|Origin||New Jersey, United States|
|Genres||Melodic hardcore, emo, pop punk, hardcore punk|
|Labels||Jade Tree, Decaydance, No Idea|
|Past members||Chris Corvino
Scott Saint Hilaire
The band was formed in 1990 by singer Ari Katz (ex-Enuf) and guitarist Dan Yemin with its roots in the New York/New Jersey hardcore scene. They are known to have met and lived in New Brunswick, New Jersey during this time. In contrast to the negative, sometimes violent tone promulgated by their New York hardcore contemporaries, lyricist Katz emphasized more positive, personal themes in their two-minute songs. In 1993, Lifetime released their first full-length album, titled Background, that bore only passing resemblance to their later, more melodic work. By 1995, the band achieved some form of stability with the addition of Pete Martin (guitar), David Palaitis (bass), and Scott Golley (drums). That same year, they released their second album, Hello Bastards on Jade Tree Records. Hello Bastards marked a slight shift in direction, incorporating more melodic punk leanings over a driving hardcore tempo. Ari Katz's lyrics, though sometimes undecipherable, dealt mainly with more introspective and personal themes such as relationships and youthful disaffection. Hello Bastards also includes a cover of "It's Not Funny Anymore" by the seminal 1980s alternative rock band Hüsker Dü, hinting at the band's musical influences.
In 1996, Lifetime issued a compilation of their 7" releases and unreleased songs, on Glue Records, also released in Europe by Day After Records. In 1997, the band completed its third full-length Jersey's Best Dancers. With twelve songs clocking in at under 24 minutes, Jersey's Best Dancers continued in the same vein as Hello Bastards. However, after a short tour in support of their new album, Lifetime decided to disband in 1997.
After disbanding, Dan Yemin went on to become a member of two other punk bands, the short-lived Kid Dynamite and Paint It Black. Dave Palaitis, Ari Katz, and his wife Tannis Kristjanson went on to form the now defunct Zero Zero. They now play in Miss TK and the Revenge.
In 2005 the band got together for a series of three well-received and long-awaited reunion shows over the weekend of August 19 to August 21, 2005. The shows were a result of the cancellation of Hellfest, in which Lifetime was scheduled to play on August 20. Two shows took place in Philadelphia, one at The Trocadero Theatre featured the reunion of hardcore band 108. The final reunion show was held at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey, which featured opening bands The Loved Ones and The Bouncing Souls. Some profits from the show went to charities such as New Labor, The OUT Fund, the Nature Conservancy, and Linda Ann's Greyhound Rescue Inc.
Lifetime went on to play 3 more reunion shows in California over a weekend in January. The shows were at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on January 27, at the Chain Reaction in Anaheim on January 28, and at Slims in San Francisco on January 29.
November 17, 2005 brought the announcement from the band that they are officially reforming. The band posted the following statement on PunkNews.org:
- "As some of you may know, Lifetime got back together to play HellFest this past August, after being given the opportunity (by the Fest’s organizers) to raise a large amount of money for the charities of our choice. We were readying ourselves for what could have been a pretty alienating experience, playing the Enormo-Dome in front of 8000 metal-core dudes, when much to everyone’s surprise, the Fest got canceled at the last minute.
- With the help of Margie Alban at Do It Booking and a host of other hardworking friends, we were able to scrape together 3 days of amazing and much more intimate shows. That weekend in August turned out to be a seriously transforming experience for this bunch of aging and sometimes cynical punks. Thanks to all the old friends and new kids who came out to sing along, I think the five of us felt transported back to a time when our lives were first changed by music.
- To make an already long story shorter, we have decided to play together again, not as the resurrected corpse of a one-off reunion show, but as a group of guys who love making music together. We will remain committed to our families and our other musical endeavors, so we’re unsure of how often you’ll hear from us, but you can expect more shows and more music in the coming year. We will be playing some shows in California at the end of January, 2006, in L.A. and San Francisco. Thanks for your support."
The band played another reunion show at the 2006 South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas on March 17, 2006. The show was free and donations went to breast cancer research by Shirts for a Cure.
In late March 2006, Lifetime signed onto Decaydance, Pete Wentz's imprint of Fueled by Ramen Records, with the statement: "Pete and Decaydance are giving us an opportunity to the make the record we want to make while still staying in control of our music and our lives. They are behind us as artists and because of that, we're backing them as a label." Shortly after, Lifetime began writing and recording their fourth full-length album, titled Lifetime, which was released by Decaydance on February 6, 2007. The band has since left the label and are now "free agents". The band is Managed by veteran Artist Manager Mike Mowery of Outerloop Management in Washington, DC.
- Studio albums
- Chris Corvino – bass
- Justin Janisch – bass
- Linda Kay – bass
- Chris Daly – drums
- David Wagenshutz – drums
- Scott Saint Hilaire – guitar
- Kraus, Brian (22 June 2014). "16 Modern Precursors Of Melodic Hardcore". Alternative Press. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
We're not talking about the obvious keystones (Descendents, Rites Of Spring, Dag Nasty, Lifetime, Embrace)...
- Lifetime on the Jade Tree Records website
- Lifetime on Allmusic
- A July 2006 interview with the band
- An article that features a brief write-up along with pictures of the reunion weekend
- Oral History of Lifetime. Online extended version of article featured in Alternative Press Issue No. 203. Interviews with band members, Jade Tree employees and famous fans that detail the rise and fall of the band.