Interview: The Get Up Kids
Matt spoke to ATP about the new EP, their 2009 tour with Kevin Devine, the forthcoming new album and more.
Alter The Press: A year and a half since the reunion. How has it been going?
Matt Pryor (vocals/guitar): Good. We've been working on a lot of new songs, went to Australia and Japan, had a couple of months off, and came here.
ATP: How did last year’s US tour go, with Kevin Devine?
Matt: It was good, a lot of fun. Kevin is a good friend, and I'm a big fan of his stuff.
ATP: How was it, being back in studio with The Get Up Kids, recording 'Simple Science'?
Matt: It was good actually. It started off a little bit weird, but we've actually got our groove on it. We've done three sessions, and have fifteen songs done. Every time we go in, the songs keep getting better, so we're going to keep on writing.
ATP: So, fifteen new songs in total?
Matt: The four on the EP, and eleven more right now.
ATP: How long did the EP take to record?
Matt: We did nine songs in, a little over, two weeks. Not that long.
ATP: This is definitely a step in a different direction, compared to the band's previous work. How has the response been to the new EP?
Matt: Good, no one has said they don't like it. If people are silly, and they think we are going to make another 'Something To Write Home About', then they may be disappointed; but that's just stupid, because we've done three records since then.
ATP: You said last year, that there will be four new EPs this year.
Matt: I think we've scrapped the multiple EP idea, in lieu of doing a full-length album instead. We are working on it, as we are putting out an album in January/February; or in the Spring at the latest.
ATP: You released the EP on Simple Psyence Recordings. Is this your own label?
Matt: It's our friend Eric. He's our friend, who we've known for a really long time. He started a little vinyl-only label, so we are doing all of the stuff on that end, through him; but Hassle Records put it out in the UK.
ATP: So you have signed to both labels (US/UK)?
Matt: We didn't sign anything; we just licensed it. Dexter Hubbard (Vagrant/Hassle Records) did The Get Up Kids stuff before, we were coming over, and we wanted somebody to do something. We're trying to figure out what we're going to do, about the distribution aspect, for the next record.
ATP: Will it be a vinyl and CD release?
Matt: I imagine so. We still sell some CDs.
ATP: Will it be out on Simple Psyence?
Matt: They only do vinyl. We had a record label that we were calling 'Fly Over Records,' but we had to change the name because it was already taken. It'll be on our record label, but I don't know what it'll be called yet.
ATP: Hassle Records as well?
Matt: Possibly. I haven't seen the 10" they did yet for 'Simple Science'.
ATP: Who is the kid on the cover of the EP?
Matt: Our sound guys nephew; he's just afraid of the Easter Bunny. It's hilarious! I think it's better than 'The Guilt Show' artwork; that was just stupid, it was just two chairs. I like the way the colors are saturated and the weirdness of it. It came out around Easter time anyway, so it kind of went along with that.
ATP: Have you thought about another live release?
Matt: I don't know, maybe, not a proper release. I wouldn't mind getting into the habit of taping our shows, and making them available; especially when we do two nights somewhere and we mix up the set pretty drastically.
ATP: Have you considered playing a different album each night?
Matt: Yeah, but the only one we've ever done, from start to finish, is 'Something To Write Home About' and I don't know. It would require a whole lot of work on our part, but maybe. Maybe we'll do it as a lead up thing, with the 'Something To Write Home About' show sold out; and 'On A Wire,' with fifteen people at it.
ATP: It must be weird, playing the older songs that were written over ten years ago.
Matt: You really don't make that connection to that song anymore. It's like, you have feelings about things, and put it into a song, and then you've kind of exercised those demons. It then becomes about having fun, playing that song in the moment, not really what the song is actually about.
ATP: Even though you’re back with The Get Up Kids, are you still recording your solo material?
Matt: I haven't been, but I think I will this summer, when I'm home. When I am home, I'm spending more time not playing music, and I need to get back into the swing of that.
ATP: What is the plan after Reading/Leeds Festival?
Matt: Just work on the record. No more gigs until the record is done, unless something really interesting comes up.
'Simple Science' is out now on Simple Psyence Recordings (US) / Hassle Records (UK).
- Jon Ableson