This is not a phase! #1 – The Academy Is…

Remember when you wore a lot of eyeliner applied in a very loose fashion while trying to get your hair to defy gravity ? And MySpace and live journal were things? Yeah, we’re m talking about when you listened to punk, emo, -core and the likes every day, the one and only : YOUR EMO PHASE (click through for more info on the phenomenon). In this feature, our writers tell us what was the soundtrack to their lives then. Enjoy!

Episode 1 – The Academy Is…

Most of us grew up with plenty different bands, some stayed eternal favourites and some were lost along the way, remembered fondly or swept under the rug (-coughs- like my asking alexandria phase). Yet there’s always one that’s inbetween: you don’t really listen to them anymore but when you do, it’s like nostalgia came personally to slap you in the face with a frying pan. The Academy Is… is my frying pan.

2008: teen angst, shitty school, hormones, growing out of my Good Charlotte phase, I despised mainstream music and wanted to be edgy. I don’t know why my definition of edgy was listening to Fueled By Ramen bands and not washing my hair but anyway, that’s how I discovered The Academy Is… It was love at first sight, I hadn’t witnessed such a musical crush since Avril Lavigne in 2006 (no shame, “Let go” was a masterpiece).

Frankly, I don’t really know what I found so special about them. They weren’t quite as emo or cryptic as Fall Out Boy, or as bling as Cobra Starship, they were just nice, sometimes weird, guys making prime quality pop­rock with good lyrics. Also looking back now, young William Beckett was the Harry Styles of his “scene”: long flowing hair, charismatic, long limbs and skinny jeans, a bandana wrapped around his knee; the guy clearly owned the stage and had an army of fangirls at his feet. From 2005 to 2010 they put out 3 great albums, each one different from the previous, and it was all wonderful while it lasted. Indeed, the golden age of Fuled By Ramen was coming to an end and and things were starting to either sell out or break up. So they broke up, leaving an unfinished 4th album behind and my teenage heart broke.

I look back on those days feeling slightly ashamed: I knew all of their lyrics by heart, I watched all their tour videos, I knew all the inside jokes, I even read fanfiction… But you know, a girl’s gotta have those formative die­hard fangirling days, it leaves sweet memories and embarassing anecdotes to remember when you’re a respectable adult who goes to techno parties. It’s still kind of endearing to remember how much I loved this band and their music, how some parts of it remain in the young woman I am today. I nicknamed myself Andy because of their fantastic drummer Andy Mrotek, who is a) an amazing artist b) has/had many killer side projects like Whips and The Animal Upstairs.
I will still scream Slow Down like the national anthem, and almost every song on their last record too; as you can see already, I’ll always get way too emotional when I talk about them.

Now that they’ve reformed I’m just hoping they don’t stop at the reunion tour, because I want to see them and be a greasy 12 years old again, for old time’s sake.

Words : Andy

(This video is art)

(Of course, let’s never forget this iconic video, where even Pete Wentz makes an appearance!)


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