The Academy Is… co-founder and vocalist/guitarist William Beckett was the recent guest for an installment of The Recording Academy's 5 Questions With … series. Held at The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter offices, Beckett discussed his upcoming tour, his debut solo EP, Walk The Talk, transitioning into a solo career, and advice for aspiring artists, among other topics. Part of the discussion was driven by questions submitted by fans using the #5QW hashtag on Twitter.
"I can be half as successful as I was with the band and feel twice as good about what I'm doing," said Beckett. "I measure my success [by] the passion that's there. I'd rather play for 500 people that would rather be nowhere else in the world and give them the best show they've ever seen, than play for 100,000 people who couldn't care less. I'm just having a lot of fun with this."
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Beckett formed emo/pop outfit The Academy Is… in Chicago in 2002 with guitarist Mike Carden. Along with guitarist/vocalist Tom Conrad, drummer Andy Mrotek and bassist Adam Siska, in 2004 the band toured with bands such as Armor For Sleep, Fall Out Boy, Midtown, and Something Corporate. The following year the band released their debut album, Almost Here. Following a stint on the 2006 Vans Warped Tour, Conrad was replaced by guitarist Michael Guy Chislett and the band subsequently released their sophomore effort, Santi, which peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard 200. The final album for The Academy Is…, 2008's Fast Times At Barrington High, reached No. 17 on the Billboard 200.
After members of The Academy Is… parted ways, Beckett launched a solo career, spending a year and a half writing songs and creating what he considers his best work yet. On April 17 he released his debut four-song EP, Walk The Talk, featuring the single "Compromising Me." Beckett plans to release additional music later this year. Meanwhile, he is set to tour the United States in May and June, with select dates also scheduled in Japan.