Relient K

Biography

Members: Matt Thiessen, Matt Hoopes, Dave Douglas, John Warne, Jon Schneck

Active: 1997-present

HISTORY

Relient K was founded in 1997 by Matt Thiessen and Matt Hoopes on guitar, and Brian Pittman on bass. Todd Frescone joined for a short time on the drums in 1998. After All Work and No Play, Todd Frescone was replaced by Stephen Cushman. Cushman played drums on the 2000 A.D.D., and on the self-titled album in 2000, but left later that year. Jared Byers, drummer of Bleach, filled in as the temporary drummer, until Dave Douglas joined in December of 2000. This lineup remained static from the release of The Creepy EP and The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek in 2001, through the release of Mmhmm in 2004, after which Brian Pittman left to start a landscaping company. John Warne, lead singer and guitarist of Ace Troubleshooter, filled in as bassist for the remainder of 2004. He became full-time bassist in 2005. Also in 2005, Jon Schneck joined as a third guitarist, as well as a banjo and bell player, so that the band has a more full sound.

EVOLUTION OF SOUND

Relient K's demo, All Work and No Play, caught the attention of dc Talk's Toby McKeehan. After he signed the band to his label, Gotee Records, Relient K released their debut EP entitled 2000 A.D.D. EP in 2000. Later that year, they released Relient K, their first full-length and self-titled CD. It was distinctly Christian rock and featured lyrics with a wide range of pop-culture references.

In 2001, the band released their sophomore album, The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek. This album launched both Relient K and their sound to a whole new level. There were still plenty of pop-culture references on this album, which was evident in the song "Sadie Hawkins Dance." Anatomy contained many more softer songs and slightly lighter guitars. They would continue chords through tracks in order to fluidly transition in between songs, a trend that continued on their later albums.

It landed them in the Christian rock limelight, as they were then asked to do their rendition of the popular VeggieTales song "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" for the 2002 VeggieTales movie Jonah. This song mixes the sounds of The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek and their third album, Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do.

In 2003, Relient K released Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do. The album had multiple different covers of different colors, each depicting a car in some kind of wreck. As pop-culture references became less specific, sound and vocals became far more defined. Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do (often called Two Lefts by fans) combined the soft, meaningful songs of The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek and threw in fast-paced songs with deep lyrics. It was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Christian Modern Rock Album.

Since Two Lefts was released in March of 2003, Relient K released a bonus disc for Christmas, entitled Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand. The album was packaged with Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do from November 2003 to December 2003.

In late 2004, the group released their long-expected fourth album, Mmhmm. Pop-culture references were even less specific than on their third album, if not nonexistent. The album was significantly more on the serious side with very few of the silly songs the band was known for. The album is much more piano-driven in parts (including an entire song, "Let It All Out"), but more hardrock in others ("Which to Bury, Us or the Hatchet"). In July 2005, the album was certified gold. Also, driven by newfound recognition from Mmhmm, Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do was also certified gold in spring 2005. It has been announced that their second record, The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek, also just reached gold. It is awaiting certification by the RIAA.

The track "Be My Escape," which can be found on Mmhmm, is the band's most popular mainstream song to date. Its music video entered MTV's Top Ten, and landed them an appearance on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live. "Be My Escape" is also featured on Now! 19, a popular secular and quasi-annual compilation series. The music video for "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been," also from Mmhmm, has also made its way onto the TRL countdown, many top 40 radio stations, and is included on Now! 21.

In early June 2005, the band was featured on MTV's 10 Spot Drop, which gave the band a boost in its popularity, as did their Spring 2005 tour opening for Simple Plan and Good Charlotte.

In November 2005 Relient K released their first EP on Capital Records: Apathetic EP. The EP featured three new songs and three acoustic versions of other Relient K songs. It also featured the song "The Thief" by Matthew Thiessen and the Earthquakes. The EP was dedicated to their friend, Aaron Marrs, who died at sea in January of that year. He had been on the cover of the band's previous EP, the Employee of the Month EP.

Matt Thiessen, their lead singer and primary songwriter, has recently stated that they are now rehearsing songs for their new full-length record, aimed for a release some time in the fall of 2006. Recording will start sometime in the summer.

ALBUMS

2000 - Relient K Gotee
2001 - The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek Gotee Gold
2003 - Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do Gotee Gold
2004 - Mmhmm

EP'S

2000 - 2000 A.D.D. Gotee
2001 - The Creepy EP Gotee
2002 - Employee of the Month EP Gotee
2003 - The Vinyl Countdown Mono Vs Stereo
2005 - Apathetic EP

Edit biography

OptimusPrime

Submitted by OptimusPrime at Mon 05 Jun, 2006 6:20 am

OptimusPrime

Last updated by OptimusPrime at Mon 05 Jun, 2006 6:20 am

Follow Muzikum