Jan. 13, 2005

The Academy Is… ‘Almost Here’

By Randy J. Klodz

The Academy Is, a rock band with punk tendencies based in the Chicago suburbs, has already toured with acclaimed punk-rock acts such as Less Than Jake and Matchbook Romance, and the band will hop aboard a tour with yet another successful act. The Academy Is will be joining headliners Something Corporate on a tour that features most of its dates completely sold out, possibly including the Chicago Jan. 16 show at House of Blues and the Jan. 22 show at Metro.

Though the band’s name might strike an accord with fans of the 2000 comedy “Dude Where’s My Car,” leaving people saying “and then…” upon following the first read of “The Academy Is,” but that’s not a problem for quintet. By the way, the Academy Is is William Beckett (vocals), Mike Carden (guitar), Tom Conrad (guitar/ backing vocals), Adam Siska (bass) and Andy Mrotek (drums).

In fact, said The Academy Is singer, William Beckett, 19, the “Is” portion of the name was at first added to avoid legal trouble. It turns out an established recording artist already used the “The Academy” moniker. “We were just in the van driving, I think we were on the Less Than Jake tour at that point, and we were just thinking of simple ways to change it, because we’ve already grown a local following, we didn’t want to alienate that in any way,” he said.

“So we just came up with ‘The Academy Is,’ and then people are like, ‘The Academy Is, what?’ and we say, ‘Exactly.’ There’s no big philosophical, long-winded explanation for it.”
The band is touring behind “Almost Here,” the band’s debut on the Fueled By Ramen label, which is scheduled to hit stores on Feb. 8. “Almost Here” features 10 punk inspired rock tracks including “Black Mamba,” “The Phrase that Pays” and “Attention.”

House of Blues is at 329 N. Dearborn St. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed for $17 each with a start time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Metro is at 3730 N. Clark St. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed for $17 each with a start time slated for 6 p.m. Please check ahead for ticket availability. For more information on The Academy Is log on to www.theacademyis.com.

The Academy Is Photo: c/o Big Hassle