Tuesday, August 17, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: The Wonder Years premiere new track.

Pop-punk maestros/some shmoes I know The Wonder Years will be re-releasing their seminal second album The Upsides on their new label Hopeless Records with new artwork and four bonus tracks Sept. 21, and the band was kind enough to give me an exclusive stream of one of the new songs, "We Won't Bury You." It was written about my cousin, Mike Pelone, and his struggle to stay sober and coherent. It's important to note that this song was written back in June, while Mike was alive. This song was meant to be hopeful, even though Mike's passing renders it eerie. This is unquestionably the most emotional song I have heard in 2010:

Frontman Dan Campbell had some words to say:

"As I type this, I am just taking off my tie. Today, we buried, Mike Pelone, one of the best friends any of us have ever had. We would not be in this band without him. He introduced most of us to one another. He was originally supposed to play guitar but couldn't make the first practice. We played our first 'show' in the middle of his band's set. It was one song played on their gear and I remember it vividly still. Our first release was a split with his band. Our second release was put out on a record label he and I ran together.

Just last week, he was on the phone with Kennedy saying that he was proud of how far we'd come and henceforth we'll be striving to keep him proud of us. Mike struggled with drugs for the past few years. He had a serious desire to stay clean and would often not come hang out so that he wasn't even around people drinking, but in the end, the addiction got him. In June, we recorded a song for Mike that we were planning on showing him this past weekend. He never got to hear it. It was inspired by a conversation I had with him when he went back to rehab last. I asked if there was anything we could do and if he wanted to start touring with us so that we could watch over him. He said that he needed to be in a facility for awhile and that he just wanted to make sure we didn't bury him. Those were his words. I could tell a million stories about Mike and I know we all will for the rest of our lives but I'll leave them out of this entry.

Today, I saw friends I hadn't seen in years as we gathered at his grave site and left flowers on the casket. I tripped a bit carrying it. Dave said it wouldn't have been us if something stupid hadn't happened and the way he said 'us' really hit me. I saw people that have bitterly disliked each other hugging today. Everyone was together again for a day and I have to thank Mike for that last gift. George threw dirt on the casket as we walked away and I felt like maybe now, even with as hard as today was, we all got some closure. He wasn't a real religious guy and neither are we, so you can save your prayers. Instead, take a minute and listen to this song and think about all the people you love and if any of them need help.

We'll be holding a memorial show for Mike at the VFW hall he used to book shows in in Lansdale, PA on September 4th. There will be good friends and some fun surprises. We will say goodbye the right way. I love you, Mike. I'm going to miss your shit-eating grin and the shady way you smoked cigarettes and the way you always had us laughing even when we were at our angriest or our saddest or our worst. We're all going to miss you so much." 8/11/10.

Here's some info about the memorial show that Soupy mentioned in his essay:


time: tba
price: tba (perhaps donation style?)

The Wonder Years
Rough Justice
[More TBA]

I'm going to pimp this something fierce, so expect more info to come.


sucktackular said...
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sucktackular said...

Sorry to hear about Mike. Great song.

boz said...

My Name is Boz Munnich. I'm in a pop punk band called Count Us Out, and our main influences include The Wonder Years. I must say that this essay touched me in so many ways. I couldn't imagine losing someone as close as Mike. The song couldn't have been more perfect. I'm sure Mike would have loved hearing that.

Paul Mancini said...
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frances said...

Thank you for the song about Michael-- while it made me cry, it is beautiful and so true. i wish your band only wonderful things-- you are the best!

Paul Mancini said...

I am a friend of Michael's parents. I know they are very proud of his musical accomplishments and I am sure they are touched by this moving song and your tribute.

I hope you continue to write and play music and remember your friend Michael.

I wish you great success with your band.

willowfriend said...

Let me know all the details...I'd like to be there! Love you and your post!

deathbat08 said...

My deepest condolences to the family and friends. I'm so sorry to hear of another passing.

This song reminds me of Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, the drummer of Avenged Sevenfold. He passed away late last year, at age 28.

I wish you the best for the coming months and years. It will be difficult, yes, but you will get through it. The best of luck to you and your band.

John said...
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Francisco said...

this really touched me im in a band with my best friends. dudes that i love and that have been there for me more than my family even.. i can't imagine losing any of them. in=t will tear me apart. the sorrow u must be feelings is horrible i wish the best for u guys. ur like my inspiration i love the wonder years. and well my life has been shitty for the past 7 years not going to go into details but somehow the upsides really change that for me.. it made me realise that the smallest things in life can be great and memorable.. it made me a better writer and i can't thank u more then enough but u guys really changed my life no lie.. ur music will always lay forever in my heart..

Ben said...

A couple of days ago, I turned 21. On my birthday, I found out one of my classmates, one of the few students I had serious respect for, died. It's unknown still whether it was suicide or an accidental OD. The next day, one of my friends, someone presently in an unfortunate situation, started telling me he was contemplating suicide because of his situation, because no one is listening to him, or to his side of the story, no one is giving him a chance.
I often turn to music in times of heightened emotions, which leads into specific songs being my basis or spark of memory for situations. This is now my song for this past week. Thank you for the song. I am truly sorry to hear about Mike.

Andrew said...

You guys actually made me cry with this song. At first I listened to this song and I was like "Oh this song is really good!" and then I read up on you're story and everything and it really touched me. The amount of emotion I feel through this song is overwhelming yet soothing and makes me think about all my friends and how much better they make my life. I don't know why, but you're songs always put me in the best of moods no matter how shitty my life is at the moment, and I just like to say thank you guys. I mean it.

DJSPOON said...

My name is Dillon Spoon and I am a new found fan. I have a story so eerily similar to this I can't even begin to describe. My friend Michael Schmitt died April 4th of this year because of the drugs he couldn't get away from. Everything you said about Mike Pelone, was said about my best friend Michael Schmitt. The stories are just so damn close it is nostalgic. Your music, and especially this song is helping me get through this. The memorial concert you guys had....on September 4th, that's Michael's birthday. He was such a huge fan he had the Wonder Years bird tattooed on himself. I just wanted to say thank you for this song, I know it means something different to you than it does to me, but it is the most connected I have felt to him since his passing. Needless to say I will be a lifetime fan, please keep rocking, and visit Tucson, AZ for me.