TIME WILL GROW THE WISER Get Up Kids

Reconciled
and reunited, the influential pop/punk combo is ready to look forward.

 

BY JOHN B. MOORE

 

Granted, they may have been partially responsible for
helping unleash emo on the masses, but The Get Up Kids also managed to churn
out a handful of stellar records in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. 

 

After a 10-year run, the band called it quits in 2005 in the
wake of a not-so-amicable split. Sometime last year though, rumors of
reconciliation started to pop up on fan sites across the Web. On a collective
(and rare) field trip to see a Spoon show (former Get Up Kid Rob Pope now plays
bass for Spoon), the rest of the Get Up Kids decided that maybe the years apart
had given them more perspective, allowed them to grow up a bit more.

 

Hanging out led to a practice session and an eventual
surprise reunion show at a Kansas City
club in November 2008. The band has since embarked on and survived a European
tour and is about to trek across the U.S.

 

Singer Matt Pryor, who also fronts the New Amsterdams,
recently put out a solo record and has recorded two children’s albums. He spoke
recently about the decision to get the band back together. 

 

And to be fair, they were always more traditional indie rock
than emo.

 

***

 

BLURT: So
what was it that brought you guys back together? I did an interview with you
earlier in the year and you were obviously elusive about the band getting back
together
.

PRYOR: (Laughs)
Honestly, enough time has passed that we’re getting along with each other again.
When we ended it was kind of a dark time and we weren’t getting along that
well. Through the years, every time we see each other it just got a little bit
less stressful and then finally we all went to a Spoon show  – because Bobby  plays in Spoon – and we were hanging out and
it was kind of like ‘this isn’t weird at all anymore.’

 

How
long ago was that?

It was April of last year I think. So we were all cool with
hanging out and started talking about doing this. It just kind of grew from
there.

 

When
the band ended it, I assume it was safe to say you never thought you’d be
talking about a reunion?

Oh, absolutely not. I was done with it. I was over it. I was
ready to move on and leave this behind.

 

So why
do you think it was finally time to get back together?

It sounds really clichéd to say, but we started this band
when we were in our teens. Everyone’s older; everybody’s got a little more real
life behind them.

 

Was it
odd at all to play that first reunion show in Kansas?

It wasn’t odd. Not for me, at least. It was odd the first day we went into the studio to rehearse. I said
to myself, “I’m going to bring a cooler full of beer and see what happens.” But
it went really well. And when we played the [Kansas] show, I think the crowd was actually
more nervous than we were.

 

Has it
been weird touring together?

Not really. It was weird the first time we got together to
play, but we just did two and a half weeks in Europe
and it went really well. It was kind of trial by fire at the beginning. We were
all crammed in a tiny van going across Europe
and we very easily could have gotten on each other’s nerves, but it went pretty
well.

 

So is
this a one-time thing or is the band officially back together?

I guess we’re back together. We all have other things going
on, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy and Bobby is in Spoon, James still tours
with New Found Glory and My Chemical Romance and everyone else has stuff going
on outside [the Get Up Kids], but we have already been working on some new
stuff.

 

 When do you plan on releasing that new stuff?

We’ve definitely been writing new material. Next year is
pretty busy. I think Spoon is going to be touring the early part of next year
and I think I’m doing another solo record next spring. I’m not sure what the
other guys are doing, but we’ll have to find some time next year to maybe put
some stuff out.

 

You
guys were one of the bands that got labeled emo early on in the ‘90s. Did that
term ever bother you?

We got tagged as an emo band in 1996, so you get used to it,
but we never embraced it. It’s kind of stupid because all music is emotional.
We get associated with whatever happens to be the marketing term was at the
moment.  I just think it’s stupid. People
can call us whatever they want.

 

As long
as they keep coming out?

(Laughs) Yeah.

 

Vagrant
Records just re-released Something to
Write Home About.
Do you plan on re-releasing more of your older records?

No. I don’t think we’ll be re-releasing anything else
anytime soon.  To be honest, re-releases
are always weird for me because I always want to look forward. Really the only
reason we did this was it gave us an excuse to get back out on the road and
tour.

 

So next
time you might have some new material as your excuse to tour?

Exactly.

 

The Get
Up Kids’ 1999 classic
Something To Write Home About was reissued in September on Vagrant as an
expanded CD/DVD “10th Anniversary Edition.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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