Straight edge hardcore punk rockers Casey Jones are closing up shop after self-releasing their third and final album, 'I Hope We're Not the Last,' which was written a few years ago but is finally due out Jan. 11. The band wanted to end things on a legit note with a release and tour dates, rather than slowly fading away.

"My brother Caleb and I thought it would be a blast to do a band together, so we started Casey Jones with former Evergreen Terrace bass player Josh Smith," vocalist Josh James, who also plays guitar in Evergreen Terrace, told Noisecreep about the band's humble origins.

James eventually became the band's vocalist by sheer accident. "The three of us started writing songs, with the intention of me playing guitar," he continued. "We tried out a few singers, but nothing clicked. So one day at practice while trying out a singer, I showed a vocal idea and afterward. Josh Smith and Caleb both thought that I should be on vocals instead of guitar. We then asked our friend John to play guitar and went from there. Later Evan joined on second guitar, rounding out the band. Josh Smith left for med school and we forced James to play with us."

The band's desire to fill the void in the dwindling straight edge scene -- which was most prominent in the mid '90s -- led to Casey Jones becoming a reality. "We started the band for fun, playing a mix between punk and hardcore," James said. "We wanted to write simple, fast, catchy music that is easy to sing along to. When we started, there weren't many straight edge bands active in the scene we were involved in, and we thought that it would be a breath of fresh air for other straight edgers."

Even so, Casey Jones "are not a band solely for straight edge people. We aren't trying to change people's way of lives. We want people to come to our shows with an open mind and leave with a smile on their face," James said. "Straight edge or not, I think most show goers have a great time when they come see us live."

James offered a simple explanation for the band's demise as well, saying, "We are born, we grow and then we die. And that's exactly what we're doing as a band, and we're happy doing it."

'I Hope We're Not the Last,' which borrows its title from the Minor Threat song which first coined the term 'straight edge,' rips from stem to stern, with a dose of humor coming from the band's lyrics.

Casey Jones tour dates

1/13 -- Columbia, SC -- New Brookland Tavern

1/14 -- Dacula, GA -- Awake

1/15 -- Nashville, TN -- Rocketown

1/16 -- Whitesburg, KY -- Letcher County Tourism

1/17 -- Annapolis, MD -- Knights of Columbus

1/18 -- Vineland, NJ -- Hangar 84

1/19 -- Bay Shore, NY -- Sinai Reform Temple

1/20 -- Utica, NY -- Hotel Uticax

1/21 -- Waterbury, CT -- South Street Stage

1/22 -- Haverhill, MA -- Anchors Up

1/23 -- Holyoke, MA -- Waterfront