There may not be a single band whose music is better-suited for Warped Tour crowds than Yellowcard. The band has churned out big single after big single on their way to a roller coaster ride of a career. The band are back where they belong on the Main Stage this summer, with a new drummer (Anberlin’s Nate Young has been filling in for the band’s recently-departed longtime drummer LP) and news that a new album has been completed. The Garden Statement got to sit down with bassist Josh Portman to talk about the new album, Nate Young’s presence and how it’s affected the band, and the importance of Warped Tour in the band’s career.
The Garden Statement: You’re listening to 91.3FM WTSR, on the campus of The College of New Jersey, this is Donald Wagenblast with The Garden Statement as we continue our coverage of Warped Tour 2014 with Josh Portman of Yellowcard! Josh, how’s it going?
Josh Portman: Good, man, how are you?
TGS: I’m doing great! You guys are back on Warped Tour again, how has it been so far?
JP: It’s been absolutely killer. Last time we did was in 2012, and that was great too. I think this year, the weather actually has been really good. It’s been in the 70s everywhere. The crowds have been great. Everyone’s happy. It’s awesome.
TGS: You guys came back in 2011, and now this is your second year back on the Main Stage of Warped. How does it feel for you guys to always have a home, and that Warped Tour is always going to want to have you back?
JP: It’s awesome. I know the band, even before me, goes way back with Warped Tour, and Kevin Lyman. It’s always meant a lot to all of us. Warped Tour is awesome because there’s always old friends and making new friends. That’s what it’s about: it’s just this big punk rock summer camp.
TGS: On the flip-side of that, you guys have a lot of material you’ve released. You’ve had two full-lengths come out since you came back from hiatus, and before that you had three albums that all of your fans loved. How difficult is it to come up with a setlist? You guys are playing for a much shorter time than you usually do.
JP: Yeah, sure. It’s really difficult to pick 7 or 8 songs for the whole tour, and try to cover everything. But it works out. No one seems to be complaining, so it works for us.
TGS: And you have some news that’s been coming down the pipe recently. You guys are going to have a new album out in the fall. You’re now signed to Razor and Tie, what made them the right home for you?
JP: Well, we met with them, and the vibe we got back was super cool, and everyone was on the same page. They have the right vision for us, and I think the vision’s what we saw, too. We’re so excited about the new record.
TGS: One of the coolest things about this new album is that you had Nate Young, the drummer for Anberlin, play drums on the record. What was it like for you guys to have him come in and work on the album with you?
JP: Nate is an awesome drummer, it’s obvious from his work with Anberlin. We’re huge fans and friends with those guys. He’s been killing it, on the record, and he’s been playing with us on Warped Tour. He’s a great guy. You guys are going to be blown away by his playing on the new record. It’s unreal.
TGS: Going off of what you just said, when Nate came in to start working on the record, do you feel like he changed the direction of certain songs, kind of adding his own elements, or did he morph the way he plays into what people expect to hear from Yellowcard?
JP: It’s tough to say. I think probably a little bit of all of that. This record is pretty different. It’s heavy, it’s rock, and there’s some really big moments. It’s still very much a Yellowcard record. Bu yeah, I think Nate’s playing certainly brought its own element into what we were trying to do, and it was just so cool. The whole vibe of this project was great.
TGS: It’s interesting to hear you say that the record is heavier, because your last release was the acoustic re-imagining of Ocean Avenue. Did doing that, and playing everything acoustically, make you want to come back with a heavier sound, or is that just how the songs came out?
JP: I think that’s just the way the songs came out. We’re all in different places in our lives now. We’re getting older. I think it’s just a more mature album. It’s not that different from our older material, but it’s heavier. It’s a rock record. It’s powerful.
TGS: My final question is one that you may not be able to answer, but fans are itching, so I figured I’d ask. When can we expect new Yellowcard music in 2014? Do you have a single lined up, or will we hear the album whenever it comes out?
JP: Right now, we’re kind of playing it by ear. It’s definitely going to be released this year.
Special thanks to Josh for chatting with us, and keep your eyes open for news on the new Yellowcard album, due out later this year!