Published on July 21st, 2018

American Football | Shervin Lainez

Halftime for American Football lasted almost 15 years.

For 15 years after the 1999 release of their self-titled full-length debut, the emo trio from Urbana, Illinois didn’t record a note. American Football toured behind that first record, but soon everybody returned to non-Football pursuits even as the album gained a life of its own. 

A 2014 reissue and well-received mini-tour opened the door to a reunion in the studio. A new album, also dubbed “American Football,” emerged in 2016, the same year Rolling Stone put the first LP on its list of emo’s 40 greatest. This year finds the band reconnecting with its dedicated fan base on a five-day jaunt that wraps in Fort Lauderdale — American Football’s first time in Florida.

Drummer and trumpeter Steve Lamos tells PureHoney that touring is more enjoyable today.

“I’m glad to be at it at this point in my life; it makes more sense to me now,” says Lamos, now a Ph.D and associate professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder. “I think I was a little too obsessed with the whole lifestyle of playing music and the kind of running around, and I think I had this vision of what touring should be or could be, even though I’d never really done it.”

Lamos, singer and guitarist Mike Kinsella and guitarist Steve Holmes (joined on recent tours by bassist Nate Kinsella) stood apart from contemporaries such as Sunny Day Real Estate and Jimmy Eat World by virtue of intricate math-rock rhythms and jazz melodies. They captured heartsick teen angst in songs like “Never Meant” and “Honestly” while using the instruments to really tell the story. Now that they’re husbands and dads with kids under 10, themes of aging, commitment and mortality color the 2016 edition of American Football.

“I think in contrast at this point we all have lots else going on, and so when [touring] happens like on these long weekends or these five-day stretches, we can appreciate it for what it is,” says Lamos. “We have a chemistry that I think has been hard to replicate.”

American Football and special guestsYou Blew It! perform Aug. 11 at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale. ~ Olivia Feldman

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