Indiana-bred Kids In The Way rocked audiences in 2003 with their debut Safe From the Losing Fight.
With less than a month til the release of their sophomore effort Apparitions Of Melody,
JfH staff John and Amy DiBiase sat down with the Kids in the Flicker Records suite at GMA Week 2005 for an inside look on their
new record and what makes this rock quintet tick...
This interview took place on: 4/12/05.
Jesus freak Hideout: What is the meaning behind the name "Kids In The Way?"
There's a lot of different meanings. We named the band "Kids In the Way" after the song "We Are."
The chorus says "We are kids in the way." We wrote the song before we named the band
and kind of took it from the song. We just liked the meaning of the name. In the song, it's talking
about a generation of youth - or anybody, really - that is willing to stand up for what they believe
and do what they know and feel is right no matter what anybody else says. It kind of has a negative
connotation to the title, but it's kind of a sarcastic thing. Like lots of times society would view
us as being in the way simply because of what we believe. If that's what they want to say and if that's
what they want to call us, then we'll gladly accept that. That's where the 'Kids In The Way' comes
JFH: How did you get started as a band?
The three of us - Eric, Nathan, and Dave - played together through high school in a different
group. About three years ago, we decided to change our musical spout because our influences were
changing and we were growing up. And we added Austin here *puts his hand on his shoulder* who
has been one of my best friends since we were knee-high to a grasshopper! *laughter* [*The conversation
then shifts to Amy telling Nathan how much he and Austin look alike*] So that was about three
years ago and that's when we named our band "Kids In The Way." And just recently, our old bassist
left and we gained Rian here.
Big improvement. *laughter*
We grew Rian here.
Rian was growing out of my arm and we chopped him off.
He was an experiment.
I'll probably die in about four minutes. *laughter*
Liver-less! *Says it with a lisp, followed by all-around laughter* I'm sorry, I'm really hyper!
JFH: Who has influenced your current sound stylistically?
Charlie Daniels. *laughter* I don't know, there's so many bands we all listen to all over the place.
From as hard as you can get to classical or jazz.
And it's all in there. The neat thing about our music is most people say we don't sound like anybody
which is good. We listen to music like Blindside, Underoath, y'know, the screamy stuff - that's in there. And we listen
to bands like U2 and mellow bands like ColdPlay and Muse, and that's all in there as well. We pull from everything.
JFH: The songs on your new record Apparitions of Melody are
noticably more aggressive. What has lead to this step in the evolution of the Kids In The Way sound?
It's hard to pinpoint. This record is a lot more creative. When the guys were writing the music,
they were just challenging themselves to write smarter, more complicated guitar parts and drum parts.
I don't know, when we start writing and practicing and playing, the things come out of us. I
think the music we listen to has somewhat to do with it, but a lot of it is just the way we are
as people and it's just coming out of us.
I think the lyrics and stuff kinda call to be a little bit more frantic and a little bit more passionate.
And when you're more passionate about something it gets more exciting and just builds and becomes
an emotional thing. And I think that's why this one seems harder.
JFH: Can you tell us the story behind the song "Last Day of 1888?"
Sure, "The Last Day of 1888" is a song about misjudgement. It's about being stereotyped,
or not even really stereotyped, but more of being mislabeled and misjudged. I wrote it simply
because everybody gets midjudged at one point or another. And some people would look at people
like us and people who are into music, from older generations, and not quite understand us.
And they'll think that the style of music we play can't be good; can't have a positive message
if it sounds the way it does. That's why we wrote this song. The song is inspired by the story
surrounding Jack The Ripper. I sort of have a weird interest in things like that. I was reading
a book about Jack The Ripper, and when I wrote this song, I just recalled this story of a man
who they accused of being Jack The Ripper. He came from a family of mental instability and
they thought that because his whole family was crazy and he kind of had a weird mental history,
that he was for sure Jack The Ripper. So they pinned it on this man, and he ended up taking his own
life simply because of all the pressure and everybody accusing him and wanting to arrest him.
On the last day of 1888, December 31st, they found his body in the river and the suicide note
explaining everything and they were like "Oh, well, Jack The Ripper killed himself so we
don't have to worry about it anymore anyway." And then like two weeks later, more Jack The Ripper
murders occured. To me it was a significant story of misjudgement and the ultimate consequences it
can have on a certain person's life.
JFH: What fascinates you about Jack The Ripper?
Dave: I don't know. My sister and I always have this conversation and my mom
thinks we're weird. My sister and I have this really, probably what I would call, sick interest in
serial killers. I love watching that "in the mind of a serial killer" stuff and reading books.
It just intrigues me that certain people think that way and just the whole schism in the brain
that makes you psychotic. It intrigues me and I'm curious about it and why people are that way.
Jack The Ripper in particular because it's so mysterious and it's such an old thing and it's never
been discovered who Jack The Ripper was.
Nathan: It's fascinating that somebody could be a normal human being and have one
small flaw in their brain. Like the dude in Wisconsin. He was a normal dude, had a job,
but had a secret life where he would kill people. It's weird.
JFH: One of my favorite songs off the record is actually a cover.
What made you guys choose Tears For Fears' "Head Over Heels?"
We're all 80's fans, we all grew up in the 80's and we were all young in the 80's. We just love 80's
music and Tears For Fears are brilliant songwriters. I mean every one of their songs was a hit.
It was hard to pick which song. We knew we wanted to do a Tears For Fears song and it was
hard to choose. We all have an attachment to "Head Over Heels." It's just a great song. It's got
great lyrics and a great melody and it's just a fun song. So we just decided to go for "Head Over
How old are you guys?
Cool. We were born in 1980, so we're totally 80's babies, too.
I'm 24, turning 25 in June and John's 24, turning 25 on April 27th.
Oo! Quarter of a century!
And we still couldn't get a deal with renting a car!
Isn't that weird? Cause that's like the only thing you can't do.
I'm actually excited about being 25 in July so I can rent a car. Amy:
You can rent a car now, but we have to pay $120, $20 each day, as a penalty for not being 25.
We need to start a rental car company that allows you to rent a car at 23! We'll just blow
everybody away! *laughter*
We can call it Hurtz! There'll be a logo with a big fist. *laughter*
JFH: Any new bands that you guys are really into right now?
Dave: Armor For Sleep is one of my favorite bands, their second record just came out.
They're kind of an indie band on an indie label. But they're a great band.
Nathan: My Chemical Romance.
Rian: They're not really up and coming, but I'm a new Norma Jean fan.
Dave: *thinking* I know I'm gonna think of one when you guys leave...
Nathan: House Of Heroes.
Dave: House Of Heroes! Look out for that new record.
Nathan: Spoken's new record. (*followed by the group's agreement*) He Is Legend.
Dave: The Wedding. They're a new band. We're going on tour with them in June and
I can't wait. I just saw them for the first time two nights ago. John:
Oh yeah? At Rcktwn? We were there. Yeah.
Rian: Sides Of The North. Staple. Mortal Treason.
Dave: We're gonna start naming every band that we know! *laughter*
Rian: My mom. She's cool.
JFH: What has God been teaching you lately?
Dave: Whew! What hasn't God been teaching us lately? It's cool that
we're never complete. It's something that's just been really neat to me, but that's besides the point.
Our journey is just always forever and we're always learning. For me, lately this is the stuff I'm
going through in my life... I just broke off an engagement with my fiancé. And just really,
the biggest thing He's teaching me is that God is in control of everything. We have the will to choose,
that free will, but ultimately His plan is what He knows is best for us. And not everything we
choose, not everything we plan, not everything we always feel is right is what is in His best
interest. It's just constantly, everyday, waking up and saying, "I have got to give everything to God.
I have to give it all to Him." Or else this can be a real ugly place to be if you don't. Y'know?
So I'm learning that, and I'm still learning it.
Nathan: I just got married, so I'm learning to be a husband and the head of a new family.
It's really weird. I love it, it's great, but it's hard especially with what I do and still be
the other half of my wife even though I'm far away.
Austin: I've been learning that I don't have to be everything to everyone.
Just understanding that as long as I'm making myself available to God to use me, I don't have
to do it all. God's gonna use me for whatever it is He needs me to do. *Phone then rings in the room*
Rian: I've been learning that when I struggle and fall and sin, it doesn't
mean that I start over with my walk. For a long time it was, "Oh crap, I just screwed up! God,
let's start over." I'm learning that it's a process, and it's a journey, and it's surrendering
ourselves to God. We're still human.
Yeah, and that when we fall, we're not falling out of His hand, we're still in
His hand, we just need to get up and keep walking forward. It's hard, yeah, I've had
that lesson, too. Definitely.
Dave: I think it's interesting because a lot of Christians look at sin --
sin is a bad thing, don't get me wrong -- but they look at sin as such a fatal and detrimental
thing. God knows we're bound to sin, we're going to sin. There's not any point when you reach
a sinless life here on earth. I just recently read "Wild At Heart," and another thing I learned
is that God expects us to sin, God knows we're gonna sin, and if we can learn to look at ourselves
the way God does, I think that that's key to having a joyful life. Cause you know, He doesn't look
at our sin-filled heart, He looks at our perfect heart the way He did the day that we accepted Him.
It's us as humans that look at our sins and bring guilt and shame to ourselves (*Nathan chimes in "And others."*)
God doesn't look at us like that, so we don't need to look at ourselves like that either.
Nathan: Yeah, learning how to look at people the way God looks at them. It's just tough...
JFH: Any last comments?
Nathan: Uh... May 10th! Buy our record.
Rian: Buy like ten of them. Cause you know you're gonna lose them.
Why would we lose them?
Rian: Cause you'll have one in your car, and then you're gonna be like, "Where
did I put that?" *laughs* You'll need one for your car, one for your house, one for your office,
one for your friends.
Dave: And they make great stocking stuffers. And if you buy them at Best Buy, they're really
Rian: But if you preorder them, it's signed!
Dave: You can order them off our website, or Flickerrecords.com
Nathan: And check us out on myspace.com and purevolume.com as well. We'll have
new songs on purevolume up until the album comes out.
Rian: And bring us good stuff to eat at shows.
(Left to right: Dave, Amy, John, Nathan, Eric, Austin, Rian)