Artist Interviews
Relient K - November 23, 2002

During the National Youth Workers Covention in Nashville, I had the chance to sit down with all four members of Relient K (David Douglas, Brian Pittman, Matt Hoopes and Matt Thiessen) and talk about the band and their music. Here it is.

Mickey - First of all, tell me a little bit about your effects

Matt T - Well, my effects are all kinda hodge-podge right now. I use a Jekyll & Hyde pedal. It's looks like a home plate. It's got an overdrive half on it and a distortion half on it, so it's like two pedals in one. So basically you can hit the green side or the red side, and then if you hit them both at the same time it's a third effect. But that's not really working at the moment, because I dropped it... And then I use a jackhammer pedel, which is also an overdrive and a distortion, but you have to switch it manually, so you can't really use them both - either one or the other. And I use that one on the overdrive setting with my amp and stuff. Oh yeah, and I play a Rivera, a Knucklehead into a vintage Marshall 412 cabinet. Pretty simple. Matt Hoopes is the king of effects...

Matt H - I have an Ernie Ball volume pedal going into a Boss tuner TU-2. I have a Pro Co vintange rat distortion, the Boss super overdrive distortion, the Boss tremolo, the Line 6 delay modelor..

Matt T - Pricy.

Matt H - Very pricy.

Matt T - Seeing that he hasn't used it yet. $200, but it's cool to look at.

Matt H - But it has a sampler on it too.

Matt T - It's a cool pedal

Matt H - I have a Fender Telecaster.

Matt T - You have your Ibanez tubescreamer.

Matt H - An Ibanez tubescreamer. Right now I'm playing through a Marshall (uninteligible)... Go ahead Brian.

Brian - I play bass, and I go through an mpeg 810 cabinet, and through an mpeg tubehead, into a sans amp - which is like a direct box thing - it makes me sound louder. I have a tuner as well. (laugh)

Matt T - I didn't talk about my tuner. It's not really an effect...

Brian - It's a cord rack tuner. And then I have this cool thing. You pull out these lights, and it doesn't do anything really at all.

David - It conditions the power.

Brian - Yeah, your power is conditioned, but also you can see - it helps you see better. If you can see, you should probably get it - whatever it is in life, if it helps you see better.

Mickey - How about weird tunings or anything? Drop-D?

Matt T - We drop D in one song right now.

Mickey - Which one?

Matt T - It's a new song, called "Trademark". Actually the song "Breakdown", it's off Anatomy, we Drop D that live now, just for the heck of it. We sorta rewrote it a little bit, just for fun. We have some other weird tunings. We have this song called "Jefferson Airplane", it was on our EP, and we just redid it for our new album. That has a drop G tuning. You drop the lower A string to a G. It's kinda cool.

Mickey - I've never heard of that before. Is it something you made up?

Matt T - I made it up, yeah. Probably not the first, though...

Mickey - Tell me how you guys came together. David came later, if I'm not mistaken?

Matt T - Yeah, research.

David - Uh-uh, yep

Matt T - The three of us (points to Matt H and Brian) were just friends from like second grade on, like we went to the same church. We didn't really have a whole lot in common. They hung out (Matt H and Brian) cause they were like basketball players and stuff a lot. We all went to the retreats together and stuff. But, we all started playing guitar sophomore, and their freshmen year in high school. So that's kinda how we got together. Then we started a band out of it. Then Dave came along about two years ago.

Mickey - How did you get discovered?

Matt T - There's this guy that lives down the street from us - you probably know him - Mark Townsend - he's a really good guitarist.

Mickey - Yeah, he's played with Jennifer Knapp a good bit I think.

Matt T - He's like one of our best friends, he lives down the street. So we did a demo for like $200 in his basement, so since he was on tour with DC Talk at the time, Toby McKeehan from DC Talk he's half-owner of our record label, Gotee. He heard it, and liked it, and signed us.

Mickey - How long ago was that?

Matt T - That was what, four years ago? We were only a band for like two months when we did that demo. It was a really rotten demo - I don't know how we got signed off of it.

Mickey - (sarcastic) It must have been pretty bad, to get a record contract out of it...

Matt T - Well, it was. You would laugh. It makes people laugh.

Mickey - That's the kind of stuff you need to put back out.

Matt T - We did. Our fan club - it's free with a membership to our fan club.

Mickey - Your style. Everyone seems to compare you guys to Blink. Is that something you try to do? Do you want to be a good alternative to them, or do you just play your music and it happens to come out like that?

Matt T - They're an influence of ours. We're not out there trying to be an alternative to anything - we're just trying to be us. But we listen to them, and we listen to anything from NOFX to Weezer, as far as rock goes, and there's like Beach Boys and Ben Folds and stuff in there.

Mickey - How do you go about your songwriting? Do you come up with a tune and then you drop lyrics on it?

Matt T - It's a mixture. A lot of times the lyrics will come completely separately from the music. Just say, we'll be messing around and come up with something instrumentally like two months before a lyric idea, but then they'll end up being put together somehow. They were never intended for each other, but it just sorta happens sometimes.

Mickey - Do you all sorta write the songs and lyrics together?

Matt T - As of right now I'm sorta doing the lyrics and stuff.

Mickey - Relient K, the name. I mean, it's a Relient car, but your dad had a Relient or something?

Matt T - His dad (points to Matt Hoopes). I remember where we came up with it. We were eating ice cream at this restaurant, Friendly's Restuarant. We always made fun of him for his car, and I'm like "We should just name our band Relient K".

Mickey - That's about it. What else do you want our users to know about you guys?

Matt T - Dave's phone number is.... (laugh)

Brian - As far as tabs go, if you ask me, I don't know what notes are what...

Mickey - Well, that's it. Thanks for your time, guys.


More information about Relient K

CGR Home Page

Complimentary Christian Ringtones
Dadamobile and CGR have teamed up to bring your favorite Christian artists right to your phone. Sign up today and get 10 complementary ringtones!
Tab Country
Did you know CGR has a sister site w/ country guitar tabs? Well we do! Its called Tab Country. It has a great archive with a lot of country tabs.
Rockin Tabs
Are you looking for a site that has rock guitar tabs? Then is the place for you. It is a budding site with many rock guitar tabs. Submit your tab today.
Tab Gallery
Tab Gallery has a compilation of christian, rock, and country tabs all in one place. Come visit us.