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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Relient K enjoys headlining a 25-city tour

Ever since Relient K was founded nearly a decade ago, the Christian rock band has relied on witty wordplay for its album titles: "The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek;" "Two Lefts Don't Make A Right... But Three Do;" "The Vinyl Countdown." They're good for a chuckle, but that doesn't mean the band remains the same nod-and-wink group it was during its high school years in Canton, Ohio.

The reality is that Matt Thiessen & Co. have mellowed and deepened, and their recent compilation -- "The Bird and the Bee Sides" -- showcases the true talent beneath the pop veneer.

As Relient K ventures into Indianapolis for the Uncle Fest Tour (get it?), Thiessen tells us about the band's new chapter, the persona behind the puns and more.

Question: Tell us about your relationship with the other bands coming into town for Uncle Fest.

Well, the main support is a band called Ludo. I just heard their song on a commercial for the show "House." They're really cool and quirky -- they've got some Weezer influence, along with some darker stuff like My Chemical Romance.

This Providence ..... I don't know those guys very well, but their music is really cool. And then House of Heroes is the first band playing. They've been friends of ours for probably eight years, and they're one of my favorite bands.

When you were first starting Relient K, did you ever think you'd be around long enough to do a compilation project?

Not at all. The thing is, we had one more album to do for our contract, and we had all these songs sitting around, and I was thinking we might as well put those out and get out of our deal and start something new. But then we ended up writing a bunch of originals for it, too, so we went half and half with new songs and old B-sides.

Over the last several years, there's been such marked maturity and growth in the songs of Relient K. What direction do you think things will go?

It's a line that we've always chosen to walk -- where you try to stretch the band and move in a different direction, and yet also give people what they want.

What is that balance? In another interview I did recently, the songwriter just said that, ultimately, he's the one that has to stay interested.

Right. When you're writing new songs, you have to put yourself in the perspective of making sure you're a fan first of all, and then hopefully your tastes will align with that of your audience.

What can people expect from the live show?

On our last record, we had an 11-minute song that ended the record, called "Deathbed," and I'm not sure how we'll pull this off on the live show, but I think we're gonna try it. I think Matt (Hoopes) and I are also going to try out some trumpet and do some other interesting and fun stuff. Should be a good time

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