Interview The Get Up Kids: “We’ve Got Our Rhythm Down”

Charlie Ralph catches up with the band at their recent Glasgow date.

Missouri five piece The Get Up Kids have recently released their ‘Simple Science’ EP; the band’s first new release in six years (pick it up direct here).

To celebrate, they played a short tour at the end of last month; at the Glasgow date, our chap Charlie Ralph managed to catch up with them for a quick chat.

‘Simple Science’ was released as part of your own label, but for any prospective new material are you planning on re-signing with a major label?

No I think we’re just planning on keeping it ourselves. We’ve really enjoyed this process. We’re still working things out with the distribution process but the control has been really enjoyable.

You worked with Ed Rose on the new EP, he produced a few of your older albums. Is he a good producer to work with?

Yeah, he’s a lot like the sixth member of the band, as we’ve done all of our last projects with him, and he’s kind of the final vote when we disagree.

With the new EP released, you have a huge back catalogue of songs; how do you choose which ones to play live?

It’s more of a process of elimination in terms of which songs work and which don’t live. We just try to find a balance between playing and promoting the new stuff and playing the songs that we know people want to hear. That’s why we play around 20 to 23 songs per show, so we can play some new material but still have space for all the old classics.

So are there any songs you take out because you get bored playing them, or do you leave it up to the listeners?

There are some songs we rotate around but there are songs we have to play every night because it wouldn’t be a Get Up Kids show unless we played them. Those are the songs I do kinda get bored of.

You’re playing Reading & Leeds festival this year, have you ever played that before?

Yeah, this will be the third time.

What’s your opinion of festival crowds compared to the fans at your shows?

Festival crowds aren’t nearly as much fun. The only thing that’s kind of beneficial is that you get to see a lot of bands, see people you know, and you get to finish early. I like smaller shows though with the fans.

You’ve influence lots of bands over your career, even if you don’t agree with their music?

I don’t think about it very often. You can’t really think about that, I know we’ve influence a lot of people but I can’t let that go to my head.

Any plans on releasing a Greatest Hits in the near future?

Honestly I haven’t thought about it. [Pause] I don’t think we’d really need to do that, I mean, I don’t know why we would, it’s not something that feels like it has to be done. It’d be hard to pick which songs to put on their for a start, that’d be impossible.

So included in your reissue of ‘Something To Write Home About’ was a live DVD of a reunion show, where you played all the old material. How was it performing that again?

It was really easy actually! It was like riding a bike, it felt like we hadn’t been away. It wasn’t really nostalgic, just like another Get Up Kids show really, very fun.

Were you nervous when you went back into the studio?

No not really, things had sort of calmed down by then. I was only really nervous for the first couple of songs in our first rehearsal. I was also a little nervous when we started writing the new stuff, but we’ve got a new style of writing now where we’re a lot more spontaneous with what we’re doing, and that’s a really relaxing method. That was how we wrote things like Four Minute Mile, so it was good to go back to that style. We’ve got our rhythm down now and it’s a lot more comfortable.

Have you managed to catch Sunny Day Real Estate since they reformed?

No actually, we were playing the same festival once last year but unfortunately we were on at the same time which is a shame.

And finally: Have you played any new material not off the new EP at the shows? And have you got a lot written for the new record?

We’ve been doing a song called ‘Automatic’, which is sung by Jim at the shows recentely. But as for other stuff we’ve got around 15 songs written in total, including the EP, and we’ve got another writing session coming up after Reading & Leeds so from that we’ll pick the songs for the album. We’ve already recorded the eleven songs we’ve written already though so it’s going well, we can’t wait.

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