Party like itâ€™s 1995: Metroschifter is playing a show again. Really.
Hereâ€™s what you need to know: Metroschifter has reunited and is playing a show on Dec. 30 at the Rudyard Kipling. This is a relatively significant moment in Louisvilleâ€™s music history, as Metroschifter â€” though on the caboose of what most consider our cityâ€™s musical freight train â€” was one of a lonely few bands that represented the last vestiges of unified spirit and attitude that has since moved somewhere thatâ€™s not here. Perhaps simple age does such things â€” the Louisville scene that the country somewhat-collectively stroked in the mid-1990s is grown up, with kids and mortgages and jobs that require monthly staff meetings and thin, dense carpet under 8x8 cubicles and fluorescent tubes of light. Sure, a few folks have held out â€” they always will. But it ainâ€™t what it was. Thatâ€™s for damn sure.
Anyway, this is a bit of good nostalgia: just the old songs, with the same guys â€” Scott Ritcher, Pat McClimans and Chris â€œthe HÃ¶rtâ€ Reinstatler â€” who played most of the shows during the bandâ€™s six-year run. The opener is a live spelling bee, wherein crowd members will be asked to challenge McClimans, with Ritcher and the HÃ¶rt officiating.
LEO: Hereâ€™s the big question: Does Louisville need Metroschifter again?
Scott Ritcher: Absolutely not. I heard this thing on the Ricky Gervais podcast, and they were talking about whatâ€™s the purpose of even doing a podcast, or do people even need iPods, and then they got into, well, what about most inventions of the 20th century or 21st century â€” do we even need airplanes? Is that even necessary? So no, itâ€™s not necessary at all, but it could be fun, and thatâ€™s why weâ€™re doing it.
LEO: So the other big question: Which Metroschifter is returning: the Metroschifter of the first record, the country band, or the poppy, slicker â€™Schifter of the end days?
SR: Weâ€™re doing mostly stuff off the first record and Fort Saint Metroschifter, and thereâ€™s a couple songs off Metroschifter 4. I donâ€™t know if weâ€™re doing anything off Strawberries. But yeah, itâ€™s mostly the early stuff, and we donâ€™t have any new material. Weâ€™re just trying to pull off the old stuff first. And if that goes well, we might do more shows. Weâ€™ll see what happens.
LEO: That was my next question. Will this last longer than one show?
SR: It depends on how the first show goes.
LEO: But you can never tell from the first show.
SR: Well, yeah, thatâ€™s the other thing. Weâ€™ve played shows before where nobody was there, there were like five or six people there, and we had an awesome time, so thatâ€™s possible too. But we would like to keep it so that people who like the music wonâ€™t â€” weâ€™ll try not to embarrass them for being into our music. Which is what we did before when we stopped playing out. Not that it matters, but a lot of artists stay past what is respectable. But I donâ€™t think weâ€™re looking for any respect at this point. We just want to have a good time. I kind of answered that in a circle, I guess.
LEO: Thatâ€™s impressive.
SR: Thank you, thank you very much.
LEO: Would you like to finish the interview yourself?
LEO: Whatâ€™s your favorite Atari game?
SR: Megamania. It is also the favorite of the other two members of Metroschifter. In fact, we have toured before with a TV and Atari in the van, and thatâ€™s the only game we ever played.
LEO: Amazing. Is K Composite still alive?
SR: Yes it is. There is a book coming out in January of issues 6-12, which brings us up to current time. And Iâ€™m working on number 13 now.
LEO: Will you run for political office again?
SR: Yeah, Iâ€™m planning on running for Senate in 2008. I havenâ€™t decided if it will be state Senate â€” which would be district 35 â€” or U.S. Senate, which would be Mitch McConnellâ€™s seat. More likely state Senate. I thought about running for state House next fall, as a warm-up for going for Senate the following election, but I donâ€™t think Iâ€™m going to do that. I do know that I want to run again, and something more realistically winnable than Mayor (Ritcher ran for mayor of Louisville in 1998).
LEO: Reform party ticket again?
SR: Well, the Reform party is in disarray. The past few years really, since Pat Buchanan came on board and split it all apart. Iâ€™m still registered with the Reform party, but even if I run as an independent, which is looking more likely, it would still be with the principles of the Reform party. About the Reform party, I really like how they take a stand only on fiscal, economic, administrative and organizational issues, and they donâ€™t take a stand on social issues, so thereâ€™s such a diverse bunch of people in the party, obviously, like me and Pat Buchanan, totally socially opposite as far as what we believe. But I think thatâ€™s good, because I donâ€™t think government should be too involved in social issues.