There was never any question. While their parents might have been wringing their hands about the members of Attack Attack! dropping out of high school to tour incessantly, the decision was easy for the teens.
There was never any question.
While their parents might have been wringing their hands about the members of Attack Attack! dropping out of high school to tour incessantly, the decision was easy for the teens.
"It wasn't even a sacrifice for me," singer-guitarist Johnny Franck said. "It's like, sit at school and wake up at 6 in the morning every day or do what I love every day."
What he loves is performing his band's mutant strain of emo dance metal for swarms of cheering scene kids.
Over dance beats dominated by Caleb Shomo's synth parts, Franck sings through an auto-tune effect reminiscent of hip-hop stars like T-Pain. Then his foil Nick Barham steps in to scream over hardcore breakdowns courtesy of Andrew Whiting (guitar), John Holgado (bass) and Andrew Wetzel (drums).
The unusual sound emerged naturally, Franck said.
"Andrew and Wetzel love metal. Me and John love dance pop. Caleb loves trance techno," he explained matter-of-factly.
Attack Attack's bizarre amalgamation of sonics has made them rising stars in the teen-friendly rock scene that continues to thrive on MySpace.
They released their debut Someday Came Suddenly on Rise Records last year and set out on an intense tour schedule that included a stop at Giants Stadium's Bamboozle festival alongside No Doubt, Fall Out Boy and the Get Up Kids.
"We toured 27 out of 34 weeks, nonstop," Franck recalls of his senior year-turned-school of rock.
The rigorous schedule left the band in disrepair. They had to cancel some gigs this spring while Wetzel recovered from scarlet fever. And they endured a major shift last fall when mounting tensions led them to kick out former screamer Austin Carlile.
Barham, the band's friend from Michigan, instantly dropped out of high school and took over as frontman.
"I called him, and 10 hours later he was in Boise," Franck said.
As Attack Attack! prepares for more months of touring including a stint on the Vans Warped Tour, they're playing a rare Columbus gig at The Basement this Friday.
The group used to be embroiled in rivalries with fellow scene bands like Before We Forget and the Crimson Armada, but now they're tight with their fellow musicians and enjoy the chance to hang out with the hometown crew for a bit before skipping town again for months on end. Their time on the road has caused them to deeply appreciate the camaraderie.
"The love that Columbus has for bands and the support they have for us and the community that we have here is a lot different than any other music scene I've ever seen," Franck said.
"I'll be talking to a local band from another place, and they'll be like, 'Yeah, all the bands here hate each other.' I'm just like, that sucks, dude. Make friends. You guys will probably like each other."