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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Get Up Kids get fresh

Never tired of hyping their latest album, 1997's Four Minute Mile, The Get Up Kids are on the road again, this time as the glistening openers for the Green Day tour. Perhaps best known in Madison for their auspicious performance at Club 770, these Kansas City natives are hoping to break into airwave territory through their stint with Billy Joe and company. The Daily Cardinal chatted recently with Ryan Pope, the band's drummer, who admits that The Get Up Kids are the hottest thing out of K.C. since barbecued ribs. 




The Daily Cardinal: What's it like touring with Green Day? 




Ryan Pope: Touring with Green Day is great. We're having the time of our lives. Oh man, did I just say that? Really though, this is a huge step for us as a band; it's our first big tour, I guess you could say. Before we were usually the headliners and it was our own tour, but opening up for Green Day has put us in the spotlight more. 




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DC: Who else have you guys toured with in the past? 




RP: We've toured with a bunch of other bands like MxPx and Jimmy Eat World. Also, after we're done with this tour, we're planning on going on the road with Weezer.  




DC: How many shows have you done so far? 




RP: We've done shows all over the world. I think we've done 600 or 700 shows already over the last five years, so it's been pretty crazy.  




DC: Do you have groupies? What do you think of the groupie scene? 




RP: I wouldn't really say we have groupies. Most of us have pretty serious girlfriends so we stay away from that kind of thing. Sometimes there will be girls who will like try to follow us or will be like, \Hey, do you want to party?"" That's pretty wild. The whole groupie thing is pretty wild ... even creepy, if you ask me. 




DC: Some say you're an ""emo pop-punk"" band; others say you're ""post-emo indie rock."" So how would you describe your sound? 




RP: We're really not into labels as far as our style goes, I guess because we don't want to limit ourselves musically. We're not punk, and ""emo"" is really just a word the media tosses around a lot but doesn't mean a ton to us. I don't really see any need to get all technical about it. If I had to pick, I'd say we're a rock band, I guess. We're just out there making music, and you can call it whatever you want. 




DC: Who would you say your main influences are? 




RP: Our influences are the bands we like to listen to. We have so many influences, and I think a lot of them aren't what people might think. Our influences include everything from Led Zeppelin and Jawbreaker, to '80s stuff like New Order and Depeche Mode to more recent bands like Nirvana and Radiohead. It's a pretty big mix of stuff. 




DC: Ah, Radiohead (lovestruck sigh from interviewer)...What do you think of Kid A? 




RP: Kid A is amazing. When it came out, each of the band members got a copy and went in a little booth by themselves and just sat and listened to the whole thing. It was like this whole ""being one with Radiohead"" deal. Seriously though, we all think it's a great album. Very risky and very out there, but very, very good. 




DC: How the heck did you come up with the name for the band? 




RP: One of the guys in the band actually used to be in another band that had a song we liked called ""Suburban Get Up Kids."" We basically just liked how that sounded. It had a nice ring to it or something, so we shortened it up and that was that. It doesn't really have any deep, cosmic meaning or anything. 




DC: I heard you guys have your own record label. Tell me a little about that. 




RP: Yeah, we have a label called Heroes and Villains that we started up a while ago. The label we signed with basically approached us and asked if we'd like to try having a small label of our own. We saw that it was a great opportunity and sprang for it right away. It's really a great way to help our friends put out records, plus it's cool to see the business from the other end. Right now we've signed four bands, and we hope to take in a few more in the future. 




DC: Where do you guys get the material for your songs? 




RP: Well, the lyrics come from just the things we see and experience every day ... things we personally come across and things we hear about from our friends, too. We play around with the music separately. Each of us writes our own parts and when we come up with something that sounds good to us, whatever we're experimenting with at the time, then we add the lyrics to it. 




DC: How's work on the next album going? When's it coming out? 




RP: We're working on the material for our next album now, but sort of slowly since we're on tour. We were really digging into it right before the tour happened though. After the tour, we're going to record it all, and it should be out sometime in the fall. 




DC: Where are you recording it? 




RP: We're thinking of maybe recording it in Seattle. We seem to be getting a really good vibe there. 




DC: What are your sentiments about the recent election? What do you think Generation Y kids have to look forward to? 




RP: Wow, all I can say is that I'm a bit nervous. I think we're all pretty afraid of what the next four years are going to be like. We're pretty fucked, if you ask me, and I think people our age are going to respond to that in some way. I could definitely see some kind of protest movement and more political expression coming out of this mess, especially if Generation Y feels like it's not being listened to. 




DC: Do you think the political situation will have any impacts musically? 




RP: Definitely. I think there's going to be a lot more political rock and just an idea of protest in a lot of people's music. When people are pissed off, they're going to make songs about it, and there are definitely a lot of pissed off people. 




DC: Why should we come watch you perform? In other words, what's in it for me? 




RP: It's going to be a great show. Not just good, but all-around great. We promise a great time, plus there might even be a few surprises. Plus, we love Madison, so we'll be all energized to play for you guys. 




DC: Come on... What do you really think of Madison? 




RP: We've played a whole bunch of shows in Madison. We're from Kansas City, so we can appreciate a Midwestern kind of good time. Really, it's a pretty hip little college town. You guys definitely know how to have a good time; people know where it's at. Last time we were there, the crowd was totally receptive, and we had a really good time. This time around, it's going to be even better, I think. 




DC: The time of our lives? 




RP: Totally... 




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