Sean Mackin of Yellowcard Gets Reminiscent of the Early Days; Confirms ‘Future Plans’ are in Motion

Sean Mackin at When We Were Young (Photo: Acacia Evans)

Yellowcard is notoriously known and respected in the rock realm for their distinctive sound all thanks to their very talented violinist, Sean Mackin. Their multi-platinum album, Ocean Avenue, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. We were lucky enough to sit down with him in Las Vegas at When We Were Young Festival to reflect on the past and hope for some “top secret” intel on the future of the band.

CC: What was the first festival or one of your earliest festival memories?

Sean: We got to play Furnace Fest — I barely remember since I drove through the night to get there. We hadn’t even put out Ocean Avenue yet. We were trending up at the time. There was a massive stage — I saw Chris Carrabba from Further Seems Forever crowdsurf off that stage. I climbed the speaker PA which was probably 6 or 8 feet high and did a backflip off of it while running on no sleep. Super bonkers… that is one of my most vivid festival memories with Yellowcard. We were also fortunate to have been on many Warped Tours, so we have a lot of updated memories there as well.

CC: Since we’re reminiscing, do you remember your AOL screen name from back in the day?

Sean: I didn’t do a lot of messaging, but I had a 1-800 pager at the time and then we all went into flip phones… but, I do still currently use for spam mail… an AOL account. It’s pretty good people are always like you have an AOL account?! I’m like, ‘Yeah, don’t be jealous!’

CC: Love it, so classic. Vintage actually, now. Is there anything you’d tell your earlier self if you had the chance?

Sean: I wouldn’t change a single thing. My mom specifically told young Sean, ‘Be humble.’ She was super disciplined. I didn’t really know what it meant then, and I probably got it wrong thousands of times. I tried to be aware and soak up the moments in Yellowcard. I play violin — I look around and I know there’s no other violinists around and so I knew that it was different. It was special. Everything I did, I wanted it to feel the best it could. I have a huge empathetic score and big feelings so everything is so strong to me. We did step away in 2017 and I did think we were done — it was very sad for me. I’ve been playing violin since I was 5 years old. It was sad for a number of reasons and for everyone else as well. The reality is sometimes you can look back and regret those moments that you missed or do things over. I know I made mistakes, but I learned from those mistakes. If I ever hurt someone, I’m very sorry — but, I always wanted to do the best, always tried to say thank you, always tried to do all of those things. For my mom, for me, too. I loved every moment with Yellowcard so I’m just excited to be doing it again.

CC: I went to the final tour and it felt sad. I always wondered, maybe as time passed, if you guys would ultimately change your minds and come back around. I was really hopeful as a lot of other bands in similar positions were doing so, especially for these events, like When We Were Young.

Sean: We really didn’t think Yellowcard would come back, it was very strongly final. As we started looking into the 20th anniversary of ‘Ocean Avenue’ coming up, our booking agent and manager sat us down and were like, ‘You guys really have an opportunity here. This is a big part of your life work, do you want to celebrate it or is this in the past?’ And that started to get the gears going and we are genuinely very happy to be back together. We haven’t had that in a while, for a number of different factors in life life is complex and hard. There are pitfalls, depression, sadness and illness. If you can pause for a second to find a moment of light to celebrate… for us, it was enough of a reason.

CC: Absolutely. Ocean Avenue is a staple record in the history of pop punk. I’m sure you hear it a lot, but many people have been so impacted by this album. Does Yellowcard have any future plans to record, re-release, tour?

Sean: Thank you, that means a lot. I will just say that Yellowcard has lots of plans right now. A lot of it isn’t done, but there’s concepts and it all takes time. It’s important to us that whenever we offer something to our fans, we want it to be genuine, good, polished — and we want to make awesome Yellowcard decisions, so we’re really excited for what’s ahead.

Keep with all the latest on Yellowcard here. We can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Post written by Nikki Phillips

Did you attend WHEN WE WERE YOUNG? We’d love to hear about your experience!




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