Jim Suptic co-founded The Get Up Kids back in 1995. Their first practice came on his 18th birthday. And, in the following years, his band became a touchstone in the emo community.
But their beginnings were pretty humble: Eons before Weezer's Pinkerton was worshipped and the members of Paramore got all sorts of press airing their dirty laundry, Suptic and his bandmates were playing in basements with bands like Coalesce and Braid.
These days, when he isn't playing with the reunited five-piece, he's playing with his other band, Blackpool Lights.
In advance of his band's gig at The Loft on Sunday, January 23, which comes as part of the tour coming in support of The Get Up Kids' fifth proper full-length, There Are Rules, Suptic took some time to remember his first show experiences.
Given the fact that his high school band, Kingpin, was heavily influenced by Slint, The Jesus Lizard and bands on the Amphetamine Reptile label, it comes as no surprise what show he saw first with his own money.
What was the first show you ever saw? Were you with your parents?
The first show I ever saw was The Beach Boys with The Moody Blues. I think I was in the second grade. The Beach Boys were a favorite of our family. We used to listen to them on summer vacation road trips. Unfortunately, about the only thing I really remember from the show was falling asleep in the middle of it. Oh, and the Beach Boys made a joke about how they were going to play country songs. Then they asked the crowd if they wanted to hear songs about cars. The crowd did. This is when I learned that there are a lot of songs about cars.
What was the first show you ever paid with your own money?
That's easy. Helmet, The Jesus Lizard, and Therapy?. I was 15. I got a black eye in the mosh pit. That year was especially amazing for me -- It sort of cemented the fact that I was going to play music for the rest of my life. That summer I saw Fugazi for the first time. Then, in the fall, I saw Nirvana with Jawbreaker opening. The very next day (yes, the very next day), in front of 900 people (yes, 900 people), I saw Rage Against the Machine and Quicksand. Those were the days.
What do you remember about the first Get Up Kids show?
We were actually not supposed to play the show. The band just happened to all be there. Texas Is the Reason was supposed to play a basement in Kansas City. They canceled at the last minute. We said we could play, so we did. It probably was more like our sixth practice. We just borrowed gear from the other band that was opening. I can't imagine we were very good. Our friends seemed impressed, though. I am sure we played "Woodson" and "Shorty." They were some of the first songs we wrote. Years later, after talking to the Texas Is the Reason guys, it turns out they canceled because they knew the show was in a basement and assumed it was going to be a waste of gas to get there. They told the promoter (or should I say the owner of the house) that their van broke down. Thanks, fellas!