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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

It was all yellow

 
 

Fresh from a six-week international tour promoting its new release “Lights and Sounds,” Yellowcard will be performing live with Mae at Reed Arena Wednesday night. The band’s major label debut, “Ocean Avenue,” sold 2.5 million copies worldwide. Violinist Sean Mackin talked to The Batt about the success, the fame, the fans and his violin as the band traveled to Pomona, N. J. to kick off the first leg of the Virgin College Mega Tour.
BATT: What made you want to play the violin?Sean Mackin: My mom made me do it! I remember growing up I was the ugly duckling. I had braces, glasses and I played the violin. I just hated it, and I almost quit playing, but I went to an art school for high school and fell in love with it. It became an escape. I met some friends that played different instruments and liked the same kind of music. We just liked to drink, hang out and have fun. That’s where it all started.
BATT: The violin isn’t an instrument normally associated with rock bands. What made you want to incorporate that instrument into the band, and how did you do it successfully?SM: I don’t know if we’ve done it successfully, but we try. Yellowcard has to do with friendship and being creative and open-minded. We’re still trying to find a formula to make everything just come together. I guess you can say we’ve tried. It’s still a work in progress.
BATT: What’s it like being on MTV and VH1? Are you used to the fame yet?SM: I don’t think it’s something you get used to, and if you do, there has to be something wrong. I feel bad for Ryan (Keys, lead singer) because he gets recognized immediately. I’m not as recognizable. I’m kind of an anonymous member of the band. Ryan is always followed and gets interrupted at dinner and stuff. You know, it’s like, ‘Just let this guy eat his dinner!’ We’re very fortunate to play music on this level, and we deal with it as it comes. We do appreciate everything our fans do for us.
BATT: How do you think the band will be received on the different college campuses this tour?SM: Well, we had a rehearsal in Nashville yesterday, and we’ve been driving all night and day to get to New Jersey for our first show. I’m excited! College shows bring older audiences. It’s always a different grouping of people, not just Yellowcard fans, so it’s a really nice mix. It also gives us an opportunity to party afterward.
BATT: Do you prefer the college crowd or the other venues that you’ve played?SM: It’s a nice change of pace, but I wouldn’t say I prefer it. It’s just that you get to have a little more fun with friends and people you meet at each show afterward.
BATT: Your major label debut, “Ocean Avenue,” was wildly successful. What is the band looking to achieve with “Lights and Sounds”?SM: I’d say absolutely nothing. We’ve achieved anything we’ve looked to do. We just wanted to write and record another record, and we’ve do(ne?) that. We don’t plan on doing anything major like winning a Grammy, but we’re just fortunate enough to be out here doing what we love and making a living out of it.
BATT: You’ve recently added Ryan Mendez (formerly of Staring Back) as a guitarist. How is he fitting in with the band?SM: He’s fitting in perfectly. I’ve known him for a long time. Yellowcard couldn’t have asked for a better fit. He’s a meticulous guitar player, and he knows to go out and make every show count. We’ve had a great time with him.
BATT: How is life internationally different now than from what is was five years ago?SM: It’s grown exponentially. We’re playing shows with 3,000 people. We played two nights in Tokyo and both nights there were 2,000 people there. It’s amazing that you’re so far way from home and people know us and our music. It’s mind-boggling. We’ve been out of the country for six weeks, and I’m just excited to be back and start this tour.

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