Lifetime’s Legacy

BY Sam SutherlandPublished Feb 23, 2007

"It’s easy to stand up and be a cover band. ‘We’re playing these songs we wrote 15 years ago for your amusement.’ And I’d never want to do that,” says Lifetime guitarist Dan Yemin. No fanfare is required to introduce these five boys from the swamps of Jersey, who return with their fourth full-length recording and first since breaking up ten years ago. Easily one of the most important melodic hardcore bands to ever tour the basements of North America, Lifetime came to an end long before they became a required name-check in the realm of punk, hardcore, and emo.

Following a series of charity shows in the summer of 2005, their first appearances on stage since 1997, the band’s newfound lease on life didn’t come easily. "Everyone’s got current musical projects we’re engaged in. Although we were all friends by that point, it kind of seemed like sleeping with an old girlfriend,” says Yemin. "You do that a lot in first few months after you break up with somebody, but to sleep with an old girlfriend one more time a few years later is kind of self destructive.” Recovering from these masochistic tendencies, however, has found the band ready to release a batch of new material after a decade of silence.

"After ten years, to have created something together that we all feel lives up to the standard of the old stuff is exciting,” Yemin explains. "Just to know that we can do it.” More than just "do it”, the band has built upon the foundation of their landmark Jersey’s Best Dancers by adding just enough in the way of new sounds and styles to keep things relevant. While it would be easy to perform greatest hits at a few shows to keep their legacy alive, Lifetime took a chance, and at this point, it looks like it’s paid off handsomely. As Yemin states, however, they never really had another option: "If we’re going to play at all, we’re going to write new music.”

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