Rachel: You're out on this sold-out tour with Taking Back Sunday and Fall Out Boy. Do you guys have any idea how much tickets for this show have been going for on e-bay?
Andy: No, how much?
Rachel: Last time I checked, tickets were going for $169.
Andy: Wow, that's nice. We always wanted to play sold-out shows, that's like the next step in your career, even though we're not like the headliner, I think it's awesome.
Aaron: It's very good to know that no matter where you go there's going to be a huge line of people there and people always asking for tickets, 'cuz they didn't think to buy them at first or they didn't think the Taking Back Sunday, Matchbook Romance, Fall Out Boy tour would sell out.
Rachel: But it did.
Aaron: But it did. And people drive for seven
hours and go "Hey, I love your band's can I have a ticket?"
Rachel: You were previously called The Getaway. Where did the name Matchbook Romance come from?
Aaron: We were kinda strapped for a name. We comprised a list of all these names that we liked and, I guess I just threw Matchbook Romance
out there as one of the names. Then we were reading the list back to people and they were like "Matchbook Romance is pretty cool." And we
were like, "Alright, that's it!"
Andy: I hated it at first, but I figured I'd just go with it because the name doesn't make the band. The band makes the name.
Rachel: Do you ever have people confusing you for My Chemical Romance?
Aaron: No, mostly Matchbox 20 (laughs)...everyone says "Matchbox Romance." It's incredible how many people call us Matchbox, and actually My Chemical Romance has told us that they've gotten people who come up to them and say "Hey I saw you at last years Warped Tour, you're so amazing." And they'll be like "We weren't at Warped Tour last summer, you mean Matchbook Romance." And the person will be like "Oh, I'm at the wrong show."
Andy: Yeah, they've gotten the shaft.
Rachel: Tell me about how you got signed to Epitaph.
Andy: I got an e-mail from Brett Gurewitz, the owner of Epitaph and Bad Religion guitarist, and he was saying that he was really interested in our band. I gave him my number, but I thought the guys were playing a joke on me. About a week later he called, he told us straight up he'd never offered a contract to a band he hadn't seen play live or anything, but he offered it basically over the phone.
Rachel: You did lots of self-promotion on the internet, right? Were there any other bands that were helping you out back then?
Andy: We'd befriend lot's of bands and stuff like that. I think overall, Matchbook Romance is just a bunch of nice guys. I don't think we're dicks or have ego problems or anything, we're really easy to get along with, and we always want to help bands out. We told bands, if you ever want to post stuff on our site, we're totally cool with it and then people finally dropped their guard.
Aaron: Just for the record, we're not dicks, but we are assholes.
Rachel: Is there a difference?
Andy: You are what you eat. (Everyone laughs)
Rachel: I'm always curious about how different bands go about writing new material. What's your writing process like?
Andy: It's actually quite strenuous. You don't know where to start. It's either going to hit you, or you have to make it hit you and that is really complicated. Keeping your fans in mind is hard too, because fans are picky, man! You have to deal with lots of stress. Before the albums even written, we're stressing out.
Aaron: We usually just get into the basement and start pounding out stuff. We'll just jam on different parts and once we feel it, we'll all know.
(Peter Wentz (of Fall Out Boy) walks in and takes over the mic)
Peter: Sometimes you just fucking know. You feel it! Hi! Mostly, my favorite part in Matchbook Romance is in Greatest Fall when that one dude comes out he just looks so fucking God damn good.
Rachel: In typical emo fashion, are you lyrics derived from personal experiences?
Andy: Emo is just a label. People have been writing love songs ever since the beginning of time. So we are just a rock 'n roll band and our lyrics, yes, are emotional.
Aaron: Emo is more of a look though, the tight pants and the little jackets.
Andy: I don't think I look emo. Tight pants? That's eighties rockers, hair metal...way more prissy than emo boys could ever be! But yes, the lyrics come from life experiences.
Rachel: You're from Poughkeepsie, New York. I always think of Something Corporate when I hear that name. Have you ever gotten that before?
Aaron: Yeah, like "Ohhh, the Something Corporate song."
Andy: That's the same girl (referring to the subject of the Something Corporate song) that Judas was fooling around with at the same time as Kenny, the singer from The Starting Line, when he was writing all these songs "you don't have a car, you know who you are" something like that, I don't know. Same girl. She gave it up to Judas right away, but not to Kenny. Kenny was left out. Yeah, poor guy.
Aaron: Print that!
Rachel: This is good stuff right here!
Andy: I would have personally given it up to Kenny, not Judas. Judas doesn't shower. (Laughs)
Rachel: Nice. Well, in a little change of pace, we have the Presidential election right around the corner. How do you feel about the whole situation?
Aaron: Vote Kerry!
Andy: We say vote Kerry. Basically, if the US were a baseball game and we were up to bat, and it was Bush, I'd say he's already struck out. So, we need a new guy up in there.
Aaron: I see it differently. If George Bush was up to bat, I think he'd hit a really far ball into the outfield, but I think he'd run to third instead of to first because he's so stupid!
Rachel: OK, that was a good one. Do you think it's important for youth to get involved?
Andy: I think people just need to get educated. They need to find that they are connected to this thing. If you want a nuclear holocaust, I'd say you're best chances are going with Bush. Now if you're up for maybe a nuclear holocaust, I'd say go for Kerry.
(Ryan joins the interview)
Ryan: Now the maybe, is Nader...
Andy: No way, dude! He's all about smoking weed. He wants everyone to get high and fucking chill.
Ryan: ...and the problem is when your the new guy and the first Green party president, the "Green party" of course, they'll just be high and be like "Listen dude, they're going to take your weed away, buddy. Blow 'em up!"
Andy: I think everyone gets it.
Rachel: I think so too. Back to the music... With all different genres of punk getting more and more media exposure, do think this is going to change the music?
Ryan: It already has.
Rachel: Do think it's caused bands to sell-out?
Andy: I believe that bands that can't write their own music, but because they look good, or they're hot, a label scoops them up and puts them in front of the media and hire a producer that will orchestrate the songs for them...I think that's selling out. It works like this, a huge fucking band, like Taking Back Sunday for instance, is going to go platinum with this record, without a doubt. Victory, an independent label, cannot handle taking care of a band that is going platinum. They don't have a big enough staff. There is only so much money in independent labels. If you're blowing up, it's a smarter business move for you to move into a major, because there are a lot more people that can take your band on, your ideas, they can make it all come to life. Luckily, we're on the biggest independent label, so we really don't have to go anywhere for the longest time. They took care of the Offspring, and they sold how many records?
Ryan: 13 million.
Andy: 13 million worldwide.
Joe Trohman (from Fall Out Boy): Yeah, I mean, that happened to me.
Andy: ...it happened to Joe from Fall Out Boy.
Ryan: Which record was that? Was that "Joe Sings the Blues?"
Judas: I thought that was "Hanukah with Joe."
Ryan: If you want to talk about it effecting the music scene, how about they just put together an all boy punk band. Like, what's that all about?
Rachel: Are you serious? Like a boy band?
Ryan: Yeah, they hand picked it like a boy band.
Aaron: I think the band is called Warning or something and it's the worst shit.
Andy: A bunch of guys sat in a room and were like, "Alright, we're gonna pick some dudes and make a band!"
Aaron: It's like if God took a shit and that shit took a shit.
Andy: (to the punk boy band) We will fight you, if you ever make it big. That's going to be our promise, I hope it scares them.
Rachel: They're called Warning?
Aaron: Warning or Biohazard or something.
Rachel: How do you guys react when you see yourselves on Fuse or in magazines?
Aaron: Oh my God, I immediately pull my pants down.
Rachel: Individually, and be honest here, what's the best part about being in Matchbook Romance?
Judas: Groupie sex! (everyone laughs)
Aaron: Falling in love with your own music, and then a year later when you're touring around the country, everyone else is singing along to your songs.
Judas: ...Traveling to different countries, just because we write songs people like.
Andy (to Ryan): What do you like about being in Matchbook?
Ryan: I get to sleep near him every night (referring to Judas). He looks cute when he snores....no, I like watching it grow, to see every aspect of the band grow.
Rachel: You mentioned touring outside the US. Where else have you gotten to play?
Ryan: We've been to Canada, all of the UK, (whispers) and Amsterdam, I had so much fucking fun in Amsterdam.
Andy: Are you freaked out yet? No?
Rachel: No, I'm good.
Andy: Let's make it darker.
Rachel: So what's in the future for Matchbook Romance?
Aaron: A new album and lots more touring...
Judas: Groupie sex!
Rachel: Have you already started working on the new album?
Ryan: Yeah. Don't worry, it's horrible.
Rachel: Judas, where'd your name come from?
Ryan: There's a story where Judas mooned a school bus while in our friend Bob's car...
Rachel: A school bus full of kids?
Ryan: Oh, hell yeah. And the school bus called the state troopers and when they came to talk to Bob, and He completely sold Bob out...like Judas sold Jesus Cristo out. You know JC right?
Rachel: Yeah, we're tight. My final question, what are you guys listening to right now?
Judas: The new Cake record, it's fuckin' awesome.
Andy: Elliot Smith, the new one.
Rachel: Thanks so much, guys!
Andy: Your welcome, enjoy the show!
Matchbook Romance interview conducted October 2004 by Rachel Wann.