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Run Kid Run

JFH's very own Laura Sproull caught pop/punk act Run Kid Run on the road and sat down with vocalist/guitarist David Curtis to discuss the band's current release, Love At The Core, their past history as Side Walk Slam, and what the future might hold for the band...
This interview took place on: 4/25/09.

  • Jesus freak Hideout (Laura Sproull): go ahead and tell me your name and what your role is in the band.
    David Curtis: My name's David and I play guitar and lead vocals.

  • JFH (Laura): What's the significance of the name Run Kid Run? How'd you guys come up with it?
    David: Run Kid Run is actually a song title from this band that we used to listen to called Rocket From The Crypt. And they had this song called "Run Kid Run," and actually, crazy story is, it gets kind of confusing, but Neil our guitar player, back in high school, used to be in a band called Run Kid Run, and we were in another band called Side Walk Slam and then we ended up stealing them, and then we changed our name later on back to Run Kid Run.

  • JFH (Laura): How were you guys discovered? How did you get signed to Tooth and Nail?
    David: There's a music festival called Cornerstone music festival and it's in Illinois and we actually asked our friends Calibretto 13 if they'd let us play three songs before them, 'cause they were signed to Tooth and Nail and I'm like "Do you care if we play like three songs?", 'cause we were going on the road with them that summer, and they're like "Okay, sure" and so they let us play, thankfully, and Brandon Ebel, the president of Tooth and Nail walks up backstage and hears us and he's like "I gotta sign these guys". So that was pretty much like: right place, right time. God really just worked that out. We actually had sent in a demo earlier and got no response at all. So yeah, it was cool.

  • JFH (Laura): Tell me a little about your current record, Love At The Core.
    David: Love At The Core has been out for a year and we didn't really start off with a theme, like we didn't have a theme that we were gonna overall write about, but it just ended up where "God's love" kept appearing. That was like the overall main theme, and there's a song there called "Love At The Core" and it's about asking God for His version of love, not the world's version of love. Y'know, not the "diluted down," lust, jealousy - we don't want that because that is what the world has kind of tainted the word "love" and not really given the real ultimate sacrifice. So it's our prayer, our cry to God: "Just filtrate us with Your love, so that we can rub up against the world and show You, and also to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, just to show love, 'cause love is the only thing really that will affect people in the long run." That's kind of the overall theme of the record.

  • JFH (Laura): So how did Love At The Core differ from your first project?
    David: It's just a natural progression from when we started playing music in '98, like a pop punk three piece. That's what we were, and then we went to this different, more melodic [sound], then slowed down... [But] we've definitely got energy in this last record, so it's not like we're "light," but it's just definitely a progression. We stretched our boundaries musically and writing-wise, 'cause we're so used to loud, distorted guitars and so whenever Run Kid Run started, we kind of stretched a little bit, and then in the second record we [stretched] even more. We wrote a ballad, "Freedom," and we did another song with acoustic and piano, so we just definitely stretched ourselves as musicians, "Okay, let's try this, let's try that", y'know, and try different things, but it worked out. We were really pleased with the record.

  • JFH (Laura): Yeah, it's really good, I enjoyed it.
    David: Thank you.

  • JFH (Laura): What was the inspiration for the song "Move On"?
    David: Uh, that's one we don't get asked about. *laughs* "Move On" was just a break-up song. That was the first record. You know, after you go through relationships and you are with someone for a long time and you're just feeling that "break-up mode," and it's not fun. *laughs* And so it's just easy to write a song about whenever you're feeling that emotional about something, either whether it would be really excited or really down, so it was just a time I realized I needed to move on from this. Now it's fine. *laughs* But in the moment, you can just tell you're so wrapped up into it.

  • JFH (Laura): What are the messages behind "Captives Come Home" and "Sure Shot"?
    David: "Captives Come Home" is a song about your fellow brother or sister in Christ straying away from the body of Christ, and kind of your cry to "Hey, come back home, join us." 'Cause we know that as Christians this world is going to end soon and so it's just kind of our prayer/cry to "Hey, come back home," and it also talks about "creeping shadows" which is kind of a play on words of just like demonic spirits being able to creep into our lives if we just allow even a little doorway of anything to like to "filtrate" through. It's a song mostly about calling the fellow brother back home. And "Sure Shot"... we always have trouble with this one. *Laura laughs* I don't know why we have trouble with describing this one, but it's about taking what you believe and putting it into actions - like echoing Christ's name. 'Cause God is the only sure shot. God is the only thing that will be there for you. Whenever your pastor fails you, your family fails you, your friends, anything that you think of putting on a pedestal, God will be the only thing that will stand there behind you. So it's kind of like that.

  • JFH (Laura): What's your favorite song to perform live?
    David: *sighs* Oh goodness. Um….. "Emergency." Yeah, I love playing "Emergency" Just 'cause there's so much aggression and so much fun.

  • JFH (Laura): Who are your musical influences?
    David: It's a wide range, obviously. When we started off, like I said, in the pop/punk era - so, Green Day, MxPx, Ghoti Hook, all the Tooth and Nail bands, we just loved them. And then growing up of course you realize there's more to music than just that, *laughs* so, like, everything from U2, Bob Dylan, everything filtrates you and, you know, makes you the musician you are… Jimmy Eat World, Coldplay, just tons of good bands that we listen to, and the musicianship will always affect the way you play.

  • JFH (Laura): If you could tour with any artist or band of your choice, who would it be and why?
    David: Dead Or Alive? Does it matter?

  • JFH (Laura): I don't think I've heard of them…
    David: *laughs loud* No, can the musician be dead or alive?

  • JFH (Laura): Ohhhhhhh!! I'm sorry! Jetlag… Alive..I guess.
    David: *laughs more* No, it's fine. Alive, okay we'll go with alive, that's more realistic. Well, I would say U2 just 'cause they are one of my favorite bands, but I'm still gonna stick with U2, just because they're amazing and, I mean, it would probably be big shows too, you know. *laughs*

  • JFH (Laura): Yeah, I'm sorry about that…
    David: No, it's fine. *laughs* I thought you were kidding at first, and then I was like "What?" *laughs*

  • JFH (Laura): What is your weirdest travel experience?
    David: It's random how many - like in the last month we've ran into different bands or people that are in totally different parts of the country or United States, and we run into them at a different place, which is just so bizarre to me. Like, we ran into the band Spoken at an In-and-Out, which is a restaurant on the West Coast. We ran into them in Phoenix, and we pull up and they're just sitting there, and we're like "What?! How does this even happen?!" Out of all the places to stop and eat… and they were just about to start a tour over there, we were about to start a different tour. And then just last week, which this isn't that bizarre, but I mean just in stories on that, so it's kinda weird… We had an eight hour layover because our flights were getting cancelled and we were stuck in Charlotte airport and we played this festival in New Zealand, and the promoters from New Zealand were flying in and they had a layover, and they were in Charlotte too, and we were at this bar and grille place just eating, and they walk up and are like, "Hey guys!" and we're like…"WHAT?!" *laughs* You know, how random is that? But I mean besides that… okay, let me give you some crazy tour stories… One, we got held up at a Waffle House at gun point, right in my back with Hawk Nelson. And another crazy story… we were driving to Texas and our van caught on fire going down the road *chuckles* so we had to pull over. There was a trucker stopped and he put out the fire for us, but it was insane. So we've had many stories over the years, but those are some that always pop out.

  • JFH (Laura): Have you begun writing songs for a new record?
    David: We just started messing with it last-within the last month. We've kind of just messed with riffs. It's a slow process for us, but until we have the real pressure of, "Hey, we're going in the studio in one month," then we're freaking out. That's more of our style. We're hoping to be in the studio at the end of the year in November/December, and then hopefully a release in the Spring. So, I know that's far away but we're kind of on that "two-year plan," like every two years in Spring.

  • JFH (Laura): What do you enjoy doing when you're not touring?
    David: Hanging out with the girlfriend is always good, friends, family obviously. Me and Neil play sports; we just got done playing some tennis right before we took off, or- I'm way into the NBA playoffs right now 'cause that just started, and I'm a huge Cavs fan. So, things like that.

  • JFH (Laura): Okay, I know you had mentioned before you guys were in a band called Side Walk Slam. That's actually how I found out about you guys.
    David: Oh, wow. So you were a Side Walk Slam fan first?

  • JFH (Laura): Yes, yes I was. Now, how is Run Kid Run different from Side Walk Slam?
    David: Ah, cool. Well, it's pretty much Side Walk Slam started and we did three albums with Tooth and Nail, and at that point, we were like "I think it's time for a change," 'cause we have hit our low point and it's like "Let's do something different." Plus, we wanted to become a four-piece instead of a three-piece, and so there's not a huge difference. Like, in mindset we wanted to be two different bands, but it was the same three guys and we added a bass player. You know, so it's just like the same three guys and we added a bass player, but it's just a little more rock than punk rock, if you will. But overall, same vibe.

  • JFH (Laura): Now, does Side Walk Slam still exist? And if so, will another album be released under their name? I'm curious.
    David: *laughs* Um, we have never said Side Walk Slam is officially over, which that's where we're kind of leaving at that, because, like, two Cornerstones ago, Side Walk Slam did a show at a generator stage, and some kid was like "I'll pay for it! I don't care, I just want you guys to play!" And like a hundred kids showed up and stuff; it was so much fun. And we played a skating rink/birthday party, like a couple years ago. So, we keep saying, "Someday we'll put out another record." So, it's always-I mean we have enough trouble writing songs for Run Kid Run *laughs*, so I wouldn't get your hopes up too high, but we say, and we'd love to, we really would. It's just, I'd love to even tour one more tour with Side Walk Slam and just go out. I mean, the ten kids that show up each night will be fun. *laughs* So, we'll see.

  • JFH (Laura): As a band, how do you guys stay spiritually grounded on and off the road?
    David: Pretty much, Matt's dad's a pastor, my dad's a pastor. Not that that means you are going to Heaven, by any means, you know, but we've got families that have really filtrated our lives, like in a huge way in the spiritual side. Growing up, you realize how much of a blessing that is, you know, I mean at first it's like "Aw great, yeah mom and dad love us and teaching us to love God," you know, but then you realize when you grow up, everyone's not that blessed. So, that alone has set our ways growing up. I mean, besides that, you have to set aside time, like today, just listen to a worship album in the back of the van and, you know, like write some psalms, but I mean if you don't set aside time on or off the road... We don't really do anything as a group, I mean you know we'll like talk once in awhile, late night drive, the conversation will get going and then we'll be like, "Well, this has been on my heart, this is going…", but overall, we have good churches when we go back home. They're all spread out, but we have good churches that we're really involved in.

  • JFH (Laura): you have any last comments to
    David: Um, no. Thank you for the interview. I'm really excited about the show tonight!

    Run Kid Run's latest album, Love At The Core, is available now.


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