Relient K – Interview

Another one of the many bands Eastscene’s Shelby Wilson got to meet up with at Warped Tour 2011 was Ohio formed Relient K. Sitting down in the absolutely welcomed air conditioning, Eastscene was able to get a little insight from the band’s John Warne and Jon Schneck. For those of you yet to attend your Warped date, make sure to check out this band, they’re a bunch of great guys and take it from us, they put on an awesome show.
SW: To get right into things, you guys’ have progressed a lot since the days of Sadie Hawkin’s Dance. How would you explain it?

JS: I would explain it as just a natural progression. Realistically, as the band gets older, the songs mature and get better. You know, we write about what’s relevant in our lives at the time.

SW: Of course, definitely makes sense. Now, I’ve read that your band name comes from a car’s name? What made you choose that?

JW: Our guitarist, Matt, had a really crappy car called a Plymouth Reliant K. He got made fun of a lot, for it.

JS: It’s the care you do not want to have when you’re 16.

JW: Yeah, so we just chose that.

SW: You’ve released a lot in 13 years. What are you most proud of, thus far?

JW: Your kids? Your two kids? [laughs]

JS: Yeah! I would say that each time we make a new record, that becomes our new favorite, because it’s new material. Also, where we are in our lives, at that time, it’s more relevant.

JW: So, when we put out songs like Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, that is really pertinent to our lives.

SW: Did you ever think that being a Christian band would negatively affect you? Did you ever have to work a little harder to make it in the mainstream?

JS: I don’t think we ever did anything purposefully to break any sort of genre. About three records ago, the band got signed my Capitol Records and that caused the distribution to go a bit more mainstream. That’s the story to it. It wasn’t really intentional.  There’s nothing more behind it than they signed us and we started getting played on the radio.

JW: Yeah. Our record was already recorded, at that point.

SW: Speaking of the records, you’ve sold over 2 million albums. Is that surreal at all?

JS: I mean definitely, these days. If it was 1989, that’d be like failure. It’s definitely very awesome to have kids still buy your records. We’re hoping that trend continues.

SW: I read about a couple of you having outside projects. How do you think those compare to Relient K?

JW: I’ve got an outside project. It’s called Yellow Second. It’s a Denver band. We used to play nationally, but now it’s just a couple of guys who want to get together every weekend and bang out some music. We’re working on a record and it’s been fun, to do that kind of thing outside from Relient K.

SW: What has the response been like to your cover CD?

JW: Since the record came out, it’s been real positive. There was some polarization with  at least one of our song choices. There was a hashtag on Twitter about it, because we did Baby by Justin Bieber. A lot of our fans were not into that choice. Since it came out, though, we’ve heard a lot of ‘I hated that song and now I actually kind of like it.’

SW: Now, you guys have done Kingdom Bound, which is a Christian music festival kind of similar to Warped, however KB being multiple days and in only one location. How does the experience with that differ with Warped Tour?

JS: Kingdom Bound is very much, you come, you play the show and then you leave. Warped Tour you’re here the whole day, the next day you go and set up somewhere that looks eerily similar and you do the same thing for two months at a time. It’s kind of the same, kind of different.

SW: What’s the message you guys are trying to portray as a band?

JS: You know, I don’t think that we necessarily have an agenda. There are definitely themes of our faith, themes like grace and forgiveness that go throughout our songs.

SW: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in so many years?

JW: I think it’s be grateful for what you have. This band has been really blessed, lucky, however you want to look at it, just to have the kind of support that we do have. We don’t take that for granted because we so many bands that are just so good and yet have a hard time getting off the ground. We have just kind of failed int successes.

JS: We failed up!

SW: Any final thoughts?

JS: Yeah, just kind of going along with that last question, thanks to all the fans for the support.

And thank you to John and Jon for chatting with us! The interview list for these guys was crazy. Being around for quite some time, I’m sure many of you had been wondering some of these questions, yourself! Be sure to check out these guys in the future!

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