SCV interview with Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids
Sound Colour Vibration Interviews
Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids
The Get Up Kids were one of those bands that I loved back in my early years of getting into rock based music that was modern. I had been exposed to all the classic stuff from the 60′s and 70′s at a very young age but when I found out about bands like The Get Up Kids, it completely changed the way that I respected modern rock music at the time. A friend let me borrow Four Minute Mile, the groups first full length, and I was instantly hooked after the first listen. The Get Up Kids have been going strong for almost 15 years and they released their fifth full length album this year called ‘There Are Rules’. It has been pressed on wax and cd through their own imprint Quality Hill Records and is an incredible piece of work.
We contacted The Get Up Kids and linked up an interview with lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player Matt Pryor. Having 5 full lengths with the band, he has also released the same amount of material with his other project The New Amsterdams. The new full length ‘There Are Rules’ from The Get Up Kids is different in scope from any of the bands works. There is a slightly different edge where experimentation of synthesizers and angular harmonies come into play. The group will be touring the world heavily in support of ‘There Are Rules’ and we have included the tour dates at the bottom of the interview. Also included is one of the two official videos for the album for this new record. The Get Up Kids have been a personal favorite of mine for many years and it’s an honor to present this at Sound Colour Vibration. ~ Erik Otis
The new album There Are Rules has been released on the groups own imprint Quality Hill Records, what influenced this decision to not go with Vagrant for the new full length?
We decided that though we’ve had a long and great relationship with Vagrant that it was time for us to take the next step and start putting out our own records. Kind of like moving out of our parents house and getting our own place.
There Are Rules was recorded without any digital technology, what sparked this direction for the record and what type of elements are unique to this album that are not present to any other album?
It’s not as big a deal as I had originally thought. The idea was to handicap ourselves in order to try and push ourselves creatively (necessity being the mother of invention). However, it was pointed out recently that really Guilt Show is the only record that we didn’t record to tape so it’s really not that odd for us.
I was not aware that the bulk of your records were recorded in analog, that’s really cool. What type of analog gear was used for the recording process on this new album?
I’m a bad person to answer this. It was done on the 2″ tape machine at The Black Lodge. Here is the gear list from the studio website though
+Console / RecordingAmek “Big” console w/ dynamics and recall
Tascam ATR-80 2″ 24 track w/ remote
+Preamps / Outboard Gear
Vintech x73 (4)
Universal Audio 2108
Universal Audio 2610
Universal Audio 1176 (2)
Emprical Labs Distressor (2)
John Hardy channel mic pres (4)
Langevin 2 channel mic pre w/ eq
Langevin 2 channel ELOP compressor
TL Audio dual valve mic pre w/ compressor
HHB Radius 10
Manley 2 channel ELOP compressor
Behringer composer (2)
Eventide H3000 DS/X
Sans Amp bass driver
+MicrophonesAKG 414 (2)
AKG 451 (2)
CAD M37 (3)
Coles 4038 (2)
Groove Tubes Model 1
Marshall 603s (2)
Royer R-121 ribbon mics (2)
Royer SF-12 stereo ribbon mic
Neumann U47 FET
Radio Shack pzm (3)
Rode NT1 (2)
Shure SM57 (4)
Sennheiser 421 (6)
Studio Projects B3 (2)
Studio Projects T3
Studio Projects C1
The album has been given the 180 gram vinyl treatment, what does it mean for you guys to have your material on vinyl?
It’s always been important to us to have quality vinyl. Our first release was a 7″ and since then we’ve done lots of colors and even a picture disc.
The lyrical aspect of this album is really different from any other album created by the group where the concept of relationships is abandoned and more ground is discovered. With the band evolving and changing, how does that make you feel about the future of the band?
There are several songs on the records about relationships though there really aren’t any love songs or boy/girl or whatever sorts of content. I think if you’re going to continue to grow as an artist you need to challenge yourself and not write about the same thing over and over and over again. I don’t think that the “future of the band” has anything to do with the lyrics though.
On the piece Tithe, there is a really heavy and experimental intro that dives right into what sounds like something from Woodson with the really big guitar sound I have always loved about the group. How much experimental music is the band into as opposed to the pop influences that have found their way into the music you guys created in the past?
I think that our tastes have certainly evolved and expanded though I don’t think the stranger things we listen to have any more influence than than the pop stuff we like. It more that if we had an idea that was “weird” we wanted it to be ”good weird” not just strange for the sake of being strange. Having said that, it was important to us to not be afraid of trying new things … even if they were odd.
There has been constant touring from The Get Up Kids for well over 10 years, what are some of the most memorable times you guys shared on tour and what bands affected and changed you the most while being on tour?
Braid, Jimmy Eat World, Mineral, At The Drive In, The Anniversary, Koufax, Hot Rod Circuit, Appleseed Cast … all still good friends.
Reggie and The Full Effect is a project that stemmed out of The Get Up Kids, there was a mini reunion show in Philadelphia this last New Years, how was the experience?
I don’t really know, I wasn’t there. I do know that James fell off the stage dressed as Amy Winehouse.
Now that the group is truly in a field of its own, do you guys resent the “emo” labels still or is that something the band accepts for the time you guys came out and the direction music was taking around you guys?
We don’t resent it … I would say we don’t even think about it anymore. The term has always been there, it’s always been a bigger deal to other people than it ever has been to us.
It’s so easy to draw parallels towards bands that sound like you guys, what are some bands nobody would think have taken a large shape in how you guys go about what you do musically?
Fugazi is a big one. Superchunk, Drive Like Jehu but then also bands like The Kinks and Joy Division as well.
I have to ask being a huge fan of Miles Davis’ electric period, are you guys into any of that era of music and if so what is some of your favorite albums?
I know some of us like to get high and listen to “Bitches Brew” but I’m not going to say who.
With the band seeing many shifts in the record industry during the time you guys have been releasing records, how do you look at it now as opposed to before you guys released your first album?
I actually think it’s better, it’s more grassroots and interactive with fans of music. You don’t need to get “signed” in order to make a living doing this.
The Get Up Kids first major tour was with one of my favorite bands from the 90′s, Braid, what did this tour teach you guys and how prepared were you guys?
We were slightly prepared. We’d done some weekenders and we learned a lot from the guys in Boys Life. But, we learned a lot from Braid. Van touring is kind of absurd … it’s a series of adventures and they were really good at embracing that.
Looking back at all the EP’s, full lengths and live records and what you accomplished with Vagrant Records, what are the the happiest and most enjoyable times the band had together?
The first times that we went to Europe, Japan and Australia were pretty awesome. Part of it was just a “Holy Shit! We’re actually here!” kind of thing.
On a very different note, do you guys follow politics and do you see the world ever changing from the death lifestyle most have assimilated into?
I’m not sure what you mean exactly. Isn’t “Death Lifestyle” an oxymoron? Wouldn’t it be “Deathstyle”? That would be a pretty killer metal band name.
I just refer to the way people live in the direction of death. The way people eat, let global destruction occur for convenience and that sort of state. I would like to say thanks for your time and it is an honor to conduct this interview, I have been a huge fan of the band since the beginning. Where do you see the group going in the future?
To the moon and maybe back again.
I think we all need to take that trip sooner or later. Thanks for your time
“Automatic” Official Music Video
Official Video for the song “Automatic”. Check out the other official video for the album HERE.
Official Tour Dates
July 7 The Waiting Room Omaha, NE W/ The Globes & Major Games
July 8 Blue Moose Tap House Iowa City, IA W/ The Globes & Major Games
July 9 Summerfest Milwaukee, WI W/ Dashboard Confessional
July 10 Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, MN W/ The Globes & Major Games
July 14 Outland Ballroom Springfield, MO W/ The Globes & The Caves
July 15 The Firebird St Louis, MO W/ The Globes & The Caves
July 16 Historic Southgate House Newport, KY W/ The Globes & The Caves
July 17 Exit/In Nashville, TN W/ The Globes & The Caves
July 30 Fuji Rock Festival Niigata, Japan
Aug 5 The Hi Fi Brisbane, Australia
Aug 6 The Metro Sydney, Australia
Aug 7 Billboard The Venue Melbourne, Australia
Aug 9 Fowlers Live Adelaide Australia
Aug 11 Powerstation Auckland, New Zealand
Aug 13 The Satellite Los Angeles, CA
Aug 14 Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown, CA
Sept 21 007 Prague, Czech Republic
Sept 22 Luxor Cologne, Germany
Sept 23 Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg, Germany
Sept 24 Batschkapp Frankfurt, Germany
Sept 25 Backstage Halle Munich, Germany
Sept 27 Universum Stuttgart, Germany
Sept 28 Zeche Bochum, Germany
Sept 29 Lido Berlin, Germany
Sept 30 Bolwerk Sneek, Netherlands
Oct 1 Rockhal Luxembourg
Oct 2 Melkweg Amsterdam, Netherlands
Oct 4 Cockpit Leeds, UK
Oct 5 Koko London, UK
Oct 7 Mod Hasselt, Belgium
Oct 9 Nouveau Casino Paris, France
Oct 11 Arean Vienna, Austria
Oct 12 A38 Budapest, Hungary
Oct 13 Mocvara Zahgreb, Croatia
Oct 14 The Bronson Ravenna, Italy
Oct 15 New Age Treviso, Italy
Oct 16 Abart Zurich, Switzerland
Oct 21 Sala Live Madrid, Spain
Oct 22 Estraperlo Club Barcelona, Spain