Four Year Strong

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Four Year Strong
Four Year Strong 2011-11-06 13.jpg
Left to right: Weiss, Day, Massucco, and O'Connor in 2011
Background information
Origin Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Genres Pop punk, melodic hardcore
Years active 2001–present
Labels Pure Noise Records, Decaydance, I Surrender,
Universal Motown (2007–2012) Pure Noise (2014–present)
Associated acts Bury Your Dead, Foxfires, A Day to Remember
Website fouryearstrongmusic.com
Members Dan O'Connor
Alan Day
Jake Massucco
Joe Weiss
Past members Josh Lyford

Four Year Strong is an American pop punk/melodic hardcore band from Worcester, Massachusetts, formed in 2001. The group consists of vocalists and guitarists Dan O'Connor and Alan Day, bassist Joe Weiss, and drummer Jackson Massucco. They have released four studio albums; the latest, In Some Way, Shape or Form, was released on November 8, 2011.

History[edit]

Formation and It's Our Time (2001–2006)[edit]

This band was formed in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2001 by current members Dan O'Connor, Alan Day, Joe Weiss, and Jake Massucco as well as former member Josh Lyford. Dan O'Connor, Alan Day and Jake Massucco all attended Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester and met through mutual friends.[1] They released their first studio album, It's Our Time, not long after their formation. The record's run was limited to 400 copies, with varying color CDs. The first 200 were light blue, with subsequent versions in yellow, red, and green. The band briefly released a demo in 2006, which contained early versions of their songs from Rise or Die Trying

Rise or Die Trying, Explains It All (2006–2009)[edit]

The band's 2007 release Rise or Die Trying with I Surrender Records peaked at number 31 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart in its debut week.[2] On the back of their increasing popularity, the band was signed to Decaydance Records in February 2008.[3]

On July 21, 2009, Four Year Strong released an album of covers from the 1990s, titled Explains It All. The album features guest appearances from Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die, Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, and JR and Buddy of Less Than Jake.[4] The band explained their reasoning behind the album in a MySpace blog, saying "It's what we grew up listening to. Everyone has those songs that instantly transport you back to when you were younger. Whether we were in our bedrooms playing air guitar, or riding in the car to little league practice, or it was just that song that was all over the radio during that awesome summer at the Cape. These songs have impacted us in some way and we want to share that feeling with you."[5]

Enemy of the World (2010–2011)[edit]

The band's third full-length album, Enemy of the World, was released on March 9, 2010 on Universal Motown Records. The band released the album's first single, "It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong Right Now", on December 21, 2009. The name of the song is a reference to the final sentence of a review in Alternative Press in which the magazine praised Set Your Goals' new album while remarking on the future of Four Year Strong and how their record would compare. The vinyl record was made available to pre-order on March 2, 2010. The album sold 12,400 copies in its first week, debuting at number 47 on the Billboard 200. Four Year Strong has accompanied Set Your Goals in an Asian tour, but both canceled touring in Indonesia.

Josh Lyford's departure, In Some Way, Shape or Form and hiatus (2011–2013)[edit]

On April 3, 2011, it was announced that Josh Lyford would be leaving the band. Initially, it was implied that Lyford had chosen to leave in order to focus on his side project, Foxfires. However, it was later confirmed by both Lyford and Alan Day, that the band had elected to remove synthesizers from their sound leaving no room for Lyford to continue.

On April 13, 2011, in an interview with Alternative Press, the band revealed that they had been in the middle of recording their fourth studio album with producer David Bendeth in New Jersey's House of Loud. The band is set to return to the studio, without Josh Lyford, to finish the album in June, after they finish touring with Rise Against.[6] Vocalist Alan Day has also revealed that the new songs the band had written were very diverse, and that the new material is different than anything the band has ever written. While touring with Rise Against, they have been playing a newly recorded, yet unreleased, song called "Falling on You".

On August 18, 2011, the band released "Stuck in the Middle", a new song from the upcoming album. The band announced that the new album will be titled In Some Way, Shape, or Form, and would be released on November 8, 2011.[7] On September 8, 2011, the band released another song from the album, titled "Falling on You".[8] The first official single from the album, "Just Drive", was released on September 27, 2011.[9] During the Fall 2011 AP Tour, the band played another new unreleased song which will be released on the upcoming album. The band dedicated it to fans who have been there "from the very beginning, and will be there till the very end"; a video of the song has been leaked on YouTube. It is called "Fairweather Fan".[10]

In an interview, it was revealed that Four Year Strong would be playing the Warped Tour 2012.

As of May 15, 2012, Four Year Strong departed ways with their label Universal Motown/Universal Republic.[11] Regardless of the departure of the label, the band is still active as they played at the 2012 Warped Tour, and they performed with Blink-182 on their U.K. and Ireland tour.

As of 2013, rumors have speculated if Four Year Strong has broken up. Dan O'Connor had been married to his wife for almost two years, and Alan Day started his side project The Here And Now, an alternative/blues group who released an EP of music this year. When interviewed by PropertyOfZach, Day mentioned that the band isn't breaking up but rather taking time off. Going further, he said, "This is the first time in five years or more that we’ve taken more than three weeks off on tour...We’re definitely not breaking up. It seems like a lot of people are saying that, but I don’t know why they’re saying that. Just because we haven’t come through your city three times this year doesn’t mean we’re broken up."[12]

Go Down In History EP (2014–present)[edit]

During their annual holiday in Worcester, MA in 2013, Four Year Strong announced they were working on new material set to be released at a later date. They later announced an upcoming North American tour supporting Bayside set to tour throughout April 2014 and will play the Vans Warped Tour in its entirety the following summer.

On May 27, 2014, the band announced a new EP titled Go Down In History, to be released through their new label Pure Noise Records, on July 22, 2014.[13]

Touring[edit]

The band has done multiple national tours, sharing the stage with such bands as The Starting Line, Slip On It, Hellogoodbye, From First to Last, Every Time I Die, Meg & Dia, Hidden in Plain View, Alexisonfire, All Time Low, Blink-182, Mayday Parade, New Found Glory, Bayside and Steel Train. The band toured in February–April 2009 as part of the Taste of Chaos tour, alongside Thursday, Bring Me the Horizon, Pierce the Veil, and Cancer Bats. They undertook the Summer co-headline tour with Set Your Goals, and also Fireworks, The Swellers, Polar Bear Club, A Loss for Words, Drive A and Grave Maker from July to August 2009. Four Year Strong also performed on the Australian Soundwave festival in February and March 2010, alongside headliners Faith No More, Jane's Addiction, Placebo; also playing alongside Alexisonfire, Set Your Goals, A Day to Remember, Paramore, It Dies Today, Gallows, Emarosa, A Wilhelm Scream, Anthrax, All Time Low, Escape the Fate, This Is Hell, Enter Shikari, Anti-Flag, Baroness, Comeback Kid, The Almost, Dance Gavin Dance, Architects, You Me at Six, Rolo Tomassi, Dichi Michi, Sunny Day Real Estate and many more. In May 2010, the band subbed the mainstage at Slam Dunk Festival in Hatfield and Leeds, playing alongside New Found Glory, Set Your Goals, The Wonder Years, Hit The Lights and many more. The band was in the lineup for Vans Warped Tour 2010 and played on the Altec Lansing stage alongside Breathe Carolina, Hey Monday, and Set Your Goals.[14] They also played the first day on the Bamboozle festival. Late 2010, Four Year Strong headlined a tour with Comeback Kid, The Wonder Years, American Fangs, and Mountain Man. The tour was titled "Tonight We Feel Alive!", and spanned the entire United States. In February, 2011, Four Year Strong co-headlined the Kerrang! Relentless Tour 2011 with Good Charlotte with support from Framing Hanley and The Wonder Years. The tour began on February 3, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. On February 15, 2011 it was announced that they had been added to support Blink-182 on their UK tour alongside You Me at Six. They will be joining Rise Against and Bad Religion on a US summer tour in 2011. They have also announced that they will come back to Australia later in the year to play Soundwave Revolution along with already announced bands The Damned Things, Story of the Year, Every Time I Die, Hellogoodbye, We Are the In Crowd and many others. The band will be with New Found Glory and Attack Attack! in September 2011 in Brazil on the XLive Music Festival (Curitiba 08/09, Rio de Janeiro 09/09 and São Paulo 10/09). It was announced the band would be supporting Blink-182 during their UK Arena tour in summer 2011, however, the tour was postponed till 2012, but Four Year Strong will be supporting, along with Blink-182 and The All-American Rejects, but only for their chosen dates. The other dates are taken up by Twin Atlantic and The Blackout. Four Year Strong toured in the UK in January 2012, along with Don Broco as support.[15]

Musical style[edit]

The band's sound can be described as a blend of pop punk and hardcore punk. This genre is popularly referred to as "popcore", easycore or "happycore" and in some cases, it is jokingly referred to as 'Beardcore' because of the band's facial hair (Four Beard Strong). Their music tends to be very fast paced and motivational as well. The band simply developed their sound off the idea of playing 'exactly what they want to hear' or music that they would listen to, but no one else was playing at the time.[16] The band has cited their influences as being Lifetime, Saves the Day, Gorilla Biscuits, Blink-182, and New Found Glory, to name a few. The band's lyrics also have many references to 1990s pop culture. Though the band would primarily start out as a post-hardcore outfit, the release of their demo in 2004 would mark a shift from post-hardcore to more synthesizer-heavy tracks, where the band would begin to embrace the styles of power pop and general hardcore punk. Prior to the release of and at times within Rise or Die Trying, the band also incorporates more facets of modern hardcore, such as double bass drums, and breakdowns. For their third studio album, Enemy of the World, the band decided to expand upon their hardcore influences. For the fourth album, In Some Way, Shape, or Form, the band changed their sound once again as they switched to alternative rock. Their upcoming EP Go Down In History hints that the band has returned to their hardcore roots much like Enemy of the World.

Band members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Four Year Strong, though more widely known for the music made from the year 2004 onward, have multiple releases (dating back as far as 2002) in their catalog. Rise or Die Trying marks their label debut. In addition to these records, Four Year Strong are also notorious for leaking pre-album material of their own, whether as a "secret song" or new album demo. Their releases are as follows:

Full lengths[edit]

Date of release Title Label Billboard 200 peak[17]
January 2005 It's Our Time Open Your Eyes Records -
September 18, 2007 Rise or Die Trying I Surrender Records -
March 9, 2010 Enemy of the World Decaydance/Motown Records 47
November 8, 2011 In Some Way, Shape or Form Decaydance/Motown Records 88

Cover albums[edit]

Date of release Title Label Billboard 200 peak
July 21, 2009 Explains It All Decaydance/I Surrender 115

Demos/extended plays[edit]

Date of release Title
November 22, 2002 All the Lonely Girls
2003 The Glory
2004 3-Track Demo
2005 5-Track Demo
2006 Rise or Die Trying (Unmixed)
March 9, 2010 It's Not the Size of the 7"... It's How You Use It
October 2011 AP Tour Fall 2011 7"
July 22, 2014 Go Down In History

Singles[edit]

Title Date of release
"It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong Right Now" December 21, 2009
"Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)" February 9, 2010
"Falling On You" September 8, 2011

Music videos[edit]

Title Date of release
"Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die" 2007
"Bada Bing! Wit' a Pipe!" 2008
"It Must Really Suck to be Four Year Strong Right Now" 2010
"Tonight We Feel Alive (On a Saturday)" 2010
"Stuck in the Middle" 2011
"Just Drive" 2011

Compilations[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]