Much like the 2018 versions the Philadelphia sports teams they love dearly, The Wonder Years' M.O. has long been earnest positivity, togetherness through the grind, ultimately exceeding just about everyone's expectations.
When the Philly rockers formed as a pop-punk band in the mid-2000s, frontman Dan "Soupy" Campbell had never left America's Eastern Time Zone. The band's latest, this April's Sister Cities, debuted in the top 20 the Billboard 200 albums chart, just like their previous two. It was their first to get reviewed by Pitchfork, a positive review at that. One its most touching moments, opening track "Raining In Kyoto," finds Campbell missing his grandfather's funeral, and crying half a world away. Wonder Years have built a little empire, but that won't stop adulthood from breathing down their necks.
“Shouldn’t we be giving the fans more?” says Campbell on this week's #AlternativeFacts podcast, essentially laying out the Philly band's mantra. He's talking about the escalating cost ramping up their live show, which they've been meticulously planning since the band's inception six albums and over a decade ago. It's taken them from the obscurity the eastern Pennsylvania suburbs, and it's taking them on another extensive tour behind Sister Cities this summer.
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So we put them to the test: just how well do they remember those venues, lineups, and set lists from 2009? Better than anyone could be reasonably expected to, though you've got to listen firsthand to get the full scope it. In our chat with Campbell and guitarist Matt Brasch, we also discussed the DIY pop-up shop they organized around Sister Cities, how young bands can organize their touring, and which song on the new album Campbell believes is the best they've ever written. Listen to the 'cast below.
#AlternativeFacts is a weekly Billboard podcast devoted to all things alternative music. Click here to subscribe to the #AlternativeFacts Podcast on iTunes. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@cpayneonaplane) and by rating the podcast on iTunes.