Sean Mackin checks in by phone from Albuquerque to talk about the Yellowcard tour. “We’re killing time right now,” he says. “We’ll probably do some go-carting before sound check. Team-building activities. Stuff like that.” How might go-carting be considered team-building? “I’ll probably win,” he says, “so I’ll be humble.”
Yellowcard is a pop-punk band from Los Angeles by way of Jacksonville, Florida. Their first CD was Midget Tossing in 1997. By 2001, The Underdog got them a proper record deal with Capitol. That was the same year as blink-182’s blockbuster release Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, and labels were scrambling to sign pop-punk bands to their rosters.
Yellowcard lived up to the hype and rode that crest of popularity for a while, then disappeared, then made a comeback in 2010. “We’re appreciative of the second lease in the Yellowcard life cycle. We’re very thankful.” Mackin explains that during nine years of touring, Yellowcard had succumbed to many of the temptations afforded new musicians. “We made so many of the mistakes young bands make, the cliché moments. You get caught up in it. We fell prey to a list of the usual pitfalls.”
I ask Mackin if there is one place on the planet, a hot spot where Yellowcard’s music really goes over. He hardly pauses a beat before saying, “Brazil. A name like Yellowcard, in a country that takes soccer so seriously?” It is election eve when we talk. I tell Mackin that I would be remiss if I didn’t ask at least one politically motivated question: any predictions for the outcome? No. Don’t want to go there, he says. “We kind of stay away from all that. The message we want to give to young voters it to stay informed and to stay involved. But it’s gonna be close,” he says. “We can really feel the tension.”
The Wonder Years and We Are the In Crowd also perform.
Yellowcard: House of Blues, Sunday, December 2, 619-299-2583, doors 6:30 p.m. $25–$45.