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Relient K - Building On The Best Things


Hours before their excursion bus stuck fireplace alongside the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Matt Thiessen and the alternative members of Relient K had been discussing with Switchfoot methods the bands may want to assist the non-income Habitat For Humanity of their upcoming fall tour. "A week after the bus fire, it happened to me that we were just talking approximately people that have lost homes and then I changed into focused on all my shirts being gone," stocks Thiessen.With most effective the garments on their backs and some non-public gadgets they managed to grab on the manner out, Relient K watched helplessly as their bus grew to become to ash in the early morning hours.

Fortunately, plenty of the band's equipment changed into salvaged from the damage. The revel in left the band shaken, however gave Thiessen a brand new outlook on what topics in life, "It became quality to provide myself a truth take a look at and comprehend that my worries and my quick-time period troubles aren't a huge deal. We generally tend to mention we're all approximately the big photograph in existence. Then when something like that occurs to us, we have a tendency to focus on ourselves."

Relient K is specializing in other as they co-headline "The Appetite for Construction" tour with Switchfoot (which also consists of unique guest, Ruth). One dollar from every price ticket sold could be donated to Habitat for Humanity. However the assist for the enterprise might not give up there, "We just recorded a song that Jon [Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot] and I wrote collectively. It's referred to as 'Rebuild' and it is for Habitat. Jon's going to launch the track free of charge at the [Habitat] website. You can donate money to the business enterprise while you down load it."

Thiessen has more than one projects in thoughts to advantage the non-earnings, which includes an EP he may additionally put together after the excursion. Besides elevating funds for Habitat for Humanity, the bands on the "Appetite" excursion also wish to elevate cognizance for the business enterprise, which includes encouraging individuals to come to be concerned in local builds.

"Every night we're capable of have a few reps from Habitat come out to the suggests. The complete local bankruptcy element absolutely works out for a national excursion," feedback Thiessen. By highlighting the efforts of local Habitat for Humanity chapter, Thiessen hopes that community help and involvement with the employer will growth.

At the time of the interview, Thiessen and his tour associates were sitting in Springfield, IL waiting for an nighttime live performance. Yet their mind are with the people of California and the fires which can be raging. Hailing from San Diego, the participants of Switchfoot had been at once affected by the wild fires, "I turned into speakme to the bass player and he is were given 20 humans staying at his residence," shares Thiessen. "Jon changed into talking about it from stage the day gone by and he referred to the San Diego fires and the way Habitat can assist."

"Appetite for Construction" marks the primary time that Switchfoot and Relient K have toured collectively considering that 2001, the equal yr Relient K launched their popular 2nd album, The Anatomy of Tongue in Cheek (Gotee). However, Thiessen says the band nonetheless nods to early songs, nonetheless plays "Sadie Hawkins Dance", however has also matured personally and musically. "You cannot write the same songs which you wrote whilst you had been 19 while you are 27," he explains.

Relient K launched its debut album in 1999, whilst Thiessen become most effective 19. Now a few years from the landmark age of 30, Thiessen displays on the beyond seven years, "When we started, we were on the road in a van stopping at Wendy's to eat each day. One with the aid of one, the guys were given married. Everyone within the band is now married. We've gone thru multiple member adjustments." The band's contemporary line-up includes Thiessen (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Matt Hoopes (guitar, vocals), Dave Douglas (drums, vocals), John Warne (bass, vocals), and Jon Schneck (guitar, banjo, bells, vocals). Sadly, December 29 marks long-time drummer Dave Douglas' departure from the band to pursue different pursuits.

Even as band modifications, Relient K stays a perennial preferred of teens and young adults, each Christian and non-Christian no matter receiving grievance for their departure from Gotee Records (who the band nevertheless uses for distribution in Christian markets) to the mega-label, Capitol Records. Undeterred by public opinion, Thiessen asserts that at the same time as the band expanded beyond the Christian market, their religion ought to now not be in question. "We try to be who we're and quite a few people are interested in the way our band does things and the way we seem satisfied in doing them-the fact that we are all about our religion and writing approximately it, status for it, and no longer backing far from it. We're simply now not throwing Bible from the degree like Stryper did lower back in the day; but we also don't shy away from writing songs approximately what we accept as true with."

Serving as a notable equalizer among enthusiasts of varying beliefs, the band hopes to counter the parable that each one music produced through Christians is substandard. "It's a stereotype that is going at the side of Christian music," sighs Thiessen. "Once they hear that label, they suppose minor leagues. I've seen it on message forums like, 'You recognise that band's a Christian band?' And the next post is like, 'Oh, crap! I do not like 'em now.'"

"Everybody's got their own opinion of the Christian religion and occasionally people have not been introduced to it in a very good methods," maintains the impassioned Thiessen. "It's tough for them to embody a band that expresses the religion they'll had been driven far from." Even even though they play bars and clubs as well as Christian tune fairs, the band sees what they do as ministry, "But if we inform people that our ministry is to be less abrasive than different Christian band, it's kind of a unusual factor. We're simply seeking to be a part of these children' lives with our lyrics and who we are as people."

In reality, to make their present day excursion more teenagers group-pleasant, the bands have asked all venues to refrain from serving alcohol. "Band like Switchfoot, Ruth, and Relient K-we do club shows and the Warped Tour, however we also love being concerned in Christian youth tradition, too." Growing up within the church and going to adolescents institution, Thiessen has encountered many special Christians and their public statements on religion. He says, "Personally, I would not find myself attracted to someone who just comes out of nowhere, who does not know me and starts grilling me approximately my religion. I'm now not going to embrace something I haven't recognized due to the fact a few stranger's yelling at me about it."

Instead of being a "preaching band", Relient K attempts to reveal that Christians in a band can do extra than simply sing worship songs. "I sense like we are ambassadors molding everything together and making things [between the secular and sacred] much less separated. I experience like that is sort of the point of the Christian faith-to be less separated from the entirety and not have this isolated us against them mentality." Branching out of the Christian bubble has been top for the band, who launched their 5th album, Five Score and Seven Years Ago (Capitol) in March. Then October saw the discharge of the band's first full length Christmas album, Let It Snow Baby...Let It Reindeer (Capitol).

The opinions for the albums have been tremendous, frequently evaluating Relient K's harmonic vocals to that of the Beach Boys, a assessment that appears to had been overlooked by means of Thiessen. "That's my favorite band in the complete international!" exclaims an excited Thiessen. "To get a evaluation like that, wow!" Citing the band's landmark album, Pet Sounds, as his favored, Thiessen says, "I can pay attention to that record and I do not suppose we're ripping off the Beach Boys. If people can see the have an impact on, I feel like I did my task. You constantly need the matters you adore to come across for your song." Thanks to Capitol Records, Thiessen has about each song the Beach Boys has ever launched, including a framed vinyl of Pet Sounds in his dwelling room-a living room that Thiessen gets to look far too little because a lot of his existence is spent on the road.

When discussing the band's modern day launch, Let It Snow Baby...Let It Reindeer, Thiessen gives listeners a touching mental photo on what it way to come back home after being on excursion. Describing the tune, "Merry Christmas, Here's To Many More", Thiessen stocks, "It's were given the imagery of me coming home and all of the friends I've ever acknowledged are at my residence and having a Christmas party. It's approximately being cherished and general out of your buddies and circle of relatives. I spend most of my lifestyles now not seeing a variety of my pals. At Christmas time, I get to come back home and be with those I love." Not best does Thiessen find comfort at domestic with friends and family, however his efforts for Habitat for Humanity are assisting many throughout the usa to do the identical.
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