Big Stories

Divided By Friday Cover Armor For Sleep’s “The Truth About Heaven”

by Zack Zarrillo - Aug 15, 2013

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Divided By Friday have released a cover of “The Truth About Heaven” originally by Armor For Sleep. Listen to it below after the jump. 

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Divided By Friday To Release New Album This Fall   

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POZ Decade: Armor For Sleep - Dream To Make Believe

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 2, 2013

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Armor For Sleep's Dream To Make Believe was released ten years ago in June, and PropertyOfZack is launching our next Decade feature in honor of the album today. We have commentary on the album from frontman Ben Jorgensen and POZ team members Zack ZarrilloAlyssa McKinley, and special guest Joe Cubera. Enjoy and reblog to let us know your thoughts on Dream To Make Believe ten years later! 

How Dream To Make Believe holds up in 2013
When I listen to the album I think back to when I was 17 writing those songs. I was still learning so much about writing, singing, playing guitar, and everything else that comes with being in a band…when I listen back I hear that learning process in me, but I also remember what I was going through and the feelings of growing up that made the album what it is. It’s kind of like a diary from that time in my life. Sometimes reading your journal from years ago can be strange, but it’s cool to know that a part of me from a different time in my life is always out there. – Ben Jorgensen of Armor For Sleep

It feels young. It feels inspired. It feels confused. If Dream To Make To Believe hit you when you were in your teenage years, it most likely holds up and hits you now just like it did then. If you were to listen to the album for the first time in adulthood, you may not be able to make it through. Like Ben said, it feels like looking into a diary — his or your own. Albums like Dream To Make Believe take us back to a different time and headspace. - Zack Zarrillo

Most important track on Dream To Make Believe
The most important track on Dream To Make Believe is undeniably “Raindrops.”  The longest track on the album, clocking in at just under five minutes, is the track that established Armor’s dark, lamenting style. ”Suffocate me all you need, I won’t breathe, but it’s okay,” Jorgensen repeats with a sad sincerity as the music ebbs in and out. It’s classic early-2000s emo, but not to the point of being trite or cheesy, which is more than a lot of bands from that time period can say.  

The song treads a fine line between being a ballad and being a jam.  The heart-on-sleeve vocals leading into a synth breakdown with pounding drums provide an engrossing and unique listen. The intertwining of elements, such as death and unrequited love, is basically what Armor For Sleep came to be known for. In a sense, the track serves as sort of a prequel to “Car Underwater,” which was arguably the band’s most popular song. With a few tweaks, “Raindrops” could have easily fit on What To Do When You Are Dead. A fan favorite, and one of the songs that really defined what Armor For Sleep was, the importance of “Raindrops” is second to none. – Joe Cubera

Was the band successful in following up Dream To Make Believe?
I guess what surprises me most about it is the lifespan that it’s had and the feedback I still get from it. It’s an honor to know there are people out there in the world who connect with something that I put out there. Even though I have grown from the person who wrote that album, it still is a part of me. – Ben Jorgensen of Armor For Sleep 

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Friday Discussion: March Sadness Sad 16 Matchup Analysis

by Zack Zarrillo - Mar 8, 2013

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We launched the Sad 16 round of March Sadness on this past Monday, and votes are still coming in strong. Voting for the Sad 16 round will end on Sunday night before the Emo 8 begins, which is why we thought it’d be a great idea to post our matchup guide and analysis for the current round of bands in the tournament. Vote here until Sunday night and make sure to check out the analysis on each band while reblogging with your comments below!

Early 90’s 1v4 Sad 16 Face-off: Jimmy Eat World vs The Promise Ring

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Jimmy Eat World, by Josh Hammond
History: After a string of smaller but respected and recognized releases, Jimmy Eat World broke things wide open with their runaway smash Bleed American. From the strength of the release being certified Platinum, the band managed to successfully secure the respect of both the college rock crowds and major market industries. Riding the wave of the exposure, Jimmy Eat World managed to strike back and turn heads with Futures. A decade later the band still boasts one of the most steadfast fan bases in a somewhat fickle industry and proudly wears a badge of honor of being one of the most approachable and storied emo bands of all time.
Strength: With a sound embedded in raw and venerable lyrics and hook as infectious as they come, Jimmy Eat World strikes hard as the most approachable and embraced band on this list.
Weakness: Though the song “Big Casino” showed flickers of hope, the band was never truly successful in following up the wave of success they had established for themselves from the 2001-2004 period. 
Win/Lose Argument: With the possible exception of Dashboard Confessional, it is easy to state that no band has done more to popularize sad music than Jimmy Eat World.

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The Promise Ring, by Josh Hammond
History: When 30° Everywhere dropped on Jade Tree Records in 1996, everything about music changed. The band had taken the previously established hardcore sound, which was thick and extremely repetitive, and slowed it down to a grinding and smooth pace. In that instant, the second wave of emo was born. At this point, The Promise Ring had only been a band for 9 months. They would go on to release 4 major full lengths and a number of EPs through 2002, before going on to focus on other projects.
Strength: The band is heavily credited with being responsible for popularizing and trigging the second wave of emo. They also have been said to have inspired a majority of the genre’s bands that would later follow in their foot steps.
Weakness: The band suffered from a relatively short career and often required lineup changes to survive.
Win/Lose Argument: Logically speaking, it is possible to make a very compelling argument that without The Promise Ring, emo wouldn’t exist in the form that it does today.

Early 90’s 2v3 Sad 16 Face-off: The Get Up Kids vs Sunny Day Real Estate

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The Get Up Kids, by Adrienne Fisher
History: Since 1995, the Get Up Kids have made themselves a household name, helping to pioneer a genre wave that would give a way and inspiration to many, many other bands aiming to accomplish the same brand of melodic, accessible emo.
Strength: There’s a palpable, developing maturity that one can trace chronologically throughout GUK’s career, and because of that, there’s a wide variety of stylistic choices through all their releases onto which fans can latch - from the lower-fi, gangly sad jams on Four Minute Mile to the fleshed-out, fuller emotional rock of Guilt Show and everything in between/beyond.
Weakness: Said stylistic moves can make it difficult for a band to maintain a consistent fanbase, especially when the music, at times, edges on genres outside of the established aesthetic.
Win/Lose argument: The GUK’s March Sadness rivals, Sunny Day Real Estate, are no doubt influential and noteworthy in the antiquity of emo, but they boast a career with far less longevity and are much less accessible in the audible sense; the Get Up Kids, for instance, surely have SDRE beat on vocals alone. Matt Pryor’s warm, Midwest pipes vs. Jeremy Enigk’s wiry, tense voice? No contest.

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Sunny Day Real Estate, by Josh Hammond
History: The band released Diary in 1994 on Sub Pop Records to a fanfare of critical and consumer praise. However, shortly after releasing the album’s follow up, LP2, the band split in favor of other projects. Reunions would follow from 1997-2001 and again from 2009 - 2011.
Strength: In their short time together Sunny Day Real Estate shifted the way emo was approached and viewed. Decades later, the band is cited as one of the most influential and game changing acts in the history of emo.
Weakness: Their career was very short lived.
Win/Lose Argument: Though slightly short lived and unstable in their career, the small window of time Sunny Day Real Estate existed opened the door for many other bands who followed. In a glance, they changed music in a giant way.

Early 00’s 1v4 Sad 16 Face-off: Brand New vs Thursday

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Brand New, by Michael Meeze
History: Formed from the angst of Long Island, enigmatic alternative rock quartet Brand New have been mysteriously enthralling legions of fans for over twelve years with the release of four benchmark albums.
Strength: Their inscrutable nature, adaptability, flexibility, and undeniable passion.
Weakness: Their many stylistic changes have alienated some fans and their last two albums, The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (2006) and Daisy (2009), are challenging listens.
Win/Lose Argument: Thursday is brilliant; there is no denying that. And their overall influence on post-hardcore is defining. However, what sets a legendary band apart from an influential band is a band’s ability to connect with their fanbase on a profoundly emotional level. Brand News has done that; Thursday has not.

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Thursday, by Adrienne Fisher
History: Gritty, humble beginnings in the basements of New Brunswick beget Thursday to many as the initial foray into the “screamo” genre movement of the early 2000s.
Strength: Unadulterated aggression courses through the continuity of their work, paired with songs that address real-world topics in the context of human emotions. Despite being pigeonholed into a silly genre name with many silly contemporaries, Thursday does “screamo” with an air of intelligence and a complete lack of cheesiness (save for maybe the countdown in “Jet Black New Year.”)
Weakness: Some of their later albums seemed unfocused and confused as they moved away from their core origin sound, and were ultimately not nearly as cherished as Full Collapse or War All the Time have come to be.
Win/lose argument: Competitors Brand New have built their legacy around mystery, intrigue and, ultimately, a lot of bullshit, attempting to alienate their fans with all cryptic everything. Thursday, however, has always been straightforward and gracious to their fanbase and acts with a genuine respect to their craft and careers, as exemplified in their humble, yet graceful, disbanding at the end of 2011.

Early 00’s 2v3 Sad 16 Face-off: Taking Back Sunday vs Saves The Day

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Taking Back Sunday, by Michael Meeze
History: Taking Back Sunday formed in 1999 on Long Island, New York and have gone on to release five albums and numerous mainstream hits.
Strength: Their mainstream appeal, tumultuous history, malleability, and pop-sensability.
Weakness: Tumultuous history, member turnover, and allowing Flavor Flav to be in one of their music videos.
Win/Lose Argument: Wait…who is Saves the Day? While Taking Back Sunday have been pumping out classic jams such as “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team),” “A Decade Under the Influence,” and “MakeDamnSure” for over a decade, history has all but forgotten about the once mighty Saves the Day (who, if we’re all being honest, has not been relevant since Through Being Cool). In fact, the only thing Saves the Day has on TBS is the number of line-up changes the band has gone through over the past decade. This is a no-brainier: Taking Back Sunday.

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POZ March Sadness: Sad 16 Announcement + Voting Begins

by Zack Zarrillo - Mar 4, 2013

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We were incredibly surprised by the overall response at the announcement and vote-in round for March Sadness from both our viewers and bands participating in the competition, so we are certainly ready to launch the Sad 16 bracket round.

The 16 bands voted into March Sadness are now pitted against each other in their 90’s, Early 2000’s, Mid 2000’s, and Modern Day Emo brackets. Click “Read More” below and join us in voting for a band in each emo bracket through Sunday evening, and the Emo 8 will launch on Monday! 

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POZ March Sadness: Announcement + Vote-In Round

by Zack Zarrillo - Feb 27, 2013

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We’ve talked about doing a fun POZ response to March Madness for well over a year now, and today is the day that we are launching March Sadness - an emo-lover’s substitute for NCAA bracket season (it’s cool if you dig the basketball too, this is just sadder).  

March Sadness consists of a vote-in round (that’s today!) followed by 16-bracket spots broken down into 90’s, Early 2000’s, MId 2000’s, and Modern Day Emo. We are limiting ourselves to 20 bands that will be voted down to 16 by Monday’s Sad 16 launch.

We realize “emo” is both a subjective word and genre, but March Sadness is all about us having fun and interacting as a community. So please click “Read More” below and join us in voting for four out of five of your favorite bands in each emo category through Sunday evening, and the Sad 16 will launch on Monday! 

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Morning Recap: Fan Dies At Warped Tour, The Maine DVD, AFS, P!ATD, Paramore

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 16, 2012

Armor For Sleep Reunion Show Set List

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 16, 2012

Armor For Sleep took the stage in New York City on Saturday night for their first reunion show after Bamboozle. Check out their set list below by clicking “Read More.”

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POZ Interview: Armor For Sleep

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 12, 2012

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To say some of the team members of PropertyOfZack are huge Armor For Sleep fans is probably an understatement, and boy were we all excited at the news of their reunion. The band will be kicking off their first of three final reunion shows in Saturday in New York City, and PropertyOfZack had the pleasure of catching up with Armor For Sleep frontman Ben Jorgensen for an in-depth look at the band’s reunion, ending, history, reflections of the scene, and so much more. This is one that we’re incredibly proud of, so make sure to read it and get stoked for the reunion!

We’re just a few days from the beginning of the final chapter for Armor For Sleep. These three reunion shows had to be booked before the Bamboozle date, but was there any guarantee that you’d be playing several shows instead of one when this reunion came up?
No. The Bamboozle thing definitely came before any of the other shows. We knew we wanted to do that and there was never a pre-requisite for playing other shows. Our booking agent said a month before Bamboozle that there were other promoters looking at us. He knew very well that we were doing it as a one-off not a comeback tour. He was hesitant, but told us a month beforehand that there were promoters from across the country saying that kids in their area were saying there was no way they could fly and then pay $90 a day for Bamboozle to see us, but that they would if we came to them. So he let us know about that, so we tried to book these dates close to Bamboozle.

Reunions are a tricky thing now in terms of how bands go about them. At The Drive-In were forward and said outright that a large part of the reason for their reunion was for money, but there are also bands like The Early November who have come back to be a full-fledged band. Have fans been overwhelmingly supportive?
It’s been overwhelmingly positive. The only negative was that a lot of our fans were begging us to stay together as a real band, I guess. I don’t think we ever wanted to make ourselves clear when we ended, but I guess we weren’t sensitive enough to our fans to really give them an ending. We’re doing this to make up for the fact that we didn’t do anything before. I think that that has been really well appreciated. Everyone has been really cool. It has been so many years since then that the people who would have begged us to stay together four years ago are now understanding of us being over, but are into us playing one more show. They can reminisce with us. 

Bamboozle was the first show, but it was obviously a shorter set. Was that a great start?
It was a really short set. It was the hits; the immediate, fast songs. We practiced, but you don’t practice rocking out or getting into it. I had a fear that I’d get on-stage and forget what that feeling was. As soon as I got up there and saw people really happy to be there, it all just came naturally. I didn’t think about anything; it all came out. It’s definitely going to be really good to play a really long set.

I think a lot of bands who plan to reunite for just one or several shows can see the glimmer of sudden success and try to extend their welcome a little more. I’m sure people that the band knows could also be whispering in your ear for more. Was there that feeling?
The people in our lives, who were in our lives when we were a real band, know that our lives are so much different now and that so much time has passed. It’s not like we have management or a booking agent whispering in our ears. We actually got a couple offers for big tours to support other big tours that were going out. Our booking agent was like, “I know you guys aren’t a band anymore, but I want you to know what’s going on.” The opportunity was there, but it’s not something that is in our minds right now. 

Armor For Sleep did just fade away. Eventually you released a statement, but before that news for the band just ceased to exist. Can you talk about that fade away?
We definitely had our reasons for wanting to stop when we did. We had a bunch of meetings about it. The whole fade out thing, we decided to do that because we didn’t want to have a big dramatic thing. We didn’t want to do it for the drama, we were ending that way of living our lives for personal reasons. We didn’t want to make it a giant statement. We just thought it would be better for a good note and have people remember us for the band, not the way that we ended. In hindsight, maybe it was perceived that we were too secretive and that no one really knew what was going on for years. Maybe it would have been better to have made it more definitive then.

You spoke about the scene once the reunion was announced. I think it’s interesting to note that when Armor For Sleep faded, so did a lot of the other bands. A lot of the bands that didn’t right away broke up not so peacefully after or  are much less popular today and tend to resent “the scene.” Did you feel trapped by it?
I don’t think we felt trapped. For me personally, I always felt like, at least towards the end, that whatever we wanted to be and whatever grand visions of ourselves we had, that we were very tied to this whole movement of music. So matter how hard we tried to bust our elbows to the sides and to move out of the pact, that’s just what we were. Certain bands are indispensable to certain periods in time. Maybe we were more realistic of that to ourselves than other bands were. This scene became bastardized and a parody of itself. I think it took a lot of bands a while to understand that. I don’t like that obviously, but it happened. We realized it before a lot of the other bands.

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Armor For Sleep Frontman Comments On Unreleased Demo

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 10, 2012

Armor For Sleep posted an unreleased demo for fans yesterday. Check out what Ben Jorgensen had to say about the track and listen to the demo below by clicking “Read More.”

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Armor For Sleep Post Unreleased Demo

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 9, 2012

Armor For Sleep have posted a previously unreleased demo called “Always A Wish” to keep fans excited for their upcoming farewell shows. Stream the demo below by clicking “Read More!”

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Armor For Sleep Frontman Releases Statement On Disbandment And Reunion

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Armor For Sleep Announce Support For Two Shows

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 2, 2012

Armor For Sleep have confirmed that The Company We Keep will be opening for the band on their two reunion dates in New York City and Chicago. Check out a tweet from Ben Jorgensen below by clicking “Read More.”

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Armor For Sleep Announce Two More Reunion Shows

by Zack Zarrillo - May 29, 2012

Armor For Sleep have added two more reunion shows in addition to their already announced New York City date. Check out the info from Ben Jorgensen below by clicking “Read More!”

Related Stories:
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Ernie Ball