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Relient K September 13th,
2002 @ Waterloo, Ontario
Relient K is a punk/rock band who signed on with Gotee Records over two years ago. They have released two albums, two music videos, headlined a couple of tours, and become so popular, a lot of readers already know all about them. The thing they are most renowned for, however, is their humorous, witty lyrics, and relaxed and spontaneous personalities.
Josh McConnell got to hang out with the guys in Relient K at Rim Park in Waterloo, Ontario (Canada) before they went onstage and captured some typical pre-show banter. They talked about the new album, video games, remote control cars, pizza party planning tips, and generally confirmed that relaxed and spontaneous reputation. Did we mention slightly silly?
*Reporter pulls out the recorder*
Matt Theissen: Crazy mic!
McConnell: Yeah it works pretty good, that red light flickers every time it picks up a sound.
Theissen: Really? [He starts yelling and clapping loud at the recorder]
McConnell: Unless you blow the microphone on it first. *laughs* First off, you recently did a cover of the Veggie Tales song "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything," how did this come about?
Theissen: Big Idea wanted a band to cover the song because they are doing that Jonah movie, and since it's a song about pirating and stuff, and since it's a funny song, they needed a funny band and they knew they wanted a rock and roll band. So they asked Steve Taylor to pick a band who fit the criteria, so he asked us to do it.which is kind of cool.
McConnell: Bob and Larry
return the favor by doing "Breakdown," only polka
Theissen: They just came up with that themselves. What was told to me was the guy who does Larry's voice heard the record, and he flipped out over that song. So I guess the cucumber flipped out over it and decided he wanted to sing it.
McConnell: When you were young you moved from St. Catherines, Ontario to Ohio, then you met the other Relient K guys during high school.
Theissen: We met at church.
McConnell: Years later, when you come back up to Ontario and play a gig, do you feel like you are coming home and back to your original roots? Or do you feel more like a tourist in a foreign country?
Theissen: I don't feel like it's a foreign country as much, but it definitely is not like home since I haven't lived here since I was six, but it's really cool. I came back here every summer and every Christmas since my Dad still lives here. So it's just kind of a part of me.
McConnell: You guys are going to be releasing an EP soon that's only available while you are on tour. What can you tell us about it?
Theissen: There are six songs, one of them actually is on our old record, so it's basically five new songs. Three of them are not going to be available on any other CD probably ever, and then two of them are going to be on our record that's coming out in March . It's half sampler, half EP. Since we aren't putting it in stores we didn't want to make it all new songs but it'll definitely be worth picking up; the packaging is real cool, and it's only going to be something like five bucks.
McConnell: You mentioned about your March release. What kind of stuff can we expect on it? Can we expect the classic Relient K sound and lyrics, or are you going to be making a change?
Theissen: There is definitely some stock Relient K stuff, but also we feel like we've matured a little bit and stepped up some. So it's kind of like the ratio from the first record to the second record, and now it's the second record to the third record and we're just trying to keep moving along.
McConnell: You've had a music video for "My Girlfriend" and "Pressing On," can we expect a new one soon?
Theissen: Yeah, we are talking about having one out before the new record comes out.
McConnell: For a track off the new record?
Theissen: More than likely. There's a slim chance we may end up doing a video for "Sadie Hawkin's "somewhere along the line, but that would only be if there is interest from a media source like M2. If they want us to do one for that specific song, we would probably do it. But more than likely it'll be for one off the new record.
McConnell: You guys are gearing up to go on the Back To The Few tour with Bleach, Philmore, and Holland. Are you looking forward to headlining the tour?
Theissen: We are looking
forward to being on the tour. But headlining it? We are the kind of band
who never wanted to be the headlining band type of thing, we like playing
smaller venues. We got to play all of those cool places, but in return
we couldn't open for anyone, we had to do it ourselves.
McConnell: What can Relient K fans expect when they come to a show? You had a sockpuppet tour in the past where you asked people to bring sockpuppets to the show.
Theissen: Oh yeah. *Laughs* Fridays we are going to try and make "Hawaiian Shirt Day" just for the fun of it. But we are going to try to take a pretty chill approach to it, because we did the sockpuppet tour and nobody brought sockpuppets.
Theissen: Then we did the "bring 5 bucks and a blanket" tour and nobody brought blankets. So lets just play music and hope kids come out. We've been working on the set and there are a lot of songs; we are trying to squeeze as many in as we can in a short period of time. It should be fun.
McConnell: When you are on tour, what kind of stuff do you do on the bus to past the time?
Pittmann: We play video games.
McConnell: What kind of games?
Pittmann: We have a PlayStation 2, so we play Metal of Honor a lot, NHL 2002.
McConnell: That's a cool game, I have the Xbox version.
Pittmann: Yeah, hockey is fun. We also read, and listen to CD's. And have parties.
Theissen: We have pizza parties!
Pittmann: *Laughs* Yeah, pizza parties in the van are our favorite.
Theissen: We pick up
people at truck stops, and just ask, "Does anybody want
Pittmann: Who wouldn't?
McConnell: You'll probably
end up in another state, but hey, that's the price
Theissen: Exactly. That's the price of a pizza party.
McConnell: *laughs* You have seen many cities in a number of countries, what are your favorite places to play? What are some of the more memorable shows?
Theissen: One of my
favorite cities is Kansas City, I like that place a lot, the kids are really
cool. My favorite venue is The Norva in Norfolk, Virginia. It's the best
venue ever; they have stuff like a hot tub in your
McConnell: And then you come here and you are in a locker room in an arena.
Theissen: *looks at the other guys* .where else? I like playing in all sorts of cities. We like everywhere, these are just some of our favorites.
McConnell: Relient K is now a household name for Christian music fans, but surely you must have had other ideas for a band name, or did you just drive around in Matt Hoopes' car so much that it was the first name to pop in your head?
Theissen: We had two other ones before that that we never even used. We Were just all out eating ice cream and making fun of his car, and just decided To call our band that.
McConnell: Here are some "get to know the band" questions. What kind of Music do each of you dig? Any favorite bands or albums?
Theissen: I like stuff like Midtown and Starting Lineup. I could go on for days .Recover. Dave likes Stryper.
Douglas: Matt likes. Beach Boys.
Theissen: Dave likes. Jethro Tull.
Douglas: Ouch. Matt likes.Harry Connick Jr.
Theissen: Brian likes Project 86, their old stuff.
Theissen: Brian likes the new Blindside a little bit. And he also likes.
Douglas: *Laughs* You're telling them for him.
Theissen: I could tell them other stuff about all of you. He likes riding ponies, and holding hands with his girlfriend.
*Everyone laughs, then Matt Theissen and Matt Hoopes go into a quiet bit of chitchat*
Theissen: *looks at Josh* Anyway.
McConnell: That's okay. When someone goes to your website and reads about your tour, looks at your picture gallery, reads your bio, and reads your lyrics, they'll probably conclude that you have an unusual addiction with old cars, the Back To The Future movies, and plastic buffalo. You do have hobbies and enjoy other things.right?
Theissen: Hmm.everyone else likes girls a lot.
*Someone else yells "And Matt doesn't."*
Theissen: No no, I do!
Theissen: It's just I don't like them as much as they do, I haven't found the specific one. They all have specifics.
*Everyone laughs and starts saying "Sure." simultaneously*
Theissen: But yeah, we go to the shows a lot, we go to a lot of movies.pretty boring.
McConnell: What kind of movies?
Theissen: Ones that are in the movie theaters.
Hoopes: Especially the dollar kinds. Oh, I play with my remote control car.
Theissen: You play with your remote control. When do you play with your remote control car?
Hoopes: I don't know, before I go to bed.
Theissen: Really? In your room?
Hoopes: No, in the driveway.
Theissen: And you wear your pajamas while you play with it?
Theissen: He plays with his remote control car, wearing his pajamas in his driveway. *laughs*
Hoopes: Well, sometimes I take it off road.
Theissen: Off road?
Hoopes: Yeah, sometimes in the garden.
McConnell: What about sports? You guys enjoy playing or watching any?
Douglas: Yeah, football.
Pittmann: I don't like football.
Theissen: Football to watch. I like backyard football too.
Hoopes: I like backyard football.
Theissen: Oh man, we have to do that like everyday! Backyard football.we're gonna have injuries!
Hoopes: We would have to find an open field.but man, we'd be sore and not able to move.
Pittmann: Ping pong is nice.
Douglas: Brian's pretty good at it.
Pittmann: You should see the ones where they use like the full size tennis courts just to play ping pong.
Pittmann: Because the Japanese guys, they get like 50 feet away from the table and then slam it.
Theissen: Really? That's sweet!
McConnell: So in closing, is there anything at all that you would like to say to those reading this?
Pittmann: Stay in school.
Hoopes: Don't stick your fingers in the peanut butter jar.
Theissen: Or into the electrical socket afterwards. Oh and if you are going to have a pizza party, for Pete's sake make sure there's enough soda and chips for everybody.
Pittmann: Yeah, if you run out of chips, or even out of dip and pizza.
Theissen: But pizza is a given. I mean, you don't say "Hey, come to my pizza party," and not buy over the amount of people coming.
Hoopes: You need to have at least 5 pizzas over the amount of people coming.
Theissen: Yeah, and then you can always stick them in your fridge afterwards.
Hoopes: Yeah. Or feed them to dogs.
Theissen: Yeah, you could run around the neighborhood and feed them to stray dogs, then just watch them throw up because they don't know when to stop.