By Georgina Langford

When you title your record ‘Wrist Slitter’, you’d be wise to anticipate annoying music journalists asking you what that’s all about… Just before Matt Pryor (aka Get Up Kids frontman and all-round hero of the early 2000s emo generation) touches down on UK soil to tour his newest solo album, Georgina Langford asked him about his surprisingly perky sounding new album, duetting with Chris Conley and getting excited about music again.

A few months ago, you said in an interview with Dan Ozzi that you “quit music” last year, but now you’ve released a new album (which is really enjoyable, by the way). Was there one experience, or person, or thought, which inspired you to start writing again?

I went and worked on a friend’s farm for about eight months.  Cleared my head, went kinda broke.  I needed to get away to start enjoying it again.

Although you’ve explained that the title ‘Wrist Slitter’ is actually the opposite of the final feeling of the album, what was it that made you initially think you were going to write a really sad record (and what changed)?

Actually, that’s been misrepresented.  I never intended to write a sad record.  The chorus of the title song was going to be “I don’t want to write another wrist slitter” which would have put the title in more context but the song didn’t end up that way.  I needed to write something upbeat because I had been in such a dark place for so long.

‘Wrist Slitter’ feels really upbeat and in truth, full of youthful enthusiasm. After many years of writing, recording and touring, what aspect of making music gets you the most excited?

Writing.  Recording is fun if you can dedicate time to it.  My favourite is when I’ve just finished a song and it’s stuck in my head before anyone else has heard it.

For your diehard, longtime fans: which of the Get Up Kids records has most in common with ‘Wrist Slitter’? Do any of them correlate?

Eh, not really.  I guess it’s similar to our first couple records because the songs are really personal and raw.  They’re just written from a 30 something’s perspective as opposed to a teenager.

The track ‘Before My Tongue Becomes A Sword’ sounds a little like it could have come from the soundtrack of a great 80s teen movie. Do you have a favourite 80s classic – and one you wish you could have soundtracked?

Ha.  I’ll go with ‘Better Off Dead’.

Saves The Day’s Chris Conley duets with you on that track; what do you most admire about him as a musician? And as a friend?

He’s a great songwriter and a really interesting lyricist.  He’s also a searcher; we talk a lot about the universe.

Talking of friends, who would be your dream guest on your podcast, ‘Nothing To Write Home About’?

Ian Mackaye.

As someone who both interviews and gets interviewed, who’s your favourite person in the world to have a conversation with?

Dewees [James Dewees, Get Up Kids drummer].  He’s hilarious.

Why did you choose Allison Weiss to support you on your UK tour? (Side note: she’s awesome, so good choice)

I think she’s really talented and we have the same booking agent.

As part of the organisation Downwrite, you compose and record original songs by request from fans: can you maybe share the most unusual story or theme you’ve been asked to base a song on?

One just said “write a song about a robot falling in love with an octopus”.

You’ll be on your first tour date in Southampton, UK on Valentines Day, so how will you celebrate? 

By playing a great show and having some good British ale.

The new album Wrist Slitter by Matt Pryor is out now. He tours the UK from 14th-23rd February.


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]