Story of the Year
Story Of The Year
Background Information
A.K.A. Big Blue Monkey
Origin St. Louis, Missouri
Genre Post-Hardcore
Years active 1995-present
Label(s) Maverick
Dan Marsala
Ryan Phillips
Philip Sneed
Adam Russell
Josh Wills
Former Members
Greg Haupt

Story of the Year (also known as Story or SOTY) is an American band formed in St. Louis, Missouri in 1995[5]. The band was initially named 67 North but was then changed to Big Blue Monkey. They then changed their name to Story of the Year in 2002 after the release of their EP titled "Story of the Year" on indie label Criterion Records when they realized a blues group of the name Big Blue Monkey had already existed.

It would not be until eight years after forming that Story of the Year saw its first piece of commercial success in its major label debut, Page Avenue, containing the popular singles "Until the Day I Die" and "Anthem of Our Dying Day". A second album, In the Wake of Determination, followed in 2005, but did not achieve the success of its predecessor. The band released their third album The Black Swan, which was their first release on Epitaph Records, followed by 2010's The Constant.


Page Avenue (2002–2004)Edit

After spending 7 years as a local band, recording demos and three EPs, Story of the Year signed a deal with Maverick Records in 2002, then recorded and released their first album, Page Avenue, in September 2003. The first single from that album was "Until The Day I Die", written by singer Dan Marsala. It first received radio airplay around July/August 2003 on stations like KROQ and sold thousands of copies worldwide. The second single,"Anthem of Our Dying Day", featured a music video directed by Mr. Hahn of Linkin Park. Page Avenue has now sold over 900,000 copies worldwide. The single "And the Hero Will Drown" was featured on the soundtrack for the multi-platform video game Need for Speed: Underground.

The band toured with Linkin Park on the Meteora World Tour in 2004 along with P.O.D. and Hoobastank. They were also on the Vans Warped Tour, featured in the Vans Warped Tour documentary, Wake Up Screaming, and at KROQ's Weenie Roast on June 12 that same year.

Live in the Lou/Bassassins (a CD/DVD combo of live performances and touring video) was released on May 10, 2005. It was a hit amongst Story of the Year fans and was certified Gold by the RIAA in late 2005, indicating shipment of over 50,000 units as it is video longform format.[6]

In the Wake of Determination (2005–2006)Edit

After the Page Avenue tour finally ended in late 2004, Story of the Year returned to the studio with producer Steve Evetts in 2005, to record their second studio album. In the Wake of Determination, released on October 11, 2005, is much heavier sounding than the previous album, due to switching producers to get their "true sound". As of March 2006, that album had only sold 150,698 units[7] and has failed to achieve the gold certification that the band's two previous releases had, per the RIAA website.[6] Although not as successful as its predecessor, the album debuted at #19 on the Billboard 200.

In the Wake of Determination included the first hint of the band members feelings on the subject of homosexuality in the song "'Is This My Fate?', He Asked Them", which includes the lines "Do you really think that it's a choice, a way of life" and "a bigot's eyes judging lives based on the sex of who you fuck"[8]. Other songs on the album may also serve to confirm the bands sexual preferences. However as of this writing, lead singer Dan Marsala has remained silent on the subject in interviews. While on tour, the band has stated that the inspiration for the song, "'Is This My Fate?', He Asked Them", came from Ryan Phillips' brother and how he was discriminated against just for living his life and being different.

In May 2006 the band finished a tour across Australia (with supporting bands Emery and Flogging Molly) and New Zealand.

The Black Swan (2008–present)Edit

Story of the Year returned to the scene in 2008 with their anticipated new release, The Black Swan. For the album, they brought back the Page Avenue producer John Feldmann and also they used producer Elvis Baskette. The first single off the new album is entitled "Wake Up" with a video that was recently shot in California in what appears to be a run-down building.

For the recording of the new album, Story of the Year decided to end their five year relationship with Maverick and signed with Epitaph Records.[9] The label has made note that there will be exhaustive touring in support of their new record.

As well as a full-length record lined up, the band is also in the process of making a second DVD, similar to Bassassins/Live in the Lou. According to 'The Nose' (Ryan Philips), the DVD will feature more in depth footage of the band as well as a "Year and a half in the life of Story of the Year" type of deal.[10] It will include footage of the band in the studio, in pre-production, writing, and working on music. Ryan also hopes to add a short film similar to the Bassassins one.

Story of the Year played a show on Friday, August 3, 2007 in St. Louis Missouri, and gave a preview of the new DVD, and also played a song off the new album, entitled "Terrified." They also played another song, but did not mention the name. "Terrified" features Phil playing piano and guitar, which was something new for them. During the second song, Lil Timmy, their bass tech, was on the microphone and did some vocals. It's not confirmed, but it is likely that this song will be included on the CD with Lil Timmy singing. Also, during the show, there was a guest appearance by Mark Roth of The Too Silent Ghost.

On February 20, 2008, Kevin Lyman announced on the Vans Warped Tour's official website that the band would be a headliner on the annual Vans Warped Tour 2008 and will play at all Warped Tour shows. Additionally, they headed over to Europe playing the Groezrock festival and some Give It A Name shows in Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. A tour of Australia followed.

The new DVD is entitled Our Time Is Now. It was released on May 13, 2008. They were confirmed as a band on the 2008 Taste of Chaos International with Atreyu.[11]

In February 2009, they confirmed that they covered the song, "Just Close Your Eyes", which is being used as the entrance theme for WWE wrestling superstar Christian on their MySpace site.[12]

In March of 2009 they shot a video for the song "Terrified". The song is about a solider who is questioning if it was the right choice to leave home and go to war. The video follows the story of the lyrics.

The Constant (2009–present)Edit

In May 2009, Story of the Year guitarist Ryan Phillips announced that the band had begun "working overtime writing" their next album, which is "shaping up to be fucking great".[13] The band recorded in Studio Barbarossa July and August. Lead singer Dan Marsala stated in a post-show meet & greet that the album would be released on February 16, 2010. In a Twitter update on July 17, 2009. The band reported they had completed "tracking drums for the new record". Adam Russell, the bass player, confirmed on July 21, 2009 on his Myspace page that the band had finished the bass tracks.

The band uploaded a new song "To the Burial" to their Facebook page on October 23, 2009. The song was also released on the iTunes music store on November 27, 2009. On December 10 Russell and Phillips premiered "I'm Alive" from the album on the Point radio station.[14] On December 31, the band released "I'm Alive" to radio airplay. The band also stated on their Twitter that "I'm Alive" will be released as an official single on January 5, 2010.

The Constant, was released on February 16, 2010 through Epitaph Records.[15] The Deluxe Edition, available on iTunes, has two bonus tracks, "Your Unsung Friend" and "Tonight We Fall."

Bassist Adam Russell was announced to be the bassist of post-hardcore band Drugs, along with Craig Owens (lead vocalist, ex-Chiodos), Wikipedia:Matt Good (guitarist, From First to Last), Nick Martin (guitarist, Underminded), and Aaron Stern (drummer, Matchbook Romance).[16]

In late 2010, Story of the Year posted an event on their Facebook page stating that they will play a show at The Pagent, in their hometown of St Louis, MO, on February 3rd, where they will perform their first album, "Page Avenue", in its entirety. They posted that this is a thank you show to all their dedicated fans for 10 years together.

Musical classificationEdit

Story of the Year has most popularly been referred to as representing genres such as alternative rock[17][18], post-hardcore[19], post-grunge[20], and punk metal.[21][22] The band has never used any of these terms to refer to themselves, however. Although these are recognized as the band's primary genres, they have also been known to perform in styles of hard rock[23], pop punk[24], and emo (or emocore)[24].


Band brawlEdit

MTV News reported on their website that during a radio show in May 2004, the band members of Story of the Year got into a losing fight with the roadies of Massachusetts hard rock band Godsmack.[25] Pictures of the band members' bruised faces were posted on their homepage as well as a blistering rant of the event. The members of Godsmack were not involved in the fight, but they were targeted by the rant as well. It went on to talk about being detained by the local police. There were no arrests from the incident, and the Noblesville Police Department had no record of anything having taken place. Story of the Year's account of the fight has been removed and replaced with a note reading: "I took the Godsmack post down because we are going to ask them to go get some ice cream with us."

Greek FireEdit

In May 2009, Ryan and Philip (now known as Moon) announced their new side project which also features Johnny Venus (of Maybe Today) playing drums and percussion and Mark Joseph Roth (aka Gordon Host, previously of Maybe Today and The Too Silent Ghost) playing bass guitar. Greek Fire has posted numerous demos (including some teaser clips), the most prominent of which are their songs entitled "Dreaming in Deja Vu", "The Ride", and "Down In Mexico" on Myspace (at and most recently, "Doesn't Matter Anyway" "Running Away (I Think I've Found Myself)" and "Put Your Hands On Me".


  • Fubar - St. Louis - May 16, 2009.
  • Pointfest 24 - St. Louis - May 23, 2009.
  • Pop's - St. Louis - October 21, 2009. With Kill Hannah and Jet. (Opener)
  • The Firebird - St. Louis - November 7, 2009. With Soul Descenders and Machree. (Headliner)
  • Fubar - St. Louis - March 13, 2010.
  • Pointfest 26 - St. Louis - June 6, 2010.
  • Pop's - St. Louis - July 30, 2010. (Headliner)
  • The Cubby Bear - Chicago - August 20, 2010

Greek Fire plans to officially release material sometime in 2010.


Big Blue Monkey (1995-2002)
  • Ryan Phillips - Guitar
  • Greg Haupt - Guitar
  • Adam Russell - Bass
  • Dan Marsala - Drums
Story of the Year (2002-present)
  • Dan Marsala - Vocals
  • Ryan Phillips - Guitar
  • Philip Sneed - Guitar, Vocals, Piano, Keyboards
  • Adam Russell - Bass, Vocals
  • Josh Wills - Drums, Percussion


Studio albumsEdit


Live albums and compilationsEdit


Year Title Chart peak positions Album
U.S. U.S.
2004 "Until the Day I Die" 12 62 Page Avenue
"Anthem of Our Dying Day" 10
"Sidewalks" 40
2005 "We Don't Care Anymore" 28 38 In the Wake of Determination
2006 "Take Me Back"
2008 "Wake Up" The Black Swan
"Message to the World"
"The Antidote"
2009 "Terrified"
2010 "I'm Alive" The Constant

"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


  5. Story of the Year at Accessed May 17, 2007.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Gold and Platinum Database Search Type in "Story of the Year"
  7. Soundscan Results: Week Ending March 5, 2006
  8. [1]
  9. Epitaph Records: Epitaph Signs Alt/Rock Heavyweights Story Of The Year
  10. Official Band Site
  11. Kerrang! Atreyu to headline Taste Of Chaos 2008
  12. Dan's Ramlings 2/18/09"we recorded a song for the WWE. We covered the theme song for a wrestler named "Christian"
  13. Story of the Year begin writing next album,
  14. [2] Twitter update as of Dec. 12, 2009
  16. D.R.U.G.S Announce Bass Player
  24. 24.0 24.1
  25. Story of the Year Say Godsmack's Crew Kicked Their Asses. MTV News, June 2, 2004. Accessed February 6, 2007.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Artist Chart History

External linksEdit

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