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|interviewed by robby sumner|
| Interview with Jim
November 11th, 2005
Jim Suptic - Vocals, Guitar
J.D. Warnock - Guitar, Vocals
Brian Everard - Bass
Billy Brimblecom - Drums
|E: Jim, since the break-up of your last band, the Get-Up Kids--
Jim: What band? "Get up kids"? Who are they?
E: I think they were the ones who wrote that song about a massive pike.
Jim: *Laughs* They did? Oh, I remember them!
E: You've been making music with a new band called Blackpool Lights... what was the experience like, playing in a well-known, high profile band and then starting over with a new group that a lot less people have heard of?
Jim: You know... humbling, I guess. It's been interesting, going from playing our last Get-Up Kids tour and playing in front of, like, three thousand people, to playing in front of three people. But I've done it before, you know? It's not like the Get-Up Kids just started out successful. We played for no people many a time. It's what I expected.
E: Do you think that the material you've been writing for this band is a little bit closer to what you've always wanted to write, but never got the chance to? Or is it just a new medium for the same inspiration?
Jim: I mean, I don't know about "always" wanted to write... I think that whatever I write at the time is what I want to be writing, you know? I now have that opportunity where I'm kind of the leader of the band, and it's kind of nice to be in charge for once, and have all my ideas panned out. When you're in the Get-Up Kids, everybody is writing songs, and sometimes it's hard to get your point across, I think.
E: Do you feel a lot more pressure from taking on all the leadership responsibilities that you'd once shared amongst other members?
Jim: You mean like how if it fails miserably, I get to take all the blame? *Laughs* I guess there's pressure, but I don't think I feel any of the pressure. I don't really give a shit about what people think, for the most part. I'm just happy to be making music, and being in a band with people excited about making music with me.
E: I don't want to keep talking about the Get-Up Kids, because obviously our focus should be on Blackpool Lights...
Jim: Well yeah, but [talking about it] is inevitable.
E: But when TGUK came to an end, did you feel like that was the end of your high profile years in music? Or are you hoping that Blackpool will take you just as far?
Jim: This is a full-time band. I hope this band is bigger than the Get-Up Kids! I want this band to be as successful as possible--it's not like a part-time gig or anything. I'm gonna put in as much effort--or even more than what I put into the Get-Up Kids. Because now it's kind of "my" band, you know? We're a band--it's not just me, it's not my solo outfit or anything... but I have a lot of pride in it, I guess.
E: Other members of the Get-Up Kids have already had successful side projects that started during the years of the band and have become their focuses now that it's over--Matt Pryor with his acoustic project the New Amsterdams, and James Dewees with his Reggie and the Full Effect shenanigans. How would you compare these projects with your plans for Blackpool Lights?
Jim: Well, it's probably a little bit harder... right now, everything's just kind of word-of-mouth, and I think that when we had the Get-Up Kids machine rolling, it was probably easier for them to get some publicity and web chatter and what not. But I guess I have to work that much harder. It basically started out with me putting out a side project solo record... I just had a bunch of songs, it wasn't "I'm starting this new band." I was just going to record a bunch of songs and put it out, and that was about it. And once the Get-Up Kids broke up, it was like... well, I guess this is a full-time gig! And I had to find myself a band.
E: How would you describe your relationship with the other members of Blackpool Lights? What strong characteristics do your bandmates display that prevent it from just being the Jim Suptic Band?
Jim: J.D., our lead guitar player... he brought in three or four song ideas that we worked on, and we actually shared lyric duty on one song... pretty much, I don't tell them what to play. It started out that I had seven songs demoed, and that's how it started out as my thing, but it evolved slowly into a band thing, you know? Everyone has a say. If someone goes, "This part sucks! I don't like this!" I'm not going to be the dictator--"Fuck you! This is my art!", you know? *Laughs* Because usually, nine times out of ten, they're going to be right. And I like their opinion.
E: You have a full-length record coming out only a few months after the release of an EP. Is this simply the result of the band having an overflow of ideas to put out, or is this a response to pressure for you to make your mark on the scene as quickly as possible?
Jim: We recorded fourteen songs. The EP is two songs from the record, we recorded a cover, and then it's two songs that are on the record, but acoustic versions, so it's sort of a teaser for the record. But we basically had all these songs, and what happened is that our drummer, who's not with us right now, got diagnosed with cancer--I don't know if you know the whole side story that's going on--and had to go into chemotherapy, and basically we decided, "You know what? We have to make this record now." And he went in, during chemo, and busted out fourteen songs in two days on drums. And then we just started building this record, which is an insane story in itself. So everything that had to do with recording, or anything on that part of it, had to do with Billy's treatment and wanting him involved in making this record. As far as putting the EP out, we were just going on tour and thought, "Boy, we should probably have something to sell while we're out here on the road!" So people, if they like it, can have all their friends hear it.
E: Do you think that this is a band fueled more by touring or by recording music?
Jim: It will be touring--we just started touring, you know? I mean, everything about this band has just been insane, how everything's fallen together... it's just been kind of a whirlwind. We basically just busted these songs out and had a record pretty much written in three months. And then went and made the record. We're just now touring, and we have this Lucero tour coming up, which we're really excited about, and hopefully it will be really good for our band--getting kids out who maybe would be excited, but wouldn't have any other way of hearing it, you know?
E: So do you believe that Blackpool Lights is a band that will give you a bit more time to relax? Give you more time to spend at home than you were able to when you were busy with the Get-Up Kids?
Jim: I hope not! I think that was the problem with the Get-Up Kids, that we had people who wanted to be at home too much... and this is what I do. I want to tour. I want to be on the road. You know? I get bored when I'm at home. My attitude is just do it. The only way we're going to become successful is by turing, in my opinion. I mean, that's how the Get-Up Kids became successful.
E: Is this the band you think will be carrying you until the end of your music playing days?
Jim: Like, is this it--is this band make it or break it? *Laughs* I hope. But regardless, I think I'll always be playing no matter what happens with this band. I'll always, hopefully, be evolving and doing new things. I don't ever want to stop... I may not be able to tour as much as I'd like to in the future, but it's what I'm good at--writing songs. Or at least I think I'm good at.
E: So you'll be rocking out at 60 with Mick Jagger?
Jim: Yeah, but they're... oh man. Maybe they should call it quits. *Laughs* They had a picture in the front of U.S.A. Today, and they're looking pretty old. You know what, more power to them, though. When I'm their age, I'll probably be "Fuck you, don't tell me what to do."
E: That should do it for the interview... thanks a whole lot.
Jim: Awesome. No problem, man.