The Wonder Years

author PP date 10/05/08

If you haven\'t checked out The Wonder Years yet, read this interview and do so immediately. These guys are some of the funniest dudes you\'ll meet in the music scene, which is evident both on their debut album \"Get Stoked On It!\" (voted as the best album of 2007 here at Rockfreaks.net!) as well as on their new EP \"Won\'t Be Pathetic Forever\". They love to sing about pirates, ninjas, and as a newly added, more serious aspect, about their \'shitty\' lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I had the opportunity of conducting an email interview with the band, and it didn\'t take long until the band threw the questions right back at me with the answers. As usual, email interviews are rather impersonal, but The Wonder Years manages to make it sound interesting anyway. Enjoy the read.

RF.net: Hi and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! First off, how are things in The Wonder Years?
Awful man. It’s like, non-stop fist fights and shit. Mikey had sex with Kennedy’s girlfriend and ever since, it’s just been war. But on the real, we’re totally fine.

RF.net: Alright lets get the quick ones out of the way first - how often do you hear some kind of pun/comment involving getting stoked about something in connection to The Wonder Years?
We get messages that say something like that at least twice a day. I hope the kids sending them don’t think they’re the only ones thinking up this shit. Then again, how many times a day did the dude from Right Said Fred get asked if he was “too sexy for his (insert anything here)?” At least we’re not there yet.

RF.net: What exactly is \"dude-core\"?
No fucking idea, brother. I just thought it sounded cool. We wrote that song right before we went to record the full length and I needed to get a name to the dude doing the art work.

RF.net: I think everyone who owns \"Get Stoked On It!\" has noticed some recurring themes across the album - the Kool Aid thing, Captain Crunch, Pirates, Ninjas and so on. Are you guys just big fans of those characters/topics or what?
We just thought all of that was funny. Like, we’d get bored and decide “let’s write this song about ninjas.” It was almost like a contest to see how ridiculous topics could get.

RF.net: On your new EP though, \"Won\'t Be Pathetic Forever\", you seem to be singing more about your everyday life (although I did catch that Pirate lyric in one of the new songs!). How come the change and is this the end of hilarious topics from The Wonder Years?
I think the new songs are funnier honestly, but in a totally different way. With Get Stoked on It, there was a lot of stupid humor about random insignificant things. I think Wont Be Pathetic Forever has a darker, more real style of humor to it. We’re laughing at our shitty lives. When I was writing the lyrics for this EP I was going through a bad period and I think this challenged me to find the humor in everything. The pirate lyric is in regards to a plan we had to sell all of our gear to a pawn shop, buy wave runners and rob cruise ships. We were really really fucking out of it that night, haha.

RF.net: You released your debut album \"Get Stoked On It!\" in late October last year, but you\'re already gearing up to release your new EP \"Won\'t Be Pathetic Forever\" in June. How come you decided to release something this quick, and should we expect a similar pace of releases in the future as well?
We felt like it was important to get these songs out as soon as possible. They were relevant when we were writing them and they’re relevant now.

RF.net: The new EP has a considerably better sound quality - it sounds less like it was home-recorded and more like professional studio quality. Yet this is an aspect I know many love about The Wonder Years - how come the change and do you think it\'s for the better or worse? Will we see The Wonder Years move towards the polished sound of other pop punk bands like Yellowcard etc in the future?
We did this record with Vince Ratti at Skylight Studios and are really stoked (rofl-copter) on how it sounds. The full length was rushed and it sounds the way it does because of how fast we did it. Matt Buckley did his very best with that record in the time we gave him and we’re happy with it, but the EP gives you an idea of what we’ve always wanted our songs to sound like.

RF.net: So I take it \"Mike Kennedy Is A Bad Friend\" refers to your drummer Kennedy (correct me if I\'m wrong). What\'s his story - why is he a bad friend?
Haha, I’m so glad this question got asked. We bust Kennedy’s balls a lot. I don’t know how most bands operate, but for us, its usually something we juggle between college. 5/6 of us are in school now and we tour on our breaks but in order to hype Get Stoked on It, we took a semester off and just toured and hung out in between tours. Since most of our friends were away at school we really only hung out with each other and like 10 (Won’t Be Pathetic Forever lyric check) of our remaining friends. Kennedy always bailed on us to spend time with his family and read fantasy novels so we gave him a lot of shit, but to be honest, I would take a bullet for the kid any day of the week. Don’t know what I’d do without him.

RF.net: What do you think about the EP in comparison to your debut album?
I think the EP blows the debut out of the water. I don’t know if that sounds cocky or something, but I don’t give a fuck. I love these songs. They mean something to me and I’m really proud of how they came out.

RF.net: You\'ve also started an online blog in connection with the EP - what\'s the story with that?
I jacked the idea from Blacklisted, sort of. They have a band blog they keep and I thought that was cool, but I also wanted to do my own thing with it. Their blog deals mostly with band related stuff but ours just plain doesn’t. The EP is about our everyday lives and so is this blog. You can read about interesting things like me riding my bike or my room mate being stuck on the phrase “I just wanna do hoodrat stuff with my friends!” or Casey reviewing how hot singers are in real life. We’re boring dudes, but fuck, we think it’s funny.

RF.net: So \"Get Stoked On It!\" was voted as the favorite album of the year last year here in Rockfreaks.net, but a quick browse around the internet shows that the press response to the record is really mixed - some really love it like us, but awfully many reviews seem to give the album bad ratings. Are the reviewer\'s just deaf or what?
Man, I don’t know, haha. They’re all allowed their opinion and at least a lot of them wrote really funny bad reviews. I can respect that. I wish it would have done a little better but I think the reviews were all pretty fair. Can’t argue with people’s opinions.

RF.net: I think a lot of our readers in the UK are eager to know when you\'re coming back after having that mini-tour last November, and I know we have a load of guys in Denmark wanting you to come by there too. Can you reveal anything to us?
Dude, I’d love to be over there now. We miss so many of our UK friends and we had such a blast last time. I think we’re going to try to come by next winter. Like I said, we’re all finishing up college so we can’t do it in the fall due to classes and we’re on tour in the US all summer. As much as I’d love to be there sooner, that looks like the reality. Also, tell dudes in Denmark to get at me about booking. Why haven’t I heard from any of these dudes?

RF.net: I noticed that on your last tour you covered New Found Glory\'s \"Understatement\" and a Kid Dynamite song. Two parts to this question: 1. Will we ever hear either of these covers on record (or any other covers for that matter?) and 2. Since you covered these bands they must be among your favorites, what are some of your other favorite bands?

The Kid Dynamite song is called Cheap Shot Youth Anthem and it will be on a Kid Dynamite tribute album called Carry the Torch coming out on Copper Lung Records. The record also features covers by Daggermouth, Fireworks, This is Hell, The Ergs, First to Leave, Colin of Arabia, I Am The Avalanche and a lot more.

2) As far as a band goes, we’re really into Living With Lions, Blacklisted, Minus the Bear, The Get Up Kids, Motion City Soundtrack and an odd amount of ska.

RF.net: That\'s it from me, thanks for the interview. Any last comments to your fans & the readers?
Head above water this year.

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