You might expect Enid outfit The Fossil Youth to hit the road with fellow pop-punk groups when touring time comes.
It has, occasionally. But just as often, it has trekked across the country with hardcore bands.
Believe it or not, the band has yet to be death-glared off the stage.
“It gives us a chance to get out to other states and get outside our comfort zone a little. We don’t have a hard sound, but we have lots of friends there. We kind of feel like honorary members,” frontman Scottie Noonan said. “Surprisingly, they are way more into it than you’d expect. We were ready to be booed off the stage or at least not care at all. I don’t know what it is, but we’ve been compared to some of our favorite bands after those shows.”
Noonan thinks he knows why, too. “I don’t know too many people who are like, ‘I hated Yellowcard,’” he said, laughing. “How could anyone? It’s just something all of us could get behind … even those guys who are really into hardcore now.”
Many of the members have roots in that world, too. Before The Fossil Youth’s formation — Noonan’s bandmates, Derek Neef (bass), Colton Manning (guitar) and Matt Goodman (drums) — all cut their teeth in far heavier metro acts, while Noonan himself came from the opposite end, playing soft acoustic pop in the vein of Never Shout Never and The Rocket Summer.
The group came to meet in the middle, playing the sort of feel-good tunes that champion eternal adolescence just as national acts like The Wonder Years and The Story So Far blew up.
“They kind of pushed some bands to me to listen to,” Noonan said. “The pop-punk influence kind of overcame everything else.”
The name they chose goes back to that idea of evolution as well.
“It’s being you, but after new experiences,” Noonan said. “The fossil is you and who you are, and the youth is growing and changing without losing yourself along the way.”
The Fossil Youth is now one of many luminaries — with a particularly strong scene right here in Oklahoma — aimed at preserving the subgenre that nearly met the same fate as dinosaurs.
While the foursome thinks its sound is more akin to the early-aughts movement than the modern revival, The Fossil Youth has enjoyed the increased demand for the tunes. It’s that buzz the act is carrying into a tour through October and its full-length debut Empty Handed, Heavy Hearted — recorded at Ryan Harvey Audio in Tulsa — which will be commemorated at Saturday’s release show with Tiger Lily, So Called Savages and more.
“I’m just happy to be putting out a full-length at all,” Noonan said. “Coming together and putting out a full record after putting out nothing but EPs and playing entirely different music in all of our various bands before this … we really sound like the genre we play now.”