Interview with Jonathan McMaster of Stickup Kid

1477587_10152110684001796_378999245_nSan Jose, CA rock band Stickup Kid has been making waves for the past few years, and this year seems it will be no different. Last week I had the chance to catch up with their bassist, Jon, and we discussed pizza philosophy, musical changes in their new album Future Fire, and the band’s future plans, among other stuff that you can only find out if you read this interview. So you can totally do that by reading below!

Can you first tell me your name, what you do in the band, and your favorite pizza topping?
My name is Jonathan McMaster and I play bass in the band. I’m not going to pick just one, that’s for kid’s parties. I like an olive oil based pie topped with tomato, spinach, and feta cheese. At our local spot (where our guitar player works) that’s called “the greek.”

For readers who havent heard your music before, tell me, if your music was a pizza, what kind of toppings would it have on it?
If our band was a pizza we would be topped with cream cheese and jalapenos. There are some parts that are really smooth and easy going, and then there are other parts that are spicy and exciting. Then they all come together in your mouth/ears and it’s a pretty cool, and dynamic, experience. Thinking about this question made me feel like I was on the dating game, hahaha.

Your latest album, Future Fire, branched out quite a bit and incorporated many different musical stylings throughout. What inspired you guys to expand your sound like that?
Well I think it was just a matter of us getting comfortable in our own skin as a band. We started the band with little to no ambition haha. We just wanted to get together and play some fast jams like Lifetime or Saves The Day, and that’s pretty much what we did for the first few years of the band. We have always listened to more than just those two bands, and we have always brought other little influences into the sound, but over time branching out became more and more exciting and comfortable. At the end of the day we didn’t really ask ourselves “oh is this song too this?” or “Is this song too different from that?”, we just asked “is this a song that we like?”

How’s the fan reaction to the record been so far?
Reaction to the record has been really good. If there are people who don’t think we are punk enough anymore they aren’t super vocal about it haha

It’s been a few months since you guys have toured. Any plans to get back on the road soon?
We are laying low for a bit while the boys go back to school this semester. We are working on new songs a couple days a week and playing shows on the weekends. When May hits we will be back at it again though

Can you tell me about your craziest tour experience?
We spent two weeks in Japan this October and that was probably the coolest thing I have ever done. Almost everything I did there was a new experience and a lot of things I thought I knew had to be re learned in a whole new way haha. I was a little worried that going there wasn’t really warranted, and that we were basically taking a little vacation, but the shows were totally awesome and people knew who we were. Some people came to 3 different shows to see us, and some of the kids had their parents find us before the shows to get our autographs hahaha wild.

You guys are constantly interacting with your fans on social media. What inspires you to bridge the fan/artist connection?
I am not a fan of any artist who isn’t willing to connect with their fans (ESPECIALLY any sort of punk band). With a lot of bands I get the impression that they almost resent people for liking their band and trying to reach out to them, which is super bullshit. Making art that people connect with is an insanely beautiful thing (maybe the most beautiful thing) and that connection should be celebrated. If you’re putting a piece of yourself out to the public like that, you shouldn’t be surprised when people feel like they have a small insight into your personal life (and unless you’re just making your lyrics up, they will have a small insight into your life). More often than not we are on the fan side of the fan/artist connection so we get it haha. Music should be used to bring people together. It shouldn’t be some private club where all the people that make music get together to think they are above people who don’t. We are friendly dudes, and if someone wants to reach out to us because they enjoy the music we make then more power to them. Lets be friends.

What does 2014 hold for Stickup Kid?
New jams, hopefully more Japan, and a few trips to the other side of the Mississippi river

Anything you want to say to your fans?
Be excellent to each other and party on, dudes

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