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Frontman William Beckett and guitarist Michael Carden grew up in rivaling bands in the local Chicago music scene. Beckett eventually ended his short-lived solo project Remember Maine, wanting to take music more seriously and looking for someone who shared his passion. When Carden’s band broke up, the two gradually found themselves talking more and more, engulfed in deep conversations about music. After realizing they were very much alike, they decided to try their hand at writing songs together and The Academy was born.
Since Beckett and Carden first came together in 2002, the band has paved their way with lightning speed. After adding Adam Siska on bass, Adrian LaTrace, Jr. as a second guitarist and drummer Mike DelPrincipe, the full band headed into the studio and recorded their self-titled debut EP, The Academy (2004), for the Chicago-based label LLR Recordings, who had previously released Remember Maine’s debut album The Last Place You Look in 2002. The ep was recorded in Villa Park, IL at The Gallery of Carpet by Producer Brian Zieske. Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy heard it and was so impressed that he convinced his label, Fueled by Ramen, to fly out and see them. The label immediately signed the band. Contrary to popular belief and what has been said in the press, a good portion of the music written on the album has actually been done by LaTrace as he was the lead guitarist and Carden was the rhythm guitarist at the time.
In 2004 the band headed to Florida to record their Fueled by Ramen debut Almost Here. After recording and a summer tour, the band underwent a lineup change. Tom Conrad, formerly of Chicago local band 504 Plan, replaced LaTrace as their second guitarist/backing vocalist and Andy Mrotek replaced DelPrincipe as their drummer. They hit the road hard, touring with Fall Out Boy, Something Corporate, Midtown, Matchbook Romance, Motion City Soundtrack and Armor for Sleep.
The album was released on February 8, 2005. During the summer of 2005, the band embarked on their first headlining tour alongside Plain White T’s, Days Away and June.
Members of The Academy Is… did a cameo appearance in Fall Out Boy’s music video for their single “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More ‘Touch Me’”, as vampire enemies alongside members of the bands Panic at the Disco and Gym Class Heroes. Brendon Urie and Mike Carden played vampire dandies, and Beckett was their leader.
As of October 26, 2006, The Academy Is… has announced via the blog on their official website that Tom Conrad and the band have parted ways. Although it provides no reason, Tom later made a post on his website, of which he says that he never “quit the band”, which has led fans to speculation about Tom’s departure. Michael Guy Chislett joined the band to replace Tom on guitar.
While featured on the 2006 Warped Tour, they began the process of writing songs for their second release. Once they finished up with the Warped Tour, they moved to finishing the writing process and eventually towards stepping into the recording studio. They flew to Los Angeles to record their record with Butch Walker. As of December 23, 2006, the band has officially finished the recording process. The album, entitled Santi, was released April 3, 2007 on Atlantic Records. The release of this album is listed on Blender’s 25 reasons to love 2007. On January 26, 2007 a sample of “LAX to O’Hare” was released on a link from their MySpace account, LiveJournal community, and website. The song was streamed from their Absolute Punk profile.
Rolling Stone, placed The Academy Is… as one of the top ten artists to watch.
The band was on the lineup for the 2007 Honda Civic Tour, along with Fall Out Boy, +44, Cobra Starship, and Paul Wall.
Following the Honda Civic Tour, The Academy Is… then toured Australia and Singapore with Cobra Starship and then stopped in United Kingdom to play both Reading and Leeds Festival.
On May 22nd, 2007 it was announced that The Academy Is… were to start their fall tour, Sleeping With Giants in Milwaukee on September 5, 2007 with support by The Rocket Summer, Armor for Sleep and Sherwood. Fueled By Ramen label mates, Cobra Starship later joined the tour which ended on November 24, 2007 in Chicago.
In June and July 2008, The Academy Is… joined the Warped Tour 08 lineup along with friends, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, and many others.
In August 2008, The Academy Is… and Cobra Starship will also joined Panic at the Disco on the Australian and New Zealand leg of their world tour. On August 19, 2008 their third album “Fast Times At Barrington High” was released.
In fall of 2008, The Academy Is… toured with We The Kings, Hey Monday, and Carolina Liar. This tour is entitled Bill and Trav’s Bogus Journey. More recently since that tour, they have been playing mini acoustic shows across the United States.
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