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Four Year Strong four years later Special

By Kathleen Creighton     Jul 24, 2014 in Music
A hot July afternoon at the then Comcast Music Center in 2010, barely knowing the way around the Vans Warped Tour press procedure, “Four Year Strong” is on one of the sign up sheets for interviews. I had a great conversation with the whole band.
Fast forward to July 13th, 2014 and this time I found myself in that same spot against the wall in the backstage hallway of the amphitheater. However, it was a more intimate chat with only guitarist Dan O’Connor. The first question had to be “What has Four Year Strong been doing for the last four years?”
“It’s been crazy. Since we first started doing Warped Tour things have only gone up for us. We have put out two records. After doing the tour in 2012, the band agreed they all needed a break — from the band, the music and each other. We went home and spent time with our families and our dogs. That was important. I had wanted a dog but you can’t get a puppy and tour this much. We took a little over a year and half off. We came back and wrote a new EP and we are sharing it on this tour. There is a whole new life in the band. Everything is fresh and energetic. I’m glad that we took the time off because now that we’re coming back into it everything just feels fresh and the fans are really excited. Not that they weren't before but it’s a nice new energy.”
Having been drawn deeper into the Boston music scene over the past couple of years, I asked for Dan’s thoughts and feelings about coming from that scene.
“If we weren't from the Boston-Worcester area Four Year Strong wouldn't have existed. We all grew up going to hard-core and pop punk shows in VFW halls. Music has always been an important thing. Boston has always been a thriving scene. There are amazing bands from every genre. The fact that we can say that we are from the same area as those bands is really cool. There is such a unique musical history and a culture.. I can always listen to a band and know where they are from - west coast, east coast, Northeast, Southeast. There are so many influences that affect the music.”
When fellow graduate of the Boston scene Brian Marquis’s name came up, Dan talked a bit about Marquis’s old band and it’s members. “We were part of the scene that included Therefore I am and all the members are still active in the Boston scene even after the band broke up. Everyone that was part of it then are part of it now. This year on Warped Tour there’s us and Vanna (whose bassist is also a Marquis-Shawn) representing Boston hard-core along with other Bay Area artists in other genres. We’re not in it to play for three years and then break up. We’re bands that stick around and keep playing. We didn't form to make a million dollars, we formed because being from that area..that’s what we have to do. Playing live music is such an important part of being a kid from that area.”
The enthusiasm combined with seriousness and dedication brought up the, now iconic, slogan “Boston Strong.” This view of the Boston music scene gave a new meaning to those words. How does O’Connor feel about that? “When the bombing happened it was crazy. It really showed kind of the same vibe that the Boston music scene has had for so long. Being a Boston band, it really seemed to come out in everybody. Being from the Boston underground you are always proud of that. Everybody, for the most part, is pretty accepting. Those who are not don’t last long in this world. Our band has always let it be known that although all are welcome, we will not tolerate anyone who is not open to everyone else.”
Vans Warped Tour continues into August so there are still opportunities to come out and see Four Year Strong and all the other great artists. FYS is playing the main stage this year.
More about Four Years Strong, FYS, Hardcore, Boston, Vans Warped Tour 2014
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