"When I was about eight years old, I distinctly remember tossing around the ideas of being a 'rock star' when I grew up," says Matt Thiessen, singer/guitarist for Relient K. "Immediately after the thought entered my mind, I felt very dirty for having such an idea. That, of course, was 1988, and the tail end of MTV's spandex wielding hair band era. My definition of a rock star was a guy (resembling a girl) with long wild hair, skin tight leopard print clothes, and a keytar (keyboard guitar) in hand. All of this accompanied the fact that I was forbidden to watch MTV, and that all of these impressions of rock and roll were illegally snuck into my mind under mom's ever-present radar. After those 30 seconds of absolute rebellion, I submitted to the respected aspiration of being an astronaut."
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About eight years after that premonition, Thiessen joined up with friends Brian Pittman and Matt Hoopes to start Relient K. The boys wrote some songs that were under the influence of bands such as Mxpx, Ghoti Hook, Five Iron Frensy, and Click Shoes. In January of 1998, with the addition of drummer Todd Frascone, Relient K started playing shows. One month later, as a favor, producer Mark Lee Townsend recorded "All Work and No Play" (Relient K's first demo) for $200. While on tour with DC Talk, Mark played the demo for DC Talk member and owner of Gotee Records, Toby Mckeehan. Toby heard some raw promise in the demo, and eventually signed Relient K to the Gotee roster.
Relient K's first album (self-titled) recorded in the summer of 1999, and released in April 2000. The self titled album was received warmly and has since racked up over 100,000 unites in sales. Their second album "the Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek" was recorded in January 2001, and released late August of that year. The album showed that the band had maturing potential as well as an ever expanding fan based, selling 300,000 copies. In March of 2003, Relient K released their third full length LP, "Two Lefts Don't Make A Right, But Three Do" debuting at #38 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart. "It's cool, I'm glad that it exists and that we made it," says bassist Brian Pittman.
"In addition to our 3 nationally released recordings," adds Matt Thiessen "we've always released an EP before every album to allow some new and exclusive material to leak out in-between LPs."
Relient K has become very well acquitted with a touring lifestyle, being on the road on average 150-200 dates a year. Touring has been a key element to the band's development of their fan base and strong record sales. Being apart of tours featuring bands such as Switchfoot, The O.C. Supertones, Five Iron Frenzy among others, have helped to put the band in front of over a million people to date. In addition, Relent K has ventured out on two very successful headlining tours.
So what's next? The boys continue to do "band" things such as touring recording, writing, and practicing. They do anything and everything they can to keep having a good time with the band, and not take their rock and roll too seriously. "In reality, we know we've been extensively blessed to get to do what we do, and we just want to make sure we don't take it for granted. We're really thankful that tomorrow always looks pretty good."
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