Matt Pryor's main gig is fronting The Get Up Kids, but every year or so, he decides to go the sensitive singer/songwriter route and bring a few friends along, including Bayside's Anthony Raneri and Chris Conley from Saves the Day. They all play under the banner of Where's the Band?
Speaking from the tour bus outside of Birmingham, Alabama and in anticipation of tonight's gig at Dada, Pryor talked about his numerous side projects and how he hates, at least on this tour, to perform last.
How did you decide what songs to do during your portion of the show? I try to play a little bit of everything. I take a lot of requests sometimes. Or I completely ignore what people want to hear. It depends on my mood that day.
How much time do you get? We each play for half an hour or 45 minutes.
What's the most requested song? Jeez, I don't know. I couldn't tell you.
Is there a song you will not play? I guess. I won't sing any song from one of the other guys on this tour. Other than that, I am pretty open.
Your main band is The Get Up Kids, but you also have two other projects: New Amsterdams and The Terrible Twos. How do you find time for all of this? It just takes a lot of planning and a lot of scheduling. You got to stay busy.
Why did you decide to do this type of tour with four other singer/songwriters? This is the fourth time that we have done it. We've never done it long enough to get down South or into the Northwest. So we decided to make this time a little bit longer. We're all friends so it just kind of makes sense. Plus, I like coming to Texas. I like Dallas and Austin. I don't know a whole lot about any other city. Oh, I also like San Antonio. I've always had fun in Dallas, as I recall. Also, I will accept Texas as a barbecue state even though I am from Kansas City.
Who has the most groupies? None of us have groupies.
You new solo album, May Day, came out this week. Will there be more work with The Get Up Kids? It's possible. But right now, after this tour, I'm thinking about taking a long break.
You're from Kansas City, but you now live in Lawrence. What do you think about those two music scenes? I think Kansas City has a good scene, but I don't go there that often. I don't think I am a part of any scene because I have three little kids at home. I don't really go out that often.
Three kids? And you own your own record label as well. How many energy drinks do you consume a day? None, I just drink coffee. A lot of coffee.
Was it for your children that you decided to start The Terrible Twos? Yes. The records have songs about things my kids do or things that they say. The songs are not specifically for kids. They're more about kids.
Would you like it if your own children went into the music business? If that's something they want to do.
Was that something your parents wanted for you? No. I don't know what my parents wanted for me. I started fighting with them when I was pretty young, so I don't know if they had any actual plans for me or not.
By the time the tour is complete, you think you might be sick of these guys? You'll have to ask me at the end of it. I'm not sick of them yet.
Dustin Kensrue from Thrice will join you guys when the tour hits California. Do you see him and think, "Oh no, not another singer/songwriter?" No, because we've played with him before. He's a friend. We've done this thing once a year for the last four years. It's a matter of finding the time to do it. I can't speak for everybody else. I'm just happy to hang out with my friends.
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Any plans to record some of these shows and put out a DVD? No, I don't think so.
Do you change the order of who plays first, etc.? Yes, we mix it up. I prefer not to play last. I haven't had to do that very often. I don't like playing last. None of us do. We have fist fights and whoever loses the fist fight that day has to close the show. It's like that movie Fight Club. It tends to be me and Anthony [Raneri] who win.
Where's the Band? performs tonight, January 31, at Dada.