Five studio albums and counting, seven EPs, two Christmas albums, one collection of rarities, a kid's song, hundreds of tours, and a whole lot of fun along the way.
Slow burn is the best way to describe veteran pop rockers Relient K. If there was ever a band that has "paid their dues" with patience and endless touring, it would be this one. Their journey is one that founders Matthew Thiessen and guitarist Matt Hoopes never expected, and one that God has been blessing since the early 2000s.
Relient K began as a high school band to feed the musical yearnings of Thiessen and Hoopes. In the early days, the band was a fun outlet, the band is actually named after Hoopes' "train-wreck heap of a car," a Plymouth Reliant K! Thiessen was quoted in a press release as saying, "One night we stopped the car on the highway to see how fast it could go from zero to sixty. It took over fifteen seconds!"
In 1998, the band began play locally, and soon after a close friend (Mark Lee Townsend) helped produce their first demo. Luckily for the band, Mark also happened to be the touring drummer for dc Talk, and while on tour he played Relient K for dc Talk member and Gotee Records owner tobyMac. He loved what he heard, and signed the young band soon after.
"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."
Relient K's early sound reflected their influences heavily, so for many years Relient K was one the more successful pop-punk bands in the Christian market. Their first Gotee release, a self-titled album with strong MXPX and Ghoti Hook (RIP) influences, and contained many pop culture references through out all the songs. This style would become Relient K's calling card, and over the next few years, the "pop punk with lots of quirky pop culture references" defined the band's sound.
With a few songs on 2001's Anatomy Of The Tongue In Cheek, and more predominately on 2003's Two Lefts Don't Make A Right...But Three Do, fans began to watch the band elvolve their sound. Thiessen began to play piano, write stronger melodies and serious lyrics, and the band began to progress their sound away from their pop punk roots. In fact, critics took notice as well, and in 2003 Relient Kwas not only nominated for a Dove Award and a Grammy, but also won a Greg Award for "Modern Rock Album Of The Year".
In 2004, Relient K and Gotee partnered with Capitol Record to release Mmhmm. The album saw the band almost completely depart as a young, quirky punk band, and step into the mainstream spot light as a well rounded progressive rock band. They even added a third guitarist/banjo position to help flesh out their sound. The first single from the album, "Be My Escape", landed them on the Top Ten List at MTV, and helped the album to eventually sell 796,000 units world wide.
Over the course of these many releases, Relient K also established themselves as a hard working touring band. They on average play close to 200 dates a year.
2007 saw Relient K release their most diverse (including a song over ten minutes), and self-described "happiest" album to date with Five Score And Seven Years Ago. radio and television continued to take notice of the band, with several singles from the album landing top radio spots and allowing Relient K to take on bigger tours and endeavors.
In 2009, Relient K released their sixth studio album through Gotee/Mono Vs. Stereo entitled Forget And Not Slow Down in October.
Relient K will always bring us something to think about, and make us have fun doing it!
Listen to Relient K Here
|All Work And No Play||1998||CREC Records|
|2000 A.D.D. EP||2000||Gotee Records|
|Relient K||2000||Gotee Records|
|The Creepy EP||2001||Gotee Records|
|The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek||2001||Gotee Records|
|Employee Of The Month EP||2002||Gotee Records|
|Two Lefts Don't Make a Right... But Three Do||2003||Gotee Records|
|The Vinyl Countdown EP||2003||Mono VS Stereo|
|Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand||2003||Gotee Records|
|Apathetic EP||2005||Gotee/Capitol Records|
|Five Score and Seven Years Ago||2007||Gotee/Capitol Records|
|Must Have Done Something Right EP||2007||Gotee Records|
|Let It Snow Baby... Let It Reindeer||2007||Gotee Records|
|The Bird And The Bee Sides||2008||Gotee Records|
|Forget and Not Slow Down||2009||Mono VS Stereo|
|Is For Karaoke EP||2011||Mono VS Stereo|
|Is For Karaoke EP Pt. 2||2011||Mono VS Stereo|