Punchline have signed with InVogue Records to release their new album Thrilled on December 4, 2015. The album will be released on vinyl, CD and all digital formats. Pre-orders for the album will begin on October 9th via the InVogue Records MerchNOW store along with a brand new single.
If you have not heard the lead title track single off of the new album that came out over the summer, you can right now below!
“Punchline is for sure one of my favorite bands of all time so I’m beyond honored to be putting out Thrilled. Being an artist, I can say that their albums have had a huge influence on the way I wrote in my band throughout the years. On top of being amazing musicians, they are some of the best guys I’ve ever met in the industry. This new album shows their growth and I haven’t stopped listening since they sent me over the master,” says label owner Nick Moore.
Bassist Chris Fafalios also had the following to say about the new album:
“Thrilled. That about sums it up. As I sit here listening to our new album, I think about how a year ago, a more appropriate title might have been ‘Bummed.’ We are now, however, sitting on what I believe to be the best Punchline album yet.
And it almost didn’t happen. Deep in my heart though, I knew it would. It had to. How could we not follow up the release of our last EP? The outpouring of support made it clear that people WANTED us to keep going. Sure, I got on the internet and made a pretty bold and ridiculous ultimatum – but everyone could have easily ignored that. Instead, it turned into the coolest thing to ever happen to our band. At a time when Punchline was neck and neck with Adele on those mythical music “charts”, we should have instantly hopped in the van and played anywhere and everywhere we could – just like we did when we were 21 years old. We could have snuck into some motel pools at night as a sort of makeshift bath, just for old times sake. We could have slept on people’s floors and felt awkward in the morning when their roommate/parent/spouse was getting up for work, and we had to pretend to be asleep. We could have walked around with a Sony Discman and ask that people check out our music. Had we not done all of those things a decade earlier, maybe we would not have experienced that avalanche of love in January of 2012. That should have been the launching pad into the world we had fought so hard to exist in for so long – a world where we could just write music every day, and make enough money doing it to ONLY have to worry about writing great songs. Not that money is what we’re in this for, but it IS kinda cool when you want to do things like eat and live somewhere, and maybe get a new pair of Jordans.
Instead, we did just the opposite. Due to scheduling conflicts, other projects, and the all-around mistake of “spreading ourselves too thin”, the hype behind the release just sort of fizzled out. Even after the fizzle, we should have wasted no time in getting back into the studio to follow up with an absolute BEAST of an album. I honestly have no idea why we didn’t. But I do know that next thing I knew, Steve texted me to tell me he was moving away. And I was MAD. I thought to myself, “Yee haw Steve, move to Nashville, maybe you’ll become the next COUNTRY MUSIC SUPERSTAR.” Looking back, my reaction was completely unreasonable. We live in a technological age in which Steve and I could write songs together even if he lived in Timbuktu, let alone a city which was about a half day’s drive away. So after a period of limited communication between Steve and I, I was more than happy when we finally got back to talking about making that new Punchline album. The prospect of making music together again was exciting. Talking to my bud all the time again was even better.
So there we were, 2 1/2 years since the release of So Nice To Meet You. Marc McClusky (the producer we had worked with on the EP and that we really wanted to produce our full length) had an opening in his schedule, and was offering a deal that we could not pass up. All we needed was for the four of us to get on the same page and finally make it happen. But it wasn’t that easy. Personal differences made it so that making an album with the same lineup was near impossible. Paul and Cory are both my friends, and both are out-of-this-world musicians. I wanted so badly for it to be us four once again. The four of us wrote what I believe to be the best Punchline songs ever. Soon, however, it became clear that it was not going to work. Steve and I, having both been in the band since 1997, had to make a move and book the studio time. This involved asking both Paul and Cory for their blessing in moving forward with the band as just Steve and I. Being the great dudes that they are, they were understanding. I enjoy playing with those guys as part of Punchline so much that I still hold onto the hope that we’ll get onstage together again one day. In the meantime, Paul and I actually have written almost an entire album’s worth of songs together that we plan to record and release in the future, and Cory plays drums in Badboxes (which if you haven’t checked out, you certainly should).
With all the details worked out, Steve and I could approach the new album with CLEAR EYES and FULL HEARTS, and of course we felt like we COULDN’T LOSE. We exchanged song ideas over the internet, which worked somewhat well. It was during Steve’s trip back home to good old Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, that a lot of the album came together though. We wrote over half of the album in my very small office, and the songs really seemed to flow out of us. Both lyrically and melodically, it was the absolute pinnacle of our career as a songwriting team. We didn’t spend much time thinking about what particular “style” each song was. Instead, we focused mainly on writing the best songs possible, regardless of whether it would fit into the preconceived notions of what Punchline was. Some of the songs ended up being a natural progression for our sound, and some of the songs came from a very different place. Either way, we loved what we had written, and when you take all the other factors away, that’s what really matters – creating something that YOU love and that YOU would listen to.
So now, here we are. Three years since our last release, we are sitting on what we believe to be our best album. We kept the whole thing a secret for the most part (although I’m pretty sure that I’ve told at least 100 people about it over the past couple months). The reaction to us posting a little trailer about the album was overwhelming, calming any fears I had about people maybe not caring anymore. Who was i kidding anyway? The people that support our band are the greatest that I’ve seen for any band. I have played the album in my car for many friends and family members who are more than wiling to be brutally honest, and to my delight, pretty much everyone comments on how “next level” this album is for us. Even my own Dad, who despite being very supportive has never really had much to say about our actual music, called me to talk about how much he likes it and which songs he likes the best. I hope that this doesn’t come off as arrogant or cocky, because that’s not my intention. But I do think you have to believe in what you do, and I believe in this album. I believe that this album could appeal to a 4 year old, or to a 94 year old, or to anyone in between. I think that you could turn this album on at a party to really get it going. I think that you could have your first dance at a wedding to a few of the songs. I think that you could MOSH to some of the songs, if you’re still into MOSHING in 2015. I think that you could fall in love with this album as a soundtrack. I think that this album could help guide you through a rough patch in your life.
So yeah, that’s about as honest as I can possibly be about how this album happened and what it means to me. The most exciting thing in the world to me is seeing people’s reactions to what we create. This is BY FAR the most excited I’ve been about that. Soon, we’ll release a song, then another song, then a music video, and then the album. I am confident that we are putting something into the world that’s special. When I was a Man In My 20s, my goals were to make great music and travel the world. As a Man In My 30s, my goals are to make great music and continue to make great music. I want to be on everyone’s iPhones, Spotify play lists, and record players. I want to be responsible for the song stuck in people’s heads. I want to play amazing shows. I want to go back to Japan. I want to win a Grammy. I want to laugh about our past frustrations. I want to make Punchline albums until I’m a man in my 80s. I want to text with Steve about how cool it is that we’ve been a band for so long. I want to do it all. I want to stay THRILLED for as long as I’m on this Earth. This band is a big part of that for me. This is right now. This is the time to back up our big words and live our lives the way we want to. Aw yeah, you know what I’m talking about.”