So I was at the Orpheum Theatre last Saturday and when they played Yearbook it was the first time it really resonated with me. I have been trying to search online to find answers, but all I got was that it is not about a boy who commits suicide and that the story is not actually at all a personal one to them. But...I mean...it's so very clear that it could very well be about that. It's a strong interpretation. Have there been any interviews or anything talking about the true meaning of this song?
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People have been asking about what happened to Johnny for 21 years now. They teased with finally telling us at the members only event in Tulsa and the answer was "Hell if I know!" Since the guys were homeschooled I am not sure that it is a personal story at all - but lately Zac has been saying that the song is about a loss of innocence and that is how it fits into the String Theory story.
Yearbook definitely has a different meaning for me now with String Theory vs Middle of Nowhere. I felt that Johnny disappeared (kidnapped), murdered, or as @orangemonsterface stated, possible suicide with MON. With ST, I feel Johnny has lost himself in this journey.
I just put this in another forum thread but I saw someone's IG video where Zac stated that Yearbook was really more (at least in the ST context) about that feeling that you know you're being lied to....rather than where Johnny actually went (after he joked that Johnny went to Albertane, lol). It plays a part in the telling of the "loss of innocence/deciding to fight back" story of the character.