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Relient K

Relient K
Relient K live in May 2007. Left to right: Jon Schneck, Matt Hoopes, Matt Thiessen, Dave Douglas, John Warne.
Background information
Origin Canton, Ohio, United States
Genres Alternative rock, Christian rock, pop punk
Years active 1998–present
Labels Gotee, Capitol, Mono Vs Stereo, Jive, RCA
Associated acts Ace Troubleshooter, Guerilla Rodeo, Inhale Exhale
Website .com.relientkwww
Past members

Relient K is an American rock band formed in 1998 in Canton, Ohio, by Matt Thiessen, Brian Pittman, and Matt Hoopes[1] during the band's junior year in high school and their time at Malone University. The band is named after guitarist Hoopes' automobile, a Plymouth Reliant K car, with the spelling intentionally altered to avoid trademark infringement over the Reliant name.[2]

The group is associated with the contemporary Christian music culture, most notably the Christian rock and punk scene. The group has also performed alongside secular artists. The band has reached critical success with mainstream pop punk and alternative rock. The band's sound incorporates piano and acoustic elements. Since its formation, Relient K has released nine studio albums, seven EPs, two Christmas albums, and one collection of rarities. The band has received numerous awards including a Grammy Award nomination in 2003 for Best Rock Gospel Album and two Dove Awards.[3][4][5]

Relient K is best known commercially for their two studio albums which peaked in the top 15 of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. After signing with Capitol Records, they broke into the mainstream in 2004 with the release of Mmhmm, which debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200. In 2007, their fifth album, Five Score and Seven Years Ago, brought the most success for Relient K, debuting at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and selling 60,000 records in its first week.[6] The band has sold over 2 million records, with three albums being given gold certification by the RIAA. The band is also highly successful throughout the Christian albums and contemporary Christian music charts. On October 4, 2011 they released a cover album Is for Karaoke. On July 2, 2013, their seventh full-length album, Collapsible Lung was released.


  • History 1
    • All Work and No Play and Relient K (1998–2000) 1.1
    • The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek (2001–2002) 1.2
    • Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do (2003) 1.3
    • Mmhmm (2004–2006) 1.4
    • Five Score and Seven Years Ago (2007) 1.5
    • The Bird and the Bee Sides (2008) 1.6
    • Forget and Not Slow Down (2009) 1.7
    • Is for Karaoke EPs (2011) 1.8
    • Collapsible Lung, departure of Ethan Luck and 10th anniversary tour (2012-present) 1.9
  • Band members 2
  • Tours and live performances 3
  • Other projects 4
    • The Complex Infrastructure Known as the Female Mind 4.1
    • Woodland Forest 4.2
    • Podcasts 4.3
    • Related projects 4.4
    • Philanthropy 4.5
  • Discography 5
    • Studio albums 5.1
  • References 6
  • External links 7


All Work and No Play and Relient K (1998–2000)

After Relient K was founded by Matt Thiessen, Matt Hoopes and Brian Pittman in 1998,[7] Todd Frascone joined for a short time in 1998 as a drummer. However, Frascone left the band after recording the demo All Work and No Play. The demo was recorded by Mark Lee Townsend, the former live guitar player for dc Talk. Townsend had met the band members because his daughter, Danielle, was friends with the band. Danielle eventually married guitarist Matt Hoopes.[8]

All Work and No Play caught the attention of dc Talk's Toby McKeehan (tobyMac), who later signed the band to his label, Gotee Records. With the label Relient K released their debut EP, 2000 A.D.D. in 2000, with Stephen Cushman on drums. Soon after, they released Relient K, their first full-length CD. It was distinctly Christian rock and featured lyrics with a wide range of pop-culture references.[9] Cushman left later that year to join the Christian metal band Narcissus. Brett Schoneman of Christian rock band Philmore filled in temporarily,[10][11][12] followed by Jared Byers, drummer of the Christian rock band Bleach, until Dave Douglas joined in December 2000.[1]

In an interview, Matt Thiessen said that when the band started, he was the only one who sang, but he knew Matt Hoopes could sing as well. Hoopes was reluctant, but Thiessen said he "got it out of him". As a result, Hoopes became the primary back-up vocalist.[13]

The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek (2001–2002)

The band released their second album, The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek, in 2001. Though there were still plenty of pop-culture references on this album,[9] it contained many more softer songs and slightly lighter guitars.[14] They would continue chords through tracks in order to fluidly transition in between songs, a trend that continued on their later albums.[14]

Anatomy landed them in the Christian rock limelight, and Relient K was offered a clothing deal with Focus on the Family, Gotee backed out of the contract.

Relient K was then asked to do a rendition of the popular VeggieTales song "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" for the 2002 feature length VeggieTales movie Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie. The song was released on three different albums, two in single form. The first version also included their song "Breakdown" being sung by Larry the Cucumber. There was also a promotional version which included the original version of "Breakdown". A cut-down version (missing the bridge) was included on the Christian rock compilation Veggie Rocks!. This song mixes the sounds of The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek, and their third album, Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do.

Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do (2003)

In 2003, Relient K released Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do. The album had multiple covers of different colors, each depicting a vehicle in some kind of wreck. As pop-culture references became less specific, sound and vocals became far more defined.[16] Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do (often called Two Lefts by fans) combined the soft, meaningful songs of The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek and threw in fast-paced songs with deep lyrics.[16] It was nominated for a Grammy in the category of "Best Rock Gospel Album"[3] and won the Dove Award for "Modern Rock Album of the Year" in 2004.[4]

During this time, Relient K also released a limited edition red vinyl EP entitled The Vinyl Countdown, only released in one printing. The EP included two versions of the song, "Five Iron Frenzy is Either Dead or Dying." The album was dedicated to Jesse Alkire, contest winner and friend of Matthew Thiessen, who inspired the song "The Vinyl Countdown."[17]

Since Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do was released in March 2003, Relient K released a bonus disc for Christmas, entitled Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand. The album was packaged with Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do from November 2003 to December 2003.[16]

Mmhmm (2004–2006)

Matt Thiessen (left) and Matt Hoopes (right), two of the band's founders, performing at Purple Door in 2005.

The group released their fourth album, Mmhmm, in late 2004. Pop-culture references were even less specific than on their third album, if present at all. The album was significantly more on the serious side with very few of the silly songs the band was known for.[18] The album had the band experimenting with their sound a bit more, which included incorporating piano, hardcore punk and some pop music.[18] In July 2005, the album was certified gold for shipping over 500,000 copies. It is reported that it has sold approximately 796,000 copies.[19] Driven by newfound recognition from Mmhmm, Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do was also certified gold in spring 2005. Also, it was announced in 2006 that their second record, The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek, had reached the Gold rank as well as certified by the RIAA.[20]

Shortly before Mmhmm '​s release, longtime bassist Brian Pittman left the band, citing that he was tired of touring and wanted to start a landscaping company.[21] He also joined Christian metal band Inhale Exhale shortly afterward. Matt Thiessen announced Pittman's departure in fall 2004, saying: "After almost seven years of being in Relient K, our cherished and lifelong friend, Brian Pittman has decided to move on to other things. That IS crazy, huh? Brian decided to leave the band in July, so we've had plenty of time to let the initial shock die down. We're aware that a lot of you already knew, so we apologize for not announcing this sooner. There were many reasons. He thought long and hard about his decision, and he came to the conclusion that he would like to do other things than play bass for the band. We respect him for it. We'd be lying to say that we're not all completely bummed that Brian won't be a part of Relient K anymore. And though we know things won't be the same without him, it must be said that we have always valued our friendships with him more than our on-stage relationship.

"Anyway, all of us still hang out, and its like nothing is different at all. I feel like that's how you know that you've made a friend that will be there for the rest of your days. We want to thank Brian for all the years he gave the band. You're the best, buddy."[8]

Pittman reunited with the band for one final show, which was the release party for "Mmhmm" at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio on November 1, 2004. John Warne, lead singer and guitarist of Ace Troubleshooter, filled in as bassist for the remainder of 2004 and became full-time bassist in 2005. Also in 2005, Jon Schneck joined as a third guitarist, as well as a banjo and bell player, to create a fuller, more distinctive sound. This was also because the band planned to add more piano, and having another guitarist gave Matt Thiessen the freedom to do that.[22]

Relient K provided the first track, "Manic Monday" originally recorded by The Bangles, to the various artist CD, Punk Goes 80's, released on June 7, 2005.

Mmhmm features two Top 40 hits which both made it on MTV's Top Ten. The track "Be My Escape" is the band's most popular mainstream song to date. Its music video entered MTV's Top Ten, and landed them an appearance on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. "Be My Escape" is also featured on Now! 19, a popular secular and quasi-annual compilation series. It was classified as a gold single in October 2005.[20] The music video for "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been" has also made its way onto the Total Request Live countdown,[23] many top 40 radio stations, and was included on Now! 21. Mmhmm was awarded a Dove Award in 2006 for the "Rock Album of the Year."[5] The band was also nominated for "Artist of the Year" and "Band of the Year" at GMA Canada's 2006 Covenant Awards.[24]

Five Score and Seven Years Ago (2007)

Relient K, live at the Christian rock festival, Purple Door 2006

Recording sessions for another studio album, Five Score and Seven Years Ago, started on June 18, 2006 and continued for parts of July and August. Some tracks on the album were produced by Howard Benson, (The All-American Rejects, My Chemical Romance, P.O.D.). "Four score and seven years ago" is the first line of the Gettysburg Address, the famous speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War. Thiessen had said that the title of the album comes from the fact that it's the band's fifth album, it is the first time all five of them are on a record together, and it has been seven years since they made their first record.[25]

While the band hoped for a November 2006 release, the official release date was announced as March 6, 2007.[25] The album is considered, by the band, to be their happiest record to date. On March 2, 2007 the entire album (except the last track, "Deathbed") was made available for streaming on the band's MySpace. Five Score and Seven Years Ago debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling about 64,000 copies in its first week.[26]

The band's first single from the album, "Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart on January 11, 2007. The single received enough airplay to be the fourth most played song on Christian Hit Radio (CHR) stations in 2007 according to R&R magazine.[27]

Matt Thiessen performs with Relient K at Purple Door, 2007

The second single from the album, "The Best Thing," was released to radio on April 10, 2007, taking the 7th most adds in its first week. Thiessen has said that "The Best Thing" is "the anti-Daniel Powter "Bad Day" song. It's straight-up positive." A video was filmed for the single.[28] The second single released on Christian CHR radio stations was "Give Until There's Nothing Left", which was the 20th most played song on CHR radio stations in 2007.[27]

In the early morning of June 28, 2007, Relient K's bus caught on fire from an oil spill from the engine. Everyone escaped safely, but the band lost many instruments, laptops, cameras, phones, iPods, clothes, and merchandise. Matt Thiessen said he lost a laptop that had roughly 100 unfinished songs on it, and Dave Douglas lost his Battlefield drum set. In the midst of it, the band still laughed at the situation, calling it "cinematic".[29] On a blog post on their website, Matt Thiessen stated that the next day after the fire, the band went to view the damage of their van and found that while 85% of their gear was intact, Douglas's drum kit set was not salvageable.[30] A member of the Switchfoot forums first announced it, asking everyone to pray for the band. The band had just played Creation Northeast, and had to cancel their appearance at Cornerstone Festival in Illinois, which the band has named as one of their favorite shows to do. They did, however, play their next scheduled show in Greeley, CO on June 30, 2007. In the months following, the band played more Christian rock festivals.

The band released Let It Snow, Baby... Let It Reindeer, a Christmas album, on October 23, 2007. The CD contained all of the tracks from Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand as well as six new songs.[31][32][33][34] This Christmas themed re-release was met with a peak of No. 96 on the Billboard 200.[35]

Relient K, Switchfoot and Ruth recorded a song together, "Rebuild". It is available for download on Switchfoot's website; fans can choose between paying for the song (with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity) or downloading it for free.[36]

On October 18, 2007 drummer Dave Douglas announced his departure on good terms on the band's website due to a desire to pursue his side-project Gypsy Parade with his wife Rachel. He played his last show with Relient K on December 29, 2007.[37][38] On February 12, 2008 it was announced that Ethan Luck, former guitarist of The O.C. Supertones and for Demon Hunter, would be replacing Douglas as the band's new drummer.[39]

Luck and Warne were in a short-lived band together called Guerilla Rodeo.

The recording of "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" which Relient K recorded for the 2002 movie, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, was reused in The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie.

The Bird and the Bee Sides (2008)

On July 1, 2008 Relient K released a double EP. The double EP is contained on a single disc and contains the The Nashville Tennis EP and The Bird and the Bee Sides. The Nashville Tennis EP included 13 tracks of new material that allowed the band to explore their sound a bit by allowing other band members, besides Thiessen and Hoopes, to compose/record a few tracks, as well as adding some influences from country and ska music. The Bird and the Bee Sides contained tracks that had previously been released on hard-to-come-by records.[40][41] The The Bird and the Bee Sides won the 2009 GMA Canada Covenant Award for Modern Rock/Alternative Album Of The Year. In turning in the EP, Relient K officially fulfilled their contract with Gotee Records and subsequently signed to and now manage Mono Vs. Stereo (an imprint of Gotee Records).[42]

Forget and Not Slow Down (2009)

In early 2009, the band began to write music for an album to be released later in 2009.[43] Thiessen stated that they were keen on finishing the album for a 2009 release and had begun recording the new album with their "favorite" producer,

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ a b Board Message
  2. ^ "About Relient K". Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Complete List of Grammy Awards Nominations". Associated Press. April 12, 2003. Retrieved March 21, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Dove Award Recipients for 2004".  
  5. ^ a b "Dove Award Recipients for 2006". Gospel Music Association. Archived from the original on October 20, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Sales-Week Ending-3/11/07". March 16, 2007. Retrieved July 6, 2008. 
  7. ^ Steve, Huey. "allmusic ((( Relient K > Biography )))".  
  8. ^ a b "The Real Special K". Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c Powell, Mark Allan (2002). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (First printing ed.).  
  10. ^ Relient K - Hello McFly at YouTube
  11. ^ Relient K - Marilyn Manson Ate My Girlfriend at YouTube
  12. ^ Relient K - Charles In Charge at YouTube
  13. ^ "Relient K - Interview". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek: Relient K: Music
  15. ^ Relient K - a Feature of The Phantom Tollbooth
  16. ^ a b c Two Lefts Don't Make a Right... But Three Do: Relient K: Music
  17. ^ "Music News: July 2003".  
  18. ^ a b MMHMM: Relient K: Music
  19. ^ "Relient K draws fans in Christian, mainstream markets".  
  20. ^ a b RIAA gold/platinum certifications for Relient K. Retrieved December 13, 2008.
  21. ^ Mansfield, Brian (November 29, 2004). "'"Can this punk-pop band make it big? 'Mmhmm.  
  22. ^ "Relient K: Something So Right". Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  23. ^ "TRL: October 3, 2005".  
  24. ^ "28th Annual Covenant Awards Nominees".  
  25. ^ a b Montgomery, James. "Relient K Pump Serious Rock, Sugary Pop In The Tank For Upcoming LP", MTV News January 2, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
  26. ^ Chart Recap: Dead Rapper Tops Chart With Less Than 100,000
  27. ^ a b 2007 Year End Charts/Top Christian CHR songs, R&R magazine. Retrieved January 6, 2008.
  28. ^ A band 'Relient' on the power of the Lord
  29. ^ Kane, Dan. "Relient K escapes bus fire", - Canton and Stark County News, June 29, 2007. (archived)
  30. ^ Relient K - Blog, July 10, 2007. Retrieved December 13, 2008.
  31. ^ "Album Release Dates, CD New Releases, at Jesus Freak Hideout". Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  32. ^ Relient K - News
  33. ^ "Christian Music News at Jesus Freak Hideout". Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  34. ^ "Relient K, ''Let It Snow, Baby... Let It Reindeer'' Review at Jesus Freak Hideout". October 23, 2007. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Relient K Let It Snow, Baby, Let It Reindeer". March 17, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2008. 
  36. ^ "Switchfoot, Relient K Concerts Raise Over $40K for Habitat for Humanity". Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Tvulive.Com". Tvulive.Com. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  38. ^ Relient K - News
  39. ^ "Relient K News article". Relient K. February 12, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2008. 
  40. ^ "Dear Everyone That Pays Attention To Our Band". Matthew Thiessen's Pack Of Wild Blogs. April 22, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2008. 
  41. ^ "Bird and Bee Sides Cover Art". Absolute Retrieved July 8, 2008. 
  42. ^ Thiessen, Matthew (March 23, 2009). "Matthew Thiessen's Pack Of Wild Blogs". Archived from the original on April 3, 2009. After we turned in The Bird and the Bee Sides, we fulfilled our first record deal (six albums) with Gotee Records. This made us free agents. Our plan? Matt Hoopes and I just signed up to begin positions as A&R for the soon to be resurrected Mono Vs. Stereo records. We'll sign a few bands a year, and also release Relient K's material through the label. 
  43. ^ Matthew Thiessen's Pack Of Wild Blogs, 2009-01-17
  44. ^ "Relient K Facebook". Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  45. ^ Relient K blog at MySpace
  46. ^ Relient K Facebook Page
  47. ^ "Alternative Press | News | Exclusive: Relient K release artwork and tracklist for "K Is For Karaoke" EP". June 14, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  48. ^ "Music News, June 2011: RELIENT K TO RELEASE K IS FOR KARAOKE EP AVAILABLE ON JUNE 28 ONLINE & AT ALL VANS WARPED TOUR DATES". June 14, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  49. ^ "Matt Thiessen (Relient K)". YouTube. August 7, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  50. ^ "RCA's New Executive Team Named Under CEO Peter Edge Amid Layoffs (Update)". August 23, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  51. ^ "Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  52. ^ "Recording: Day 1". Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  53. ^ "Relient K's New Album Finished". February 22, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
  54. ^ That's My Jam" lyric video""". YouTube. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  55. ^ "Relient K new song "Collabsible lung" - Easterfest 2013". YouTube. December 8, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  56. ^ "Don't Blink (lyric video)". YouTube. April 21, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  57. ^ "Don't Blink (lyric video) post on Facebook". Relient K via Facebook. April 21, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  58. ^ "Relient K announce new album Collapsible Lung to be released in July 2013". Relient K News. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  59. ^ "Collapsible Lung album art". Relient K via Facebook. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  60. ^ "To all the great...". Facebook. April 21, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  61. ^ "Relient K - To all the amazing fans of RK: It is with...". Facebook. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  62. ^ "Relient K - Lost Boy - Lyric Video". YouTube. May 29, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  63. ^ "Lost Boy (lyric video) post on Facebook". Relient K via Facebook. April 21, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  64. ^ "RELIENT K RELEASE NEW SONG "LOST BOY"; ALBUM DETAILS". Grant Trimboli. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  65. ^ Collapsible Lung" lyric video""". YouTube. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  66. ^ on iTunes"Collapsible Lung". iTunes. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  67. ^ on"Collapsible Lung". Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  68. ^ "Relient K's Billboard chart history". Billboard. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  69. ^ on iTunes"Gotee Records: Twenty Years Brand New". iTunes. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  70. ^ "Gotee Records: Twenty Years Brand New"Gotee Records Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary By Releasing . Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  71. ^ Sharp, Tyler. "Relient K Announce 10th Anniversary Tour". Alternative Press. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  72. ^ . Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  73. ^ a b c "Just to clarify a few things about Relient K. (From our previous post)". Relient K via Facebook. April 15, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  74. ^ "Relient K: U.S. Touring Line-up Changes Drummer Zac Farro (Ex-Paramore), Dan Gartley (Sanctus Real), Tom Breyfogle (Secondhand Serenade)?". Breathecast. April 20, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  75. ^ "Hawthorne Heights Headlines Nintendo Fusion Tour".  
  76. ^ McDonald's Live
  77. ^ 'Bruce Almighty' Sequel Premiere to Draw Top Christian Bands,
  78. ^ Concert photos at Retrieved May 29, 2009.
  79. ^ Relient K blog
  80. ^ "Relient K". Relient K. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  81. ^ "Vans Warped Tour/Blog/SEVEN Bands Added To The Tour". February 2, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  82. ^ "What's new at Progressive Field in 2011". Cleveland Indians. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  83. ^ "Cleveland Indians Faith and Family Day at Progressive Field on Saturday, May 14". 
  84. ^ {{cite web|url=>
  85. ^ "Relient K Interview 2013 - Easterfest". Retrieved May 17, 2013. 
  86. ^ "Relient K: The Complex Infrastructure Known as the Female Mind, at CBN". September 28, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  87. ^ YouTube - Woodland Forest - Episode 1
  88. ^ YouTube - Woodland Forest - O Holy Nightmare
  89. ^ "Gypsy Parade Artist Profile". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  90. ^ "Relient K – Interview". Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  91. ^ "Natural High A Drug Prevention Program Inspiring and Helping Youth". Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  92. ^ "Relient K Official Website". 
  93. ^ "Matthew Thiessen Twitter page". May 7, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  94. ^ "Album release dates at Jesus Freak Hideout". Retrieved October 4, 2011. 


Studio albums


Relient K starred in the educational drug prevention film, "Natural High 4".[91] They provided advice to young adults to stay off of drugs and to pursue their personal best.


Kelly Clarkson's CD, All I Ever Wanted, features Matt Thiessen who co-wrote along with Katy Perry the song "Longshot!".

In 2011, John Warne became a member of Yellow Second.[90]

Three tracks were featured on the compilation album My Other Band, Vol. 1 on Mono vs Stereo records in 2006, from Matt Thiessen's side project Matthew Thiessen and the Earthquakes, Dave Douglas' side project Agnes, and Ethan Luck's My Red Hot Nightmare project. Relient K was part of a fundraiser called "Habitat for Humanity" with other Christian bands. Matt Thiessen and Jon Foreman (Switchfoot's lead singer and guitarist) wrote a song called "Rebuild" to help raise even more money.

Ethan Luck, the former drummer, was involved with the Christian metal band Demon Hunter until late 2009, but he also has a side project called My Red Hot Nightmare which included drummer Josh Abbott, who was the drummer for Bassist John Warne's band, Ace Troubleshooter for the band's entire existence. Luck also played guitar in the Christian Ska band The O.C. Supertones and is featured on a few of their albums, including Loud and Clear and Live! Volume One.

Former drummer Dave Douglas created a project called Agnes, a solo rock project that somewhat resembles the sound of Relient K's earlier music with his own twist. Douglas also started a project called Gypsy Parade, a softer project that he started with his wife, Rachel. They have released two demo songs on their MySpace with more expected. Douglas amicably left Relient K to further pursue this project. Gypsy Parade has since disbanded, Attack Cat taking its place.[89]

Outside of Relient K, Matt Thiessen has a piano-focused solo project called Matthew Thiessen and the Earthquakes. He started it in 1998, around the time Relient K was started. He has released seven songs either online or on various CD releases.

Related projects

The five video podcasts include various scenes in the studio, as well as the band doing things outside the studio, much like the video podcasts made by Switchfoot. The first two video podcasts showed the band in the studio preparing for the recording of Five Score and Seven Years Ago, and Dave Douglas recording the drum parts, respectively. The third video podcast was a collection of footage and discussions from the Nintendo Fusion Tour, and a Mario Kart DS Tournament between the five band members. The fourth video podcast showed Jon Schneck and Dave Douglas preparing for a boxing match (which is also included and completed in the Wal-Mart "Devastation and Reform" video), and the fifth video podcast showed the completion of the battle. There is a sixth unreleased video podcast including John Warne fulfilling his lifelong dream of walking into a room with the AutoZone Theme Song playing. It shows Warne recording the song with the assistance of Dave Douglas and Jon Schneck. It can be found on YouTube at the present time, and it is currently unofficially released on the site, as it has not made it to the band's official site. Their eighth video podcast is about the band going to see millions of bats fly at sundown. The last podcast is a short video showing the band playing a game they made up called "Gum Golf" which they came with up during the release of their Christmas album Let it Snow, Baby... let it Reindeer. Just recently Relient K released four podcasts telling of their new album.

Relient K has made a total of nine audio podcasts and eleven video podcasts. The nine audio podcasts were made during the band's time on the Matt Hoopes Birthday Tour. They included interviews with the band members, their guitar techs, and various other people who help them on tour. There were also interviews with the other touring bands, The Rocket Summer and Maxeen.


In June 2006, Relient K released the first episode of their own flash cartoon. The cartoon features all five band members, and takes place in a fictional land known as Woodland Forest. It is animated by bassist John Warne. There have only been two episodes thus far, and can be found on YouTube.[87][88] The cartoons also feature "Merle the Squirrel," singing the Woodland Forest theme song, as well as "Crosby the Reindeer," singing O Holy Night.

Woodland Forest

In 2004, Relient K released a book entitled The Complex Infrastructure Known as the Female Mind. Though the band is listed as the author of the book, they contributed very little to the content of the book.[85] The book clues in the confused male Relient K fans on some of the inner workings of the female species, and clues in the confused female Relient K fans on some of the thoughts of males.[86] The band gives advice on the opposite sex through personal experience, stereotypes (including The Rock Chick and Vanilla Pudding), and Biblical advice—presented in the attitude found in their music. The title of the book is taken from the last line of the song "Mood Rings," which is found on their third album, Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...but Three Do.

The Complex Infrastructure Known as the Female Mind

Other projects

  • In 2004 and 2012 Relient K headlined the annual Parachute Music Festival in New Zealand.
  • Relient K performed in the 2005, 2008, 2011, and performed on three dates on the 2013 Vans Warped Tour.
  • Between September and November 2006, Relient K played on the Nintendo Fusion Tour with Hawthorne Heights, Emery, Plain White T's, and The Sleeping.[75]
  • The band also took part in McDonald's Summer 2007 music tour. Every band involved in the tour has the chance to be involved in a future McDonald's ad. Votes by viewers will be counted to decide who will win. All live shows are available for viewing.[76]
  • Relient K and Switchfoot both played at the Los Angeles premiere of the movie Evan Almighty on June 22, 2007.[77] They also played at the Lizard Fair in Midland, Michigan on August 15, 2007 with Chris Daughtry.
  • "Must Have Done Something Right" and "The Best Thing" were performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno respectively. Relient K appeared again on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on December 17, 2008. They performed their cover "Sleigh Ride" from Let It Snow, Baby... Let It Reindeer. Actor Tom Wilson accompanied the band.
  • As of September 8, 2008, Relient K was on tour with Ludo, featuring This Providence and House of Heroes. The tour was title "The Uncle Fest Tour" and was during the month of October, with a few in early November. The last tour date was November 2.
  • In November and early December 2008, Relient K joined TobyMac and Family Force 5 on a month-long tour called The Winter Wonder Slam Tour 2008.
  • Relient K toured with Runner Runner and Owl City in May 2009.[78]
  • Relient K toured throughout Australia in September 2009 alongside Lecrae, Reggie Dabbs and Australian band New Empire as part of an annual national Youth Alive event.
  • Relient K toured with Barcelona and Copeland that started on October 1, 2009, in New Haven, CT called the Three-Hour Tour,[79] named after a reference to the theme song of the TV sitcom, Gilligan's Island.
  • In September 2009, Relient K made an appearance at Big Exo Day, and played several songs including some from the new album 'forget and not slow down'.
  • In late 2009, Relient K went on the 2009 Winter Wonder Slam tour with tobyMac. Early on, Matt Hoopes left the tour for a family matter. On December 16, Matt Thiessen's mother had a severe heart attack and he too left the tour. Tim Skipper of House of Heroes filled Matt's place for the four remaining shows. Relient K had never lost the two Matts before on tour.
  • Relient K opened for Paramore's 2010 Spring tour.
  • Relient K are playing select dates on the 2010 Honda Civic Tour.
  • Opening for Paramore's 2010 New Zealand/Australia tour starting from October 7, 2010 together with New Zealand band Jury and The Saints.
  • Relient K toured with Sherwood and Deas Vail December 1–17, 2010 and playing acoustic sets.[80]
  • Relient K toured on the Vans Warped Tour 2011 from June 24 through August 14.[81]
  • As a part of "Faith Day," Relient K performed a post-game show in Cleveland, Ohio when the Cleveland Indians faced the Seattle Mariners on May 14, 2011.[82][83]
  • Relient K is currently touring the United States in commemoration of the 10th anniversary tour of their 2004 album, Mmhmm.[84]

Tours and live performances

  • Justin York – guitars (2010–2011)
  • Dan Gartley – bass guitar (2013)[73]
  • Tom Breyfogle – drums (2013)[73]
  • Jeremy Gifford - bass (2013)[73]
  • Zac Farro – drums (2013)[74]
Touring members
  • Brian Pittman – bass guitar (1998–2004)
  • Todd Frascone – drums (1998)
  • Stephen Cushman – drums, backing vocals (1998–2000)
  • Brett Schoneman – drums (2000)
  • Jared Byers – drums (2000)
  • Ethan Luck – drums, backing vocals (2007–2013)
  • John Warne – bass guitar, backing vocals (2005–2013)
  • Jon Schneck – guitars, banjo, bells, omnichord, nord, backing vocals (2005–2013)
Former members
  • Matt Thiessen – lead vocals, guitars, piano, synthesizers, keyboards (1998–present)
  • Matt Hoopes – guitars, backing vocals (1998–present)
  • Dave Douglas – drums, backing vocals (2000–2007, 2014–present)
Current members

Band members

In July 2014, the band announced a 10th anniversary "Mhmmm" tour slated from October 30 in Louisville to December 12 in Nashville.[71] Shortly after the tour announcement, drummer Dave Douglas announced his return to the band for the 10th anniversary tour.[72] Both Jon Schneck and John Warne would not be joining the band on this tour. This is due to both Jon and John leaving the band. Rumors circulated that this was due to both (men) wanting to spend more time with their families. On Relient K's Facebook page, the current members have been updated without the names of both members. It is still unknown whether or not both members have officially left.

In June 2014, Relient K contributed two cover songs to Gotee Records' twentieth anniversary album, Gotee Records: Twenty Years Brand New.[69][70] They performed a cover of "Body Be" by Johnny Q. Public, as well as a tenth anniversary version of their own "Sadie Hawkins Dance".

On July 2, 2013, Collapsible Lung was released as expected.[66][67] The album charted very high on many of Billboard's charts, most notably topping at number #16 on the Billboard 200.[68]

On May 29, the band released a second lyric video for the album on their YouTube channel entitled "Lost Boy".[62][63][64] This was then followed on June 29, by a third lyric video for the title song "Collapsible Lung".[65]

On April 21, drummer Ethan Luck stated that he is no longer a member of Relient K. He is currently the on-tour guitar technician for the Cold War Kids.[60] He and the Jo(h)ns had earlier posted that they would not be appearing on the next tour.[61]

On March 30, Relient K announced at Easterfest that the new album would be called Collapsible Lung.[55] The song "Don't Blink" was released in the form of a lyric video on their YouTube channel.[56][57] On April 19, Relient K announced that the release of Collapsible Lung had been postponed to July 2013,[58] and the specific date of July 2 was confirmed, along with the album cover artwork, on May 17.[59]

On February 4, 2013, Relient K released a single via YouTube, in the form of a lyric video, entitled "That's My Jam".[54] According to the group, the song was used in the background of a Pizza Hut commercial. Later, the track was redone for Collapsible Lung as an iTunes bonus track. The remake featured Owl City.

In several interviews on YouTube, both Matt Thiessen and other band members stated that they had planned to enter the studio in November 2011 to write and record the new Relient K record, which they hoped would be released mid-2012. However, due to a record label swap, the album was delayed.[49] RCA Music Group announced it was dissolving Jive Records along with Arista Records and J Records. With the shutdown, the band (and all other artists previously signed to these three labels) would release their future material on the RCA Records.[50][51] Relient K announced in May 2012 that they had begun recording a new album with producer Paul Moak.[52] On February 22, 2013, posted that Relient K's new album was finished and that details were coming soon.[53]

Collapsible Lung, departure of Ethan Luck and 10th anniversary tour (2012-present)

On April 11, 2011, the band posted on their Facebook page that they had entered the studio to record a cover album.[46] On June 14, 2011, Alt Press reported the EP would be called K Is for Karaoke and displayed the album artwork.[47] The band revealed one album song per day on their Facebook page. The first album, Is for Karaoke EP, was made available for download on June 28, 2011 through the Amazon MP3 store. It was also available through iTunes or as a physical CD on the Vans Warped Tour and Rock The Universe at Universal Studios. On October 4, 2011 they released a second EP, Is for Karaoke EP, Part 2, and also the full-length album, Is for Karaoke, which features all the tracks from both EPs.[48]

Is for Karaoke EPs (2011)

A bonus song was offered to customers who bought the album from's MP3 store. The song is entitled "Terminals" and was produced by Owl City's Adam Young. The song is now available for download without purchasing the full album.

Forget and Not Slow Down was available for pre-order, with the option of having a faux VIP-Pass signed by members of the band, and t-shirt, and a poster featuring the names of all who pre-ordered the album. On September 29, the album was made available for stream off of AbsolutePunk. It was released on October 6, 2009.


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