STORY OF THE YEAR – Little Known Facts About The Making & Release of Page Avenue (2003)

Spawning a global legacy and critical acclaim for over two decades, American rockers STORY OF THE YEAR are set to return down under this August, celebrating the 20 year anniversary of their debut album Page Avenue and performing all their greatest hits alongside special guests SENSES FAIL and BEHIND CRIMSON EYES.

Ahead of their Australian tour, drummer Josh Wills takes us back to the beginning and shares some little known facts about the creation of record from his perspective!


I recorded the drums for Page Avenue in a 9×10 bedroom. I was literally in the corner of a bedroom and on one of the other walls was the mixing console that [John] Feldmann and the engineer sat at. When you record drums in a big space, they always have a couple of mics that are kind of away from the drums to get a “big room sound” to mix in with it. That microphone was down the hall pointed into his shower at his house. I always think that’s funny to think about now having recorded in bigger studios. But that record was made in a bedroom. The guitar cabs were in a closet, and when Dan [Marsala] recorded vocals, it was in the same room with the drums sitting there.

I’ll record wherever though! When we did Tear Me To Pieces, I was in a different room, but the room was small. It was a tiny room. It was only big enough for my drums and a little bit of extra room around it, but it wasn’t like it was “big”. I think what it comes down to is: if you have a good engineer and a good producer and you have good songs – it doesn’t matter where you record it. Especially nowadays with technology.

There was more trickery back when we were making Page Avenue because, if I’m being honest, we weren’t very good musicians back then. We added some computer magic to it sometimes!


We recorded Page Avenue in two different sections. We recorded the first three songs in November of ‘02, and that was Anthem of Our Dying Day, Until the Day I Die and Razorblades. We recorded those in November and then went back in February and did the rest of it. So it was kind of broken up into two different sections. And that was weird for us because we didn’t know anything! We were just like, “Oh, we’re going to record a record”. But then it was, “Oh, you’re only doing three songs, you’ll have to come back later”.  And living in Southern California, we made a 45 minute drive every day to go to the studio.


There was one song, I don’t even remember the name of the song, but I think we all thought it was awesome. It was this sweet song, it wasn’t a poppy song, it was a heavy-ish song. We thought it was genuinely awesome. And then Feldmann listened to it, and he goes, “oh, that’s a B-Side at best”. “A B-Side at best” is a Feldmann quote that we have used over the years ever since! But it was this concept at the time of, “oh, this one’s awesome, you’re going to love this one!”. And he’s just like, “yeah, that’s a B-Side at best, dude”. And that’s a pretty cutting thing, especially when you’re 22 years old and you don’t know anything. It was one of those things that happened at the time, and then we started doing other songs and we just kind of forgot about it. But at the time it was like, “oh man, really? This sucks??”.


The biggest thing for me during the making of Page Avenue was learning and concentrating on being consistent live. That was a big thing for me because if I mess up – everybody knows it. Growing up and going to shows I was always paying attention to drummers and things like that with bands that I loved. And I’ve always tried my best to play the stuff live like it is on the record. I know what that feels like to go to a show and go, “he totally played a completely different part”. It doesn’t even remotely sound the same and you’re kind of bummed about it. Granted, things will change and I’ll do things differently here and there, but it’s usually in the same vein. We’re also not a jam band that does all these things, so I always try to stick to the record. A big thing for me back in the early days was learning how to be super consistent with the material that we put out that everyone is hearing. So it’s like when they’re listening to that record – they come to the shows and they know the shit. Not so much when we were playing local shows where only some of the people knew whatever EP we’d put out at the time. With those shows, you didn’t have to stick to it as much, but that has always been a big thing for me. I know I’ve had some bad shows and bad parts and whatnot over the years, but I think everybody does. I try my best to be as consistent as possible. And most of the time the audience doesn’t notice. I notice more than everyone else, half of my band doesn’t notice half the time!

Tour Dates:

Sunday 4 August – Metropolis, Perth

Tuesday 6 August – The Gov, Adelaide

Thursday 8 August – The Forum, Melbourne SOLD OUT

Friday 9 August – Roundhouse, Sydney

Sunday 11 August – The Tivoli, Brisbane

General tickets on sale now
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