Story of the Year

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Story of the Year
Story of the Year in 2009
Story of the Year in 2009
Background information
Also known as
  • 67 North (1995–1998)
  • Big Blue Monkey (1998–2002)
OriginSt. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Years active
  • 1995–2011
  • 2013–present
Past members
  • John Taylor
  • Perry West
  • Greg Haupt
  • Philip Sneed

Story of the Year is an American rock band formed in St. Louis, Missouri,[2] in 1995 under the name 67 North.[3] The band eventually changed their name to Big Blue Monkey in 1998, and then subsequently changed it again to Story of the Year in 2002, after the release of their EP titled Story of the Year on the indie label Criterion Records. At the time, they claimed they discovered that a blues group named Big Blue Monkey had already existed. Later, on their podcast "Page Avenue Crew", they clarified that they just didn't care for the name and made up the excuse of another band having the same name.

It would not be until three years after forming that Story of the Year saw its first piece of commercial success in its major label debut, Page Avenue, containing the popular singles "Until the Day I Die" and "Anthem of Our Dying Day". A second album, In the Wake of Determination, followed in 2005, but did not achieve the commercial success of its predecessor. The band released their third album, The Black Swan, on April 22, 2008, which was their first release on Epitaph Records, followed by 2010's The Constant.

On August 11, 2017, Story of the Year teased a 90-second clip of a new song off their crowd-funded fifth studio album. The pledge campaign began in November 2016 and was completely funded in less than 3 days. The band used high-profile producer Aaron Sprinkle and mixers Tom Lord Alge & J Hall to complete their fifth studio album. They confirmed via the pledge site that the new album will be titled Wolves, which was released on PledgeMusic on December 1, 2017. The album's wide release was on December 8, 2017. On February 2, 2019, Story of the Year held their annual hometown show at the Pageant in St. Louis, Missouri to promote Wolves.


67 North & Big Blue Monkey (1995–2002)[edit]

The band were formed in 1995 under the name "67 North" by guitarist Ryan Phillips of the bands Means Well and Locash, drummer Dan Marsala, vocalist John Taylor and bassist Perry West. They changed their name to "Big Blue Monkey" in 1998 before releasing the first EP Three Days Broken that same year. In 1999, they released another EP called Truth in Separation, their last under the line-up. In 2000, West and Taylor would both depart from the group, leading to Marsala moving to vocal duties, and the recruitment of Means Well drummer Josh Wills as well as the members' long time friend Adam Russell on bass duties, despite him never having played bass prior (previously a guitarist prior to joining the band). It was at this point that the band relocated to Orange County, California, where the final Big Blue Monkey EP was released in 2002 titled Story of the Year, which they would then change their name to later that year.[3]

Page Avenue (2002–2004)[edit]

After spending many years as a local band with different line-ups, recording three EPs and multiple demos, Story of the Year signed a deal with Maverick Records in 2002, then recorded and released their first album, Page Avenue, in September 2003. The first single from that album was "Until The Day I Die". It first received radio airplay around July–August 2003 on stations like KPNT. The second single, "Anthem of Our Dying Day", featured a music video directed by Joe Hahn of Linkin Park. Pushed by the success of both singles, Page Avenue was a success and was certified Gold by the RIAA in 2004,[4] and went on to sell 846,000 copies in the US by 2007.[5]

MTV News reported on their website that during a radio show in May 2004, the band members of Story of the Year got into a fight with the roadies of metal band Godsmack.[6] Pictures of the band members' bruised faces were posted on their homepage. The members of Godsmack were not involved in the fight.

Live in the Lou/Bassassins (a CD/DVD combo of live performances and touring video) was released on May 10, 2005. It was certified Gold by the RIAA in late 2005, indicating shipment of over 50,000 units as it is video longform format.[7]

In the Wake of Determination (2004–2006)[edit]

After the Page Avenue tour ended in late 2004, Story of the Year returned to the studio with producer Steve Evetts in 2005, to record their second studio album. In the Wake of Determination, released on October 11, 2005, is much heavier sounding than the previous album. As of October 2007, the album had sold 180,000 units[8] and failed to achieve the same success that the band's two previous releases had. Although not as successful as its predecessor, the album debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard 200.

The Black Swan (2007–2009)[edit]

Story of the Year released The Black Swan in 2008. For the album, they brought back producer John Feldmann and Elvis Baskette. The album received praise from music critics and achieved decent commercial success, more so than the previous album. The success was led by the first single off album, "Wake Up".

For the recording of The Black Swan, Story of the Year decided to end their five-year relationship with Maverick and signed with Epitaph Records.[5]

Story of the Year played on 2008's Taste of Chaos International tour with Atreyu.[9]

The Constant (2009–2010)[edit]

In May 2009, Story of the Year began work on another album.[10] On December 31, the band released "I'm Alive" to radio airplay.

The Constant, was released on February 16, 2010, through Epitaph Records.[11] The Deluxe Edition, available on iTunes, has two bonus tracks, "Your Unsung Friend" and "Tonight We Fall."

Story of the Year recorded a cover of Waterproof Blonde's song "Just Close Your Eyes" for the WWE wrestling star Christian Cage. Their cover version was included in WWE Music album A New Day, Vol. 10 that was released on January 28, 2010.

Side-projects and hiatus (2011–2013)[edit]

Bassist Adam Russell was announced to be the bassist of post-hardcore band Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, along with Craig Owens (lead vocalist, Chiodos), Matt Good (guitarist, From First to Last), Nick Martin (guitarist, Underminded), and Aaron Stern (drummer, Matchbook Romance).[12] Russell left Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows in 2012.

Singer Dan Marsala formed a fun, comedy punk rock side-project in 2009 named The Fuck Off And Dies.[13] The band has gone on to release two full-length albums, Songs In The Key Of Fuck (2011) and Dear Liver (2015).

Guitarists Ryan Phillips and Philip Sneed continued to pursue their side project, Greek Fire. They have released a debut EP and two independent albums, Deus Ex Machina and Lost/Found.

Bassist Adam Russell and guitarist Ryan Phillips set out to make a movie about rise and fall of the music industry and where it stands today called "Who Killed (Or Saved!) The Music Industry". Funded by Kickstarter, they were filming in 2013.

On February 4, 2011, at The Pageant in their hometown of St. Louis, the band performed their first album, Page Avenue, in its entirety, as well as other fan favorites. They posted that this was a "thank you" show to all their dedicated fans for 10 years together. City Spud, of the St. Louis rap group St. Lunatics, made a guest appearance during the show.

Reunion, Page Avenue 10th anniversary tour (2013–2014)[edit]

On March 8, 2013, the band announced they reunited for a world tour to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their debut album Page Avenue. It was also stated that the band has re-recorded Page Avenue, entitled Page Avenue: 10 Years and Counting with release date on October 8, 2013.[14] Originally they planned it to be a full acoustic version of the album, but after the collaboration with City Spud during their concert in 2011 they decided to re-record the album with a different feel to each song rather than just acoustic versions.[15]

Wolves and lineup changes (2014–2019)[edit]

On September 30, 2014, the band announced on their Facebook page that bass player Adam Russell left the band. The band also said they were writing a fifth album.[16] On November 7, 2016, the band announced via their PledgeMusic page that they would be releasing a new album sometime in 2017 entitled Wolves.[17] On October 25, 2017, via their Facebook page, the band confirmed the PledgeMusic exclusive release date of Wolves on December 1, with the album's wide release taking place on December 8.[18] According to Wall of Sound,[19] the album has hints of the band's earlier work scattered throughout and a vintage feel, akin to that of Stranger Things.

In March 2018, Philip Sneed announced his departure from the band citing he was let go via management, and not long after, the band announced the return of Adam Russell.[20]

Tear Me to Pieces (2020–present)[edit]

Beginning in October 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Story of the Year performed their first three albums in three individual livestreams under the title Ghost Signal.[21]

In March 2021, Page Avenue was certified Platinum by the RIAA.[4]

In January 2022 it was announced that Story of the Year would join the When We Were Young festival among over 60 other emo bands including My Chemical Romance and Paramore.[22] The band released their new single "Real Life" on August 24, alongside the announcement they'd signed with SharpTone Records and a new set of tour dates alongside Hawthorne Heights and Escape the Fate.[23] In October it was announced that Story of the Year's sixth album would be called Tear Me to Pieces, with a new music video for the title track.[24] The album was released on March 10, 2023.

Musical style and influences[edit]

Story of the Year has been categorized under several genres, especially emo,[25] screamo,[26][27][28] post-hardcore,[29][30] and pop punk.[31][32][25] AllMusic describe the band as "emo punk" and "emo-inflected post-grunge"[2] and the band has also been labeled as alternative rock[33] and melodic hardcore.[34] Story of the Year's early material as Big Blue Monkey is considered nu metal.[35]

The band's influences include Skid Row, Guns N' Roses, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, NOFX, Pennywise, Sick of It All, and H2O.[31]

Band members[edit]



Studio albums


  1. ^ "The Fuck Off And Dies". The Fuck Off And Dies. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Story of the Year at Accessed May 17, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d Sharpe-Young, Garry. New Wave of American Heavy Metal. p. 291.
  4. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Epitaph Records: Epitaph Signs Alt/Rock Heavyweights Story Of The Year". October 29, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  6. ^ Story of the Year Say Godsmack's Crew Kicked Their Asses. MTV News, June 2, 2004 Accessed February 6, 2007
  7. ^ Gold and Platinum Database Search Type in "Story of the Year"
  8. ^ Harding, Cortney (October 29, 2007). "Story Of The Year Inks With Epitaph". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  9. ^ "Kerrang! Atreyu to headline Taste Of Chaos 2008". Archived from the original on May 5, 2009. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  10. ^ "Story of the Year begin writing next album". Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  11. ^ "Story Of The Year Present The Constant - News Article". February 16, 2010. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  12. ^ Ilvonen, Keagan (October 5, 2010). "D.R.U.G.S Announce Bass Player". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  13. ^ Paul, Aubin (November 16, 2009). "Story Of The Year vocalist launches pop-punk side project". Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  14. ^ Story of the Year [@StoryoftheYear] (September 19, 2013). "Have you seen the preview video for "Page Ave: Ten Years and Counting"? It comes out on Oct. 8th. Check it..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^'s been a while, huh? After... - Story of the Year. Facebook. Retrieved on 2013-08-25.
  16. ^ "Story Of The Year part ways with bassist, post letter to fans on their future - News - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. September 30, 2014. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "Story of the Year: WOLVES". PledgeMusic. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  18. ^ "Story of the Year". Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  19. ^ Brown, Paul (December 1, 2017). "Story of the Year - Wolves (Album Review)". Wall of Sound.
  20. ^ Brown, Paul (March 28, 2018). "Phillip Sneed ousted from Story of the Year". Wall of Sound.
  21. ^ "Punk/Rock Band Story of the Year Playing First Three Albums in Full in New 'Ghost Signal' Live Stream Series". Rock Cellar Magazine. September 23, 2020.
  22. ^ Linzinmeir, Taylor (January 18, 2022). "When We Were Young festival features stacked lineup of Paramore, My Chemical Romance, many more". Alternative Press.
  23. ^ Major, Michael (August 24, 2022). "Story of the Year Return With New Single 'Real Life'". Broadway World.
  24. ^ "STORY OF THE YEAR Announces 'Tear Me to Pieces' Album, Shares Video For Title Track". Blabbermouth. October 12, 2022.
  25. ^ a b "GODSMACK Vs. STORY OF THE YEAR: Indiana Concert Ends In Savage Beating". June 1, 2004. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  26. ^ Chalfant, Dan (November 9, 2005). "Screamo band 'back in action'". The Northerner. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  27. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry (2005). New Wave of american Heavy Metal. Zonda Books Limited. p. 291. ISBN 9780958268400.
  28. ^ Crane, Matt (January 24, 2014). "10 Bands Who Will Influence The Inevitable Pop-Screamo Revival Of 2017". Alternative Press. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  29. ^ Childers, Chad; Trapp, Philip (June 25, 2019). "This Post-Hardcore Guitarist Competed on 'American Ninja Warrior'". Loudwire. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  30. ^ Maceli, Ashley (February 24, 2010). "Story of the Year back with 'Constant' release". The Suffolk Journal. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  31. ^ a b Zaleski, Annie (September 29, 2004). "Special Delivery". SF Weekly. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  32. ^ Weston, Colin (June 17, 2004). "Story Of The Year Get Godsmack'ed!". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  33. ^ "Story of the Year brought post-hardcore alternative rock into the mainstream". AXS. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  34. ^ "Story of the Year – Wolves (Album Review)". December 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  35. ^ Sharpe-Young 2005, p. 291.
  36. ^ Nick names
  37. ^ Friedman, David (April 23, 2004). "Story of the Year rides hot streak into Hartford". The News-Times.
  38. ^ "Page Avenue Crew • A podcast on Anchor".

External links[edit]