The Promise Ring

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The Promise Ring
Origin Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Genres Emo,[1][2] indie rock,[1][2] pop punk,[1][2] power pop[3][4][5]
Years active 1995–2002, 2005, 2011–2012, 2015–present
Labels Jade Tree, ANTI-, Dangerbird
Associated acts Maritime, Cap'n Jazz, Dashboard Confessional, Jimmy Eat World
Website Facebook
Members Jason Gnewikow
Davey von Bohlen
Dan Didier
Scott Schoenbeck
Past members Tim Burton
Scott Beschta
Ryan Weber

The Promise Ring is an American emo band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They gained an underground cult following and are widely regarded[who?] as one of the pioneers of second wave emo. Formed in 1995, they first split up in 2002 and have reunited occasionally since 2005. The band has released four full-length studio albums, plus various EPs and singles.


Career and breakup

The band was started in 1995 as a side project by Davey von Bohlen during his time as a guitarist/vocalist for Cap'n Jazz. Von Bohlen started the project alongside guitarist Jason Gnewikow of None Left Standing, drummer Dan Didier and bassist Scott Beschta, the latter two both being former members of Ceilishrine.[6]

The Promise Ring's first full-length album, titled 30° Everywhere, was released by Jade Tree Records in 1996. The record was followed by 1997's Nothing Feels Good, which gained the band a larger following and rave reviews. After the recording, but prior to the release of Nothing Feels Good, Tim Burton (ex-None Left Standing) replaced Scott Beschta. The Horse Latitudes, which collected early tracks that were previously released as 7"s, was also released in 1997. After another change in bass players, 1998 saw the release of the Boys and Girls EP, which was released on both compact disc and 7", with the CD containing an additional song. In 1999 they furthered their success with the release of Very Emergency, which concentrated even more on their pop sound. Following their final release in 2002, wood/water, which featured bassist Ryan Weber, The Promise Ring decided to move on to new projects, like Von Bohlen's and Didier's new band named Maritime.


The band reunited for the Flower 15 Festival in late November 2005 in Chicago, IL at The Metro.

In mid-June 2009, a hidden webpage was discovered on the Anti website detailing an upcoming Promise Ring greatest hits compilation entitled, It's Not Brain Surgery: The Best Of. The page was subsequently removed and no official release information has yet surfaced about this posthumous compilation.

On November 18, 2011, The Promise Ring alluded to a second reunion via their Twitter, writing: "Hello again...".[7][8][9][10] Four days later, the band announced that they would be performing live on February 24, 2012 at Turner Hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which was followed by a Chicago date at the Metro on February 25.[11] Drummer Dan Didier said that there would likely be more shows. To coincide with the reunion, The Promise Ring announced they would be releasing a rarities collection in the summer of 2012 on former (and reunited) manager Jeff Castelaz's record label, Dangerbird Records.[12] As of October 2015, the collection has not been released.

On January 18, 2012, The Promise Ring announced they would perform at the 2012 Bamboozle Festival in Asbury Park, NJ with Foo Fighters, Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World, and more.[13]

The band played what seems to have been their final reunion performance at the Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin on November 4, 2012.

As of October 2015, The Promise Ring is active again, and they will play their first show in three years on New Year's Eve at the Metro in Chicago, where they will play their second album Nothing Feels Good in its entirety.[14] A few days prior to the announcement of the aforementioned show, The Promise Ring posted a picture on their Twitter account that said "Welcome to 2016", which suggests that some activity as The Promise Ring will take place in 2016.[15]




Music videos

  • "Why Did We Ever Meet?" (1997)
  • "Emergency! Emergency!" (1999)
  • "Stop Playing Guitar" (2002)


"12 Sweaters Red" - Ground Rule Double compilation CD, 2xLP (Divot / Actionboy Records, 1995)
"Ooh Do I Love You" - Ooh Do I Love You compilation CD, Core for Care Records, 1996
"Pink Chimneys" - (Don't Forget To) Breathe compilation CD, LP (Crank! 1997)
"Gouge Away" - Where Is My Mind? a tribute to the Pixies CD (Glue Factory Records, 1999)
"You Are So Unreal" - Metroschifter - Encapulated CD (Doghouse Records, 2000)
"Why Did Ever We Meet" - Nowcore! The Punk Rock Evolution compilation CD (K-Tel, 1999)
"Holiday Adam" - "A Very Milky Christmas" compilation CD (Milk, 2000)
"Red Paint" - "The Basement Recordings-Live at Cicero's" compilation CD (On the Clock Records, 1997)
"Easy" - "Location Is Everything Vol. 1" compilation CD (Jade Tree, April 16, 2002)


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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Promise Ring | Biography | AllMusic
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  4. The Promise Ring | Jade Tree
  5. Metro Active | The Promise Ring
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