The New Amsterdams
Indie rock outfit the New Amsterdams were pioneered by Get Up Kids vocalist/guitarist Matthew Pryor as a side project, and his personal emotion continued to be redefined and molded upon a musical cast of energetic pop. Joining Pryor were drummer Jake Cardwell, guitarist Alex Brahl, and Get Up Kids bassist Robert Pope. Since forming the Get Up Kids in 1996, Pryor needed another outlet for his stripped melodies to sheer off the typical emo associations found with his other band. So with grainy acoustics and lyrical dynamics, the New Amsterdams issued their debut, Never You Mind, in fall 2000.
Two years later, Pryor took a break from his bandmates to record a follow-up completed entirely by him. Para Toda Vida captured a more intimate Pryor with production work by Alex Brahl. Released in 2003, Worse for the Wear found brothers Robert and Ryan Pope joining in on bass and percussion, and Pryor then started planning his next album that fall, before leaving on tour with the Get Up Kids. Feeling alone and upset on tour, many of the songs written reflected this uncertain and bleak period of his life. After touring commitments were finished, and with the record still incomplete, he started writing with Bill Belzer and Eric McCann in September 2004. It was a much more positive environment than Pryor had been writing in, and the songs showed it.
The album, Killed or Cured, was finished, but a farewell tour with the Kids pushed its release into the next year. A lot changed in that time -- the New Amsterdams started writing new songs, Dustin Kinsey was added, and the guys decided they wanted to see through what they were working on. Killed or Cured wound up eventually getting shelved with no plans for a future release, aside from songs available for download on their website. April 2006 saw the band finally issue a new album, Story Like a Scar, which was followed in 2007 by At the Foot of My Rival. In 2013, Pryor decided to end the New Amsterdams, bidding a fond farewell to the musical project with the bands seventh and final album, Outroduction. ~ MacKenzie Wilson