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December 28, 2005

Party like it’s 1995: Metroschifter is playing a show again. Really.

Here’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 Louisville’s music history, as Metroschifter — though on the caboose of what most consider our city’s musical freight train — was one of a lonely few bands that represented the last vestiges of unified spirit and attitude that has since moved somewhere that’s not here. Perhaps simple age does such things — 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 — they always will. But it ain’t what it was. That’s for damn sure.

Anyway, this is a bit of good nostalgia: just the old songs, with the same guys — Scott Ritcher, Pat McClimans and Chris “the Hört” Reinstatler — who played most of the shows during the band’s six-year run. The opener is a live spelling bee, wherein crowd members will be asked to challenge McClimans, with Ritcher and the Hört officiating.

LEO: Here’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 what’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 — do we even need airplanes? Is that even necessary? So no, it’s not necessary at all, but it could be fun, and that’s why we’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 ’Schifter of the end days?
SR: We’re doing mostly stuff off the first record and Fort Saint Metroschifter, and there’s a couple songs off Metroschifter 4. I don’t know if we’re doing anything off Strawberries. But yeah, it’s mostly the early stuff, and we don’t have any new material. We’re just trying to pull off the old stuff first. And if that goes well, we might do more shows. We’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, that’s the other thing. We’ve played shows before where nobody was there, there were like five or six people there, and we had an awesome time, so that’s possible too. But we would like to keep it so that people who like the music won’t — we’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 don’t think we’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: That’s impressive.
SR: Thank you, thank you very much.
LEO: Would you like to finish the interview yourself?
SR: (Laughter)

LEO: What’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 that’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 I’m working on number 13 now.

LEO: Will you run for political office again?
SR: Yeah, I’m planning on running for Senate in 2008. I haven’t decided if it will be state Senate — which would be district 35 — or U.S. Senate, which would be Mitch McConnell’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 don’t think I’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. I’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 don’t take a stand on social issues, so there’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 that’s good, because I don’t think government should be too involved in social issues.