The Get Up Kids

The Get Up Kids Artistfacts

  • 1995-2005, 2008-
    Matt PryorVocals, guitar1995-2005, 2008-
    Jim SupticGuitar1995-2005, 2008-
    Rob PopeBass1995-2005, 2008-
    Ryan PopeDrums1996-2005, 2008-
    James DeweesKeyboard1999-2005, 2008-
    Thomas BeckerDrums1995-1995
    Nathan ShayDrums1995-1996
  • The Suburban Get Up Kids formed on October 14, 1995, on guitarist Jim Suptic's 18th birthday. They later decided to shorten their name to The Get Up Kids. Matt Pryor explained to Spin how the name came about: "I said something about the band I was in previously: the Suburban Get Up Kids. We all kind of liked that, but I'd been in three other bands already that had names that started with 'S' and all three broke up pretty quickly. There was Sevasch, Secular Theme, and Secret Decoder Ring. None of them had much longevity. So I was superstitious about dropping the 'Suburban' part. And also, I'm not a suburban kid, so it didn't make sense. As far as the 'Get Up' part, we liked the action verb aspect. The idea of being motivated was appealing."

    In 1996, The Get Up Kids spent their savings on the recording of their first single, "Shorty/The Breathing Method." Matt Pryor spoke to 17 Dots about the experience: "There was a guy in Lincoln, Nebraska…this guy, Mike Mogis, who does Bright Eyes and stuff now - he would charge you by the song instead of by the hour - so it was like 300 bucks, we could drive up to Lincoln, three hours away, the van broke down on the way there… We put it out ourselves and then mailed 7 inches to everybody that we could possibly think of."
  • The success of "Shorty/The Breathing Method" lead to The Get Up Kids signing a deal with Doghouse Records, who gave the band $4000 to record their debut album. Four Minute Mile was recorded over the course of two days and released on September 30, 1997.

    Pete Wentz said that this album had a major influence on his band, Fall Out Boy, saying, "There was an honesty and sincerity to the album. It seemed more about the fact that this music was emotional, than an actual sound than labeled them. Fall Out Boy would not be a band if it were not for The Get Up Kids." Despite Wentz's complimentary comments, in 2009, guitarist, Jim Suptic, admitted to Drowned in Sound that he prefers to dissociate himself from many of the bands The Get Up Kids influenced: "If a band gets huge and they say we inspired them, great. The problem is most of them aren't very good. What does that say about us? I don't know. Maybe we sucked."
  • The Get Up Kids left Doghouse Records and went on to sign with Vagrant Records in 1999. Vagrant Records co-owner, John Cohen, managed to convince his parents to re-mortgage their house in order to help fund the recording and production of the band's second album, Something to Write Home About. The risk paid off after the album was released on September 21, 1999 to commercial success, peaking at #31 on Heatseekers album chart.

    This album lead to The Get Up Kids being labeled pioneers of the "emo" genre. The band would later go on to apologize for 'inventing' said genre - which has spawned artists like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance - with guitarist, Jim Suptic, stating at a gig in 2009: "If this is the world we helped create then I apologize."
  • Blink 182's bass player, Mark Hoppus, proposed to his wife while The Get Up Kids' track, "I'll Catch You," played in the background.
  • On May 14, 2002, The Get Up Kids released their third album, On a Wire. The album was criticized by many fans for its softer sound. Matt Pryor explained to 17 Dots why the band decided to change musical direction: "At the time we were just sick of what we were doing. We felt like we were getting stale and getting formulaic...and so we just wanted to do something different and wanted to embrace all the facets of the things we were listening to. And it's not just Wilco, it's going back and getting more into the Kinks and the Beatles and the Stones and just wanting to be like, we can still be a rock band, we can be all-encompassing if we want to. I think we assumed everybody else was on that same plane with us, that they were all gonna be like, 'That's so cool, you're doing something different, but it's still good.' I think we could've done it better - we could've spoon-fed it a little better. We were very much like, 'Well, this is what we are - fuck you!'" Pryor added the band did not want to be labeled 'emo' anymore: "We were really confident that we were going to kill this 'emo' stigma that we had and take the people with open minds with us and leave everyone else in the dust."
  • Following a series of tumultuous recording sessions, during which guitarist, Jim Suptic, threatened to quit the band, The Get Up Kids released Guilt Show on March 3, 2004. Relationships between the band members continued to deteriorate over the coming year and on March 8, 2005, The Get Up Kids announced that they were splitting up after ten years together. This lead to the band embarking on a farewell tour, which ended on July 2, 2005 in their hometown of Kansas City, Missouri.
  • In 2008, The Get Up Kids announced they would be embarking on a 2009 reunion tour in order to support the 10th anniversary re-release of Something to Write Home About. Soon after the reunion was announced, the band started working on new material, and on April 13, 2010, The Get Up Kids released Simple Science, a four-track EP and the band's first release in six years. This was later followed up by There Are Rules, the band's fifth studio album and first full-length release since Guilt Show. In our interview with Matt Pryor, it was revealed this album was the result of a new, collaborative approach to writing: "It's always been pretty democratic. But it was more like one person - me or Jim or sometimes other guys - would bring a song to the band and be like, 'Okay, here's a demo I did at home'...But the way The Get Up Kids have evolved is we write collaboratively now. And what we'll do is we'll get together with nothing, and we'll just kind of dick around and jam on stuff until something emerges. And then we fight about that for a while until we have a song structure that'll have maybe a melody that I'm kind of singing gibberish over. And then we'll build the song like that, and then we'll all go back once that's all done and write lyrics and vocals to it."
  • Alongside their work in The Get Up Kids, all band members partake in other music side-projects. James Dewees has worked as a touring musician for both New Found Glory and My Chemical Romance, and also has a solo project called Reggie and the Full Effect. Rob Pope and brother Ryan both joined Koufax after The Get Up Kids split up in 2005, while Jim Suptic formed Blackpool Lights. Matt Pryor is a member of The New Amsterdams, while also balancing a successful solo career. Pryor's second solo album, May Day, was funded by a Kickstarter campaign - which allows the public to finance special art/music projects. Matt spoke to us about the campaign: "I did a Kickstarter campaign to finance the record, and got overwhelming support. I was going through a period of wondering if anybody likes what I do - I don't really know if I see the point in doing this, I feel like I'm just constantly having to fight people. And that was just an overwhelming show of support, and it was kind of like, all right. I'm glad I'm touching somebody."


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