We Will Both Find Out, Just Not Together: A Conversation with Hop Along

Hindsight really is always 20-20, isn't it? Hop Along—a Philly quartet trading in the sort of scrappy, ferociously anthemic punk-rock that can leave an audience spellbound, in tears or without a voice (or all three at once)—are one of those bands that seem predestined to reign at the top of a city's budding music scene and countless best-of lists. The road the group took to get there though, was anything but easy or straightforward.

Before Hop Along, there was Hop Along, Queen Ansleis, the lo-fi, freak-folk solo project of frontwoman Frances Quinlan. Her urgent, expansive (and only) full-length under that name, Freshman Year, came all the way back in 2005, and—while putting her unconventional, deeply moving narratives directly in the spotlight—only hinted at the true scope of her abilities. Years would go by before Quinlan teamed up with her brother Mark and bassist Tyler Long, jettisoned the second half of her former stage name and made the transition from singer/songwriter to frontwoman of a thrillingly dynamic rock band.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.