It would be almost too easy and obvious to describe A Day To Remember as the creators of one of the unforgettable rock albums of 2007, but that wouldn’t make it any less true. Hailing from Ocala, Florida, the five members of A Day To Remember have crafted a unique blend of what can best be called “pop-mosh”—a potent combination of ultra-high energy and tart-sweet melodies. You can hear the melodic chaos in its full glory on For Those Who Have Heart, their debut album on Victory Records.
A Day To Remember aren’t exactly the new kids in the pit. All of the band members had played in the Ocala music scene for years until 2003, when the band in its current incarnation came together. Singer Jeremy McKinnon, guitarists Neil Westfall and Tom Denney, bassist Joshua Woodard and drummer Alex Shellnutt knew they had something special during one specific performance on a special day. “Two years ago we played a Fourth of July show in our home town,” Joshua recalls. “The kids never responded like they did that night; they sang along to every word in our songs, and everything just clicked.”
The band soon embarked on lengthy DIY tours well beyond their local area, doing over 200 shows, and in 2005 they put out on album on Indianola Records. Even thought it sold over 8,000 copies on word of mouth alone, the group wanted bigger and better things. “A friend of mine said he had the AIM screenname of someone at Victory Records,” Woodard says. “I didn’t believe him, but I still started communicating with the guy. We IM’ed back and forth for about six months, and it happened that we were playing with the band On The Last Day in a town outside of Chicago—and this guy was going to be there filming it. It was our first time we ever played in Illinois, yet the 50-60 kids there were singing along to our tunes like they’d been fans all their lives. The guy asked if we’d do a showcase for Victory, we said sure, and the rest is a new beginning for A Day To Remember.
So the band went into Zing Studios in Westfield, MA, and created their best crop of pop-mosh yet. “We’ve definitely grown as musicians,” Woodard says. “We’ve always been into hardcore music as well as pop-punk. It’s been our goal to mix the two as best as we can, and only recently have we felt comfortable created the transitions in our songs. The music flows better than it ever has, so while it hits harder than ever, it still sounds more mature and professional.”
No sooner did A Day To Remember step out of the studio, totally satisfied with the just-completed For Those Who Have Heart, did they return to the road, eager to try their brand new songs on to their growing legion of fans. “We see our record as a long-term project,” Woodard concludes. “We understand all the work we need to do; that’s why we want to get out on the road as soon as possible and promote the hell out of it. This is our best effort so far, and we couldn’t be more excited to show that to everyone.