IRVINE, California — Story of the Year have a confession to make about "Anthem of Our Dying Day," one of the summer's hottest rock tracks.
"Well, it's not really about dying," guitarist Ryan Phillips admitted recently. "I wrote all the lyrics for that one. It was one of the few songs that [singer] Dan [Marsala] didn't write. And ... it's about ghosts."
Story of the Year chose not to elaborate, but they had no problem explaining the band's next single, "Sidewalks," which is, of course, not about sidewalks.
"We're all from St. Louis and we all moved out to L.A. to do the record and were out there for quite a while," guitarist Phillip Sneed said. "Eventually, it wasn't a planned theme, but the whole album kind of took on like a whole sentimental, missing-home type of vibe, and a lot of the songs, including 'Sidewalks,' are about missing home and missing friends and memories and stuff like that."
"The town we lived in/ The memories shaken apart/ From the weeds that grow/ Over the sidewalks," Marsala sings on "Sidewalks."
"It ended up being a big collection of metaphors, hopefully universal, so that people can put whatever they want to it," Sneed said. "We wanted it to just be an acoustic thing, we just kind of went at it at a really different attitude than all the other songs, and it ended up great. We had the opportunity to do some strings on it. ... It's my favorite song on the album because I'm a big pansy and I like that sort of stuff."
Thus explains Story of the Year's decision to release it. "We get to show our sensitive side," Phillips said.
"Sidewalks" will not hit radio and video outlets until the fall, after Story of the Year finish the Warped Tour (see "Warped Tour Launch Electrifies Without The Lightning") and begin headlining their own trek. The band also hopes to release a DVD later in the year, which Phillips and bassist Adam Russell are personally editing. "They've taken over the back lounge of the bus," Sneed said.
Recording sessions for the follow-up to Page Avenue, which was released in September, will commence in January, likely with Goldfinger's John Feldmann producing again. Feldmann discovered Story of the Year when they were still known as Big Blue Monkey and playing around St. Louis.
One thing the band won't be doing again is playing another show with Godsmack. After sharing a radio station festival bill with the group a month ago, Story of the Year were jumped by Godsmack's crew (see "Story Of The Year Say Godsmack's Crew Kicked Their Asses").
"Dude, the thing that's stupid about it is that it wasn't their show," Phillips said. "If it was their show and we did something to piss them off, whatever. But no one can say or do anything to change the fact that it wasn't their show and they're wrong. That's all we have to say."