Ryan Mendez is the lead guitarist for the pop-punk band Yellowcard. The group is set to release its 8th studio album in August titled “Southern Air”. Media Mikes caught up with Ryan at this year’s Vans Warped Tour to discuss the band’s new album?
Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the bands upcoming album “Southern Air”?
Ryan Mendez: The album will be out August 14th on Hopeless Records. We are all beyond excited for this album to come out. I want to say that this is the most proud we have ever been of a record. There is just something about how this album turned out that has a confidence to it. We didn’t go into the studio trying to make anything specific happen but this just turned out so strong in our opinions. We can’t wait for everybody to hear it.
AL: How did the writing process on this album compare to that of the album you put out in 2011?
RM: We had a pretty similar process. We went in to things not having any specific agenda or direction. We just wanted to write songs that were fun. We didn’t want to over think things. We just wanted songs that were rad and energetic. We thought about what would be fun to play live and have kids sing along to. We would write things we thought sounded good and then just moved on to the next thing. In the end I think the album has an energy and a rawness to it that just seems natural.
AL: Are any of the songs on the new album left over from the previous albums recording sessions?
RM: For the most part this is a new batch of material. There is one song that was taken from an Idea Ryan and I had years ago. When we were on hiatus myself, Ryan and our previous bass player were doing a side project called Big If. We wrote 12 songs and on the last record we took some of those songs a re-worked them to be Yellowcard songs. For the new record we did that with just one song. We took pieces of that song and wrote a new song around it. Aside from that everything else is new.
AL: Is there a song of the new record that you are really looking forward to playing live?
RM: That’s an interesting question. A lot of times when we are making records we don’t spend a lot of time in the rehearsal room playing the songs over and over. The songs are in a way birthed in the studio. There are so many of these songs that we have never sat down and played as a group. It is going to be interesting to see which ones are fun and which ones aren’t. Sometimes there are songs that you really love but are not fun to play live. If the song requires a lot of work or has a lot of changes then that can make it not so fun to play. I really have to just wait and see what songs will be fun or not.
AL: What are the bands plans after the Warped tour finishes up?
RM: I believe the 5th of August is the last day of the Warped tour. After that we have a couple days off andthen we head over to Europe for some festivals. I think we will be over there for about two and a half weeks. Starting in September we have some more international shows which take us to Japan, Australia and Singapore. There also will be some more stuff announced as it gets closer. The idea is to do a fall states tour. More details about that will be announced after Warped tour.
AL: What is the best place for fans to keep up with the band and watch for these upcoming announcements?
RM: We are all pretty up on using the band Twitter and Facebook accounts. Also all five of us have our own personal Twitter accounts that we are active with as well. We really try to make a conscious effort to interact with the fans. Fans can write to us on any of our pages and we will write you back. For general news our Facebook page will be the one to be watching.