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Q&A: Jim Suptic of The Get Up Kids

Recently, Jamie McGrath got a chance to talk with Jim Suptic of the Get Up Kids to discuss the  history  of the band as well as the new record, There Are Rules.

TGUk - There Are Rules

idobi: First off, how has the response been to the Get Up Kids reforming and self-releasing your new album There Are Rules?

Jim Suptic: Overall very positive. There are always going to be the critics. We have never been a band that worried what other people are going to think.

idobi:   What was the motivation behind the hiatus and eventual return for everyone in the band?

Suptic: We were really burnt out. I think we should have just taken a long break instead of actually breaking up. Everyone is in a better spot now and we actually enjoy each others company.

idobi:   As a band, was it bittersweet to release one of your better-received albums while going all that personal strife? Was it hard to walk away?

Suptic: It actually wasn’t that hard at all. That’s how tired we all were of the whole thing. After it was all said and done was when things got kind of weird for me. For fifteen years this band has been part of my identity then suddenly that’s gone. It took a while to adjust.

idobi:   Outside of The Get Up Kids, you seem to have been pretty busy over the past 10 years, with Blackpool Lights, Curb Appeal Records and Black Lodge Studios.  Can you tell me about all of your side projects?

Suptic: When the band broke up Matt, James and I sold our shares in the Black Lodge. We were sort of wiping our hands clean of anything that had to do with the Get Up Kids. Blackpool Lights was basically all the songs I had written for the Get Up Kids that we never recorded. We recently got back together and made some new music. It’s nice to have another creative outlet. Curb Appeal doesn’t exist anymore. It was formed with some good friends, it didn’t work out and I won’t be starting another record label anytime soon.

idobi:   How did the rest of the band respond to Matt Pryor playing all of those solo shows throughout the years, where he played some Get Up Kids songs?  I know there have been plenty of lead singers who have done that and I was curious how the rest of the band feels.

Suptic: I played Get Up Kids songs with Blackpool Lights. I wouldn’t care if Ryan and Rob were playing them either.

idobi:   Between you and Matt sharing lead vocal duties, does it depend on the writer of the song, or do both of you test out singing lead and whichever sounds better gets lead on that particular song?

Suptic: It used to be that we both wrote music and Matt just sang more. Then it turned into, whoever writes it sings it. Now it’s back to whatever sounds better.

idobi:   How has the relationship between James Dewees and the band developed since 1999, because I know he was involved in a number of other projects besides the Get Up Kids and he was apart of There Are Rules but not the subsequent tour?

Suptic: He’s one of my best friends. All of our best friends. James just had to do what was best for James. We are only touring part time. My Chemical Romance is a full time gig. He will be back, no one needs to worry.

idobi: Beyond this album release and spring tour, what can we expect from the Get Up Kids in 2011 and beyond?

Suptic: Hopefully recording more music. I’m not looking that far ahead right now.

idobi:   What are your favorite venues to play and bands to play with?

Suptic: I always love small clubs. I like to be right where the crowd is. As far as bands, good ones. It also helps when they are good people.

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