Formed in 1996, Drive Thru Records was one of the sickest labels our generation has seen. By 2002 the pop punk scene was thriving from the Blink 182 & New Found Glory movement which propelled the Drive Thru family into the international music spotlight with their powerful roster of bands.
After struggling to get their bands CD’s into stores internationally Drive Thru Records was forced to sign a distribution deal with Geffen (part of major label, Universal). Their contract included a clause which allowed Geffen to essentially steal any band of their choice from the label (New Found Glory for example). This grouped with other bad decisions lead to the slow roasted demise of Drive Thru Records in 2008.
Whilst the label truly died the bands lived on, some successfully, some not. In recent years we have a seen a number of Drive Thru band reunions. Here is an update on what the biggest Drive Thru bands have been up to:
New Found Glory
New found glory were easily Drive Thru’s most successful & well known band. New Found Glory have never split and continue to make music 16 years after forming. They have toured the UK relentlessly over this time and recently toured the US and UK playing their most well known record ‘Sticks & Stones’ in full.
Finch broke away from Drive Thru’s traditional Pop Punk sound and became a vital part in the formation of screamo which plagued our ears throughout the 2000’s. They did it pretty fucking well though and crafted some of the catchiest chorus’s out there. Their album ‘What it is to burn’ was huge and featured that song everyone knows ‘Letters to you’. Finch’s style changed drastically along with band members which lead to a decrease in popularity as well as the band managing to split up twice. They have now reformed with the original line up (nearly) and are touring US and UK playing ‘What it is to Burn’ from start to finish.
The Starting Line
The Starting Line (originally called Sunday Drive) formed in 1999 and signed to Drive Thru just two years later, some of the members only being 16 years old. ‘Say It Like You Mean it’ is known as one of the best pop punk CD’s released. After ‘Say It Like You Mean It’ Geffen chose to sign the band leading them to release the successful ‘Based On A True Story’ which peaked at no. 18 in the billboard charts. The band signed to major label Virgin for their last album ‘Directions’ resulting in them owing a huge amount of money to major labels. In 2008 financial issues strained the band to split. In 2011 after numerous side projects the band returned to play Soundwave festival in Australia. They then played a HUGELY hyped set at UK’s Slam Dunk Festival. In 2012, they toured playing ‘Say It Like You Mean It’ in full to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
One of the rawest, coolest sounding bands on the label. The Movielife always stood out as having that extra edge than their other pop punk peers. The Movielife released one EP on Drive Thru called ‘The Movielife has a gambling problem’ which featured 2 of the most loved songs ‘Hand Grenade’ & ‘Walking on Glass’. After a van crash and rising band tensions the band parted ways. Singer Vinnie went on to form I Am The Avalanche who also signed to Drive Thru Records. He then took his song writing to solo form and became a well respected acoustic solo artist touring the US constantly and also featuring on Warped Tour. Vinnie is playing a rare few intimate shows in the UK this April.
The Early November
Known for their intricate pop punk style with hints of indie rock The Early November’s music did stand out a little from the other pop punk bands on the label. Best known for their album ‘The Room’s too cold’ released in 2003 at a time where pop punk was evolving. The band went on to release another album through Drive Thru and then announced they would be on hiatus from March 2007. Singer Ace created side projects ‘Ace Enders and a million other people’ & ‘I Can Make A Mess Like Nobodies Business’ and no one gives a shit what the others did. In 2011 they reformed playing a few one off shows leading to new album ‘In Currents’ released 2012 on Rise Records. The band will be playing Van Warped tour 2013 and heading to the UK for Slam Dunk Festival along with Slam Dunk Festival on tour.
Senses Fail were pioneers of the Screamo genre. Another band who have been around since they formed without ever going on hiatus (despite constant member changes). Some of the only band members were only 16 when they signed to Drive Thru Records in 2003 who released their EP ‘From The Depths Of Dreams’ which broke the band into the growing Emo/Screamo scene. Straight after this release they went on to sign to Vagrant Records. In their eleventh year of existence, Senses Fail are about to release their 5th full length record ‘Renacer’ staying true to Vagrant Records. They are also about to embark on a bunch of tour dates through the US, UK and Mainland Europe including Slam Dunk Festival.