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Music / The Academy Is...

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So take a chance and make it big
Cause it's the last you'll ever get
If we don't take it
When will we make it?

The Academy Is... is a band from Chicago under the Decaydance label, owned by Pete Wentz. They were originally called "The Academy" but the Is... was added later in 2004 to avoid legal problems. The band came together in 2003 and went on to release three albums, "Almost Here," "Santi," and "Fast Times at Barrington High." Members included William Beckett (lead vocals), Mike Carden (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Adam T. Siska (bass, backing vocals), Andy 'The Butcher' Mrotek (drums) and Michael Guy Chislett (lead guitar, backing vocals, piano). On May 24th, 2011, an official announcement was made about the departure of band members Andy Mrotek and Michael Chislett. Although the band had made plans for a 4th studio album and an announcement was made by Beckett that they had begun recording, they eventually disbanded. On October 8th, 2011, mere months after they had lost two members, the band announced that they had decided to go their separate ways.

They were often grouped as part of the "Fueled By Five" (five bands from their label, Fueled by Ramen), which also includes Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, Gym Class Heroes, and Cobra Starship.


  • The Academy (EP) (2004)
  • Almost Here (2005)
  • From the Carpet (EP) (2006)
  • Santi (2007)
  • Fast Times at Barrington High (2008)
  • Lost in Pacific Time (2009)


  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: Tyga, in the remix of "Automatic Eyes".
  • Abusive Parents: Implied in "Every Burden Has a Version".
  • Album Title Drop: "Almost Here" from the album of the same name.
    • Also, "New York (Saint in the City)" on Lost In Pacific Time
    Lost in pacific time with the sound of a dial tone
    Let the memories count the miles and never be forgotten
    • "Coppertone" contains the first part of the title of its album, Fast Times at Barrington High.
    • Mike whispers "Santi" at the end of "Chop, Chop".
  • Asleep in Class: The subject of "The Test" is apparently "asleep through all our classes".
  • B-Side: "Ghost", from the physical release of the single "We've Got a Big Mess On Our Hands".
  • Back to Front: The video for "Everything We Had" is played in reverse, except for William's lip-syncing, which remains in sync with the song.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: "LAX to O'Hare" seems to be about this.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The Butcher can be this sometimes...okay, maybe a lot more than sometimes.
    "Michael, I got your chicken caboodles! I got your chicken caboodles...Michael?"
    "It's freakin' scooter time!"
  • Cover Version: Of "Mayonnaise" by The Smashing Pumpkins. They also covered "Working Class Hero" by John Lennon.
  • "Days of the Week" Song: Wait for it... "His Girl Friday".
    "Call on a Monday
    Come on a Tuesday
    They'll never know
    Won't you pop off the cork for Wednesday
    Stay with me Thursday
    But you'll always be his girl
    His girl Friday, his girl Friday, his girl Friday"
  • Downer Ending: "In the Rearview", the final song they ever released, is pretty bitter and depressing.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: William Beckett, mostly when he still had long hair.
  • Evil Twin: The video for "We've Got a Big Mess On Our Hands." William's twin runs around causing chaos and even takes his place on stage for a concert. Although in the end, it turns out it was all in William's head.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: An episode of TAI TV involves Bill and Sisky swapping bodies right before a show. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Friends with Benefits: This seems to be the narrator's relationship with the subject of "His Girl Friday".
  • Genre Shift: For Welcome to the New Administration, a Decaydance mixtape made to promote Folie a Duex, the band did a remix of "Automatic Eyes". Featuring Tyga.
    • They've also done more than one remix of, for whatever reason, "Black Mamba".
  • Graduate from the Story: The last two songs in Fast Times at Barrington High ("Paper Chase" and "One More Weekend") both deal with graduation.
  • High School Rocks: The entirety of Fast Times at Barrington High.
  • I Know You Know I Know: A minor example appears in "Bulls in Brooklyn":
    "Don't say you think you know when you know you don't"
  • Limited Lyrics Song: "The Fever".
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: William.
  • Lost in Translation: One TAI TV episode finds Chislett frustrated because nobody can understand him through his Australian accent. The misinterpretations range from "chicken caboodles" to "William, your hips don't lie!"
  • Love Hurts: "Everything We Had"
    Take the pain out of love
    And then love won't exist
  • Love Nostalgia Song: "Everything We Had" and "After the Last Midtown Show".
  • Love Triangle: "His Girl Friday" at first looks like it's about being in the losing corner of a love triangle, until you realize it's actually about a guy encouraging a girl to cheat on her boyfriend with him.
  • Mr. Fanservice: William Beckett, so much. Those hipbones. Also The Butcher, who pretty much never wears a shirt.
  • New Sound Album: Most fans consider Santi to be one. So is Fast Times at Barrington High.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Beware! Cougar!", "Black Mamba", "Skeptics and True Believers", "After the Last Midtown Show", "Memento Mori", "Ghost", "The Phrase That Pays", "Sodium"...
  • One Last Field Trip: "One More Weekend".
  • The One That Got Away: "Everything We Had".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "Beware! Cougar!"
  • Precision F-Strike: "Black Mamba".
    "I'm sick and tired of waiting, sick of this fucking apartment!"
  • Real-Person Fic: Tons of it, mostly about William and Gabe Saporta.
  • Recycled Lyrics: "Beware! Cougar!" and "After the Last Midtwon Show" both make mention of someone lying on their back. Probably because they're different perspectives of the same situation; the first is about a young guy dating an older woman, and the second is about an older guy dating a younger girl.
    • For less obvious reasons, both "Paper Chase" and "Tokyo Bay" make mention of broken homes and battle scars.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their debut was a self-titled EP.
  • Sequel Song: "Beware! Cougar!" acts as a continuation to "After the Last Midtown Show", showing the other side of the same situation.
  • Serenade Your Lover: "I'm Yours Tonight", possibly "After the Last Midtown Show".
  • Shout-Out: "Fast Times at Barrington High"
    • "Beware! Cougar!" contains a shout out to The Format, with this line:
    Don't write a word, 'cause I won't reply
    • The title of "After the Last Midtown Show" is a reference to the band that Gabe Saporta led before Cobra Starship.
    • The song "His Girl Friday" is a shout out to the film of the same name.
    • "Down and Out" is absolutely filled with shout-outs in this stanza:
  • Song of Song Titles: "Down and Out", as illustrated above.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "About A Girl"
    I'm not in love
    This is not your song
    I'm not gonna waste these words
    About a girl
  • Take That, Critics!: Some in Almost Home as a response to criticism of their first EP.
    Oh, Mr. Magazine
    I never wrote one single thing for you
    Or your so-called music scene
    You both mean shit to me.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Crowded Room".
  • Those Two Guys: Sisky and The Butcher, somewhat.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Everything We Had".
  • You Are Not Alone: "Days Like Masquerades", which was played live at an anti-suicide benefit.