• Sammie Starr

The American Classic Release Alternative Pop-punk Anthem "Damned"

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

Maine native pop-punk band The American Classic reinvent themselves with the return of their vocalist Joey Genovese and their new alternative pop-punk flavored single, "Damned."



A lot can change in a year and a half. For seasoned pop-punk musicians, The American Classic change encompassed starting over from scratch. The American classic had released their 2020 album Forgive, a work that not only had a different sound aesthetically but one that no longer fit the journey they were about to undertake in the new year.


“Joey wanted to write about how being in a relationship can be extremely taxing at times. Especially when you’re in an argument/disagreement or on your way out of the relationship. All you want to do is say things to each other that you don’t necessarily mean, but you say them anyway because you want to put that hurt onto each other. It’s a notorious game we play sometimes.”

This change meant going back to the basics and bringing back vocalist Joey Genovese to achieve their progress. Though Genovese was a part of 2018's Blossom EP release, this change was meant to look forward, not backward. The American Classic's new single, "Damned," represents more than just a change in their musical direction, it represents musical soundscapes not yet traversed, but still maintaining their musical integrity.

Produced by Kevin Billingslea at The Halo Studio, who has worked with notable acts such as Lamb of God and Valleyheart, The American Classic takes their sound quality and lyricism to another melodic and groove-laden level with their new single.


Thanks so much for coming on INTO THE VOID! It's always a pleasure working with you guys. The last time we chatted was about your last LP release Forgive, how have things been going since then?

Yes! So happy to be back talking to you! We released Forgive pretty much at the beginning of the pandemic, so playing out was pretty much out of the question. We knew almost everyone would be stuck at home, so we figured dropping 11 new songs (at the time) would give people something to listen to while they were in quarantine. People seemed to really enjoy Forgive so we’re very grateful for that.

Speaking of change, you guys have also brought back your lead vocalist Joey Genovese from your 2018 EP Blossom for your latest single, "Damned." What has it felt like to tap into those nostalgic energies in that sense?

Correct! Joey Genovese has come back to the fold! We’re all so excited to be able to write together again. The last time I saw him was towards the tail-end of 2018. To see him pull into the studio earlier this summer of 2021 when we recorded "Damned," it was like we never skipped a beat. The second we heard his voice on what would become Damned, we knew we were back in action!

This new single is a breath of fresh air, instrumentally speaking. Putting these two works side by side, there is something progressively different. When looking at Forgive, we get these bubbly ethereal pop elements, but there was this punk edge that still resonated throughout the record, listening to "Damned," there is this alternative pop-punk sound. What inspired this change in direction?

When I first started this project, I always knew I wanted the songs to have anthemic qualities along with guitar-driven moments. To this day, that’s still my main goal when it comes to writing songs for The American Classic. With Blossom and Forgive, I just wanted to get as many “easy-to-digest” songs out as soon as possible so people had something to latch onto.

After the two releases, we knew the pop-punk formula worked for us, but we also knew this wasn’t where we wanted to stay, sonically speaking. Knowing Joey would be coming back, we all agreed it was the right time to begin branching out into different musical territories while maintaining the integrity of The American Classic.

What has this change meant to you personally coming up to this release?

I think it shows growth. We’ve all gotten a little bit older and a little bit wiser (hopefully) since the beginning of this band. Along the way, we all had to change to some degree to adapt to even our own lives.

I think we would’ve inevitably gotten bored with ourselves if we just rehashed the same songs over and over again. Luckily we all wanted to make this change towards a different sound, and “Damned” is the perfect stepping stone for us.

I wanted to talk about the lyric meaning of "Damned." I know we all go through changes, and sometimes we have to be okay with making those decisions in the process. What was going here when you were writing this track?

Joey wanted to write about how being in a relationship can be extremely taxing at times. Especially when you’re in an argument/disagreement or on your way out of the relationship. All you want to do is say things to each other that you don’t necessarily mean, but you say them anyway because you want to put that hurt onto each other. It’s a notorious game we play sometimes.

What do you want listeners to take from this?

Sometimes things will fail and come to an end. You have to move on and heal from it because life will continue with or without you.

You guys were working with Kevin Billingslea at The Halo Studio. He's worked with some famous acts, such as Lamb of God and Valleyheart, to name a few. What has it been like to work with him under your new musical direction?

Luckily, Kevin has been a close personal friend of ours for many, many years. We all played in the same music scene growing up, so we’re no strangers to one other. Kevin’s been with us since day one and continues to lend us his knowledge and guidance whenever we need it. We really consider him the fifth member of the band, whether he likes it or not. He probably doesn’t like it.

Even though a lot is going on for you guys already, is there anything else we can expect from you this year?

At this time, we have a really fun gig coming up at Aura in Portland, Me with our friends in Sparks the Rescue, and Too Late the Hero (Kevin’s band). I would tell everyone to go grab tickets, but it’s already sold out, haha. We’re always working on new tunes so we just ask that people watch our social media pages. That’s where we announce everything. Who knows, maybe we’ll even put out another song before the end of this year.



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