Surprise: The guys behind power-pop outfit Forever the Sickest Kids never wanted to grow up.

Playing a brand of music popular mainly with the Clearasil set, the Dallas-based outfit hasn’t overhauled its sound dramatically since its 2008 debut, Underdog Alma Mater, even as its four members approach their 30s.

Their friends and ex-bandmates are getting married, having children and settling into the 8-to-5 routine, while the band roams the globe with groups like We the Kings and All Time Low playing for thousands of clamoring fans, away from home for months at a time.

But when their label, Universal Motown Records, shut down last year, Forever the Sickest Kids found themselves growing up a little after all, enjoying the independence in writing what will be their third studio album.

“It feels good to make your own decisions,” singer Jonathan Cook said. “Not having deadlines on the music has felt really good. It’s also been great having full creative control. The label would always have its input, and it was always interesting having to turn songs into the label for approval. Being able to do it with no one else’s opinion has been nice. It’s just what we like to write.”

And for the first time since the Kids’ conception in 2006, the group is making baby steps toward a more mature sound.

“People might see another side of us that they’ve never seen before. Cook said. “It makes sense, with us getting older. We have more life under our belt and have so much more to talk about.”

Growing older, however, isn’t necessarily synonymous with getting more serious. In fact, Cook said this third disc — due early 2013 — is peppier than the band’s last release.

“It has a more upbeat tempo,” he said. “It’s easier to be positive with an album that isn’t being forced down your throat, written on a deadline.”

Cook is careful to note that Forever the Sickest Kids never will stray too far from the music they started with, yet just as the band’s name implies, its members will remain young at heart.

“It’s a commitment we made to each other a long time ago, that we would do this as long as we were physically able,” he said. “It’s a blessing to be able to do this, and we’ll keep going as long as people want to hear it.”

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