A Day to Remember's Kevin Skaff talks about the group's return to the music scene, Des Moines tour stop
A Day to Remember is right back at it again with another tour.
The Florida-based band — known for its "pop mosh" mix of emo, punk and heavy metal — will take over Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines on Wednesday alongside the group Prevail and Beartooth to promote their soon-to-be-released album "You're Welcome."
ADTR lead guitarist Kevin Skaff chatted with the Register about the band's upcoming Iowa performance, overcoming a lawsuit with Victory Records, a collaboration with Marshmello and more.
Skaff joined ADTR in 2009 following the departure of the former guitarist Tom Denney. Fans noticed Denney's exit from the band's European tour and while the group was performing alongside The Devil Wears Prada. The band released a statement at the time telling fans that a wrist injury had forced Denney to leave the tour, but there was more to the story.
"It was known that Tom was looking to settle down, focus on his recording studio, get married, and prepare to start a family sometime soon," the statement read.
With Denney mentioning that he no longer had the desire to continue touring, the band had to find a replacement. Skaff at the time was with the group Four Letter Lie.
"We played a couple of shows, one in Georgia, one in Minnesota, and they needed a guitar player to fill in for their European tour," Skaff added.
Skaff had to pass a test and learn 16 songs overnight. He picked up the records and hopped on a plane to Florida for one rehearsal. From there, he was in Europe for the tour and hasn't left since.
Prior to Skaff becoming the lead guitarist for ADTR, the original members released "And Their Name was Treason" in spring 2005. Selling more than 8,000 copies, they signed with Chicago’s Victory Records and would go on to release “Homesick” in October 2009 before Denney left.
When Skaff came into the picture, the band was working on its "What Separates Me From You" project. But in 2011, Skaff and his fellow bandmates, Jeremy McKinnon, Neil Westfall, Joshua Woodard, and Alex Shelnutt, found themselves in a lawsuit with Victory.
The lawsuit led the group to self-release their fifth project, "A Common Courtesy," in 2013.
"'Common Courtesy' was the darkest time for ADTR," Skaff said. "I think because we had the court case looming over our head for six years. The headspace wasn't the best for us at that moment. We just knew that we had to keep fighting."
That cloud followed the band for six years and finally dissipated in late November 2016, when ADTR won the suit against their former label. The band was awarded $4 million in unpaid royalties and withheld money from merchandise and digital download sales.
In 2016, the group released "Bad Vibrations" through Epitaph Records.
"We were good friends with everybody at Epitaph," said Skaff. "They had all the distributors and everything that we had already put out with 'Common Courtesy.'"
ADTR collaborated with famed EDM producer Marshmello for the 2019 release of "Rescue Me." Skaff said Marshmello was a fan of the band and came to them with the idea, which was admittedly outside of the box for the group.
"(But) we made a really good song that we're proud of, and we're very appreciative of him," Skaff said.
ADTR joined a new label, Fueled by Ramen, and kept the momentum going with its "Degenerates" album. The band's lead vocalist,McKinnon, said in an interview with NME that Kacey Musgraves' "Space Cowboy" inspired the latest record. Skaff said he pulled inspiration from alternative music and the likes of Pink Floyd.
Gearing up for their seventh project, ADTR plans to release "You're Welcome” on Nov. 15. Skaff said the project took more than a year to create. After the band's current tour, Skaff said ADTR is going to take time off and come back with "a lot more new music."
If you go
- When: Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m.
- Where: Wells Fargo Arena, 233 Center St., Des Moines
- Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at Hy-VeeTix.com, (844) 554-9833, the Wells Fargo Arena Ticket Office, or any Des Moines Arena or Ames Hy-VeeTix.com outlet locations.
Sierra Porter covers entertainment for the Des Moines Register. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.