Pop-punk band A Day to Remember started in 2003, playing small shows in its hometown of Ocala, Fla. Now all that groundwork - plus the audience-building foundation provided by three album releases - is paying off.
The band's fourth studio set, "What Separates Me From You" (Victory Records, Nov. 16), debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard 200, selling 58,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The debut marks a personal best for the band, whose third album, 2009's "Homesick," bowed at No. 21 on first-week sales of 22,000. To date, "What Separates Me From You" has sold 80,000, according to SoundScan.
Propelling awareness of the new album is the high-powered single "All I Want," which is No. 19 on Billboard's Rock Songs chart. "All I Want"-about living life for yourself and being happy-is a combination of energetic rock hooks with a pop-styled chorus that's as catchy as it is aggressive. The band's distinctive mix of hardcore and pop-punk is one of the keys to its success.
"We're not just one band," songwriter/lead singer Jeremy McKinnon says. "We're four different bands in one, drawing from these different genres of music. There's a bunch of people who don't typically like one side of our music. But we kind of bridge the gaps and bring some of those people over to the dark side."
Contributing to the band's edgy yet accessible sound is New Found Glory lead guitarist Chad Gilbert, who produced "What Separates Me From You" as well as "Homesick."
"It's not that simple finding a producer we like," McKinnon says. "He has to understand all aspects of our music: half of that is metal band; the other half is pop band. Each is as important as the other. And Chad understands all those aspects."
McKinnon also cites growing support from radio. One of the first stations to play "All I Want" was KROQ Los Angeles. Within 24 hours of the song being posted on the station's website, the track registered more than 61,000 hits. "It's awesome that radio stations are starting to play us," McKinnon adds. "Hopefully, that opens up the door for other bands like us."
To build further awareness of "What Separates Me From You," the band is embarking on an international tour on Dec. 15 and will be on the road through February. Starting in Australia, the trek will include stops in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.