A Day to Remember (often abbreviated ADTR) is an American rock band from Ocala, Florida, founded in Spring 2003 by guitarist Tom Denney and drummer Bobby Scruggs. They are known for their unusual amalgamation of metalcore and pop punk. The band currently consists of vocalist Jeremy McKinnon, rhythm guitarist Neil Westfall, bassist Joshua Woodard, percussion and drummer Alex Shelnutt and lead guitarist Kevin Skaff.
Signing with Indianola Records for their first album, And Their Name Was Treason (2005), Scruggs was replaced by Shelnutt in 2006. Later that year the band recorded For Those Who Have Heart (2007) for Victory Records. They embarked on several tours of the UK and U.S. and played at several festivals, before recording and releasing Homesick (2009). While promoting Homesick on tour, Denney was replaced by Skaff. Soon after releasing their next album, What Separates Me from You (2010), the band went on a worldwide tour to promote it. Beginning in 2011, the band has been involved in a lawsuit with Victory Records over their recording contract. In October 2013 the band was given the right to self-release a new album until a final verdict is reached. They released their fifth album, Common Courtesy, the same month. In 2016, the band released their sixth album, Bad Vibrations.
Early years and debut album (2003–06)
After all playing in different groups in the Ocala music scene, singer Jeremy McKinnon, guitarists Neil Westfall and Tom Denney, bassist Joshua Woodard, and drummer Bobby Scruggs came together in 2003. Soon after, the band embarked onto playing well over 200 shows in their first year of touring, making a name for themselves, in the U.S. The band self-released an independent EP titled, Halos for Heroes, Dirt for the Dead in 2004, which was sold at their live shows. Their epononymous and second EP was released in January of 2005; a precursor to their debut studio album and contained demo versions of four songs. They were signed to Indianola in February 2005, for which they released their debut album, And Their Name Was Treason (2005) in May that year, going on to sell over 8,000 copies. Woodard said "A friend of mine said he had the AIM screenname of someone at Victory Records. 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 [...] in a town outside of Chicago. [...] 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."
Victory Records and For Those Who Have Heart (2006–08)
Soon after signing with Victory, the band with their new drummer Alex Shelnutt went into Zing Studios to record their second album. The album, titled For Those Who Have Heart was released in January 2007 on Victory and peaked at number 17 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart. In September 2007, they put a cover of Kelly Clarkson's song, "Since U Been Gone" on their MySpace. This was later featured on the re-release of For Those Who Have Heart, released in February 2008 and charted at number 43 on the Top Independent Albums chart. A Day to Remember toured the UK for the first time ever in January 2008, and were later nominated for "Best International Newcomer" at the 2008 Kerrang! Awards, but lost to Black Tide. Afterwards, the band had a lengthy tour opening for Silverstein along with The Devil Wears Prada, and Protest the Hero. They then played The Bamboozle Left on April 6 at the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine, California, one day at the 2008 Bamboozle Festival in East Rutherford, New Jersey on May 3, as well as the Download Festival in June, and the 2008 Vans Warped Tour. Before playing the Download Festival, they toured the UK with The Devil Wears Prada and Alesana on the Road To Download Tour. In mid-2008, the band played all the U.S. dates of the "Easycore Tour" along with New Found Glory, Four Year Strong, Crime in Stereo and International Superheroes of Hardcore.
Homesick and Denney's departure (2008–10)
A remastered version of their first album, And Their Name Was Treason, titled Old Record, was released in October 2008 through Victory. Later that month, the band recorded their third studio album, Homesick. In December 2008, A Day to Remember toured across Australia with Parkway Drive, Suicide Silence, The Acacia Strain and Confession. Homesick was released in February 2009 and placed at number 21 on Billboard's Top 200 Listings and at number 1 on Top Independent Albums. It was additionally featured in Rolling Stone's "Top 40 Albums" that month, hitting number 21, and as of July 2010 has sold over 200,000 copies. Following a UK tour, A Day to Remember went on a European tour in February 2009, with the leg of the tour that took the band to Germany supported by For The Fallen Dreams and Kenai. A Day to Remember toured the U.S. from March to May 2009 with The Devil Wears Prada, Sky Eats Airplane and Emarosa. Prior to the tour, Tom Denney broke his wrist; filling in for him was Kevin Skaff formerly of Four Letter Lie. They also toured the UK with For the Fallen Dreams and Azriel. They also toured as part of the Warped Tour 2009, played at the Download Festival 2009 and toured Asia, Australia and New Zealand in August and September.
The band also contributed a track to Punk Goes Pop 2 record from Fearless, covering The Fray's "Over My Head (Cable Car)". On June 2, the band announced that Tom Denney had left the band. The band stated that Denney left because he wants to focus on his marriage, a family, and his recording studio. Regardless of his departure from the band, he stilled remain a part of the writing process of new material. His replacement was Skaff. "The Downfall of Us All" was released as downloadable content for the Rock Band series of video games, whilst "NJ Legion Iced Tea" was released as a download for Guitar Hero World Tour. A Day to Remember were set to play Reading & Leeds Festival in 2009 but pulled out due to Neil Westfall having to have surgery. They did their first headlining tour called The Pulling Your Pud Tour, along with Parkway Drive, In Fear and Faith, and I See Stars starting in September 2009. The band then supported Bring Me the Horizon, with guest August Burns Red, on their tour of the UK and Europe in October. On December 16, A Day to Remember released a holiday-oriented song as a single entitled "Right Where You Want Me to Be". A music video was also made for the song.
What Separates Me from You and lawsuit with Victory (2010–12)
A Day to Remember performed at the 2010 Soundwave Australian music festival. They toured across the UK in March 2010 with support from Architects and Your Demise followed by "Toursick" in North America with August Burns Red, Silverstein, Enter Shikari, Veara, and Go Radio from March 31 to May 18. On July 14, MTV.com posted the music video for the band's latest single from Homesick – "Have Faith in Me", on their website. According to Victory, it was claimed that the band will set to release their fourth studio album titled What Separates Me from You on October 26. The album was recorded in Ocala, Florida, with producer Chad Gilbert who has also produced Homesick, with the tracking finished in July. On September 20, A Day to Remember announced in a live video through Victory's website the name of their new album being What Separates Me from You; they then revealed the cover art for the album. The album was delayed a few weeks for release until November 16. In November, it was announced that A Day to Remember will play the 2011 edition of the Vans Warped Tour.
On January 6, 2011, the band showcased the official music video for the first single taken from the album, "All I Want" through an MTV premiere. The music video features several musicians from many different musical groups such as A Day to Remember's former lead guitarist Tom Denney, as well as Vic Fuentes, Pete Wentz, Dallas Taylor, Tim Lambesis and others. On January 11, the band made their national TV debut, while performing the songs "All I Want" and "Better Off This Way" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Prior to Vans Warped Tour 2011, A Day to Remember headlined "The Game Changers Tour" (March – April) with support from Bring Me The Horizon, Pierce the Veil, and We Came as Romans. On June 7, the band released the music video for the second single off the album – "All Signs Point to Lauderdale". On December 15, it was announced that A Day to Remember had plans of pressing charges against their label, Victory, due to breach of contract. Legal action was reportedly initiated on May 31 of that year, in which the band claims Victory owes them over $75,000 in royalties. Victory has said, on their behalf, that the lawsuit is actually about the band's refusal to fulfill their 5 album contractual commitment to Victory and their new-found desire to move to a major label.
A Day to Remember gave Altpress.com this statement: "A Day To Remember would like to make it clear that they did not announce nor seek any attention regarding their ongoing suit with Victory Records. This information has been public record since May of 2011 and they have no intention of speaking publicly or disparagingly regarding their disagreement with Victory. A Day To Remember will continue to release music for their fans and are looking forward to touring in 2012." Beginning in January 2012, the band went on tour supporting Rise Against throughout the U.S., with the tour spreading over two legs and the band performing in Australia and New Zealand between tour two parts. On February 27, the band released "2nd Sucks" as the fourth single off What Separates Me from You.
Common Courtesy (2012–14)
On May 8, 2012 at a show in New Jersey, it was announced by the band that the upcoming album would be called Common Courtesy. On December 3, the band released a countdown on their website, counting down to December 21 but not revealing what it was counting down to. When the countdown reached zero, a new song was released, a single titled "Violence (Enough Is Enough)". On January 21, 2013, A Day to Remember released more information about their upcoming tour, referring to it as the Right Back at It Again tour. On March 18, McKinnon announced that the new album Common Courtesy has completed the tracking process and was now going to be mixed.
On March 20, the Woodard posted an image on his official Twitter account, stating that the band is back "on the road again". On the same day, the first stop of their U.S. "Right Back At It Again" tour, A Day to Remember played a new track scheduled to appear on Common Courtesy, titled "Right Back at It Again". They have continued to play this new track on each stop of the Right Back at It Again tour. Asked about a release date for the album in an interview with WGRD in April, McKinnon said that "there's a date we've [...] tossed around in the last week, but I mean we haven't really set anything in stone." Also asked in the same interview if Common Courtesy was going to be released on Victory, McKinnon replied that the band were "not sure", and that the lawsuit was still being settled.
On August 23, the album was announced for release on October 8, 2013; a few days prior to release the band won the right to self-release the album, with the band contractually obligated to owing Victory at least two more albums. McKinnon said that Victory "The only thing [they] held above us was the right to put out this album and we won the right to put it out ourselves [...] Now it can go to a jury and good luck having a jury of random people agree that two live albums that are sold separately not count as an album, good luck with that." The band self-released the album digitally on October 8. A physical edition with additional tracks was released on November 25, by the band's own label, ADTR Records.
The band went on a UK and Europe tour in January and February 2014. In an interview in late January, McKinnon mentioned the band would film the London show on the tour, with the hopes of releasing a live album. The band toured across America throughout September and October with support acts including Bring Me the Horizon, Motionless in White and Chiodos, dubbing the venture as Parks & Devastation Tour. The band opened for blink-182 (live debut with Matt Skiba) on two dates.
Bad Vibrations (2015–present)
On September 30, 2015, rhythm guitarist Neil Westfall announced in an interview with Ultimate Guitar that the band were casually working on new material, without a prospective release date.
A Day to Remember co-headlined the Big Ass Tour in arenas with the Amity Affliction in Australia and New Zealand in December 2015, with supporting bands Motionless in White and Hands Like Houses. On March 9, 2016, "Paranoia" was premiered through Beats 1. The song was recorded with Bill Stevenson of Descendants/All. It was released as a single on 11 March. A music video was released on the same day, directed by Ethan Lader. On June 2, 2016, another song titled "Bad Vibrations" was released, alongside a music video. It was also announced that the song would be the title track to their sixth album Bad Vibrations.
Musical style and influence
A Day to Remember have been described by critics as metalcore, pop punk, and post-hardcore. Their song structures often follow a metalcore and blend into a more pop punk style chorus. AllMusic critic Eduardo Rivadavia has called this blend "pop-mosh", and also described the band as fusing "emo, hardcore, and metal". When asked in an interview with AbsolutePunk about their sound, Jeremy McKinnon stated:
Vocalist Ben Barlow of Neck Deep has listed A Day to Remember as a big influence on his band.
Self Help Fest
The inaugural Self Help Fest was an idea that vocalist Jeremy McKinnon came up with while talking with his girlfriend, "She told me that most people who come [to our shows] respond like it's more than just a concert to them," he says in a statement. "It's like the music is genuinely helping them. Thus we titled our festival Self Help, because at the end of the day, that's what music's all about." The first Self Help Fest took place on March 22, 2014 at the NOS Event Center in San Bernardino, California. While A Day to Remember headlined the festival, a number of punk rock and metalcore bands also performed, this included bands like "Bring Me the Horizon, Of Mice and Men, The Story So Far, Memphis May Fire, Attila, Letlive, and more."
On October 4, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania only six months after the very first festival, the line-up for the second festival was announced with only A Day to Remember, Bring Me the Horizon and the Story So Far returning with their second appearance. McKinnon has high hopes for future Self Help Fests saying, "'Self Help' is a festival done right! There will be amazing bands and an amazing production in Philadelphia." Other bands such as The Wonder Years, Motionless in White, Chiodos, Gnarwolves along with others made their first appearance at the festival.
A Day to Remember's third Self Help Fest, took place in San Bernardino, California on March 7, 2015 for the second time. But this time around A Day to Remember will not be performing but they did produce the festival along with Fly South Music Group and a couple other agencies.
The fourth festival was held on March 19, 2016 at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California. A Day to Remember performed this time unlike their previous festival where they did not.