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Story of the Year's Dan Marsala Talks 'Page Avenue Anniversary, New Music

Story of the Year frontman Dan Marsala says he never worried that the group's two-year hiatus might stretch into something longer -- or permanent. But he's happy the St. Louis alt rockers reconvened to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the band's debut album, "Page Avenue," and headline the Scream It Like You Mean It tour, and he has high hopes for the future.

"I always knew we would do something again, but I was worried that maybe if we went away people wouldn't care if we came back or not," Marsala tells Billboard. "We had just put out our fourth record ('The Constant') in 2010 and had been on tour constantly for about eight years or so since 2003, when 'Page Avenue' came out. We were pretty... I wouldn't say worn out, but we'd been going so long, full steam ahead, that we needed to take a little bit of stuff back and get re-focused. Everyone had other stuff they wanted to try out, so it was a chance to not focus on Story of the Year for once. That made us all excited to get back and be Story of the Year again."

Returning to active duty, however, also meant doing "something special," according to Marsala -- especially in light of the "Page Avenue" anniversary. So Story of the Year concocted "Page Avenue: Ten Years and Counting," a reimagining of 10 of the album's songs with different arrangements and instrumentation that came after considerable thought on the band's part. "We talked about everything," Marsala says. "The original record didn't need to be remixed or remastered or anything like that. So we figured let's break all these songs down and completely re-record everything. It's more for the diehard fans who love the songs already and would love to hear different arrangements of them. We're self-releasing it. We paid for everything ourselves. We did everything very independently, and it's just awesome to be able to do it and put something like this out there. Everybody is super excited about it, and so are we."

Story of the Year wrapped up the Scream It Like You Mean It run on Nov. 9 in Toronto, bringing the anniversary celebration to a close. Now, Marsala acknowledges, it's time for the group to focus on a new studio album and follow-up to "The Constant," but he says those plans are still being formulated.

"We're talking a lot about it, trying to figure out what we want to do," the frontman says. "We knew we wanted to focus on the anniversary for now and have that be our stepping stone into the right mindset. I think we're going to be writing and sharing ideas throughout the touring, then see where we are and focus after that. We don't want to rush anything; it's been awhile since we put out a record of all new songs, so we want to make sure we do somethign we love and go in the right direction and know what we're doing. So we're not gonna rush it but, yes, we are going to get to work soon. I'm sure of that."