Imagine yourself in Anaheim. You're watching a high-energy punk band sweetened by a gorgeous lead singer. All the members are very stylish. And she's singing an empowering "fuck you" song. Wait, is this 1994? Where is the horn section? After the overwhelming success of No Doubt, Anaheim has been a veritable breeding ground for bands who want to be both edgy and mainstream-friendly. I have seen wave after wave of these bands claiming "Orange County!" like it's some sort of club, trying to latch on to the area's now-famous music scene, only to be lost in the sea of copycat acts. But this band caught my attention. And just so we're clear: I'm not comparing New Years Day's music to No Doubt (they're good, but not groundbreaking), but besides the physical similarities, New Years Day brings the same charismatic energy—which has brought the quintet to the brink of mainstream success.
"To be unique and special in the music world today seems like a rough task," guitarist Keith tells me. "What we have always tried to do is take music that we wanted to hear and write it." Apparently a lot of other people want to hear their music, too. Fresh from last month's SXSW festival in Austin, they are currently gearing up to be the main support for Ozma's West Coast tour. Vocalist Ash says, "Ozma was theband to like in high school, so I'm really excited about that!" After that, New Years Day immediately joins the Warped Tour this summer. Ash is (again) "so excited! I used to sneak into the Warped Tour and now I don't have to."
Yes, it's all very exciting. Especially for a band that doesn't even have an album out yet. Keith explains, "It's tough when you don't have a CD out, but our first album is coming out May 8 on TVT Records, and it's called My Dear." I got to hear some of the songs from the upcoming album; they're simultaneously fun and dark. "Ready Aim Misfire" pairs snappy guitars with lyrics like "Shoot cupid out of the sky, break off his wings and gouge out his eyes." Damn. If the song weren't sugarcoated with such an upbeat melody, I'd be totally disturbed right now. The almost-annoyingly catchy single "I Was Right" can already be downloaded as a ringtone through New Years Day's website (www.newyearsdayrocks.com), so you, too, can have it running through your head for days on end. As if a ringtone itself weren't a sign of mainstream success, New Years Day already has a video for "I Was Right," directed by the oh-so-popular Shane Drake (Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Gym Class Heroes). Again, they don't even have a CD out yet, but the industry is already drooling all over them.
New Years Day might as well start grooming for that inevitable TRLappearance.