The album is actually pretty equal in terms of having heavier, aggressive songs and then more melodic parts. Usually bands kind of lean towards one extreme or the other. Were you striving for that balance when making the album?
It was weird because when I started with it, I had no idea what I was kind of going for. I just had these songs, and they weren’t even complete songs at the time; they were just half-assed demos. Then as we were recording them, they became songs, then became connections and became all this stuff. I was like, ‘Wow, now I understand the message of what I’m trying to do.’
I guess that explains how cohesive the album is too because for an album that it took two years to make…
Well, the thing is it only took 13 days to make; it took two years to get put out. Yeah, we did it in less than two weeks, but because of how different it was, because it kind of throws Reggie fans off a little bit —there is no Fluxuation, there is no Common Denominator, and those are all for reasons that those bands are not featured on the record for the first time. I guess Vagrant and myself—because after that I joined up with My Chem and for the last two years I’ve been doing that—they were like, ‘Okay, well finally when My Chem takes a break, we’re going to do the Reggie stuff.’ And you know, cool. The timing worked out well. Everything seems to work out well time-wise. I’m glad it didn’t come out two years ago.
And going back to your different personas like Flux and Common Denominator, did you originally create those personalities just as a joke or to have an outlet for other musical styles?
I have no idea. That’s something when I die, maybe I can ask that question to God or whatever, or if I have to go back and see a shrink again, maybe I can ask the shrink that question, but to me it’s just having as much fun. Why limit yourself to just being this one thing if you don’t have to? I’m not just a fan of one style of music. I love so many different styles and I also love humor, so I saw the humor of creating this fake band from Finland and saw the humor of creating a fake English Pet Shop Boys band.
So now you’re embarking on Reggie And The Full Effect’s farewell tour, right?
Yeah, well, the thing is a lot of the kids that are actually fans don’t even realize that this has been going on for 10 years. Reggie started as a joke while I was in Coalesce just before I joined The Get Up Kids. When Matt Pryor joined up with me and Reggie, I wasn’t a Get Up Kid at the time; I was just the drummer for Coalesce. That was our first embarkment together, and then we worked so well together that I joined The Get Up Kids.
That was 1997. Kids don’t realize that’s 10 years of my life. I’ve been married, divorced, married again. I’ve bought a house, lost a house, bought another house. Everything that goes on in a regular life like everyone else has gone on for me too.
The thing is the kids that have been Reggie fans for the whole time, I want to include them in that, where it’s like, ‘You know what? You’ve been supportive of this and allowed me to be a musician and do stuff. I can pay my bills because of music.’ Then I’m going to let the Reggie fans know what the hell is going on.
Why did you decide to put this project into retirement?
Just because it’s been 10 years. The thing I’ve always said is Reggie And The Full Effect has one member, one real member, and that’s me. You can never break-up with yourself. It’s not like the band breaks up. I’m still doing music; I have new stuff and all that. I just don’t want to have the persona of Reggie And The Full Effect. I’ll always have that persona, but I just don’t want to be tied into all the things that Reggie And The Full Effect is to me personally, where it’s a lot of great times and it’s also a lot of really, really bad times.
I think with me, I just need to move on from it. I’ll still write the same music and honestly, I’m sure Reggie And The Full Effect will do reunion shows like once a year. Who knows? The thing is that you never know with stuff. It’s just for me, 10 years, it’s time to call it a day with this. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going to stop doing music. I’m just going to stop being the persona of Reggie And The Full Effect.