PropertyOfZack had the chance to catch up with Ethan Luck of Relient K at the 2011 Vans Warped Tour and it turned into a great interview. Ethan and I went through the past six months for the band, the release of their cover album in the fall, the process of writing for a new album, and more. Read up and enjoy!
Relient K has had a very quiet year compared to the norm. Late last year you did a brief holiday tour, but not much has gone on in terms of touring since then. Has it been nice to hit the road on Warped since then?
It’s fun man. It’s kind of the same thing every Warped Tour we’ve done, except different people. It’s always hot, similar layout every day, music everywhere and all that stuff. The lineup changes every year, that’s the biggest difference I’ve noticed I guess. But yeah, it’s been awesome. Made a lot of good friends like Moving Mountains.
You guys were busy recording some cover songs, but was it weird being off for essentially six months?
It was weird. It was planned, just because we needed some time off. We only did 3 shows before Warped Tour, or 4 technically because we did one at home before we left. We just wanted to spend some time off the road and we recorded our EP in that time as well.
Relient K released K Is For Karaoke right after Warped kicked off. Have fans been into the release even though it’s not necessarily original material?
Yeah fans have really seemed to like it. We weren’t really sure, especially because we did Justin Bieber (laughs). When people saw the track listing a lot of people were bummed, but once it came out a lot of people were like “wow, I kind of like that song!” And you know what, I’m sure he’s a nice kid, he’s probably really cool, I don’t know him, but I don’t personally care for that kind of pop. I don’t have the fever man. But after I heard the final version of ours, I was like “wow, that’s a good song.”
POZ: Did you guys pick songs you’ve done before?
Ethan: Yeah we did some songs that we’ve done live before. Like we’ve done “Crazy” before live. And “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”.
There were rumors that you guys were recording a full album, and some have been confused whether this is just a warm-up for a bigger covers release. Can you clarify that?
The full length is coming out in October I believe, and it will have the current songs on it plus 8 or 9 more I think. So we’ve got other ones on there that we’ve done before live.
Was it refreshing to do something different in the studio? Was that part of why you guys did it?
Well yeah but we wanted to do it because we wanted to put something out for Warped Tour. The band always puts out some kind of EP or b-sides thing in between each record, so we wanted to have something out before we do another record, so we decided to do that then release the rest of them. It’s refreshing but making a new record is too because they’re all brand new songs too. But it was fun to sit down and figure out because some songs we kind of made our own and some songs we kept the same. It was kind of our way of introducing our fans to the music we like.
Have you been playing any of them live?
We’ve just been playing “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” live, which is a fun one to play.
Have the fans been great for the whole tour so far?
Yeah man we have good crowds every day. It’s been encouraging. We haven’t put out a record in almost two years, but fans still come gather by the stage.
Have you guys been writing any original material?
Not necessarily, that’s the goal this fall is to jump back into that world and start writing some stuff. Not even a clue as to when another Relient K record will come out but that’s the plan. Do this, do Australia, and then start writing.
Is there a reason why it’s been so long?
Just touring on it. We put it out in October of 2009. We did that and at the same time we went on tour with Copeland and Barcelona. Then that winter we did a tour and we did a bunch of stuff. Went with Paramore to Australia. So we never really had time to sit down and do a record, but now we will.
Have you guys been happy with the reception to the last record?
Yeah absolutely. There’s always those fans that want you to do the early sounding stuff, but, I mean it’s possible but I think unless you can do that in an honest way and really mean it, it’s just going to come across as a joke or something. I think at the end of the day people don’t care as much as they say they would. Bands progress. Have you listened to The Beatles first record and last record? It’s like they’re a different band. Not that we’re The Beatles at all, but you know it’s good for bands to progress. I think if Matt sat down and tried to write a song like when he was 17, people would see right through it.
So the plan is to finish up Warped, go to Australia, and just write?
Yeah. And hit hopefully hit the studio in the fall. Then we’ll tour in the spring, hopefully hit the road and do a headlining club tour or something.
And what month should we expect the full cover album?