Their music features a rare contribution to the genre, incorporating the use of a violin. Formed in 1997, the final line up consisted of Ryan Key (vocals, rhythm guitar), Ryan Mendez (lead guitar, vocals), Sean Mackin (violin, vocals), Nathan Young on drums, and Josh Portman on bass.
Yellowcard was formed in 1997 in Jacksonville, Florida, USA after meeting at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. The band was made up of six members back then:
Ben Dobson (1997 - 2000) : vocals, Todd Clarry (1997 - 2001) : guitar, vocals, Sean Mackin (1997 - 2017) : violin, vocals, Warren Cooke (1997 - 2002) : bass, Ben Harper (not the same as Ben Harper) (1997 - 2005) : guitar, Longineu W. Parsons III (1997 - 2014) : drums.
Former members: Ben Dobson (1997 - 2000) : vocals, Todd Clarry (1997 - 2001) : guitar, vocals, Warren Cooke (1997 - 2002) : bass, Alex Lewis (2003 - 2004) : bass, backing vocals, Ben Harper (1997 - 2005) : lead guitar, Peter Mosely (2002 - 2003, 2004 - 2007) : bass, vocals, Sean O'Donnell of Reeve Oliver(2010–2012) : bass guitar, backing vocals
The band released their first album, Midget Tossing, in 1997 but with not much success.
Around that time their lead singer was replaced by Ryan Key who convinced the band that they couldn't be successful in Florida, so they decided to move to Southern California.
Yellowcard signed with Capitol Records in 2003 and released Ocean Avenue, which is their most successful album to date.
Soon after, bassist Alex Lewis was let go by the band. Pete Mosely who had produced and played bass on most of the songs on Ocean Avenue took over on bass.
Lights and Sounds was released in January 2006. The title track, Lights and Sounds, was the first single released off the album. It is also featured on the game Burnout Revenge. How I Go features Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks.
In 2005 the guitarist Ben Harper left the band. He chose to work with his record label TAKEOVER RECORDS and has signed bands since his departure. He was replaced by Ryan Mendez (formerly of Staring Back) shortly before the Lights & Sounds tour began.
Paper Walls released on July 17th, 2007. Light Up the Sky was the first single released off this album. The album debuted at No. 13 on the U.S. Billboard 200 selling about 40,000 copies in its first week. After their tour for Paper Walls in 2008, the band went on hiatus for almost 2 years.
While touring for Paper Walls, Peter Mosely announced in a MySpace blog message that he would be leaving Yellowcard. . Josh Portman took over on bass until the reformation of Yellowcard in 2010, upon which Sean O'Donnell became the bass player.
Yellowcard's official Facebook page announced on August 1, 2010, that the band has reformed and will be working on a new record. When You're Through With Thinking, Say Yes released on March 22, 2011. On October 24, 2011, the band released an acoustic version of the album.
Sean O'Donnell left the band in early 2012, replaced by Josh Portman.
Southern Air was released on August 14, 2012. It debuted at 10 on the US Billboard top 200, making this their second album to debut in the top 10 and their second-highest debut. The album's first single, Always Summer, was released May 22, 2012. Here I Am Alive was released July 31 as the second single.
An acoustic version of Ocean Avenue was recorded for the album's tenth anniversary. The album was released on August 13, 2013.
On March 13, 2014, the band announced that drummer and founding member Longineu Parsons III had left the band. Parson's departure left Sean Mackin as the only remaining original member of the band.
On August 4, 2014, Yellowcard announced that the next album would be titled Lift a Sail. On August 19, 2014, the band released the first single, One Bedroom. Lift a Sail released October 7, 2014. The album is a notable change of sound for the band, moving away from pop-punk.
On June 7, 2016, the band announced on Facebook that its next album would be a self-titled album. Yellowcard was released on September 30, 2016. On June 24, 2016, the band released the lead single titled Rest in Peace.
On June 25, 2016, the band announced on via its website that the group would be breaking up after a final tour, stating: "Please come and join us on our last trip around the globe. We hope to share this final record and tour with each and every one of you." The band's final show was on March 25, 2017 in Anaheim, CA.