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I was reminiscing over all my favorite ex-Tooth and Nail bands and I decided to come up with a playlist to remember the olden days.

Ace Troubleshooter – 2:00 Your Time
Bleach – Andy’s Doin’ Time
The Cootees – Jocks Don’t Like Us
Delta Haymax – Four Leaf Clover
Dogwood – 1983
Fine China – You Heart Was Made of Gold
Hangnail – The Sleeping Giant
Havalina – Space and Mexico
The Huntingtons – Allison’s the Bomb
Joe Christmas – Coupleskate
Ninety Pound Wuss – Responsibility
Plankeye – Open House
Squad Five-O – I Don’t Want to Change the World, I Just Want to Change Your Mind

Relient K’s “Must Have Done Something Right” is the theme music for the Chicago Cubs and White Sox on WGN in Chicago.
An interview with John Warne of Ace Troubleshooter.

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An interview with Philmore.

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Even before arriving in Minneapolis to attend North Central University, I had heard of Ace Troubleshooter, the Tooth and Nail band that had previously attended there. Since then, I’ve seen the local heroes of the Twin Cities play a few times and have even had a couple of conversations at shows with their singer John Warne, who is a real laid-back guy with a good sense of humor.

It took a little time to get a hold of him, but on Thursday, June 6, I was able to touch base with him for a phone interview. During which he discussed subjects like Ace Troubleshooter’s upcoming album “The Madness of the Crowds,” along with some of his serious beliefs and humorous stories.

Matt M: Your tour bus used to be owned by the Dixie Chicks.

John Warne: That’s the first question?

MM: Well, I’m getting there. Did you get to meet them when you bought it and has the bus accounted for your country influence?

Warne: Oh, our country influence. No we haven’t gotten to meet them. It was basically like a consignment place. They put it on a lot and they just waited for it to get sold, and so we got it. But we never got to meet them, but it did smell really good in there for about the first day. Before all of us stinky rock’n’rollers came on the bus.

MM: And you have no country influence?

Warne: I’m really not a big country fan. Some people might be and that’s their thing. But I look at “country” music as an oxymoron.

MM: Somebody told that your drummer once drove around P.O.D. for a week or something. Does he drive a lot of bands around?

Warne: He actually drove around Living Sacrifice, they were on the P.O.D. tour. Yeah, but he did drive around Living Sac. He does that once in a while. That’s part of the reason that we got that bus, it defers a lot of the cost of touring. So it’s an investment and there are big weighty payments. So basically we just try and get other people to pay for it. But he drives in the off-time, whenever we’re not practicing or touring. So that’s a way he gets a little bit extra cash.

MM: You said in another interview that your hometown audiences in Minneapolis don’t move around or get into the shows.

Warne: Yeah that-I should have guarded that statement a little bit more carefully. Oh, what were you going to say?

MM: Well, just why do you think that is?

Warne: Well, it depends on the show. Usually when we play there we have great shows. The kids are just like anywhere else; they love to have a good time and move around, it’s great. But a lot of times like if I go to shows that aren’t that populated, the kids stand back and have that like “Impress me” look on their face. That’s what I’ve noticed: it’s a lot more prevalent in Minneapolis than in most other places in the country.

MM: Have you toured everywhere in the country?

Warne: Yeah, we haven’t hit like Maine or Alaska or anything like that, but we’ve been pretty much most everywhere else.

MM: I noticed Isaac wasn’t playing with you for a while, where did he go and is he back for good now?

Warne: Yeah, he was doing children’s ministry back home in North Carolina. So he did that and basically it lasted throughout the term of his internship. So that’s what he did and not that he got it out of his system, but he just wanted to come back to Ace. So now he’s back for good.

MM: And as far as you go and the others, what was it like having him gone and what was it like having him back?

Warne: Well, it was interesting having him gone. For some reason I just hate teaching songs to other people. So I had to teach all the guitar parts to other people. It’s fun and everything, but I just get really tired of it. You can’t establish as great of relationships when it’s just going to be for like a couple of months filling in. So when he came back it was just a great relief. He’s a really good friend of ours and it’s just great to hang out with him. He’s knows the music better than anyone else, so it’s just awesome.

MM: Does he play like a songwriting role at all?

Warne: No, I do all the songwriting, but he comes up with cool guitar parts.

MM: You have a song where Josh plays guitar and you take over the drums.

Warne: You’ve done your research.

MM: What’s the name of that song?

Warne: We just call it “The Drummer Song.” Basically where he comes up out of his throne and he plays this song and says, “I am the drummer who likes to sing and play guitar.” That repeats over and over. Then, he says, “Oh won’t you see me,” that repeats over and over and over, “when I play a show.” That’s the song; that’s it. I play drums and it’s cool.

MM: Do you ever sing “Don’t Trust that Girl” or “Yoko” to your girlfriend or to any of your friends about their girlfriends?

Warne: There’s a funny story about that. The girl that I wrote that about, she lives in Minnesota. She came to one of our shows and I didn’t really want to do it because I thought it would be weird and everything. But we did end up doing it and we were selling these “Don’t Trust That Girl” T-shirts at the time that has a picture of a broken heart and then across the heart in a big banner it says, “Don’t Trust That Girl.” She called me up and she wanted to me to mail one of those to her. So we actually did. She’s totally cool with it. It’s kind of like water under the bridge, so she just thinks it’s funny now.

MM: Can you tell me about the line from “Yesterday” that says “I remember a different time, I remember a different me, when there was springtime in my heart. But it’s winter and I’m shivering with cynicism now.”

Warne: I actually wrote that at North Central. It was after that whole break up thing. It’s not a song about that, but it’s just remembering brighter times. I have a tendency and I think a lot of people have a tendency to look back at the past as “the glory days.” It’s okay to feel that way sometimes, but we can’t live in that. That’s just kind of me like ruminating over the past and remembering some stuff. I think we, as people, tend to get more cynical over time, especially about life and circumstances and everything like that. But we also can’t live with that; we’ve got to let God deal with that.

MM: When you said “the whole break up thing,” was that when Isaac left?

Warne: Oh, no. I meant that girl that I was talking about, that I wrote “Don’t Trust That Girl” about.

MM: You covered “Your Love Broke Through” for the Keith Green tribute album. Did you get to pick that one?

Warne: Yep.

MM: And if so what do you like about it? Is there any spiritual significance there for you?

Warne: Oh definitely. I’ve always been a big Keith Green fan. I love his music. I love his heart. He’s actually got this biography from his wife called “No Compromise” and it’s really good. Anyway, he’s a really good songwriter, a really good musician and just an excellent example of a Christian who sacrifices everything for what they believe. That song was basically for him about a turning around point in his life. He had just been a self-described “dreamer” and God pretty much met him, found him. That’s just significant for everybody I think who comes to know Christ.

MM: How do you handle the expectation that a lot of people place on bands in the Christian music industry to do ministry?

Warne: I totally understand it. I’ve kind of been in ministry for a while. Like I used to help out with the praise and worship times at my junior high and senior high church stuff. So I recognize that need and that’s cool. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that rock’n’roll really can be a ministry and it just takes different forms. For us, we feel that we are a bridge band between people that like punk music or rock music or whatever style that people think we are; a bridge between that and the church and between a relationship with God. You can go overseas to be a missionary, but there’s also a big mission field here. So yeah, we feel like it’s our place to be a bridge type of band. Not so much speaking too much from stage and being like an evangelical type of band up on stage, but more of like talking to kids afterwards and doing one-on-one stuff.
MM: I read some negative reviews of your last album basically saying that your music isn’t any different from bands like Craig’s Brother or Slick Shoes. What do you think sets you apart from the rest of the so-called “punk” bands out there?

Warne: I really couldn’t tell you. I really like the music that I write. Reviewers are going to be reviewers and critics are going to be critics. Not that we don’t pay attention to that, but it’s just really bares no significance to where we want to be as a band because we’ve a lot of kids that do like us and think that we are different from those bands, so that’s just fine by me. We’re just making our “art” and there’s always going to be critics.

MM: I thought you were going to say the new album because I’ve heard the new album and it seems very different from the self-titled. And I was wondering how satisfied you were with it and like how do you think the listeners will respond?

Warne: Well, it is different. I think it’s a little bit slower or maybe even a lot slower. It’s just got a lot more rock’n’roll feel and some emoish type stuff, but that’s okay. I really don’t know how kids are going to accept it, but I think there’s still the same attitude, still the same topics that the songs deal and I think it still has the same aggressiveness; that the kids that like that will still like this album.

MM: I was talking to the Relient K guys and from what I understand Dave, their drummer, sang backup on the album.

Warne: Yeah, on about half the songs probably, he came up and sang back-ups on. It was only a couple-hour-drive. Yeah, he had actually been filling in for Isaac, when Isaac was gone. We toured with Relient K for a long time and it just worked out that instead of hiring a new guy we’d just get Dave to do it. He was great. We just love that guy.

MM: So is that hard to do that live then? Does Isaac do the back-ups then or?

Warne: Yeah, he does the back-ups live. Isaac wasn’t there for a big chunk of the time during the recording, so during the time that he was gone we just got Dave to do that stuff. But Isaac does all of the back-ups live and he does all of the cool guitar playing.

MM: I was talking to somebody [who] mentioned that you have these chick songs on there or these songs about girls, but that they’re really not about girls. Is that true?

Warne: They’re really not about actual girls?

MM: Yeah, that they’re made up girls.

Warne: Yeah, there’s one song called “Estella,” that’s actually taken from…

MM: “Great Expectations.”

Warne: Yeah, “Great Expectations,” you know it better than I do. Yeah, it’s just kind of his relationship with Estella, her name is. And so it’s just kind of like my take on that. Then, there’s also this song called “Amanda.” We were a little bit short on material when we went in there, so basically one afternoon I just had to write that song. It’s not about anybody; it’s just a fun little two-minute song that we came up with.

MM: The song you did for the Christmas…

Warne: Happy Christmas Volume Three.

MM: Right. That one you re-released it on the album. Do you really like that one or?

Warne: I do. It speaks a lot to me. I try to be open for what God would have me write through songs. I think he moves in big ways through some songs that people write. To me, he really moves in that one. So I just wanted to put that on the album, so I guess more people could hear it.

MM: What are you trying to convey through that one?

Warne: Well, a couple of different things. We wrote it for the Christmas album, so it obviously had to deal with Christmas stuff. One of the topics is there’s a total greed about Christmas; just money-minded, material-minded things that go along with that. Obviously, it’s got to be; it’s in America and that’s the culture we’re steeped in. So it’s kind of a reaction against that back to what Christmas originally was: Christ being born, coming down and being born into a humble manager scene; that’s one of the topics. Then, it’s also kind of also about when he was born there, he wasn’t born in a palace or a kingdom or anything like that, he didn’t have power, but he was born into this nasty little food trough. What that says to me is that: “No matter what we’re going through, we don’t have to be having the best circumstances in our life, but God wants to be born into our hearts. He wants to live in every situation, whether it’s high and mighty or low like he was born.”

MM: Are there any last words, thoughts, comments or suggestions?

Warne: We got a new website, so go check that out. We’ll be playing all summer and all fall, so we’ll be in your town wherever you’re at. We hope you like the new album; we really like it.

For more information about Ace Troubleshooter click here.

Relient K’s sound often walks the tight rope of being in the CCM market and still being hip for high schoolers and college kids. Sometimes it’s hard to know what audience they’re trying to reach with their Blink 182ish style of pop-punk, which occasionally gets mixed with a touch of emo.

So when I interviewed the band’s singer/guitarist Matt Thiessen on the first of June at Blitz Fest in White Lake, Michigan, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that some of my pre-conceptions of their band were wrong and I also found out about a lot of things that any curious person would want to know about their band. Hopefully this interview will provide answers to lots of questions for fans and critics of the band.

Matt M: So you’re Canadian, eh?

Matt Thiessen: Yeah.

MM: Do you get teased about that at all?

Thiessen: Not so much. Once in awhile you’ll hear a little Canadian crack. Mostly the boys in the band will just make some sort of joke like how I’m incapable of doing something because I’m Canadian. But for the most part nobody even knows, you did some research.

MM: Well, I think you said it in…

Thiessen: In a song, yeah. That’s research I guess.

MM: Where in Ontario?

Thiessen: Really southern Ontario like by Niagara Falls pretty much. Twenty minutes away is a town called St. Catherines.

MM: So you’re almost in New York?

Thiessen: Yeah, pretty much like 45 minutes from Buffalo I think.

MM: And then you just moved down to Ohio?

Thiessen: Yeah my folks split when I was young and my mom remarried some guy from the states and we moved to Ohio. I have four brothers and sisters and we all just booked it down here and started getting used to it and it was cool.

MM: Can you briefly give me your take on the whole Abercrombie and Fitch thing?

Thiessen: Oh, ok. Yeah, Abercrombie… I don’t know if you know the background on it, but Abercrombie talked to our record label said: “We’ve never really worked with a band exclusively. We play music in our stores, but never worked with a band. We like Relient K, we want to work with them.” Then, our record label was flattered, because we didn’t know anyone had ever heard of us. So we thought it would be a really cool ministry opportunity and we were so excited about it that our record label sent out a big e-mail to all these people in the industry just saying: “Hey check this out, it’s a really cool opportunity you know, pray for us,” and stuff like that. And some Christian publications found out about it and instead of viewing it as Abercrombie just using our music. They used it as us endorsing Abercrombie, which wasn’t the case. Basically they called for a boycott of not only our band but our record label. At that point, we were a little frustrated. Because it was affecting our entire record label and not just our band, we had to back out of the deal. So that was kind of a bummer. But our folks were real pissed, because they were like, “You guys were doing this for the ministry and now you have to back out.” Yeah, we thought it would be a really great ministry opportunity to minister to some frat boys. Jesus also talks about knowing like when to back down and when not to cause other people to stumble. So basically we cut our losses.

MM: You had some lineup change between albums with drummers.

Thiessen: Yeah.

MM: Why did you change and how did that affect the band musically?

Thiessen: It was a while ago. We’ve actually gone through I think five or six different drummers, but we’ve only recorded with two. So basically our first drummer on board, like full-fledge on, was Stephen Cushman and he played on the first record. He’s a really cool guy. He’s really into hardcore and he screams really well. But we ended up just having different goals, different visions for the band. He just kind of felt like God was taking him somewhere else. So he joined this band called Narcissus. I’m sure Decapolis does stuff like that. I think they might even playing Decapolis Stage this summer at Cornerstone. So anyway, they’re a really cool band and he definitely kind of gelled with them probably better than with us, because we’re a little too cheesy I would think. We’re even too cheesy for us sometimes. Then just a buddy of ours from home, we had him join. His name’s Dave, he’s great, we love him. He sings well, plays drums well, he’s not even a drummer; he’s a guitarist. So it was kind of cool that it worked out.

MM: I’ve always suspected that Toby McKeehan is the fifth member of Relient K.

Thiessen: Oh.

MM: Because I can just picture him in my mind as being behind some of your catchier lyrics. Has he helped you out as a band like musically or lyrically?

Thiessen: At the beginning he was the guy who saw the potential I guess-which I still don’t see. He was the guy who signed us, but other than that basically he was pretty hands-off. We wrote the first record, made it and he said it was good enough for Gotee records. Because there was talk about not putting us on Gotee records and just developing us. So he said, “Yeah, I’ll put this out.” And then he was kind of checking over the songs. When it came to the second record, basically he heard it when it was done and that’s the same with the one we’re working on. I talk to him probably about twice a year now. So he definitely was “Uncle Toby” at the beginning, but I think it’s flattering that he trusts enough to be able to write well. I guess it’s good enough for him, so that’s cool.

MM: Your label’s got strong ties to the CCM industry. Do you like being part of that and how do secular bands view your band being part of that and do you have plans to go mainstream?

Thiessen: That’s a big question, but I can just talk about this forever. We grew up in youth group listening to the Supertones, Switchfoot, Five Iron Frenzy and all this stuff. Really that’s kind of where we came from, those are the kind of bands we wanted to be like and open for. We did that because we liked the ministry aspect of the music. We liked where the lyrics were and how people weren’t afraid to talk about their faith. So that’s kind of what we patterned ourselves after and that’s something that will always be with us; we’re not ashamed of anything. But a lot of us don’t really listen to a lot of Christian music that much anymore, I guess being involved with it so much. It’s a really weird situation. A lot of bands once they are in a Christian band or in a Christian label-they view it as a stepping-stone to get to the goal of being a general market band and being huge. And that’s something that we’re kind of embarrassed of-that philosophy. We love where we’re at-God’s taken us farther than we ever thought we’d get to go and if he wants to do anything more with it, then that’s up to him totally. And you know what, we enjoy playing with a bunch of general market bands. We just went on tour with this band from Jersey; they weren’t Christian kids, but they really liked our music and we really liked theirs. We became really good friends. It’s just a really cool situation where you can make new friends. And then we were at Friday’s one time, just eating with those guys and I was like “Hey, do you guys think that our lyrics are dumb because we’re talking about our faith?” They’re like “No man that’s just what you believe. Nobody thinks you’re dumb for believing in something. It’s the same as us writing about whatever.” So I thought it was cool and I like it when people don’t cut you down because you’re singing about your faith. So I hope that covered it.

MM: I’m sure you did. Your music seems to really appeal to a high school audience.

Thiessen: Yeah.

MM: Do you think older audiences, like maybe your peers, have a hard time taking your music seriously?

Thiessen: Yeah. We ran into this rut of putting out records of material that we had written two years before. So basically when our first record came out, it was stuff when we were 15, 16 and 17. And when we put it out we were 19 and 20 years old, getting into the whole indie rock scene listening to the Get Up Kids and Jimmy Eat World every day and being ashamed of what we wrote. But still having fun with it, still being the kids that we are. You know you just move on and you try and mature. So then our second record, we thought we had matured a little bit. But we even still used some of those songs that we wrote when 15, 16, just cuz’ we didn’t want to make the transition too jagged I guess. And now we’re scared, because we’re writing this third record right now. We’ve got 18 songs on it so far and it’s even matured more. We don’t want anybody thinking, “Ah, these guys are just all grown-up.” But we’re just doing what we like to do. We’re changing things up, because I don’t think anyone wants us to put out the same record over and over and over again. We’re not trying to fall into any gaps and stuff like that. I guess I don’t know if I answered the question about the peers or not.

MM: I think so. The song “Pressing On” is pretty similar to a popular Blink 182 song.

Thiessen: Oh really, which one?

MM: “Dammit.”

Thiessen: Oh yeah, yeah.

MM: Do you get compared with them often and like how do you feel about that?

Thiessen: The “Pressing On” song-that chord progression…

MM: It’s gold.

Thiessen: Yeah, it’s just… everybody uses it. Actually I think I was listening to a lot of Sum 41 at the time. So if you listen to the EP that they came out before, “All Killer, No Filler,” it would probably be even more of a good comparison. But basically when you’re writing pop-punk music and you want to keep it poppy and not too weird, there’s only so much you can do. So I know how my melodies and my chord progressions [are similar], so I just keep doing it. And I’m like, “You know what our voices are different, we put harmonies on stuff, sometimes we add different instruments, different keyboards; it’s never going to be exactly the same, we’re never going to rip anyone off on purpose. So we’re just going to do it and if we get compared, so what.” We do get compared to Blink. I like Blink, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m never a big fan of “If you don’t want your kids listening to Blink 182, have them listen to Relient K.” Obviously it’s good to have your own identity as well, but you know comparisons don’t get me down ever.

MM: My friend, I think he did an interview with you guys. He insists that the ska riff on “What Have You Been Doing Lately?”…

Thiessen: Is a Suicide Machines riff? I think I’ve talked to that guy before. Yeah, oh ok I remember that interview.

MM: Jason.

Thiessen: That was in Minneapolis.

MM: Yeah.

Thiessen: At the New Union. That’s funny. Yeah, I was listening to that Suicide Machines record, but he said that before. I didn’t rip it off, but he told me that before. It wasn’t blatant or anything, but I do like that record. It was off of the… I forget what the record was called. I think it might have been self-titled, the weird one where they slowed everything down.

MM: The other Matt in the band seems to have some really strong emo influences that come out on “These Words Are Not Enough.” Do you plan to incorporate more of that sound into your music?

Thiessen: It’s funny, as I said before, three or four years ago we just started getting into all the indie stuff. I know Decapolis is all about that too. It’s a cool thing, that music, I like it. It’s becoming such a trend now. All the people who have done it before are like, “We hate it.” Rivers is saying “I hate ‘Pinkerton,’” and that’s like the “father of emo records.” Saves the Day is like “We hate the word emo.” And I understand it because you’re trying to make original art and you’re trying to do what you think sounds cool, and then people are just calling it “emo.” And of course all of your friends think “emo” is stupid. We were just writing what we think sounds good. Definitely, the new record is still really poppy, but a lot darker in areas too. I don’t know we’ve definitely tried to avoid getting put in the “emo” box that’s for sure. We’re actually stirring things up quite a little bit: we’re actually going vintage a little bit, doing some 70’s type of stuff, acoustic stuff, weird stuff, but it’s not like what you’d expect I think. It’s not what you expect every punk band to be doing.

MM: Do you ever get sick of playing songs like “Sadie Hawkins Dance” and “Marilyn Manson Ate My Boyfriend?”

Thiessen: Oh yeah, it’s actually girlfriend, “he ate my girlfriend.” Yeah we don’t play that one anymore, the Marilyn Manson song. We played it for two, three years straight and got totally sick of it and stopped played it. “Sadie Hawkins” is kind of different for me, because it’s cheesy, but I still kind of like it for some reason. So I don’t get sick of that one, that’s actually one of my favorites to play. But yeah I mean I guess a lot of bands get sick of playing the really cheesy songs, but that one was an exception for me I guess.

MM: Who did the screaming on “Softer to Me?”

Thiessen: That was our old drummer and actually our producer’s stepdaughter. She did a lot of it too. She’s got a good scream. So we’re still buddies with [them].

MM: They really toned that down.

Thiessen: Yeah, well we thought it was kind of cool to put it way in the back and not scare anybody. It was actually something that Juliana Theory does a little bit too sometimes, because they’re not really a screaming band and they don’t want to be labeled as a “scremo” band. So sometimes you just put the screaming in the background.

MM: I never knew about this emo side, I thought it was all just Matt.

Thiessen: What?

MM: About this emo side to you?

Thiessen: Yeah, you thought it was Hoopes?

MM: Yeah.

Thiessen: Yeah, we’re into the same music, I just don’t T-shirts I guess. I always wear button-up shirts, cuz’ I don’t know I’m just in not shape enough to wear tight T-shirts I guess. So I don’t ever wear… I don’t get a Saves the Day shirt or a Dashboard shirt like Matt does. So he gets branded like that a lot and he’s so much more serious than me that everybody’s like, “He’s the dark mysterious emo one.” But I definitely have a really serious side to myself, so that’s what I listen to.

MM: So like what stuff is in your CD player right now?

Thiessen: Well, there’s stuff like the Boxcar Racer, I just picked it up, so it’s in there. You know I’ve been getting into The Starting Line. It’s weird it varies from Pete Yorn to Death Cab for Cutie, Blink 182’s always in there, the new Weezer a little bit, Taking Back Sunday, this band on Victory, is pretty decent, the new Goldfinger even and that’s like cheesier than anything, I like Mest a lot and I could go on forever cuz’ I just listen to music non-stop. Yeah, it’s cool. It varies quite a bit.

MM: I remember seeing a single of yours with the song “For the Moments I Feel Faint” and there was a liner note in there about someone playing that song on 9-11.

Thiessen: Oh yeah.

MM: What were the circumstances behind you writing the song?

Thiessen: That song’s kind of funny for me. It’s the acoustic one on the album, but originally I think it was one of the first songs we ever wrote as the pop-punk band. It was pretty much kind of like a Blink 182 song. I wrote the lyrics to the verses back when I was 15 and I had just become a Christian. I was sitting in a bible study and I just started writing this poem-I don’t know how much of a girl that makes me. But I just start doing that because I was thinking about my… I was like “Man am I at the point where I can’t improve anymore or what about all this stuff?” So I was writing my thoughts down. It was like a first song type of thing almost. We never used it for anything and then I kind of looked back on it and I was like “You know what? Some people might think on this new record that we’re ashamed of our faith. You know what? I like this lyric a lot and it’s hopeful,” so we just decided to change the tune into an acoustic song. I liked the way it turned out a lot. It’s a really old one, but we just kind of brought it back and changed it around.

MM: So you got the Creepy EP out and this other one you’re working on. When will that stuff be out, and what such Relient K and Decapolis readers expect from such recordings?

Thiessen: Ok, right now we’re in the middle of this record. We started it in March and we’re not anticipating being done with it until August of 2002. We’re just taking our sweet time and just throwing like 14 guitar riffs on every song and stuff like that, we’ll weed it out later. Just basically trying to do everything we want on a really low budget, so it’s gonna be interesting, but it should sound good. Our record label doesn’t want to put it out till probably March 2003, which is forever of a wait for us. We’re gonna try to put together a new EP of some sort, like take some songs from the upcoming record, do some acoustic stuff, maybe just write some more songs and make an EP for the fall. And from the music, I don’t know. It’s basically the same direction that we were going with the self-titled to “The Anatomy of the Tongue and Cheek.” Now we’re just trying to keep going in the same sort of feel with it. We like all the songs-everything on the new record we like better than anything we’ve ever done.

MM: The Creepy EP’s already out?

Thiessen: The Creepy EP came out before “The Anatomy of the Tongue and Cheek.” It was kind of the same thing: it had “Pressing On” on it, “Those Words Are Not Enough,” a b-side from the record that didn’t make it and some acoustic songs, like it has “Softer to Me” acoustic on it. So we just put that out last summer so kids could hear what the new stuff was sounding like on “Anatomy.” So that when “Anatomy” came out at the end of the summer they could buy it. It’s kind of the same thing with the fall, we’re gonna try to put some new stuff [on it] from [the album] yet to be named.

MM: Are there any last words, thoughts, comments, puns or suggestions?

Thiessen: I’m all done with the puns I guess. But I just want to thank you guys for doing the interview; I go to the Decapolis site all the time. You know a band I like a lot, this band called “Noise Ratchet,” you guys had them on your stage a couple of years, we might get to tour with them a little bit next spring. It’s kind of been all about the stuff, so I just appreciate you guys taking the time out to interview us and actually caring enough to do it. It’s kind of weird, but we’re excited about it. Actually I write e-mails, I return all the fan mail that we get and on the bottom of everyone it says, “Questions about Christian music vs. secular music” and I have a link to the Decapolis site, this something somebody wrote on there. I really like the way you guys deal with that stuff, as far as saying that secular music isn’t evil. That’s it, there’s my piece.

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