Seattle Weekly: You played keyboards for the Get Up Kids, starting Reggie as a one-man side project while in Coalesce before that. Now that GUK are kaput, is Reggie your main focus?
James DeWeese: I'm doing Reggie, Fluxuation, and Common Denominator. [With backing band From Autumn to Ashes], we're treating it as three separate bands.
Since Reggie plays punk, Fluxuation is '80s synth-pop, and Common Denominator is Nordic metal, what's the live show like?
It's very busy because we have to change and keep it going without boring all the little kids. Every tour is different, so the bunny suits were last year, the pre-Gerard [Way, of My Chemical Romance]- ripping-off-my-look suits a couple years ago. If there's a holiday around it, we'll embrace that. With TV these days, the kids lose their attention span—I have to use a Taser to fuckin' keep shocking people.
You're turning 30 this year. Have the audiences stayed primarily young?
You know, everybody looks the freakin' same still. I'm sure it's a different audience, but they still go to Hot Topic to get their clothes. If there are people from 1999 there, they're in the back at the bar. They've gotten older, they're broke and having a hard time getting by, so they come knowing I'm gonna make them laugh. And the little kids are there to be like, "Pour blood!!"
Reggie was originally a concept band based on "lost tapes" from the '80s.
There used to be those gimmicks and gags, but we stopped that. I still can't help but incorporate humor into everything I do, but I won't put out CDs where you can't find the CD or that look like promotional copies anymore. Kids seem to get pissed when they don't get a record cover—have a sense of humor. There's a whole network dedicated to comedy but maybe their parents don't get cable, because they're like, "Promotional Copy, that's not funny!" "Under the Tray, yeah, I looked for it, I took it back!"
The first album, Greatest Hits '84–'87, was rereleased so it could include the "Lord of the Bling" trilogy. You've also spoofed Fiona Apple, Master P, and Technotronic. What's in your radar now?
Democracy, old presidents—ones from when the flag only had 15 stars on it.
No jabs at Paris Hilton?
That shit's boring. I went to the Video Music Awards with New Found Glory and got to meet a lot of the Hollywood chichi crowd. None of those people can do anything on their own; they can't even get a bottle of water. They have an assistant for everything.
What about you—ever get recognized?
If I do, cool. If I don't, cool. If I do at a store, I hope I get a discount.
Reggie and the Full Effect play El Corazon with Fluxuation and Common Denominator on Fri., Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. $11 adv./$13.