Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids will release Red Letter Days on January 23rd via Washed Up Books.
Taken from journal entries between 1990-2000, the collection of short vignettes follows the life of a musician growing up, pursuing his dream of being a successful musician, and his earliest experiences crisscrossing the country (and continents) with his seminal band, The Get Up Kids. For the first time ever, Pryor reveals intimate stories about his struggle with childhood diabetes, what it was like on tour in the days before texting, and all the larger than life characters he meets along the way. Red Letter Days [is] available only in print softcover and featuring 22 rare and never-before-seen photographs of the period by Michael Dubin and Paul Drake.
Red Letter Days is a snapshot of a time period that feels nostalgic yet familiar. “This was never meant to be a book about emo or even the band in particular, I didn’t want to write about the ‘scene.’ That is already well documented,” he explains. “Every one of the stories in the book is one that I’ve told backstage, at a bar, or on a porch. I wanted to translate them from an oral tradition to a written one.” From playing shows in nontraditional venues, to experiences with lifelong friends, acquaintances, and business associates, Red Letter Days gives insight into how Pryor processed this formative time period that saw some of his most memorable moments.
When asked about how it felt to revisit this era on an emotional level, Pryor says, “I have found—and this is fairly recently—that things I write don’t really hit me like that until later. In the moment I just think that’s a cool song, lyric or story; it seems to be that I can only really connect on that level once I’ve had some distance from it.” Whether you were at one of those sweaty all ages shows in the ’90s, or have only discovered his music recently, Red Letter Days is a document of that era told in a conversational tone that is as entertaining as it is endearing.