Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Academy Is... ?

Today I want to share with you all a band that I've loved since the day I first heard them. I remember it clearly... It was late one night in early 2005, I was on Yahoo's LAUNCH player listening to music and doing homework when I heard this gorgeous voice through my headphones. Bringing up the screen immediately, I quickly penned the song's title: Slow Down by The Academy Is... Being a fan of Fall Out Boy (laugh all you want, I don't care, yes I'm 20 and I like Black Flag AND Fall Out Boy) I had heard of the name, but never the music. I couldn't believe I had waited so long to do so! By the time the three minute song had ended, I was already anxiously searching for others. I think I must have spent that night glued to my computer with their album on repeat. That was just the beginning, but things haven't changed all that much.

The band is currently made up of William Beckett (lead vox), Adam T Siska (bass), Andy "The Butcher" Mrotek (drums), Mike Carden (guitar) and Michael Guy Chislett ( lead guitar). They formed in the Chicago area in 2003 after Beckett and Carden (formerly of rival bands) joined together and began to write. Their unique blend of influences and styles, combined with catchy pop tunes made it easy to make a name for themselves. After a few member changes, they had found their sound. Each member contributing with their own quirks and talent. Beckett with his girlish appearance and soft exquisite voice, Carden with his shy demeanor and passion for playing, Andy with his artistic nature, Sisky with his youth and charisma. They were soon signed to Decaydance Records and released their first official full length album, Almost Here. This release earned them a spot on the 2005 Vans Warped Tour where I was able to see them perform for the first time. 

I'll never forget how excited I was. I spent the whole day waiting for it, and when their set finally started, I was in heaven. For 30 minutes, I held on to every guitar note, every drum beat, every eloquently spoken word that I could. After they finished, the guys hung around and talked to those of us who had stuck around in the sweltering heat. So down to earth, so unfazed by the celebrity that had been bestowed on them. Later on, I caught up with them again as they wandered the park spraying unsuspecting victims with water guns. They were all just average guys, looking to play music that people would enjoy. I think this impression made a lasting impact on me. They may not remember me, but every time I see or meet them, it hits me how much these guys haven't changed.

Since this early run on Warped Tour, they have gone on to play headlining shows and other festivals. Adding long time friend Michael Chislett to the band (formerly of Butch Walker and the Lets Go Out Tonites) releasing two more albums (Santi & Fast Times At Barrington High) and a couple EPs in the process. They are currently co-headlining Alternative Press' Fall Ball Tour with Mayday Parade in support of their latest EP Lost In Pacific Time. This tour passes through Toronto on Friday Novemeber 13th, get your tickets now, I know I have mine!

The Academy EP (2004)
Almost Here (Feb.2005)
Santi (Apr.2007)
Fast Times At Barrington High (Aug.2008)
Lost In Pacific Time EP (Sept.2009)

Choice Tracks:

Hope you like it as much as I do :)
Rock On!
- Girl At The Rock Show


  1. I've seen The Academy Is... three times live, and they are pretty awesome! I probably won't be going to the show in Nov, but have fun if you go!

  2. They are really good live, I never miss a show :) Yeah, I'll be at the one in November, so thanks I will! But if it helps, tickets are super cheap and its always a great performance haha