PropertyOfZack recently spoke with James Dewees of Reggie And The Full Effect for a busy interview on the relaunch of the band, an EP with Matt Pryor, Death Spells, the end of My Chemical Romance, and much more. Check out the Reggie Kickstarter here and the full interview below!
Reggie is back. You launched a Kickstarter a few weeks ago and it’s around the $30,000 mark. At what point did you want to at least try to bring it back?
In nine days we’ve raised that. I was in Los Angeles, and a friend of mine pointed out that Mindless Self Indulgence’s Kickstarter was successful. I hadn’t heard of Kickstarter, so she showed me their page. I saw that Murder By Death had done one as well. I really like the idea of giving fans all that extra stuff. I like the idea of all the personalized things. My relationship between fans and Reggie has been one that’s a lot more personal, even more than it should be. The idea of being able to connect with them even more than just the music was appealing. I talk to them all day long on the Kickstarter page.
Matt did one and Kevin Devine just did as well.
Kevin did his in a day. That’s insane. I saw Kevin two days later at a show in Brooklyn, and he was so freaked out. He was like, “I don’t know what happened, man. This is just amazing.”
People you know have done successful ones. Did you have fears of setting the price that you did though? Or is it just a glorified pre-order with great options.
For not having a label right now, it’s an amazing option. It’s great for bands to get stuff out to people. If this is my first record it would’ve been around $5,000. I’m so shocked at the outpouring from fans both old and new. It’s been so amazing. I think asking for $50,000…I was kind of nervous, but after doing all the math for the production and manufacturing, it was real close to that number. Then you have to pay taxes on it. You have to sit on it for a while, then you have to pay your taxes, and then whatever is left at the end is a profit. The whole point is to make the record and get on the road.
Do you want to do it on your own? Or do you want a label?
I love having a label, but I love doing it on my own. A label is like a partner that helps you achieve your goals and they pick up the grunt of things like manufacturing and advertising. I wasn’t too aware of things like publicity as a younger person in a band, but as a seasoned veteran of the indie rock scene, I know exactly what you need to do and where the dollars need to go. If I want to start working on a label after it’s done, maybe, but the record is just special for the Kickstarter people. You get basically two records and all other sorts of stuff just through the Kickstarter that you won’t get after.
It’s been so many years since the last record. When bands come back after that long fans are either truly excited or lack care.
Five years since it came out, and it was recorded in 2006. It’s been seven years. But I think it depends on what the band does. If the band comes back at it with an attitude of, “We’re going to be right back where we were,” then that often fails. For me with Reggie, we’re all a lot older. I have to work my ass off to get fans back and to make new fans. It’s been a long time. Some people have just moved on, so my job is to swing them back towards me.
If you listen to Matt Pryor’s podcast, you’ve been on it a bunch and he’s talked about your new songs. And he says they’re just sillier than ever.
I think it comes from age. I sound like such an old ass for saying that, but things are different when you’re in your 20’s instead of late-30’s. Your mind is in a different place and you care about different things. I’ve spent all these years on the road with all these bands. The one thing that I’ve carried with me the whole time is my sense of humor. It’s been able to get me through the most ridiculous things on tour and in life. Having a sense of humor make or breaks you. Living in New York, there are a lot of angry people. They just feel like they haven’t had a chance to do what they want because they’re tied down by something. The one thing that you can get them to do is laugh and entertain them. For that moment, they’ve forgotten about what’s wrong. There’s a power right there and it’s real special.
You did the Matt and James tour a few months ago and have another one coming up.
We have an EP coming out on Equal Vision Records soon. It’s like three songs. He’s happy and I’m really happy with it. When we started playing together again, it came about by me sending him demo songs. Since I’ve been home I’ve just been in the basement writing music. Ideas just keep pouring out. Some of them don’t sound Reggie enough to be Reggie, so I’d send them to Matt. He’d send them back with vocals that would blow me away.
POZ: That’ll be a duo EP, not a split?
James: It’s a duo, but it has elements of early-Get Up Kids and Reggie in it. It’s very rocking. It’s not what the last Get Up Kids record was.
POZ: Will this be a one time thing, or no?
James: We’re both real happy with it. We’re talking about writing once his touring and album plans are done and once our schedules slow down. I have this other thing going with Frank from MCR called Death Spells. We’re opening up for Mindless Self Indulgence in two or three weeks. It’s more like an electronic-hardcore project. We’ve been working with a visual graphics artist and he’s been making these insane videos for us. The music is al little more intense than what MCR was or Reggie. It’s more in the vein of Ministry and stuff like that.
POZ: There’s nothing out for that yet, is there?
James: No, we just posted a song for fun online to get a demo out there. We have a full-length written. There’s red tape to go through before we can announce it. It’s crazy to say out loud because there’s so much stuff.