It's time to pull out your eyeliner, sweat bands or rubber bracelets, and Hot Topic clothing, ONTD, because this is a motherfucking nostalgia post! Leave your pop girl stan wars behind and enter a new realm of slash shipping so intense it would make Larry shippers cry out of fear.
Remember the 2000s, that decade that already feels like it happened forever ago? What about all the bands you listened to in middle/high school if you didn't want to be a ~poser (or, conversely, the bands that listening to made you a poser? Well, it's time to see where they are now. Who's still somehow managing to kick it around and make music? Who died out like your Sidekick phone around 2008? Let's check in on them and relive some of the best drama that happened!
The 1990s rock genre went through a few changes, what with Nirvana and Green Day making their appearances in the genre in big ways. The early 2000s, similarly, introduced bands that would shape the pop-rock genre for basically every teenage kid to whom a "punk rock" band on MTV was more accessible than their parents' music.
Simple Plan is probably the band from this period that you hated, or at least knew someone who did. They got the short end of the stick in that Good Charlotte became bigger quicker, but Simple Plan has lasted longer. Their first album "No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls" in 2002 spawned their biggest U.S. hit "Perfect" (i.e., the song of teens who hated their parents everywhere), but it was their second album, "Still Not Getting Any…" in 2004 that was bigger overall, containing the songs "Welcome to My Life" and the now meme-famous "Untitled (How Could This Happen to Me)." The band disappeared after they finished touring for their second album, but they returned with a self-titled album in 2008 that pretty much no one listened to (Bonus: that album was co-produced by Danja, i.e. the guy who made Britney's iconic "Blackout"). Their fourth album, "Get Your Heart On!" came out in 2011 and had the songs "Jet Lag" featuring Natasha Bedingfield and "Summer Paradise," which became a relative hit in almost every country besides the U.S. and had about 5 remixes with various rappers on in, including (for some reason) Sean Paul. They just released an EP to accompany their fourth album and a fifth album is on the way for 2014. The band is still big outside of the U.S., who regards them with an overall "Who?"
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In what was almost a comical turn of events, Good Charlotte's frontmen Benji and Joel Madden went from singing about how much celebrities complained about being famous to…complaining about being famous themselves. Their first self-titled album is pretty much an unknown to non-fans, though the video for "Little Things" did include Mandy Moore, who must've been desperate for work at the time. Their second album in 2002 "The Young and the Hopeless" was probably their biggest with 4.9 million copies sold, with the song "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous," in which the Madden twins discuss how annoying celebrities are for being rich and shit but complaining about it. Their follow-up album in 2004, "The Chronicles of Life and Death" featured a new, much darker side to the band--Benji's weird ass clown eyeliner and Joel's floppy mohawk were obvious indicators of their inner strife. "Predictable" was a fair hit, but "I Just Wanna Live" was a curve ball in which they complained about how being famous was like, HARD guys!!! After this, the Madden twins got into producing music and banging Disney stars (my teenage self was SO bitter about Joel and Hilary), along with rapping. Their fourth album, "Good Morning Revival," was more dance-rock than anything else, and featured the even WEIRDER song "Keep Your Hands Off My Girl" which has to be heard to be believed. Still, it sold 4.5 million copies and gave the band some slight hits like "Dance Floor Anthem." Their last album, "Cardiology" was released in 2010 but by that point, nobody really cared about them anymore. They went on hiatus in 2011, but have announced that there should be a sixth album coming out this year.
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You cried the first time you heard Konstantine. You cried when they went on hiatus in 2004. You cried when Andrew McMahon announced he had leukemia. You cried when SoCo came back in 2009. You cried when Jack’s Mannequin called it quits in 2012 and Andrew decided to go solo. It’s been a lot of crying if you followed Andrew McMahon throughout his life and loved every side project he has done. Their debut album “Leaving Through The Window” made every girl want to be a “Punk Rock Princess” hoping for a garage band kid to save them. Something Corporate did a surprise reunion tour in 2009 but has yet to release an album since 2003’s “North”. Lead singer, Andrew McMahon, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005 and showed us his battle through his documentary “Dear Jack”. Andrew debut album as Jack’s Mannequin “Everything In Transit” is an instant classic. Twilight author, Stephanie Meyer, even directed the video for “The Resolution” from Jack’s Mannequin second album “The Glass Passenger” (the video is as bad as Twilight if you’re wondering). Jack’s Mannequin ended in 2012 with two final shows in California after their last album “People and Things”. Andrew McMahon has decided to go solo with his own name and released “The Pop Underground”, a four song EP. An album is expected to be released later this year.
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Who can forget the one pop-rock band with a violinist? Nothing can top Yellowcard’s 2003 debut album “Ocean Avenue” with hits like “Only One”, “Way Away”, and of course, “Ocean Avenue”. Yes, they are still a band today after two relatively unknown albums ("Lights and Sounds" and "Paper Walls") and being on hiatus from 2008-2010. However, none of their current albums have yet to match the commercial success of “Ocean Avenue”. After reuniting in 2011 and getting a little fame boost when All Time Low took them on their Dirty Work tour, Yellowcard released a brand new album called “When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes” through Hopeless Records. Another album, “Southern Air,” followed in 2012. Their violinist, Sean Mackin, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2011. They participated in Warped Tour 2012 and are doing an acoustic 10 Year Anniversary tour for Ocean Avenue today.
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Honorable Mentions: Sum 41, Taking Back Sunday, The Used, AFI, Bowling For Soup.
Now that the teens of America were primed for eyelinered-rebellion (a movement that was only assisted by the release of Green Day's massive "American Idiot"), the scene grew in a big fucking way. The culprits? Indie label Fueled by Ramen and their unofficial celebrity spokesperson and talent agent, Fall Out Boy's bassist Pete Wentz. Enter a new age of slash fanfiction and boys in tight jeans.
Fall Out Boy was probably one of the most loved and hated bands of the 2000s. They rose from relative nothingness with their album "Take This To Your Grave" in 2003, which Alternative Press magazine has deemed the "Abbey Road" of pop-punk. Their next album, "From Under the Cork Tree" in 2005 that made them truly massive in the mainstream with hits like "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" and "Dance, Dance." The album helped them garner a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist (but they didn't win). Fall Out Boy's growth was aided by bassist Pete Wentz, who became the mouthpiece for the band, as well as the owner of what are probably the most notorious n00dz ever released. Wentz's sub-label Decaydance, as mentioned above, is responsible for half the bands in this era. Fall Out Boy's 2007 album "Infinity on High" was even bigger, with hits like "This Ain't A Scene, It's an Arms Race" and "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs," the latter of which had a video with Kim Kardashian's old face. The band followed up with "Folie A Deux" in late 2008; the album didn't sell as well, and most Fall Out Boy fans hated it until Patrick Stump called them on it in his infamous 2012 "We Liked You Better Fat: Confessions of a Pariah" blog post, at which point everyone about faced and loved it (irl though, it was a good album).
The band was also suffering from internal drama--for many, Wentz WAS the band, leaving everyone else behind. His wedding to Ashlee Simpson, followed by the birth of their song BMW, made Wentz a media spectacle that left the band in the dust. This inspired their hiatus in 2010, after which all the members attempted their own side projects: Wentz, soon divorced and struggling with a drug addiction, formed a band with a girl he ~picked from nowhere~, Bebe Rexha, called the Black Cards (the band mysteriously died out and turned into a DJ duo featuring Wentz and another guy). Patrick Stump attempted to start a pop/soul solo career that flopped when FOB fans, wanting more FOB music, refused to buy it. Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley co-founded a heavy metal band called The Damned Things with musicians from Anthrax and Every Time I Die. That, of course, went nowhere as well. The band ended their hiatus in 2013, returning relatively out of the blue with the album "Save Rock and Roll," which includes the hit song "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)." The band is currently continuing to release videos for every song on their new album in a series called "The Young Blood Chronicles," and they will be bringing their Save Rock and Roll Arena tour to Europe this year.
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The Nineties featured the female rock icons of (Queen of Everything) Shirley Manson, (Queen of Appropriation) Gwen Stefani, and (Queen of Messiness) Courtney Love. The 2000s had Hayley Williams, the red-haired, dubiously dressed frontwoman of Paramore. Paramore is probably the biggest FBR band that wasn't also on Decaydance, with only Fun. now providing competition. Paramore's first album "All We Know is Falling" was released on Fueled by Ramen in 2005; the album didn't go anywhere in the mainstream, but it did begin building a considerable following for the band in the scene, aided by their touring schedule, which included the Warped Tourl. Already, however, the band was suffering from member changes and drama, a problem that would plague them from then on. Their second album, 2007's "Riot!" was huge, featuring the song "Misery Business" and catapulting them into the mainstream. Like Fall Out Boy, the album got them nominated for Best New Artist and like Fall Out Boy, they lost it (to Amy Winehouse). While the band's popularity grew, so did their inner drama. Hayley was increasingly becoming the focus of the band, so much so that Paramore put out shirts that read "Paramore is a band" to try and stop the rumors. These problems were made worse by the fact that Hayley and guitarist Josh Farro broke up during this era, during Josh into an increasingly bitter little bitch about things. (It should be noted that this was also the time period of the great Taking Back Sunday/Brand New/Eisley/Say Anything clusterfuck, which Paramore got involved in via Hayley). The band canceled six shows in 2008 for ~personal reasons~ to deal with this drama. The band released two exclusive songs, "Decode" and "I Caught Myself," on the Twilight soundtrack because Hayley was a fan of the series; "Decode" became a moderate hit with a music video of the band in a forest doing nothing (remarkably similar to the book itself).
The band's third album, "Brand New Eyes" was released in 2009 and showed the strain on the band brought on by the increasing rift between Hayley and Josh, who were drifting further apart and writing songs about how much they disliked each other (see "Ignorance," "Playing God," and "Turn it Off"). But the album's biggest hit was "The Only Exception," a song about how much Hayley wuvved her new boyfriend Chad from New Found Glory. In late 2010, Hayley alongside band members Jeremy and Taylor released a fairly diplomatic message on the band's website that stated that Josh and his younger brother Zac were leaving the band. Josh responded by posting a whiny blog which put all the blame on Hayley for their departure, stating that she was forcing the band to ride her coattails and that they had been manufactured to support her. (Bonus fact: Josh's wedding and Hayley's relation to it inspired Tswift's song "Speak Now.") The band continued on as a three piece featuring Hayley, Taylor, and Jeremy--they released a 4 song EP called Singles Club which included the song "Monster" from the Transformers 3 soudtrack. The band followed that with 2013's "Paramore," (album of 2013 tbh) which gave them their first #1 debut album and the moderate hit "Still Into You." Paramore is preparing to go on their own cruise called Parahoy. Their next single (which should be huge if there is a god) will be the song "Ain't it Fun?"
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If you were a scene kid in the mid-2000s, whether you were a boy or a girl, you likely had a crush on William Beckett. The guy was six feet tall, face like a model, mind like a poet and people shipped him with EVERYONE. He was also the frontman of the band The Academy Is…, which just barely didn't beat Panic! At the Disco in terms of "most pointless punctuation." The Academy Is…, or as I'll call it TAI to avoid that damn ellipsis making this look weird, was one of those bands that suffered from "debut album syndrome." Formed in 2003 by Beckett, bassist Adam Siska (known as Sisky Business), and guitarist Mike Carden, TAI was discovered by Pete Wentz after the release of their first EP "The Academy" in 2004. In 2005, they released what is probably considered to be their magnum opus, "Almost Here," which ended up as one of the defining albums of the scene at this time. "Almost Here" is the album that the band probably began to hate, since everything they released afterwards got compared to it, generally less than favorably. "Almost Here" featured the singles "Checkmarks," "Slow Down" and "The Phrase that Days," which memorably features a pronunciation of "memories" that sounds more like "mammories," therefore making the song exponentially funnier. In late 2006, guitarist Tom Conrad, a fan favorite, left the band and some fans never got over this. His second band, Empires, became one of those bands that made you super cool and smart if you listened to them. He was replaced by Australian Michael Guy Chislett. TAI started making internet vlogs around this time entitled TAI TV; these videos became viral sensations in the scene world (spawning multiple "seasons") and helped to boost the bands fame (notable videos were TAI Secrets, the multi-part, multi-band Fury in Philly, and anything with Guy Ripley (fucking hilarious persona of Cobra Starship's Ryland Blackington) in it).
The band formed close friendships with fellow FBR bands Cobra Starship and Gym Class Heroes, making a sort of odd threesome that, of course, everybody assumed was fucking. TAI followed "Almost Here" with 2007's "Santi" which, although mainly adored by the scene, was still compared to "Almost Here." It featured the main single "We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands," which featured a crazy video where William had a evil twin whom he wrestled with (and was weirdly self-shipped with) that everyone talked about. It was around the "Santi" period that rumors of band tension started to rise, with the most common being that guitarist Mike Carden hated them all and wanted to quit. It was with the release of the band's next album "Fast Times at Barrington High" that the band's decline in the scene began. The album, featuring singles "About A Girl" and "Summer Hair=Forever Young" performed fairly well commercially but was unfavorably compared to "Santi" and even more unfavorably to "Almost Here." "About A Girl" is probably most well known for being featured on The Hills, which was a huge thing back then. The band released an EP called "Lost in Pacific Time: The AP/EP" in 2009, but by that point, they had been reduced to little more than a blip on the scene's radar. They inexplicably opened for Kiss one summer tour in a move that made people everywhere say "WTF?" In 2011, the band lost both it's longtime drummer Andy "The Butcher" Mrotek and guitarist Michael Guy Chislett, both of whom left to pursue their own shit. Though the band said that it was continuing and recording a fourth album, they disbanded less than five months later. William Beckett is currently working on a solo career and will be opening for We Are The In Crowd this spring, while Adam Siska is the touring bassist for both Say Anything and, weirdly enough, Carly Rae Jepsen.
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All Time Low is one of those bands that kind of got bitten in the ass by trying to be bigger. They were the intended successors of Fall Out Boy: golden boys of pop-rock with killer songs and very, very pretty faces, the latter of which made girls scream in a way that almost rivals directioners. Unlike many of the other bands of this time period, All Time Low was decidedly without drama. They've still got the line up that they started with, and minus the persistent false rumor that their bassist, irl Greek God Zack Merrick (whose nudes leaked back in 2010) wants to quit, they've never had any internal drama. No, instead they have the lovely honor of being deemed ~sellouts~, which was the word that replaced "poser" in the insult book of the scene. All Time Low was founded in 2003 when the band was still in high school. The band was started by frontman Alex Gaskarth and guitarist Jack Barakat in their freshman year as essentially a Blink-182 cover band. And thus All Time Low was born. They were already touring extensively in high school and their first album, "The Party Scene" was released on an indie label in 2005 following an EP called "The Three Words to Remember in Dealing With the End" released in 2004. Physical copies of these EPs are crazy rare and sell for a shitload of money on ebay despite being really bad. Their big break came when they signed with Hopeless Records and released an EP called "Put Up or Shut Up" in 2006. AP may have called Fall Out Boy's "Take This to Your Grave" the "Abbey Road" of pop-rock, but "Put Up Or Shut Up" has a pretty good shot at that title as well. The album's main single was "Coffeeshop Soundtrack" but the song that has probably come to define All Time Low is "Jasey Rae," a song Alex wrote to a hookup about how he fucked her over. The search for the real Jasey Rae was an intense one though I think in the end she really didn't give a fuck about it. The band's first major-label full-length was 2007's "So Wrong, It's Right," which cemented their placement as a front runner in the pop-rock scene. The album is another pop-rock staple, with singles like "Dear Maria, Count Me In," "Six Feet Under The Stars," and "Poppin' Champagne." Another song intensely loved by the fans is "Remembering Sunday," which features Juliet Simms from Automatic Loveletter and The Voice. The album got the band featured on TRL--this began the claims of "Sellout" and pushed Alex to release two youtube videos wondering why they were being called sellouts for trying to be successful in the mainstream. (Bonus: After a brief flame war with the old LJ community FBR_T, Alex wrote an open letter worthy of the ones we post now in which he used the phrase "Suck nine dicks," which became a standard response for a good few months afterwards.) Still, the wank had begun.
The band followed "So Wrong, It's Right" with 2009's "Nothing Personal" which they promoted by insulting each other and their friends on Twitter with the hashtag "#NothingPersonal." The album remains their best charting album to date, debuting at #4. The single "Weightless" was very successful (the music video was based on their insult promo and even joked that the band was ripping off Fall Out Boy, who was in turn ripping off Blink-182). At the end of 2009, the band signed with Interscope Records. It was a logical decision--they were getting big and a major label had the possibility to push them to new height. Unfortunately, they hit numerous setbacks, many connected to the fact that Interscope started rearranging their execs around the time that All Time Low was working on their third album. The album got pushed back multiple times, making the band look bad as they kept on having to go back on their promises. The first single released was "I Feel Like Dancin'," which was co-written by Rivers Cuomo of Weezer. It was meant to be a parody single of modern radio songs, but it instead started a fucking WAR. People started claiming that they'd ~really sold out now, for some reason comparing the song to their old ballads, as though that was a valid comparison. Even when the band released a second song "Time-Bomb" (co-written by Simple Plan) to try and quell the fury, it didn't work. A petition went around on Tumblr telling people to sit down when the band played "Dancin'" at shows to show them that they weren't accepting this; it was yet another tale of fans being spoiled assholes. Their third album, "Dirty Work" was finally released in summer 2011. Though it debuted at #6, the album was not well received by critics or fans. The band cut their ties with Interscope in early 2012 in what was supposedly a mutual decision (they wanted to quit and the label let them do it). They began work on a fourth album while still unsigned, choosing to work with a single producer rather than with multiples as they had done with "Nothing Personal" and "Dirty Work." Thankfully, it was not with autotune addict Matt Squire. The band released a promo single, "The Reckless and the Brave" in summer of 2012, following that up with a stint on the main stage of the Warped Tour, an old haunt for the band. The band re-signed with Hopeless Records and released "Don't Panic" in late 2012. It was a return to form for the band and was much more adored by critics and fans alike, though the fanbase had taken a hit from the "Dirty Work" debacle. "Don’t Panic" featured several other artists, including Cassadee Pope, Jason Vena from Acceptance, and Anthony Raneri of Bayside. The band followed this up with an accompanying EP titled "Don't Panic: It's Longer Now: in the fall of 2013; the single, "A Love Like War" featured Pierce the Veil's Vic Fuentes and was named as the Single of the Year by AP. All Time Low is preparing for a UK tour in March and should probably have an album out this year if Alex's recent stint in a recording studio is any indication.
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If you want to start your own dance-pop band, you might want to make like Gabe Saporta and smoke a shitton of peyote while on a "vision quest." Then you'll see a magic cobra come out of the sky and give you advice on how to ruin your career after one hit by attempting to make the same song over and over. But hold on, let's go back a bit, and find out how Cobra Starship melted away into the ether. Gabe Saporta used to be the bassist and frontman of a pop-rock band called Midtown in the early 2000s. They got semi-big, enough to at least have a core following, but the band died out by 2005. After his peyote-induced epiphany, Gabe shut himself away in a cabin and wrote what would become the band's first album "When the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets." At the time though, he was still the only person in the band. He posted a parody of Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" entitled "Hollaback Boy." It was relatively hilarious and displayed Gabe's sharp lyrics and the song gave him a little bit of notoriety, especially after Gwen threatened to sue him if he didn't take the song down. Again, Pete Wentz swooped in and signed Gabe, a longtime friend, to the growing roster of Decaydance. Cobra Starship's first real song was "Bring It (Snakes on a Plane)" and served as the poster song for the movie of the same title. Still, Cobra Starship was a one-man-act, so the song instead features Gabe on the lyrics, The Sounds' badass frontman Maja Ivarrson on the pre-chorus, TAI's William Beckett on the actual chorus, and Gym Class' Travis McCoy rapping on the bridge. The song was damn awesome, and the music video had Sam L. Jackson giving some serious side-eye. After this, Gabe finally started recruiting band members. Drummer Nate Novarro was snatched up from a job as a merch guy, and guitarist Ryland Blackington and bassist Alex Suarez joined soon after. Originally, the keytarist was a girl named Elisa Schwartz. It was after the band released their first album that shit. Went. Down. The band released a statement in 2007 saying that Elisa had left to pursue her own career and that as she was ~super talented, they wished her all the best.
She responded by doing a long, long blog post that accused the guys in the band of being assholes to her, having soundchecks without her, and making fun of her. She claimed that she was being replaced and that the band refused to give her her keytar back. Gabe responded by posting a LONGER blog, with the point of saying "Well if we're not going to play nice, here's why we fired her." He accused her of acting like a diva, missing soundchecks to go to spas, and most importantly, of inviting random people onto the bus that Cobra Starship shared with labelmates Gym Class Heroes. These random people would join Elisa for late night Britney Spears dance parties (at least she had good taste in dance party music) and supposedly one of them stole Alex Suarez' iPod. So Elisa's privilege of inviting random people on the bus was removed. Gabe said that she knew full well why she got fired (in response to her claim that she was fired out of the blue), and that she could pick her keytar up whenever she wanted. Elisa responded by repeating that she was treated like garbage but that she didn't want to fully explain her story because she didn't want to sound "too negative." She was replaced by Victoria "Vicky T" Asher, who is still in the band today (and whose boobs are legitimately glorious a la Katy Perry). Vicky T got some shit from the scene because at one point she claimed that playing keytar was really ~hard and people should respect her more, but no one really cared. The band's second album, and by far their best, was 2007's "Viva La Cobra!" which was produced by Patrick Stump. The album featured "Guilty Pleasure," which at first had a viral video with a great made up dance routine, but was then replaced with some sort of video about roller skating that was far less amusing. Gabe began wearing a picture of Justin Timberlake on a gold necklace for some reason that I still can't be bothered to remember. Something about a spirit animal. The band tried to recreate the glory of Hollaback Boy with a parody of "I Kissed A Girl" that was called (obviously) "I Kissed A Boy." It was far better than the original. The band followed the success of "Viva La Cobra" with 2009's "Hot Mess." The album debuted at #4, the band's highest debut ever, and featured the hit song "Good Girls Go Bad" with Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester, who at the time was supposedly working on a solo music career that never really materialized, despite releasing a single with Beetlejuice cosplayer Robin Thicke. The success of "Good Girls Go Bad" was, in a way, the band's downfall as they spent their next album, 2011's "Night Shades" trying to replicate that song over and over. The biggest song on the album "You Make Me Feel…" featured Sabi, noted lover of steamed vegetables, but the song didn’t really go anywhere. Cobra Starship is still around and touring, though there's been no news of a fifth album in the works.
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Of all the bands Pete Wentz shoved into our faces in the mid-2000s, Panic! was by far the most successful. It's easy to see why he picked them, as the band mirrored Fall Out Boy in many ways, only if FOB was dunked in a vat of makeup and vaudeville. Ryan Ross was just as lyrically over the top as Pete Wentz was, mimicking song titles so long it would take 20 seconds for your iPod to scroll through the whole thing (such as "There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought of it Yet"). And frontman Brendon Urie was just as short but big-voiced as Patrick Stump was. The band started in Las Vegas; Ross dropped out of college and broke away from his alcoholic father who was the inspiration for some of their first album's songs while Urie was kicked out by his Mormon family for dropping out of high school, forcing him to work at IRL hell-hole Tropical Smoothie Café to afford an apartment. They were signed by Pete Wentz and were the first band on Decaydance as well as the first band that Pete whored out enthusiastically with shirts that said "Pete! At the Disco." (Bonus: there was a lingering internet rumor in those days that Ryan blew Pete for the record deal. I'm telling you guys, the shipping was real back then). The band's first and most iconic album, "A Fever You Cant Sweat Out" was released in 2005 with the hit "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" in which they taught millions of teenage girls the importance of closing a goddamn door, and "Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off." The band grew a reputation of wearing over-the-top costumes and makeup on stage as well as having videos that made no goddamn sense, such as a video featuring a "porno mime." Bassist Brent Wilson left the band around this time, apparently having been kicked out--the band said he hadn't actually written or recorded anything for the album and Wilson demanded a cut of the royalties. In 2007, the band retreated to a literal cabin in the middle of the woods to write their second album.
It was there that, as the stories go, Ryan Ross had an experience on the astral plane in which John Lennon told him that he was Lennon's reincarnation, or some similar bullshit that made Ryan decide that the band should go from making dance pop to being a shitty Beatles cover band draped in bandanas and flowers. Lennon's astral ghost also told Ryan that he should sing more, thus inflicting the most flat, monotonous voice on the world. The band dropped their signature exclamation point and began panicking at discos in a much more controlled way while spawning some of the biggest and most random wank the scene had seen. And thus Pretty. Odd. was born. The album performed worse than Fever sales-wise, with singles "Nine in the Afternoon" and "The Green Gentleman" lacking the same radio success as the previous album's singles had. In 2009, the band split: Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker left to start their own band The Young Veins, which went nowhere, fueling Ryan's attempts to become the hipster Scarface and leaving Brendon and drummer Spencer Smith to carry Panic alone. At the time, it was a supposedly pleasant split (though Brendon has since implied otherwise), but it caused a torrent of panic (excuse the pun) from the rabid Ryden shippers online as their ~lovers were now separated. The only thing that kept Ryan relevant after this was the fact that pictures were released of him hanging out with a indie girl group he liked where lines of coke were visible, and the fact that he dated a scene queen named Keltie who then released a biography that focused on how shitty he was. The band quickly brought back the much adored exclamation point and with it, the spunk and theatrics from the first album. They put a song called "New Perspective" on the Jennifer's Body soundtrack, which was as good as the movie wasn't, and followed that up with 2011's "Vices and Virtues," which was a moderate success and was more thematically connected with Fever (as well as being really damn good). The band released it's fourth album "Too Weird to Live, To Rare to Die" in October of 2013; it was the band's first week sales yet and gave the band a #2 debut behind Miley Cyrus. The album has the dubious honor of featuring two of the band's best songs (Miss Jackson and This Is Gospel) followed by a long love affair between Brendon and a synthesizer. It was at the beginning of this era that Spencer admitted that he had struggled with alcohol and drug addiction since the Pretty. Odd. days; he went to rehab instead of joining the band on their early fall tours. The band is preparing for a early winter US headlining tour.
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My Chemical Romance is still a sore spot for most old fans of the scene. The band started in 2001 because apparently 9/11 made lead singer Gerard Way rethink his life into starting a band. The band formed quickly, consisting of Ray Toro, irl angel Frank Iero, and now notorious engaged-while-married Mikey Way. The band's first album "I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love" was released in 2002 and was followed by the massive "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge" in 2004. That album went platinum in under a year, pushed by the huge hits of "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)," "Helena," and "The Ghost of You," (winner of soul-crushing video of 2005) all of which were prominently featured in angsty fic as well as anime music videos by 14 year old girls who were super deep and dark. Gerard started struggling with alcoholism around this time, as well as starting a brief but intense friendship with The Used singer Bert McCracken that everyone on the internet interpreted as some sort of twisted love affair. The band's third album, 2006's "The Black Parade," was even more influential, including the hit "Welcome to the Black Parade" which clearly no one on the internet ever remembers. There's something about being a young boy. The band got some brief notoriety when tabloid The Sun claimed a teen girl had hung herself because she was "emo" and listened to My Chemical Romance, claims bolstered by comments made by her coroner; The Daily Fail picked this up and claimed that My Chem was part of some sort of weird suicide cult. People called them out on this being total and utter bullshit, and The Daily Fail bawwed about how they were just restrained and balanced and ~misrepresented. Mikey left the band for a short amount of time to spend time with his new wife Alicia, and Gerard married Lyn-Z from Mindless Self Indulgence backstage after a show.
The band's fourth album "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys" had them completely reinventing themselves, with music that was more upbeat and a colorful image that contrasted the stark black and white everything of the Black Parade days. The album was successful, but didn't have the same sort of all-encompassing success as "The Black Parade" and "Three Cheers" had. It was around this time that drummer Bob Bryar left the band for reasons that are still unknown. He was replaced briefly by a guy who then got kicked out for stealing from the band. My Chem's last release was a set of EPs called "Conventional Weapons" released from late 2012 to early 2013. It was early that year that Mikey was caught red-handed being a cheating little ass who, while married, was apparently engaged to a nineteen year old somewhere else. Pics were provided proving that it happened. (here's the ONTD post to relive it). The band broke up shortly afterwards, claiming that these personal issues had nothing to do with it, though that's probably at least somewhat BS. They will be releasing a greatest hits album later this year so, if they follow Fall Out Boy, we can expect them to be back with new (and hopefully awesome) music in about 4 years.
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Honorable Mentions: The All-American Rejects, Boys Like Girls, Cute is What We Aim For, Forever the Sickest Kids, Gym Class Heroes
The last part of the decade was a rough time for pop-rock. The later bands like All Time Low and The Maine were hitting their stride, ushering in a new era of skinny jeans, neon t-shirts, and swoopy hair. But the major bands of the last era--Paramore, Panic! at the Disco, and Fall Out Boy--all petered out around this time. More importantly, the age of the Myspace band was taking a nasty turn as they were forced to start scraping the bottom of the barrel for "talent."
Remember that neon pop band that would beg you to wear gold/white to their shows? Well they’re now an indie rock and roll band. After releasing the pop album, “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”, The Maine signed to major label Warner Bros to release “Black & White”. However, The Maine left Warner Bros after they refused to release their third album “Pioneer”. The Maine decided to self-release it with positive reaction from fans. However, if you are planning to see The Maine live today, get ready to see them fuck up their classics by making all of the CSWS songs reggae style. Don’t expect synths or their “I Wanna Love You” Akon cover live. In June 2013, The Maine released “Forever Halloween”. The album debuted with 10,000 copies sold the first week.
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Ah, Metro Station. As Alternative Press once said, this band had the honor of being likely the only band founded on the set of Hannah Montana. As we all know, Trace Cyrus, Miley's older brother, was occasionally permitted to leave his pasture and come onto the set of Hannah Montana, where he met Mason Musso, the older brother of Montana co-star Mitchel Musso. And thus Metro Station was born. The band's shtick was both their electro-pop sound and the fact that Trace Cyrus has the creepiest fucking whisper voice ever known to man. Seriously, you don't want him whispering "I'll take you home if you don't leave me at the front door" in your ear because it's less of a come on, and more of something that makes you want to call the police. The band was signed after being found on MySpace, where their creeper anthem "Seventeen Forever" had become a modest hit on the Unsigned Band Charts. They released their only album in 2007; originally, it didn't really go anywhere. The two singles "Control" and "Kelsey" never charted, likely because people had taste and functioning ears. However, it was their third single "Shake It," with its damned catchy chorus, that brought them more commercial attention, getting all the way to the top ten of the Billboard 100. The band made a video for "Seventeen Forever" that had Miley in it for like three seconds back when she was still likeable.
The band toured on Fall Out Boy's Believers Never Die Part Deux tour in 2009 alongside All Time Low, Cobra Starship, and Hey Monday, and were the second shittiest band on the roster. After that though, the band fell apart: Trace and Mason were arguing in the studio and the two other guys in the band both quit in what was probably one of the best career moves they ever made. It didn't matter anyway, as Metro Station had always been accused, even by bands who toured with them, that they didn't actually play music live, but mimed it along to a iPod playing the recorded versions of the songs (as someone who suffered through them live twice however, I can assure you that the singing was indeed live and terrible). Both Trace and Mason went off to do their own thing: Trace started a band called Ashland High, dated one of the Millionaires, and then got engaged to and impregnated Disney star Brenda Song. The post about that on ONTD was legendary, getting to 65 pages of horse jokes. In 2011, Mason restarted Metro Station on his own, unaware that after their breakup, everyone in the scene acted like Metro Station had been nothing but a bad acid trip. They released an EP called "Middle of the Night" in early 2013 through an indiegogo campaign that somehow got funded.
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Before Cassadee Pope was claiming to be a country singer through and through, she was the frontwoman of pop-rock band Hey Monday. In writing this bio, I will attempt to stay somewhat unbiased, though surely that will fail. Hey Monday was formed in 2008 after Cassadee and fellow bandmate Mike Gentile's band Blake broke up. The band quickly gained three more members and was discovered by Pete Wentz later in 2008. The band was signed jointly by Decaydance and Columbia Records because apparently no one could get enough of them. Their first album and only full-length album, "Hold On Tight" was released in the fall of 2008 and it had minor success, featuring "Homecoming" which is probably the band's only good song, along with "How You Love Me Now." It was clear that Hey Monday was gunning to be the next Paramore, with Cassadee aiming to be the kind of female pop-rock icon that Hayley was. Unfortunately, her quirky, spunky, "one of the boys" attitude that matched Hayley's was not enough to disguise the fact that she couldn't sing to save her life, and her signature Hot Topic chunky blonde highlights bob was nowhere near as iconic as Hayley's red hair. Hey Monday was another band that was forced on the scene by Pete Wentz, who carted Cassadee around like a purse; he pushed her so hard that it was assumed by many in the scene that they were fucking (and some people even claimed that she was a factor in Pete's divorce). She appeared in the Fall Out Boy's video for "America's Suitehearts" and appeared with him in a Degrassi movie. It was at this point that the band lost it's first member, drummer Elliot James. It was in late 2009 that, after touring with All Time Low on their hugely successful Glamour Kills tour, Cassadee got together with ATL's drummer Rian Dawson through dubious means (he was in a long-term relationship, as was she). This was, ironically, the best career move the band probably could've made, as almost everything All Time Low touched at that point turned into scene gold. The band began recording their second album, "Beneath It All" in 2010. The album was originally schedule for release in August of that year but was suddenly and unexplainably reduced to a 6-song EP (with the general scene explanation of "the band was falling the fuck apart;" it was rumored that Cassadee was the only one actually in the studio while professional musicians recorded all of the music). "Beneath It All" had slightly bigger success than "Hold On Tight," with lead single "I Don't Wanna Dance" being it's most prominent song.
It was around this time that the band began covering Jayson Dayrulooooo's song "In My Head." Tellingly, instead of turning that first "Jaysooooon Dayrullooooooo" into a long version of "Hey Monday," Cassadee used her own name instead. This, when taken with the fact that the cover of "Beneath It All" featured Cassadee's face in full focus looking at the camera with the rest of the band gradually blurred out and looking away from the camera, perhaps in order of relevance, indicated that the band was less and less a group effort. Hey Monday performed "I Don't Wanna Dance" on Jimmy Kimmel live in September of 2010; Cassadee and Mike Gentile were the only original members left at that time, though the fill in band members wore shirts with the old band members' faces on them as seen here (beware your eardrums). The band released two EPs in 2011; the first was the Candles EP, released to capitalize on the song, originally on "Hold On Tight," being used on the then relevant show Glee. The other was a Christmas EP. In late December 2011, Cassadee and Mike Gentile released a statement that Hey Monday was going on hiatus for reasons then unknown; Cassadee has discussed this hiatus in various interviews and gives different reasons for it each time. She released a solo self-titled EP in early 2012; all four songs were written by her and her boyfriend filled in on the drums, but the EP was terrible and the acoustic tour she did to support it was poorly attended. Her next big break came when she was offered a chance to compete on the third season of NBC's hit show The Voice, becoming the third big scene female to go on the show (following runner ups Dia Frampton of Meg and Dia and Juliet Simms of Automatic Loveletter, both of whom should've won). While I could expunge on the many things that were fucked up about that season, I'll keep it simple: Cassadee won, largely based on the assistance of the lingering Hey Monday fans desperate for a reunion and the All Time Low fans. Unfortunately for her Hey Monday fans, Cassadee quickly decided to become a country star on the heels of her biggest Voice success, a cover of Miranda Lambert's "Over You," instead of going back to pop-rock. Her debut album "Frame by Frame" was released in October of 2013 after 5 promo singles that nobody cared about and debuted at number 9 on the charts; it has since sold 141,000 copies. It's only single "Wasting All These Tears" has been a moderate success on the mainstream charts and has been certified gold.
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The Cab, like Hey Monday, was a band more famous for it's inner drama and member changes than it's actual music (though unlike Hey Monday, The Cab was actually really good). The band started in Las Vegas in 2005, spearheaded by Alex Deleon and Cash Colligan (bonus: rather than being a tribute to taxi services everywhere, The Cab is actually short for "The Cash and Alex Band," which is a name that sounds like it belongs on the Disney Channel). The band also originally featured three Alexs: Alex Deleon, keyboardist Alex Marshall (known online for resembling a dolphin), and drummer Alex Johnson, who looked like he belonged in a heavy metal band. They were discovered thanks to Spencer Smith and Jon Walker of Panic! At the Disco, who then gave the band's EP to Pete Wentz. Their first release, "Whisper War" was produced by scene-favorite producer Matt Squire, well known for his obsession with auto-tune, and came out in 2008 and featured Brendon Urie and Patrick Stump on it's main single "One Of Those Nights." Other singles "I'll Run" and "Bounce" also had some moderate successes. The album was far more mainstream pop than other Decaydance bands, mainly because Alex Deleon wanted to be an amalgamation of Justin Timberlake and Adam Levine. The band did the general circuit of tours, opening for many of the other FBR/Decaydance bands. They released an EP in 2009 called "The Lady Luck EP," which featured some b-sides from the first album and a wholly unnecessary, overly auto-tuned remix of their song "Take My Hand" which featured head-tilting singer Cassadee Pope and had a weird music video about the magic of invisible ink when you're sending out invitations to secret raves.
2009 also saw the beginning of the band's breakdown. Ian Crawford, a complete angel who was always too talented for the band quit and ended up as the touring replacement for Ryan Ross in Panic! (he should've become permanent dammit). The split was apparently amicable. Cash Colligan was the next to leave; though that split was also supposedly amicable, it was widely rumored that Cash had been stealing from the band and had been given the option of "get out or get arrested." He got out and bought his own club in Vegas which nobody went to. In 2011, the band announced that they had parted ways with Fueled by Ramen and Decaydance, leaving behind the second album that had been in the works, as FBR is notorious for snatching away albums when a band leaves the label. The Cab self-released an album titled "Symphony Solider" in 2011 instead; the album's first single "Bad" was released via Sirius radio and featured a video about sexting. The album itself was really damn good, with co-writing from Patrick Stump, Bruno Mars, and Deleon's idol Adam Levine. However, it was around this time that Alex Deleon began to get a wee bit too big for his skinny jeans, turning into a really big douche. He briefly dated Demi Lovato, who was everywhere in the scene at the time, though that ended poorly. He called Ariana Grande stuck-up and disrespectful as well, which caused some slight drama. Alex Marshall dated Lucy Hale for a significant amount of time, but nobody ever cared about him anyway so nothing ever came from it. The band lost Alex Johnson around this time as well, who presumably left to the basement he always looked like he lived in, leaving Alex Deleon and Alex Marshall as the only two remaining original members of the band. The band signed with Universal Republic in late 2012 and their third album was supposed to come out in 2013, with a reported collab with Deleon's other man crush, Justin Timberlake. However, since nothing came out, I'm assuming it's still in the works and will probably come out this year.
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Honorable Mentions: Millionaires, Tokio Hotel, 3OH!3, Brokencyde
This is essentially an attempt at a good nostalgia post for the 2000s and was greatly assisted by my fellow scene band encyclopedia unchoco. So come on in, ONTD, it's time to think about how unfair our parents are, how we can't wait for our new hair straighteners, and how we ~totally don't fit in with the preppy kids~.