HomeInterviewsSean Mackin of Yellowcard on 20 Years of Ocean Avenue, Returning to...

Sean Mackin of Yellowcard on 20 Years of Ocean Avenue, Returning to Asbury Park & More

Photo Credit: Jason Hackett/Mara Bearcat

For over two decades, Jacksonville pop-punk rockers Yellowcard have entertained the masses around the globe many times over with their signature driving punk rock sound, melodic riffs, vocal harmonies, and of course those signature game-changing violin melodies.

Ahead of their release of the much anticipated Childhood Eyes EP (July 21st, 2023) and their headlining appearance at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on July 6th celebrating 20 Years of Ocean Avenue, violinist Sean Mackin spoke with The Pop Break’s Rob Williams.

It’s always awesome to see the band perform in Asbury Park, but is there something extra special every time you perform “Ocean Avenue” on Ocean Ave.?

Absolutely. Ocean Ave is such a special album/moment for us, and to be able to celebrate it with our Jersey friends, we can’t wait!

Dating back to the earlier releases of the band, there has always been such an amazing quality of acoustic writing with songs like “Rough Draft,” “Firewater,” and “Empty Apartment.” Should fans expect some acoustic tracks on the EP or some special acoustic performances at The Stone Pony Summer Stage?

Thank you. We just love the velvety sounds of violins and strings melting together with acoustic guitars. We did just release a track off our upcoming EP “Childhood Eyes.” If our fans keep streaming it/demanding it, we may have to play it.

I’d love to know more about the track and collaboration with Dashboard’s Chris Carabba which sounds like a potential match made in heaven. How did that come about and what can you tell us about that specific track on the EP?

Chris is such an inspiration for all of us in Yellowcard, it was a unanimous decision when Ryan Key said he was going to ask him to feature on the song “The Places We’ll Go.” And it really was that simple, Key sent Chris the track as we were finishing things up and what he sent back was the final. It ended up being my favorite song on this release.

At this point in life, I think many Yellowcard fans can instantly relate to the EP title and title track, Childhood Eyes which garners a sense of nostalgia and longing for a time that has come and gone. Perhaps an easier, simpler time. Perhaps not. Could you elaborate on embracing this overall theme for the new EP?

I think the biggest takeaway is that we did not have any expectations going into this chapter. Celebrating 20 years of Ocean Ave and Yellowcard was too big a moment for any of us to miss, but we really just looked at this moment and said we want to have maximum fun. We have had so many heavy moments in life and in the band, that it is nice to sit back and decide to choose joy. I think that is what embodies Childhood Eyes.

The video for the track is absolutely stellar. Who initially came up with the escape concept, and how much fun was that to film?

Thank you. The video department is run by Ryan Key. He always has a great pulse on what looks good, what other bands are doing, and what will work with our song/lyric. We are a pretty collaborative group and once we chose director Jordan Phoenix (Story of the Year), it all started coming together. We really have to tip our hats to Jordan and his team. They really pulled off an epic, cinematic Yellowcard video.

As the band has evolved, taken some time off, and regrouped, how has the writing, demo-ing, and more specifically the tracking process changed when it comes to Childhood Eyes?

The process for Childhood Eyes was interesting as there was so much space between phases. It was kinda fun to have this hybrid Yellowcard/Postal Service style demo process. It did allow us to digest and understand each other’s ideas as we were easing back into the studio. It was also fun reliving our favorite YC tracks and trying to sprinkle in some of those signature YC flavors.

Yellowcard has always created quality live tracks, albums, DVDs, and more over the years. Any plan to do any sort of live recordings or collection during this tour? 

None currently in the books. Just focusing on putting on the best Yellowcard show our fans have seen to date.

Switching gears, what is the level of excitement to be a part of the All-Star lineup for the When We Were Young Festival in October?

That festival is textbook overstimulation. Cannot wait to see so many wonderful faces. It will really take us back to our Warped Tour Days.

As always, I like to end by asking any national performers, what advice would you have for up and coming bands and artists here in the greater Asbury Park area, trying to make a name for themselves in this business? Dealing with content creation, pay to play gigs, ticket sales, promoters, and finally creating that game changing song?

It is so challenging giving guidance towards starting a business/band. I always say two things. 1. Find a sound that is yours and yours alone, then stay true to that sound. 2. Out work everyone. If you want it bad enough, go get it. No one is gonna give it to you. Also, try to be kind along the way… that helps.

Yellowcard Celebrating 20 Years of Ocean Avenue (w/ Mayday Parade, Story of the Year, & This Wild Life) LIVE at The Stone Pony. For Tickets Click Here.

Rob Crowther IV
Rob Crowther IVhttp://bobculture.podbean.com
Rob "Bobman" Crowther IV is host of The Bob Culture Podcast and drummer for local Jersey rockers, Vextion. This drummer with a mic can often be found on the site reviewing wrestling, superhero shows, and movies. Rob loves to put the spotlight on up and coming local bands and indy wrestling talents. @bobculturepod

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