The Record Year begins new tour in Oxford
by Erin Williams
Special to The Star
Jul 13, 2012 | 5266 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Record Year. Photo: Special to The Star
The Record Year. Photo: Special to The Star
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Keyton Fike and Mike Holman have been playing music together for several years now, but when it comes to their pop-punk group, The Record Year, they’re just getting started.

Fike hails from Anniston and grew up in and around music, starting out (as all great performers do) singing in his church choir. Holman, a Mobile native, was heavily influenced by his father, who played guitar “… since before I was born,” he remembers. “I’d always play stuff like ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ on one string growing up, before I knew how to play.”

After graduating from Wellborn in 2005, Fike began playing acoustic guitar in 2006 and touring in 2008 as “Keyton.” Once he began adding more performers to his band, however, including Holman in 2007, his musical direction began to change, and before he knew it, a new group and genre was formed.

“I didn’t set out to just make a group … the music kind of fell into place,” says Fike, who studies chemistry at Jacksonville State University. “The music that we were writing was starting to become more energetic. We just needed to go to the next level.”

From there, the group found itself playing less acoustic and more rock, assumed its new moniker in late 2010 and grew from one to four members, which now includes bass player Matt Barnwell and drummer Caleb Stevens. The main songwriter and vocalist for the band, Fike’s association with pop punk dates back to his high school days, where bands such as Green Day and Blink-182 ruled the airwaves. Being a teen, the music’s themes of girls and breakups — “the general stuff that everyone goes through in high school” — really resonated with him.

The band tries not to take itself too seriously while it’s performing, and is using its platform to put the state on the map “for something else other than country [music],” Fike says. “Here in small-town Alabama, as soon as someone hears the term ‘punk,’ and the genre ‘pop punk,’ they just write it off as a bunch of hooligans screaming into the microphone … which isn’t the case at all.” He feels his music is carrying the torch for the “dying breed” of rock ‘n’ roll music. “We’re just trying to put the word out there.”

The band released its first three-song EP, “Teaser — Hardly Know Her!,” in 2011. The plan is to drop a full-length album at the end of the year, and in the meantime, the band uploads new tracks online and shares them regularly with fans.

“As of right now, we just do it for fun,” adds Holman of indulging in their passion. “If we got some kind of attention from a label right now, that’d be amazing, but at the same time, I’ll play music till the day I die, I’m sure.”

As they begin their 18-show tour Saturday — kicking off the Summer Concert Series at 6 p.m. at Quintard Mall — both Fike and Holman are preparing for the ups and downs of being on the road. The Record Year will also perform at The Smoking Moose July 15.

“You don’t really get to bathe as much as you’d like to,” says Holman of touring during the summer. But, he maintains, there are positive aspects. “You get to see a lot of places you wouldn’t normally get to see. You get to take a little break from work, and just hang out and play music.”

For Fike, the candle also burns at both ends. “It’s the most extreme set of feelings that you’ll ever have in your life. It’s the most tired you’ll ever be, it’s the most happy you’ll ever be, it’s the sweatiest you’ll ever be. You’re gonna start getting mad at the people you’re in close quarters with,” Fike says of the family-esque experience.

“But also at the same time, you wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world. It’s really a feeling like no other.”

Erin Williams is a graduate of Faith Christian School and the University of Alabama. She is a performing arts aide for the Washington Post Style section.

The Record Year

When:
6 p.m. July 14

Where: Quintard Mall parking lot near Sears, 700 Quintard Drive, Oxford

Cost: Free

Contact: 256-831-4180, ext. 5 then 3

Lindsey Hinkle

When:
6 p.m. July 21

Where: Quintard Mall parking lot near Sears, 700 Quintard Drive, Oxford

Cost: Free

Contact: 256-831-4180, ext. 5 then 3
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The Record Year begins new tour in Oxford by Erin Williams
Special to The Star

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