The Wonder Years grow up, sort of.
In a song full of powerful declarations raging against the inevitable crush of maturity, there's a section toward the end of "Passing Through A Screen Door," a new track from The Wonder Years, that somehow elevates the already impassioned levels of growing up angst to new heights. "Jesus Christ, I'm 26," Dan Campbell screams. "All the people I graduated with all have kids, all have wives, all have people who care if they come home at night." It's a gut punch to anyone who knows what it's like to feel aimless and meandering through their 20s without a clear goal in mind.
Listen to The Wonder Years' "Passing Through A Screen Door," and read an interview with Dan Campbell after the jump.
The viscerally blistering track is off the Philadelphia band's upcoming The Greatest Generation (watch the album trailer here).
"I like to call 'Passing Through a Screen Door' an atypical love song," Campbell told us. "It's all of my anxiety over the pace that the world dictates I should live my life and the 'next big step.' It's questioning if I'll ever be ready for the kids and the house and the wife and the lawn and the PTA meetings. I've spent my whole life running from that idea, and now I'm surrounded by the fact that everyone I know is starting to become a part of that reality. I don't know if I can handle it, but there's that little glimmer of hope: that 'I was kind of hoping you'd stay' line that's saying, 'I'm not sure if I'm ready right now, but don't give up on me yet.'"
One thing that's not easy to pull off when you've got responsibilities at home is four shows in 24 hours, which is exactly what the band will be doing before the album's release in May -- hitting Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, and Anaheim all in one day.
"The 'Four Shows In 24 Hours' tour promises to be the most exhausting day of our lives," Campbell said. "It's a huge undertaking and a logistical nightmare and because we need to be involved in micromanaging every aspect of our band, we're handling a lot of those logistics. I know it's not Jay-Z doing seven shows in a day, but for a punk band flying commercial and breaking our bodies to do it, I think it's pretty fucking cool. The shows are going to be in small sweaty rooms. The opening bands are all awesome. The ticket price was cheap, and we're planning to tear the roof off of every one of them and then maybe go into a minor coma afterwards."
If this track is a taste of what's to come off the The Greatest Generation, Campbell may be able to put those plans for settling down off a little bit longer. We asked him what went into the title of the record, since that name was already sort of taken by a previous generation in the country's history.
"The Greatest Generation is centered around the idea that we all have greatness in us, and that I think that for a long time I had denied that," he said. "I settled for mediocrity. I made excuses; I hid behind my shortcomings, and I was OK with just being OK. I sat in purgatory, scared s***less of trying and failing. I don't want to live like that anymore. The title speaks to the idea that if we're able to put all of that aside, all of our internal battles, all of our malcontent with the world around us, that nothing can hold us back from being the greatest generation.
Photo credit: Hopeless Records