The Academy was a pop punk / emo band formed in Hoffman Estates, a suburb of Chicago. "Frontman William Beckett and guitarist Mike Carden grew up in rivaling bands in the local Chicago music scene. Beckett eventually ended his short-lived solo project Remember Maine, wanting to take music more seriously and looking for someone who shared his passion. When Carden's band broke up, the two gradually found themselves talking more and more, engulfed in deep conversations about music. After realizing they were very much alike, they decided to try their hand at writing songs together and The Academy was born."

The first incarnation of The Academy consisted of frontman William Beckett, guitarist Mike Carden, guitarist Adrian LaTrace, bassist Adam Siska, and drummer Mike DelPrincipe. Their self-titled debut EP was released in 2004 under LLR Recordings, who had also released The Last Place You Look by Remember Maine, William Beckett's first solo project, as well as Mike Carden's solo folk album. Shortly after this, they became The Academy Is... due to other established bands having already been going by The Academy. Apparently most of the music written on this EP was done by LaTrace and Carden but I couldn't find a source for this...

Listen to The Academy EP here!

Videos from this era:
"The Author Montage" from CD
Bonus footage from CD
TheAcademyIs... Almost Here

As was typical of the mid 2000's, The Academy EP caught the attention of Pete Wentz, who then convinced Fueled by Ramen to sign the band. Their debut album Almost Here was released on February 8, 2005. After this came their first lineup change. Guitarist Adrian LaTrace was replaced by Tom Conrad, formerly of 5o4plan, and drummer Mike DelPrincipe was replaced by Andy Mrotek, formerly of Last Place Champs. After touring with Fall Out Boy, Something Corporate, Midtown, Matchbook Romance, Motion City Soundtrack, and Armor for Sleep, The Academy Is... went on their first headlining tour in the summer of 2005 with Plain White T's, Days Away, and June. On Billboard's charts Almost Here peaked at #7 on Top Heatseekers, #16 on Independent Albums, and #185 on The Billboard 200.

During the later half of 2006, William Beckett was featured on Cobra Starship's debut single, Snakes On a Plane, with Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds and Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes.

Videos from this era:
Slow Down official video
The Phrase That Pays official video
12/29/2004, most of Almost Here live
Slow Down on Last Call with Carson Daly (aka the performance that got me REALLY into TAI...)
Attention live in 2004
Checkmarks on TRL
TAI TV Season 1



In October 26, 2006, guitarist Tom Conrad was replaced with Michael Guy Chislett. During Warped Tour 2006, the writing process for their second album began. Santi was released on April 3, 2007 and peaked at #32 on the Billboard 200. Check out the DVD, uploaded on youtube dot com by yours truly! Part 1, 2.

Following the release of Santi, The Academy Is... appeared on the lineup for the 2007 Honda Civic Tour alongside Fall Out Boy, +44, Cobra Starship, Hey Monday, and Paul Wall. Following this, they tourned Australia and Singapore with Cobra Starship, also playing Reading and Leeds Festival in the UK. In September of 2007, they began touring with Armor For Sleep (another really underrated emo band!), The Rocket Summer, and Sherwood, and later Cobra Starship (again)

Videos from this era:
Sleeping With Giants tour video
40 Steps tour video
Same Blood tour video
Everything We Had official video
Neighbors official video
We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands official video
We've Got A Big Mess On Out Hands live on Jimmy Kimmel
LAX to O'Hare live on MTV
TAI TV Season 2
THE ACADEMY IS... (fast times at barrington high)
In June and July, The Academy Is... joined the Warped Tour 08 lineup along with Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, and whichever other pop punk bands were popular in 2008. In August, TAI... and Cobra Starship joined Panic! at the Disco on the Australian and New Zealand leg of their world tour.

On August 19, 2008, their third and final album, Fast Times At Barrington High (named after William and Adam's high school), was released. "About a Girl" ended up being their most popular single ... by far. The album made it onto Rolling Stone Magazine's 50 Best Albums of the Year at #46, and peaked at #17 on the Billboard 200. They then went on tour with We The Kings, Hey Monday, and Carolina Liar.

Videos from this era:
About A Girl official video
Summer Hair = Forever Young official video

A new EP, Lost in Pacific Time: The AP/EP, was released on September 22, 2009. On September 29, TAI... replaced The All-American Rejects for one show of their Blink-182 tour.

On May 26, 2010, TAI... announced that they would be opening for KISS on their uncoming summer tour. They also said that this tour would not affect their new record whatsoever ... which ended up never being finished or released

(Hard to believe that this was a real thing that happened. If you couldn't already guess, there wasn't a very big overlap of TAI... and KISS fans)

On March 23, 2011, William Beckett tweeted that the band is currently working on demos for the upcoming album. On May 24, The Academy Is... made an announcement that The Butcher (AKA ANDY MROTEK) and Michael Guy Chislett would be leaving the band.

On October 8, 2011, The Academy Is... announced that the band had broken up. :(

The last noteworthy thing that happened to the band in 2011 was Adam Siska joining Say Anything. Pretty cool!

Oh and also I know the heading says 2009-2011, but I'm just going to throw in that William Beckett had been releasing solo music from 2012-2014, none of which I've listened to. He's also featured in the song Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Set It Off, which is more well-known than anything TAI... ever did.
I haven't done this part of the page yet. Just know that they came back in 2015 for Riot Fest and a tour for the 10 year anniversary of Almost Here (I think? I'm just doing this from memory). They came back for Riot Fest 2022 and are opening for Fall Out Boy in Chicago this year.