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Arizona's post-hardcore Scary Kids Scaring Kids give up the ghost with a farewell tour



Scary Kids Scaring Kids with Our Sky Is Falling
6:30 p.m. tonight
the Conservatory
8911 N. Western
$12 advance, $14 door

By the time a band reaches the point of implosion, there's usually no going back. Farewell tours are a relatively rare occurrence, unless you're with The Who, which has made goodbyes a central tour-promotion gimmick for the last two decades.

But that's not the case for Arizona's Scary Kids Scaring Kids.

"We're definitely breaking up, that's for sure. There's no two ways about that," said bassist DJ Wilson.

"We're sad we're not going to be touring as Scary Kids, but nobody's losing sleep over it. We have a lot of really cool fans and wanted to do one last tour and go out the way we started: Get in the van and make it a fun experience for everyone."

The sextet began in 2002 as a way for its then-high school members to hangout with their friends. From the beginning, the group's chunky rock was distinguished as much by an anarchic stage show as its sound, which evolved from screamo to a more rock-oriented sound over the years.

Founded with few aspirations, the act almost broke up in 2004. The musicians' manager talked them out of it, convincing them to recommit fulltime.

Before they knew, they signed with Immortal Records, which rereleased their debut "After Dark" EP, and paid for the group to record "The City Sleeps in Flames."

That blistering 2005 release alternates throttling rhythms, hardcore guitars and screaming vocals with melodic singing and colorful textures, courtesy stage-stealing keyboardist Pouyan Afkary. The album was a small sensation, selling more than 30,000 copies, bolstered by an appearance on the 2006 Warped Tour. The 2007 self-titled follow-up broadened their approach, highlighted by the track "Faces," combining the hard-charging ethos of the first full-length and a stronger melodic presence, with slower tempos and more rock-driven textures.

Unfortunately, Immortal Records was going under and wasn't able to do much to support the album. Freed from its contract, the band hooked up with RCA, which Wilson said overcame a stable of suitors with a positive attitude and a relatively small rock roster that promised SKSK individualized attention.

The group had already begun preproduction work on the new album when it embarked on last year's Warped Tour. Although Wilson declined to go into the specifics, singer Tyson Stevens abandoned the band with four days of the tour remaining.

"He has his own reasons. I don't know all of them honestly," Wilson said.

The act finished the tour with members of Saosin, Emarosa, Escape the Fate and Yesterdays Rising filling in on vocals. In November, SKSK announced its dissolution will follow.

"We all wanted to move in different directions personally and within the band and its sound," Wilson said.

"It was becoming more of a chore and something you dread than something you should enjoy and love to do. We toured what seemed like years straight, with no breaks, and eventually, that just wears on you and it's time to go onto something else."

Wilson won't be playing music anymore, but guitarists Steve Kirby and Chad Crawford are already working on their own new bands.

"Everybody is still great friends, and most of us chat with each other quite often," Wilson said. "It's been a good experience so far, and I think you'll see some good music coming out of a few of the guys." "Chris Parker

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