Ryan Key, lead singer and guitarist for the band Yellowcard knows what it’s like to come back from adversity.
Last May, Key underwent surgery on his vocal chords, which forced the cancellation of tour dates and left him mute for a week. When asked what caused these problems, he talked about how singing incorrectly for a number of years hurt them and also talked about how the changes in his life affected them.
“There was a lot of alcohol and a little bit of substance abuse,” Key said. “I don’t know, you fall into a lot of rock and roll clichés that become true.”
He explained how having these setbacks in his life were the best thing for him, and has since cleaned up his act and voice.
Key and his band have had a very busy past couple of months with the release of their latest album “Paper Walls” coming out in August 2007. On Jan. 22 the band released their live DVD “Live From Las Vegas at The Palms,” which is only available for purchase through iTunes.
Yellowcard has provided listeners with an eclectic variety of music over the year from the pop-punk sound of their breakout success “Ocean Avenue,” to the more mellow tone of “Lights and Sounds” and finally back to a more powerful “Ocean Avenue” type sound with “Paper Walls.” When asked about the changes of sound, Key spoke about how “Ocean Avenue” and “Paper Walls” were written and recorded with the band sitting together in a room while the writing process for “Lights and Sounds” more of an individual effort on Key’s part.
“I spent most of the time just sitting in my room in New York writing songs and demoing songs and then brought them back out to California to put them together as a band,” Key said.
Yellowcard is about to embark on a nationwide tour with The Spill Canvas, who replaced the originally scheduled MxPx. Taking MxPx off the bill was just because of a scheduling conflict but Key seemed slightly disappointed.
“Obviously I was really amped to tour with MxPx,” Key said. “It’s funny, I’ve been listening to MxPx since I was 13 or 14 years old but there’s no animosity between the two of us, I think it was just a scheduling conflict.”
The tour will be a series of acoustic outings, which is something that they have really wanted to do. Key explained why drummer LP will not be accompanying them on the tour. “LP is just going to stay home in
Florida with some family and take care of some stuff. It kind of worked out because he needed to go home and figure out some stuff and we figured out a way to make the tour work with some acoustic guitars.”
Key also spoke about the current state of the music industry.
“The state of the industry is frightening. I don’t know what’s going to happen to it or where it’s going to go.
“I can’t say that it’s just the state of the industry that’s caused a band to sell or not sell albums. There’s things that are in your hands and things that are out of your hands.
“There’s got to be something new coming. I don’t know what it is, but they have to figure it out. The world can’t live without music.”