Today’s song comes from an American folk rock band based in Denver, Colorado. They are known for their energetic live shows and have become one of the top touring bands in the United States. The band’s name was actually just a made up word with no “THE” in front, but when an emcee mistakenly introduced them with a “THE” in front of the one word name, and it stuck.
Although from Denver, the band was obsessed with success in New York. But, according to one band member, they struggled to find success there, "[we were] living in Brooklyn and working three jobs just to pay the rent," adding, "it was really infuriating to move to a city that would help us grow musically…”
The song was originally created during their time in New York as a kiss-off to disinterested concert-goers. "That song was an effort to get under people's skin at shows in Brooklyn, where everyone is pretty indifferent," the lead singer explained. "And I figured if we could punctuate it with shouts we might get someone's attention."
In December 2011, today’s song, the song, which would become the band's first single, was used in the first season of CW's Hart of Dixie. Then In January 2012, the morning show DJ at KEXP-FM in Seattle, discovered the song in a pile of new CDs he had received, played it twice in a row daily for a week, and called it the best song of 2012.
The band passed up major label offers to sign a deal with an independent label Dualtone Records that same month!
Today’s band’s personal relationship with addiction is real. Lead singer Wesley Schultz described how he and his wife have been attempting to care for a family member who has struggled with alcoholism for about 10 years.
That relative has been in and out of rehab, jail and homelessness, while they have attempted to care for her. So far the efforts have been futile, but that struggle and awareness has been reflected all throughout this band’s most recent work.
The band cites a diverse range of influences including Bob Dylan, Beethoven, Guns N' Roses, Talking Heads, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, and The Cars.
Additionally, lead singer Schultz cites a Tom Petty performance as one that, "really stands out" to him, stating, "I just remember him playing "Last Dance With Mary Jane", and as the opening guitar line was being played, he opened up a chest on stage that had not been opened the entire show, pulled out a hat, put that hat on for the duration of the song, and then opened the chest back up and put it in and shut it. That is the moment I took away from his show. This taught me everything I needed to know."