Interview The Get Up Kids from Silent Nation Zine 1999
Band Interviews

Back From The Dead! Interview: THE GET UP KIDS Interview with Matt Pryor – 1999

Here is another Back From The Dead Interview pulled from the Silent Nation Zine archives with Matt Pryor from The Get Up Kids in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah in May 1999.

Who is the Get Up Kids?

My name is Matt and I play guitar and I sing, Jim plays guitar and sings as well, then there is the brothers Ryan and Rob. Ryan is our drummer and Rob plays bass. They were actually born here; they were raised Mormon and were born in Salt Lake City.

Where are you all living now?

Kansas City, Missouri. They are from Kansas and I’m from Missouri. We all live in Missouri now except for Jim, he just moved to Shawnee, Kansas which is a suburb of Kansas City, he just moved in with his girlfriend. He moved into the whitest neighborhood, it’s like honkey town. [Laughter]

How long have you guys been playing together?

Two and a half years, two years now with Ryan playing drums. We had another drummer for six months and we recorded our first 7” with him and then Ryan joined the band in May, so this is around his two-year anniversary.

Do any of you guys have other projects going on right now besides The Get Up Kids?

Not really, we’ve been on tour for the last year so we haven’t really had any time to do other stuff. Rob and I might work with a friend James, he is the drummer for Coalesce and he has a side project band called Reggie And The Full Effect, we might be his backup band for a while. I don’t know what’s going to become of it but it’s really awesome stuff, hilarious, really funny stuff.

How has Doghouse records been for you guys?

They are alright, we are kind of do our own thing. We are on Doghouse but we tour when we want to, it’s almost like were a separate entity from the label. They totally promote us and put out our records and stuff, but they don’t tell us that we need to go on tour for a new record. We just tell them “were going on tour, send us some records!”

Are you pushing for radio play right now?

Well, there is a company called McGaffey that was doing some radio stuff for us, for the record but I don’t know how it did.

How about video?

Maybe someday. We’d like to eventually but were kind of at the end of the tour for this record and were taking the summer and fall off to write and record a new record. Maybe something will happen with that.

Are your lyrics based on personal experiences?

Yeah, everything that wee have sung about is based on a true story or just something that has happened to us. Everything that I sing about has to do with something that I’m going through or been through. We have some songs about certain people, I don’t know if they know it or not.

Is this your first time in Utah?

Playing, yes. We tried to set up a show last time we came through the west coast but it fell through, I lost someone’s number or something like that. We ended up staying at Robby and Ryan’s grandma’s house, she is great, she likes Elton John [Laughter]. The last time we came out it really sucked, we drove from Kansas City to Denver and then we had a day off in Salt Lake City and after that we had a last-minute show in Rexburg, Idaho by Ricks College. Robby and Ryan’s sister goes to school there and she set up a show in a pizza parlor. That show was so funny, they didn’t even have a mic stand so we got two of our merchandise boxes and duct taped a broom handle to it and then used a toilet paper roll to put the mic in. All these jock guys were just breakdancing and stuff, it was pretty fun. Then we drove to Seattle and we broke down that night, we had to get a new radiator.

Sounds like a crazy trip! Well thanks for taking time to do this interview. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Well, this is a real pretty town you have here, it’s nice but I haven’t been around all that much. The people seem really nice, I have a lot more friends here than I thought I did.

We will see you on the next trip!

I was fortunate enough to hang out with these guys back when they where humble and had a passion for the music scene when I collected this interview, things have definitely changed. I had recently run into Matt Pryor again while they where in Salt Lake City and sadly he is not the same person at all. While they continue to make great music, it is very difficult to watch bands grow and become distant to their fans that have supported them wholeheartedly throughout the many years that they have been around.

While I continue to encourage people to listen to the original albums that they have put out, I for one have a very bad taste in my mouth for the artists that become so arrogant that they look down on the ones that helped get them where they are without any compensation outside of a great musical experience and memories.

Don’t forget that a lot of us smaller music journalists don’t get paid for our time to write about your albums or to interview you. We do it for the love of music, please don’t disrespect us.