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About American Football


American Football is an American midwest emo band from Urbana, Illinois, originally active from 1997 until 2000. They reformed in 2014.


The band was formed by guitarist/bassist and singer Mike Kinsella , guitarist Steve Holmes , and drummer and trumpet player Steve Lamos . Lamos left the band in 2021 but rejoined in 2023.


Despite the group's short initial lifespan, their self-titled debut album became one of the most acclaimed emo and math rock records of its era. After reuniting in 2014, with Kinsella's cousin Nate Kinsella joining the band, American Football has released two more albums, both bearing the same name as their debut: American Football and American Football .


Mike Kinsella and Steve Holmes knew one another at an early age. Both were students at Wheeling High School in Wheeling, Illinois, where Kinsella played drums for Cap'n Jazz; Holmes played guitar in a variety of bands. Kinsella and Lamos began playing together with David Johnson and Allen Johnson in 1997 under the name "The One Up Downstairs", in which Kinsella was exclusively a vocalist. Three songs were recorded under this name, with the intention of releasing them as a 7" record on Polyvinyl Records. However, the band splintered before the record could be pressed, and the songs were shelved. The three tracks recorded by The One Up Downstairs would finally be released in 2006 as a digital download EP and in 2009 as a 7" record through Polyvinyl.


David Johnson and Allen Johnson went on to form the band Very Secretary , while Kinsella and Lamos began working with Steve Holmes. American Football completed a total of two releases—a titular EP in 1998 and its debut album in 1999, both through Polyvinyl Records. Though the band did not record bass on the EP, Kinsella played bass guitar on some songs for the LP.


Within a year of the release of its full-length, American Football became a studio project. Shortly thereafter, the band mutually decided to stop recording together. Still, American Football gained critical acclaim for that album, which merged the plain-spoken, confessional lyrics and the varying time signatures of math rock with a softer musical sensibility. These characteristics carried on in Mike Kinsella's solo project Owen, and Kinsella would later re-record "Never Meant" as Owen in 2004.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "American Football", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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