“We tried doing the band and college thing throughout the first semester,” Morgan said.
But mixing classes and business proved problematic.
“At the end of the first semester, we were recording from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m., and then we had classes at 8 a.m.” Villanueva said.
“We were exhausted.”
It wasn’t until the end of their freshman year at UNC that Villanueva and Morgan decided to devote themselves entirely to their music.
“Any time a UNC student tells their parents, ‘Hey I’m going to leave one of the best schools in the country,’ especially with the state of the music industry, they think ‘No way, you’re crazy,’” Morgan said.
But at this point, multiple record labels were showing interest.
“Our family and friends, people at our church, even my academic advisor, were all really supportive,” Morgan said.
Morgan and Villanueva agreed last May that they would not return to UNC in the fall.
“The moment I told my mom she just burst into tears,” Morgan said. “(But) they accepted it and were 100 percent for it before we even got the record deal.”
In September, Divided By Friday signed the official contract with Hopeless Records.
Band manager Jason Frizzell helped facilitate the band’s offers.
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“It’s been a real whirlwind for the past eight or nine months,” Frizzell said.
Howard, a 16-year-old at the time the group signed with Hopeless Records, is finishing high school online while the band tours and records. The band members now share a house.
“We are basically his parents now,” Morgan said.
As a part of the Hopeless Records label, Divided By Friday joins such bands as Anarbor and Yellowcard, one of the band’s biggest influences.
Tuesday, Hopeless Records released the band’s newest extended play record “The Constant” on iTunes.
Hopeless Records will work with Divided By Friday to release their first full-length album in 2012, Morgan said.
“Dropping out of college is a big deal, dropping out of Chapel Hill is a really big deal,” Villanueva said.
“We felt blessed to get so much support.”
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