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Story Of The Year

Story of the Year is an American hard rock group that helped lay the groundwork for the emo-punk/melodic post-hardcore scene of the 2000s. Emerging in 2003 with the platinum-selling Page Avenue, the band built a loyal fan base by combining roaring guitars and huge singalong choruses with an overriding message of perseverance. After the release of The Constant in 2010, Story of the Year went on hiatus, but they returned in 2017 with the triumphant Wolves. Tear Me to Pieces, the group's sixth long-player, appeared in 2023. Story of the Year took root in the late '90s under a different name, Big Blue Monkey, in St. Louis, Missouri. At the time of its inception, the band's sound was much heavier (similar to the Deftones), and the lineup that would eventually become Story of the Year was not yet in place. Big Blue Monkey played frequent shows in the St. Louis area, issued several EPs, and endured the lineup fluctuations typical to any struggling combo. Creative and persistent self-promotion soon caught the ear of producer John Feldmann, who in turn brought Maverick Records into the picture. By 2002, Big Blue Monkey had become Story of the Year, signed a record contract, moved to Southern California, and toured with Feldmann and Goldfinger. The lineup of vocalist Dan Marsala, bassist Adam Russell, drummer Joshua Willis, and guitarists Ryan Phillips and Phillip Sneed entered the studio with Feldmann, emerging in spring 2003 with the debut album Page Avenue. Story did some Warped Tour dates during the summer to advance the record, which was released the following September. By this point, the band's sound had morphed completely and comfortably into emo-inflected post-grunge, akin to groups like Thrice or the similarly Feldmann-shepherded Used. The concert set Live in the Lou/Bassassins followed in spring 2005; it was a precursor to In the Wake of Determination, which appeared in October and debuted at number 19 on the Billboard 200. Three years later, Story of the Year released their third album, The Black Swan, on Epitaph Records. The Black Swan charted even higher than its predecessor and led to another Warped Tour run as well as additional tour dates. One year later, Story of the Year were back in the studio creating The Constant, which they released in early 2010. The band took a short hiatus to focus on side projects, returning in 2013 for a reunion tour and release of a re-recorded version of Page Avenue titled 10 Years and Counting. Adam Russell parted ways with Story before they returned to the studio to record another album. Their fifth effort, the '80s-inspired Wolves, arrived in late 2017, seven years after their last set of original material. Guitarist Phillip Sneed left the fold the following year, and Russell returned to the group shortly thereafter. 2022 saw the group ink a deal with SharpTone Records ahead of the release of their sixth full-length effort. The resulting Tear Me to Pieces, which included the anthemic title cut, arrived the following year.
© Johnny Loftus & James Christopher Monger /TiVo


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