Holly Wood most represents the experiences Yellowcard went through in the wake of the double-platinum success of its 2003 album "Ocean Avenue." The group certainly isn't bemoaning its fate, but Key acknowledges that the surrounding hype did knock he and his bandmates off their stride a bit.
"Coming up into this whole Hollywood experience, being on MTV and winning awards and selling all those crazy numbers of records, it's been very shocking for us, being five guys who grew up together in a very small town," says Key who acknowledges that he himself "fell into a dark place and was probably difficult to be around" during that run.
Things are better now he says -- especially with the Top 5 debut of "Lights and Sounds" earlier this year. But he's happy that "Rough Landing, Holly" and other songs featuring the recurring character are around to let Yellowcard's fans know "it's not all smiles and tour buses."
"She just was a way for me to help navigate through the album and have a character be a focal point," Key explains. "With her I'm able to deal with a lot of things that happened in a more interesting way, I think."
Yellowcard, Matchbook Romance, Hedley and Rock Kills Kid perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (July 9th)at the St. Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Tickets for the original State Theatre show will be honored. Cal
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