Forever the Sickest Kids

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Forever the Sickest Kids
FTSK Darien Center.jpg
Forever the Sickest Kids performing on Warped Tour 2013 at the Darien Center in Darien, New York on July 6, 2013
Background information
Origin Dallas, Texas
Years active 2006–present
Labels Fearless
Universal Motown
Associated acts
Members Jonathan Cook
Austin Bello
Caleb Turman
Kyle Burns
Past members Marc Stewart
Kent Garrison

Forever the Sickest Kids is a four-member American pop punk band from Dallas, Texas. The band first signed with Universal Motown Records and released their debut album, Underdog Alma Mater, on April 29, 2008. Their second album, Forever the Sickest Kids, was released on March 1, 2011. Universal Motown Records was later shut down in 2011[1] and the band was left unsigned for over a year until signing to Fearless Records in late 2012.[2] The band released their third studio album, J.A.C.K., on June 25, 2013.[3] In an Alternative Press article, the band was placed number one underground band of the "22 Best Underground Bands".


Early projects and formation (2004–2006)[edit]

In Dallas, Texas, long before the formation of the band, Marc Stewart had originally met Kent Garrison during high school, and they related to each other for their same musical interests. When Garrison later went to college and met Jonathan Cook, the two discussed forming a band, called The Flipside. Garrison contacted Stewart and informed him of the idea. Cook would take on lead vocals, Garrison on bass guitar, and Stewart on lead guitar. Stewart's stepbrother, Kyle Burns, soon joined and played drums for the band, and local friend Craig Calloway was recruited for a place on rhythm guitar. The band went on to play at numerous local shows and released an independent eponymous EP.[4]

Around the same time in the area, childhood friends Austin Bello and Caleb Turman had formed an acoustic/electronic project called Been Bradley. Although never releasing any official albums or EPs, many of their songs were released online through their MySpace profile, such as "All for Angela" and "X Me Out."[4]

When both bands eventually came to an end, Cook came into contact with Bello and Turman, and it was suggested that both bands could join together and form a new band. The idea was agreed to and their new band, Forever the Sickest Kids, was formed. Cook remained on vocals, Turman took on rhythm guitar and vocals, Bello on bass guitar and vocals, Stewart on lead guitar, Burns on drums, and Garrison switching to keyboard. Calloway did not take part in the band and would later be a part of the band Artist vs. Poet as a guitarist.[4]

Label signing and Underdog Alma Mater (late 2006–2009)[edit]

Merely days after the formation of Forever the Sickest Kids, Cook accidentally spent $350 that the band did not have on PureVolume to receive a front page placement of a song, in which they also did not have any songs written yet. The band then quickly contacted producer Geoff Rockwell and managed to write the song "Hey Brittany" and have it recorded in a studio. "Hey Brittany" was a success and had received many plays and views on the Internet. The band then landed a record deal with Universal Motown Records in April 2007. They released their first EP, Television Off, Party On, with the label on July 3. Two more EPs, entitled The Sickest Warped Tour EP and Hot Party Jamz were soon followed months afterward.[4]

On April 1, 2008, the band released their first single, entitled "Whoa Oh! (Me vs. Everyone)", and it was followed by a music video soon after. The song would later be re-released as "Whoa Oh!", a duet version that featured Selena Gomez. It was then announced that the band's debut album entitled Underdog Alma Mater, was going to be released on April 29. The album sold well and was soon followed by the band's second single from the album, called "She's a Lady", which was released on July 14. The music video for "She's a Lady" was released shortly afterward. During this time, the band also covered "Men in Black" by Will Smith for the compilation album, Punk Goes Crunk.

The band went on the 2008 Alternative Press tour from March 14 to May 2, played on their first headlining tour, and later performed on the 2008 Vans Warped Tour. They appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on June 12, performing "Whoa Oh! (Me vs. Everyone)". The band then headed to Tokyo, Japan to perform at the annual Summer Sonic Festival. In late September, the band undertook a brief headlining tour in the UK, after Cobra Starship, the original headliners, postponed their tour. The band later went on to play at the 2009 Vans Warped Tour from July 22 to August 26.

In June, it was announced that Underdog Alma Mater was going to be re-released as a deluxe edition album. The deluxe edition of the album featured the original twelve songs from Underdog Alma Mater, seventeen additional tracks that were mainly demos and acoustics from the band's old days, and a DVD that included recorded live shows of the band and music videos. The deluxe edition was released on July 7, 2009.

The Weekend: Friday (mid-2009–2010)[edit]

On October 30, the band released a new single called "What Do You Want from Me". It was announced that the band would be releasing a new EP entitled The Weekend: Friday on November 17 and "What Do You Want from Me" would be included in it. On November 12, the entire EP was streamed on the band's MySpace profile. A music video for "What Do You Want from Me" was later released in late December.[5]

On January 25, 2010, the band was featured on an episode of the MTV series Silent Library. Later in February, the compilation album Punk Goes Classic Rock was released, with the band covering "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne. In March, a version with slight editing in the lyrics of "What Do You Want from Me" was used in the ending credits of the film Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

The band then released two prequel videos to their upcoming single and music video "She Likes (Bittersweet Love)" on their YouTube account in April. The official full music video was released on April 19.[6] As soon as it was released, it was selected as Kerrang!'s video of the week. The band then went on and supported The Downtown Fiction, All Time Low, Boys Like Girls, Third Eye Blind, and LMFAO on The Bamboozle Roadshow 2010. Other supporting acts with the band included 3OH!3, Good Charlotte, Cartel, and Simple Plan.

Self-titled album, departure of Garrison and Stewart, and label closure (2010–2011)[edit]

On September 14, 2010, the band released a new song called "Keep On Bringing Me Down" on YouTube. It was announced that this song would be the lead single from the upcoming release from the band, The Weekend: Saturday, which was planned to be the continuation from their previous EP, The Weekend: Friday. The band then went on their tour, "The Summer Camp for the Dope Awesome Kids Tour" which featured The Scene Aesthetic, The Ready Set, A Cursive Memory and Phone Calls from Home.

Garrison in 2010

On November 25, Cook revealed through his Tumblr account that they would not be releasing The Weekend: Saturday, but instead a self-titled album. The band explained this decision was made because as they had gone into the studio with their producer, David Bendeth, they continued to quickly write more than five songs for the EP and decided to release a full-length album instead.[7] While touring, the band began to play a new track from the new album called "Life of the Party". On November 8, the band leaked the track "I Guess You Can Say Things Are Getting Pretty Serious" on Stickam.

On January 10, 2011, two months before the release of the self-titled album, Garrison posted on his blog that he was leaving the band, stating that he wanted to "pursue other opportunities."[8] A month later, on February 11, the band released a video of them playing an instrumental version of the track, "What Happened to Emotion? (Killing Me)".[9] Three days later, they released a video of them discussing the new album while a new track, "Forever Girl" was played.[7]

On March 1, the self-titled album, Forever the Sickest Kids, was released.

Stewart in 2011

A month later, the band set out on the headlining "Spring Break Your Heart" tour with Breathe Carolina, We Are the In Crowd, This Century, Tonight Alive and Before Their Eyes. In June, the band released "I Guess You Can Say Things Are Getting Pretty Serious" as the album's second single, along with a music video for the song that was self-produced by the band.[10] A month later, the track "Summer Song" was released as the third single and was also followed by a music video that was also self-produced by the band.[11]

On September 22, Stewart announced on his Twitter account that he was leaving the band. The band had later confirmed his departure on their Twitter account, stating, "Some may already know @marcFTSK is now married we wish him the best of luck & thank him for 4yrs of hard work & memories!". The band's crew member, Rico Garcia, became a touring member with the band to play lead guitar in Stewart's spot.[12] The band later commented on both Garrison's and Stewart's departure, stating that both of them had left on great terms and wanted to go back to college, due to never finishing because of the formation of the band.[13]

Due to the separation of Universal Motown Republic Group and Motown Records from Universal Motown Records, Universal Republic Records became a standalone label, which is back to Republic Records as of now. Because of the cancellations with Universal Motown, the band was left unsigned.[1]

The band released a lyric video of a new song, "Shut the Front Door (Too Young for This)", on their YouTube account on October 28,[14] with a music video that soon followed.[15] Later on December 2, the band released another new video of their first Christmas song, "Mistletoe is for Quitters".[16]

New label, J.A.C.K., and side projects (2012–2014)[edit]

On February 16, 2012 Ayala Malls sponsored an event called LIV5, where the band performed with The Ready Set, The Summer Set, and A Rocket to the Moon in the Philippines. The band later headed to Australia to perform at the Soundwave festival alongside bands such as Angels and Airwaves and System of a Down.

On September 10, it was announced that the band had signed to Fearless Records.[2] In addition to this, the band contributed to the compilation album Punk Goes Pop 5, covering "We Found Love" by Rihanna. For the first time in their music, a short breakdown was included, which consisted of Bello screaming during his verse. In an interview with Burns over the song and covering for the Punk Goes... series, he stated, "It's a time for us to get crazy without being worried about stepping out of our comfort zones, because they aren’t our songs... So we thought it would be fun to mix it up a bit."[17] The band then performed the theme song, "We Are the Guardians", for the Nicktoons show NFL Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core.[18]

On January 29, 2013, the band posted on their Twitter account that Mike Green was their producer for their third album. The band then performed at the NFL Play 60 Kids' Day Experience in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, ahead of the Super Bowl XLVII.[19] On February 21, in an interview with idobi Radio, Cook revealed that the album would consist of twelve songs and be released on June 25, stating, "If I could describe this record in one word, I would say we made a rock album... It's right back to what everyone loves from Underdog Alma Mater days." He also revealed the title of a track, called "Chin Up Kid".[20]

Alternative Press later held an interview with Cook, with him stating that the band wrote forty-six songs during the production of the album. He also revealed the titles of two more songs included on the album, called "My Friends Save Me", an acoustic song, and "Nikki", which was co-written by frontman Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy.[21] Later on April 25, a preview of "Chin Up Kid" was released and the album's cover art and track listing were revealed, with its title confirmed as J.A.C.K.[3] "Chin Up Kid" was later officially released as a digital download on May 7.[22] On May 24, Billboard streamed the song "Nice to Meet You", with its official release date following on May 28.[23] Pre-order bundles for the album were also released on May 28, which included limited copies of the album on 12″ vinyl.[24] On June 21, the band streamed J.A.C.K. on their Facebook page.[25] One day prior to the album's release, the band posted lyric videos for each song from the album.[26]

The band then went on to perform on Warped Tour 2013, which started on June 15 and ended on August 4.[21]

Since the end of Warped Tour, little was heard from the band until March 17, 2014 when an interview with Turman surfaced, with him stating that he was unsure of the band's status and was moving on to focus on his own music.[27] However, on the same day, the band announced on their Twitter account that they were not breaking up and that no one was leaving the band.[28][29] Turman and Garcia formed a band called TEAM, along with Jay Vilardi of The Almost and Bryan Donahue formerly of Boys Like Girls.[30] The following day, Bello and Burns released their own song entitled "Cool", featuring Dusty Goode.[31]

Temporary hiatus (2015–present)[edit]

After nearly a year and a half without any updates of the band's status, on August 20, 2015, the band posted on their Facebook page that they were "very much alive and well" and they had been taking the time to focus on their personal lives.[32]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Forever the Sickest Kids' main genres consist of pop punk,[4] pop rock,[4] and power pop.[4] Many of their songs feature synthesizers and have dance and electronic based influences, along with the piano and keyboard often being included. Acoustic and hip-hop have also been utilized in their music. The band mainly has positive, upbeat sounds in their songs and they're typically structured by pop based hooks, both electronic and regular drum beats, and catchy guitar riffs that still maintain rock and punk elements to the music.[4] A primary example that displays the band's structure, sound, and vocal arrangement is the song "I Don't Know About You, But I Came to Dance", found on the band's first release, Television Off, Party On.

Before his departure, Stewart stated, "Ultimately, when you hear the music, we want it to make you want to dance in your car while you're driving. We want it to be easy to sing along to but so catchy you don't wanna stop."[4]

In nearly every song by the band, Cook, Bello, and Turman share lead vocals. Cook usually sings the chorus of the song, while Bello and Turman take on the verses, although it is not limited to this routine. Cook generally sings with a powerful, screeching voice and frequently ranges from a low to high pitch. Bello's vocals are similar to Cook's, however Bello usually sings with a higher pitch and has a more distinct voice. Turman is known for taking the lead in the band's acoustic songs, such as "Coffee Break" and "Forever Girl", due to having a much softer voice than Cook and Bello. He also sang prominently in "What Happened to Emotion? (Killing Me)", with Cook and Bello only singing the bridge of the song.

Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, Weezer, and Bowling for Soup have served as some of the main influences for the band.[33]

Band members[edit]



Studio albums[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organization Award Nominated Work Result
2010 J-14 Teen Icon Awards Iconic Band Themselves Won


  1. ^ a b Ethiopia Habtemariam Named Senior Vice President of Motown Records By Billboard. Posted: 10 August 2011
  2. ^ a b Forever the Sickest Kids signs to Fearless Records By Purevolume. Posted: September 10, 2012
  3. ^ a b Forever The Sickest Kids announce new album J.A.C.K. By Jon Abelson. Posted 25 April 2013
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i FTSK at JamBase
  5. ^ What Do You Want from Me music video
  6. ^ She Likes (Bittersweet Love) music video
  7. ^ a b FTSK - Forever Girl
  8. ^
  9. ^ What Happened to Emotion? (Killing Me) at YouTube
  10. ^ Crossroads at YouTube
  11. ^ Summer Song at YouTube
  12. ^ Marc Stewart's departure By Buzznet. Posted 22 September 2011
  13. ^ Alternative Press Interview By Mike Martin. Posted 30 November 2011
  14. ^ FTSK - Shut the Front Door at YouTube
  15. ^ Shut the Front Door music video
  16. ^ Mistletoe is for Quitters
  17. ^ We Found Love cover interview By KROQ. Posted 26 October 2012 10:43 AM ET
  18. ^ NFL Rush Zone: "We Are the Guardians" Music Video
  19. ^ Forever the Sickest Kids to perform at Super Bowl Festivities By Alex DiVincenzo. Posted 30 January 2013
  20. ^ Forever the Sickest Kids - The Gunz Show - Interview with Jonathan Cook
  21. ^ a b In The Studio with Forever The Sickest Kids By Tyler Common. Posted 9 April 2013
  22. ^ Forever The Sickest Kids premiere "Chin Up Kid" lyric video By Michele Bird. Posted 6 May 2013
  23. ^ Forever The Sickest Kids, 'Nice To Meet You': Exclusive Song/Lyric Video Premiere By Jason Lipshutz. Posted 24 May 2013
  24. ^ Alter the Press!: Forever The Sickest Kids Launch New Album 'J.A.C.K.' Pre-Orders By Jon Abelson. Posted 28 May 2013.
  25. ^ Alter The Press!: Forever The Sickest Kids Stream New Album 'J.A.C.K.' By Jon Ableson. Retrieved 21 June 2013
  26. ^ Lyric Video Premiere: Forever The Sickest Kids, "Ritalin (Born In America)" - Alternative Press By Cassie Whitt. Retrieved 24 June 2013
  27. ^ Forever The Sickest Kids' Future Is Cloudy With A Chance Of Inactivity - PropertyOfZack By Zack Zarrillo. Retrieved 17 March 2014
  28. ^ Forever The Sickest Kids NOT Breaking Up & No Is Leaving Band, Band Releases Statements - UMusicians Retrieved 17 March 2014
  29. ^ Alter The Press!: Forever The Sickest Kids Deny Break Up Rumors; "Forever Means Forever" By Jon Ableson. Retrieved 17 March 2014
  30. ^ TEAM (members of FTSK, Boys Like Girls, the Almost) lineup revealed, music video released - Alternative Press By Rachel Campbell. Retrieved 12 August 2013
  31. ^ iTunes - Music - Cool (feat. Dusty Goode) - Single by Austin Bello & Kyle Burns Retrieved 18 March 2014
  32. ^ Forever the Sickest Kids - Facebook By Forever the Sickest Kids. Retrieved 20 August 2015
  33. ^ FTSK Influences

External links[edit]