According to Wade Youman, UL is “playing for the next generation.”
It is not surprising that Unwritten Law is still going. The pop-punk band had radio hits (“Seein’ Red,” “Up All Night,” “Save Me [Wake Up Call]”), six albums, Warped Tours, and plenty of fans who saw them over the years as openers, for Pennywise, Bad Religion, and fellow Poway band blink-182, and then as headliners.
What is remarkable is that the current lineup does not include guitarist Steve Morris (with UL for 20 years) or bassist Pat Kim (in the band for 13 years). Also, that drummer Wade Youman, who had an ugly and public split with the band ten years ago, is back.
There were tales of Youman’s partying and onstage brawls between him and lead singer Scott Russo. When he was asked to split ten years ago, Youman told the Reader, “Scott is now just using the band to boost his Hollywood macho career...Unwritten Law is now a business. That’s all there is to it, and it sucks.”
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But a decade has helped heal the rifts. “We don’t beat the shit out of each other anymore,” says the drummer who cofounded Unwritten Law with Morris and Russo in 1991. “Me and Scott’s breakup was like a divorce. It took patience and trust-building to get it back together. We started talking to each other two years ago. We are now on the same page.”
Youman and Russo are currently recording an acoustic album with Russo’s brother Johnny Grill on bass and guitarist Chris Lewis (Fenix TX, Spell Toronto). “And we are writing the songs for the next regular album.”
“We just got back from a three-week tour of Australia,” Youman tells the Reader. UL played Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, and four other cities, touring with Strung Out and Face to Face. “The people we used to play for now come back to see us with their kids. We’re now playing for the next generation.” He says those kids mosh like their parents did 20 years ago. “It’s like a big looping effect.”