This Sunday, June 24, ten excellent artists ranging from pop punk to post-hardcore, indie to emo and beyond are descending upon The Factory at Franklin’s Liberty Hall for the first ever BreakFEST, a DIY, punk geared, community-oriented ode to the most important meal of the day, masterminded by New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert (who we recently spoke with about the event).
Offering breakfast options from local venders Frothy Monkey, Five Daughters Bakery, Honest Coffee Roasters, Triple Crown Bakery, High Brow Coffee + Tea, Franklin Juice Co., Poppie, a bloody mary bar from Tito’s, and even a breakfast cereal bar, the event features performances from Bayside, The Movielife, Hot Rod Circuit, Free Throw, Yellowcard’s William Ryan Key, Daddy Issues, The Dangerous Summer, Cartel’s Will Pugh, and Idle Bloom, along with a headlining set from New Found Glory- a stellar bill of largely local or semi-local acts spanning eras and genres.
With a 9 a.m. start time and 8 a.m. doors, the all ages fest isn’t kidding about the breakfast theme, and as an extra insensitive to show up early, the first 300 people to arrive will receive a custom tote bag filled with freebies. There’s also an 8:15 a.m. New Found Glory signing at a booth sponsored by Java Monster, for you early risers, with additional signings from William Ryan Key and Bayside later in the day. VIP spots sold fast, but you can still get standard tickets for $33.50– a steal for this lineup (and affordable enough to, hopefully, leave you with some cash to patronize the food and drink venders).
Most every other detail you need to know can be found on the fest’s FAQ page, but in order to get you ready for the first of what will hope will be many years of BreakFEST, we have a full rundown of all ten performers below! We can’t stress enough how cool it is to see a boutique and original day festival like this spring up in our backyard, and we wholeheartedly encourage you to check it out, both as a testament to our city’s vibrant and flourishing underground punk scene, and to support a thoroughly independent, local and community-driven effort.
Preview BreakFEST’s impressive lineup below!
NEW FOUND GLORY
As we discussed in our recent interview, New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert has called the Nashville area home for several years, and singer Jordan Pundik previously resided in Music City as well, so it should come as no surprise that the iconic pop punk group, who formed 21 years ago in Florida, have become increasingly bound to Nashville, opting to rehearse and record here in recent years, and even finding time to play a staggering three sold out shows over the course of last year, as part of their 20th anniversary tour.
Fusing their love of hardcore with a penchant for unabashedly poppy punk hooks, the band grew to prominence within the scene around the turn of the millennium, finding breakout critical and commercial acclaim with 2002 third album Sticks and Stones, which arrived at time that pop punk was fast becoming the dominant force in rock, a movement which NFG, no doubt, helped usher in. 2004’s Catalyst was a similarly huge, crossover effort, and helped cement what’s more or less been the template for many great albums to follow.
As pop punk shrunk from the mainstream, some of the group’s less tenable peers faded away, but New Found Glory doubled down on crafting fan-focused, true to their roots music, maintaining a cult following with a steady stream of solid records, consistent touring, and sincere approachability. With their latest effort, last year’s Makes Me Sick, they sound as vibrant and as relevant as ever, especially with the uptick of interest pop punk has experienced once more over the past few years. A hugely influential and legendary band, we’re thrilled that they’ve turned Nashville in a de facto base of operations, and beyond fortunate that they chose our area to launch BreakFEST.
LISTEN | “My Friends Over You”
WATCH | “Party On Apocalypse” (Official Music Video)
Named for the Bayside neighborhood of their native Queens, New York, Bayside, who are also now partially Nashville based, formed in 2000 and, due to swift underground buzz, inked a deal with Victory Records ahead of their breakthough debut effort, 2004’s Sirens and Condolences. The band’s eponymous followup a year later would further help cement them as a scene staple, since finding a legacy as a classic effort of ’00s pop punk, and set them on a course to embark on increasingly high-profile tours, including numerous stints on Warped Tour, landing a dependable cult following. While their early sound was rooted in punk rock and emo, Bayside have proven adventurous and versatile, gravitating towards a more alternative and even indie rock sound over the years, particularly with last year’s excellent seventh album Vacancy. Though members of Bayside regularly pop up in solo or collaborative efforts around Nashville, they don’t make it to Music City a ton as a unit, so we’re particularly excited that their national tour with New Found Glory (featuring several other BreakFEST performers as well) was able to route its way here.
LISTEN | “Blame It On Bad Luck”
WATCH | “Pretty Vacant” (Official Music Video)
Also wrapping up a national tour with New Found Glory, and one of just a few performers on the bill who don’t at least partially reside in Nashville (as far as we know), melodic hardcore and emo-infused outfit The Movielife sprung out of the same late ’90s punk and post-hardcore scene that also birthed acts like Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, and Glassjaw. Though seminal and beloved by those dialed into the scene, their premature demise in 2003, just as many of their peers were beginning to find mainstream attention, left the band a little less visible, even than members’ post Movielife endeavors like I Am the Avalanche and Nightmare of You. Nostalgia for that era of the scene, however, as well as prominent name-checks from acts they inspired, helped keep attention posthumously focused on the band, and after a false start in 2011, they permanently reconvened in late 2014, and released their first album in 14 years, Cities in Search of a Heart, last fall. A band we’re so excited to have back, especially for a reunion that seems organic and sincere, this appears to be the group’s first time in Nashville since their return.
LISTEN | “Mercy Is Asleep At the Wheel'”
WATCH | “Jamestown” (Official Music Video)
HOT ROD CIRCUIT
The only other BreakFEST act without any apparent Nashville ties, Hot Rod Circuit formed in 1997 in Alabama, becoming a regional success and scene favorite, before breaking out more broadly with classic 2002 third album Sorry About Tomorrow. Throughout their decade long run, the emo and indie geared group toured with prominent peers like Jimmy Eat World, Brand New, The Get Up Kids, Dashboard Confessional, and Saves the Day, going on to release an impressive five full-lengths in ten years, all received fondly by critics and fans. Hot Rod Circuit disbanded in 2007, not long after their final record, and subsequent years saw frontman Andy Jackson continue on with projects like Death in the Park, Terrible Things, Sloss Minor, and some solo work. After a brief comeback in 2011, Hot Rod Circuit reformed more permanently in 2014, and have been touring intermittently and teasing new music ever since. Though HRC spent some time in Connecticut during their ascent, Jackson appears to be Alabama based once more, making them a cool regional addition, and certainly a must-know ’00s emo classic addition, to this lineup.
LISTEN | “Default Setting”
WATCH | “The Pharmacist” (Official Music Video)
A breakout force in Nashville’s emo/indie punk scene of the last few years, Free Throw garnered national attention with the release of their debut LP, Those Days Are Gone, in 2014, and have been touring the world since, sharing the stage with bigger and bigger acts, all the while maintaining their DIY ethos and punk roots, channeling a pure, unabashed love for ’90s emo, underground indie rock, and old school pop punk and screamo, juxtaposing raw, earnest vocals and emotional lyrics with noodle-y, melodic, and driving arrangements. After inking a deal with Triple Crown Records, the band dropped their highly-anticipated sophomore effort, Bear Your Mind, last year, finding a more personal and introspective feel while keeping their dynamic style and affinity for pop culture intact. Earlier this year, Free Throw debuted a new EP of reworked originals and a cover of Chance the Rapper’s “Same Drugs,” Missing Pieces, capping off their most successful and exciting year of traction yet. Destined to reach the cult status of the day’s headliners, this local act are a group you seriously don’t want to sleep on.
LISTEN | “Two Beers In”
WATCH | “Randy, I Am the Liquor” (Official Music Video)
WILLIAM RYAN KEY (of Yellowcard)
Best known for his two decade stint fronting iconic pop punk group Yellowcard, who achieved massive, breakout success for their 2003 fourth album Ocean Avenue, an enduring classic of the scene, singer and producer William Ryan Key has, since his group’s disbandment last year, been crafting a new artistic identity. In addition to operating a recording studio in Franklin, and currently serving as an auxiliary guitarist and keyboard player for New Found Glory on their latest tour (as well as an opener), Key has been composing for film and television, writing comic books, and performing a solo, acoustic act, with his first EP, Thirteen, released just last month. While it’s not likely to shock any longtime Yellowcard fans, Key manages to flex a softer, more intimate, and deeply personal side of his writing style, perfectly primed for a late morning comedown before the fest proceeds to get louder and more energetic. We definitely miss Yellowcard, but we’re excited to have Ryan now plugged into the local scene!
LISTEN | “Vultures”
WATCH | Yellowcard – “Ocean Avenue” (Official Music Video)
Hailing from Nashville, Daddy Issues actually got their start as a parody Twitter account before taking up instruments and deciding to make a go at becoming a proper band (a refreshing anthesis to the over-trained, uber-techincal typical Nashville trajectory). A pair of early singles, “Pizza Girl” and “Ugly When I Cry,” helped garner immediate attention in 2014, paving the way for the gals’ 2015 debut mini album, Can We Still Hang, released through tastmaking local label Infinity Cat. With a self-described sound that “lies somewhere between witchy grunge and surf glam,” the trio’s lyrical prowess, a mix of empowerment and lighthearted, sarcastic self-awareness, provides a surprisingly poignant juxtaposition to their raw instrumentation, and has helped the group quickly find themselves on the road, on festival bills, and the subject of national press. With last year’s full-length debut, Deep Dream, Daddy Issues made a huge sonic leap, crafting their most cohesive, mature, and emotionally nuanced material to date, helping them transcend their grungy, garage band beginnings to become a buzzworthy fixture with national attention, a trajectory we expect to propel them even further into the public eye with whatever they cook up next.
LISTEN | “Ugly When I Cry”
WATCH | “High St” (Official Music Video)
THE DANGEROUS SUMMER
When Maryland’s The Dangerous Summer first erupted onto the scene with 2009 full-length debut Reach for the Sun, they were immediately embraced and heralded by fans of an ’00s pop and indie punk movement that was, at the time, in a bit of funk, having drifted from a prolific and golden era crop of bands and records in the early half of the decade, to more shallow, poor imitation “scene” offshoots with broader mainstream ambitions. As pop punk began to fall out of vogue, a void was left for bands like TDS and their peers, raised on a steady diet of enduring acts from a few years earlier, to step in and bring more artistic weight and legitimacy. That underground punk renaissance has continued ever since, but while The Dangerous Summer managed to put out two more great efforts, pushing beyond pop and indie punk to explore indie and alt rock with 2011’s War Paint and 2013’s Golden Record, met with continued praise and propelled to worldwide touring, inner-band turmoil and personal volatility finally came to a head and prompted their abrupt disbandment in 2014. Reunited last year and now with a new record in tow, the group, partially Nashville based, are a welcome reunion and feel like a great bridge between eras of this bill.
LISTEN | “Valium”
WATCH | “Where I Want to Be” (Official Music Video)
WILL PUGH (of Cartel)
Like William Ryan Key, Cartel frontman Will Pugh has settled into the Nashville area as a producer and studio proprietor, a hat he’s worn for quite a number of years. Hailing originally from Georgia, Pugh’s band formed while he was still in his teens, and found immediate cult acclaim for their 2005 full-length debut, Chroma. Landing on the scene when pop punk was at its most visible, the band hovered around the mainstream for a number of years, even taking part in MTV reality show Band in a Bubble, before settling into a more fan-focused niche at the start of this decade. They haven’t released an album in five years, but Cartel still tour intermittently, preoccupied with full-time endeavors during their downtime. Though at least some other members are Nashville based, this outing is billed as a Cartel acoustic set from Pugh- a unique chance for fans to hear some favorite tunes in a more intimate and deconstructed way.
LISTEN | Cartel – “Mosaic”
WATCH | Cartel – “Honestly” (Official Music Video)
Born out of the ashes of site faves Fancytramp, we’ve been huge fans of grungy, poppy, local group Idle Bloom since the moment they sprung into existence, and, over the past few years, it’s been incredible to watch them grow into one of the most exciting acts in the local indie scene. The band made a strong introduction with 2015 EP Some Paranoia, but 2017’s full-length debut Little Deaths is above and beyond a more focused, personal, and fully-realized work. One of last year’s best local efforts, the LP masterfully taps into the group’s ability not only to navigate a wide range of sounds and textures, but also a wide range of emotions and personality. A frequent and important live act in Nashville’s DIY and underground scene, they’re an exciting choice to kick things off, and a band definitely worth waking up early for!
LISTEN | “Mind Reader”
WATCH | “Dust” (Official Music Video)