The Get Up Kids: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

The Get Up Kids: 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Emo/pop-punk icons The Get Up Kids are back after seven years with their upcoming EP, Kicker (out June 8 on new label Polyvinyl Records). To herald the record’s release, guitarist Jim Suptic took some time to chat with TIDAL about some albums that changed him over the course of his musical lifetime.

The Kansas City, Missouri, band formed in the ’90s, joining a rush of emo bands like Weezer and Green Day to hit the airwaves — and, in 2018, they’re one of many acts of that ilk to make a comeback: Jawbreaker and American Football included. And that scene has expanded; the ever-reviving emo revival is now full force with acts like PUP and Swearin’ carving out their own considerable niche.

It’s all kind of a lovely mesh now: artists that inspired and inspire all working with the same palette of angst — although the Kids are drawing upon more adult issues on new singles like “Better This Way,” which is about dealing with the consequences of one’s actions.

Check out some of the works that inspired Suptic — from childhood favorites to mainstays.

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Beach Boys, Endless Summer

I chose this one because it was the first music I ever got into as a little kid; it’s what we listened to on every family vacation I ever went on. The Beach Boys were actually my very first concert when I was seven or eight years old. I know they made more iconic records, like Pet Sounds, but that record in particular — I just have those memories of growing up.

It’s cool that the Beach Boys were my first concert. It was at an amphitheater called Sandstone. It’s called something else now [Providence Medical Center Amphitheater]. Actually, Get Up Kids are playing that amphitheater [soon]. It’s all come full circle.

 Van Halen, 1984

That was the very first album I was ever given on vinyl. A lot of people my age, their first record was Michael Jackson’s Thriller; my sister got that. But the Van Halen one, I got it for Easter. I’ll never forget it.

On the cover of that record is a little angel smoking a cigarette. And the videos, like ‘Hot for Teacher,’ all these bikini-clad women — I was like, ‘I guess this is what rock & roll is.’ That was my true first taste of guitar-driven rock & roll music.

Fugazi, Fugazi

When I was a freshman in high school, my friend Aaron, who played in my high school band, Kingpin — he had an older sister who was a junior and we went to a party that she was throwing, all juniors and seniors. We were freshmen and we thought we were real cool, partying with the cool juniors and seniors. My friend Travis Millard, he did the art for Get Up Kids’ On a Wire, we grew up together, I went to church with him — we were in Aaron’s room and [Travis] brings this cassette and says, ‘You need to listen to this band.’

The first song comes on, and, I swear to God, it was a clouds-parting moment. It never really happened since then. I can physically remember thinking, ‘I didn’t know music could sound like this.’ It completely changed my life. That’s how I got into hardcore music, punk rock, indie rock… We started a band the next week.

Superchunk, Foolish

It’s like a perfect record. Where with Van Halen, I wouldn’t put it on my top 10 favorite records, I would say Foolish is in my top five favorite albums, front to back, of all time. It’s the record where, if someone says, ‘What’s indie rock?’ I’d say, ‘Well, this is indie rock.’ 

Blur, Blur 

I don’t think this one is my favorite Blur record, but I’m a big Anglophile and I love Brit-pop. I would say of modern music, they’re probably my favorite band and Graham Coxon is my favorite guitar player. I think that record is the perfect balance of Britishness and American indie rock. I guess I could relate to that a lot. They were art school kids…and I grew up a middle class kid who went to art school. They have pop sensibilities, but they’re always weird, too.

(Photo credit: Dalton Paley)

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