For A Day to Remember's new studio album "Common Courtesy," the rules changed. After three full-lengths under Victory Records, a dispute with their longtime home led them to release the new album on their own terms. They stopped by the Billboard studio to play three new songs and discuss the new beginning.
"We can actually make it the quality that we want to make it at," says frontman Jeremy McKinnon. "Instead of somebody saying, 'This is the cutoff for the budget,' we can say, 'No, this is going to be around forever and we want to put out quality stuff.'"
But it wasn't easy. Upon recording "Common Courtesy," the band sought to release it on its own terms but Victory insisted the band still owed it two more releases. In fact, an early recording of the album cut "The Document Speaks For Itself" contains an angry voicemail from label boss Tony Brummel. In the end, though, the five-piece band was able to release the new music on Oct. 8, completely independently.
During the recording process, the band worked with frequent collaborator Chad Gilbert, guitarist from New Found Glory, vocalist from hardcore legends Shai Hulud, and boyfriend of Paramore's Hayley Williams.
"I remember the first time we worked with him I was too nervous to talk to him," jokes guitarist Neil Westfall. But of course, the producer and band have grown much closer, and it's paid off in the music. "He comes from a completely different version of hardcore," McKinnon says. When it comes to things we do, he just has a completely different vision for how a song should work out and sometimes it creates really special things we would never be able to do by ourselves."
"Common Courtesy" has sold 93,000 copies so far in the US, according to the band's team. That sum includes digital and physical copies of the set, with the latter format hitting retail on Nov. 24. The album was ineligible to chart on the Billboard 200 this week as sales figures reported to Nielsen SoundScan included digital downloads of the albums which were purchased and received over multiple weeks.