There is an element of subversive genius to calling a song “The Freshmen.” Especially a song with an aching melody, crystalline ‘90s production, and a big “yeah yeah yeah” sing-along. For people of a certain age, it’s hard to hear the word freshman without thinking of the song.
Brian Vander Ark, lead singer and songwriter of the Verve Pipe, knows how you feel. He’s sung “The Freshmen” thousands of times, and has spent a fair share of time reflecting on his own creation. Now that he’s 18 years removed from the song being everywhere, he’s come to terms with the fact that having a hit song is more blessing than curse. Check out his Twitter bio if you need proof.
We hung a bare lightbulb in a tiny room at Karaoke Cave and invited Brian to sing “The Freshmen” along with a room full of friends. Vander Ark also opens up about how his relationship with the song has changed.