James Dewees

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James Dewees
James Dewees 2014.png
James Dewees in 2014 with The Hormones
Background information
Birth nameJames Matthew Dewees
Born (1976-03-13) March 13, 1976 (age 43)
OriginLiberty, Missouri, U.S.
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • drums
  • percussion
  • keyboards
  • synthesizers
Years active1995–present
Associated acts

James Matthew Dewees (born March 13, 1976) is an American musician best known for his work with The Get Up Kids, Reggie and the Full Effect and My Chemical Romance. He has also been involved in other musical projects including New Found Glory, Coalesce, Leathermouth, and Death Spells.


Early Life and Coalesce[edit]

Dewees graduated from Liberty High School in Liberty, Missouri in 1994. He started college at William Jewell College in Liberty later transferring to the University of Missouri to study music composition. In 1995, he was asked to replace Sean Ingram as vocalist for the Kansas City hardcore band Coalesce. This angered Ingram, and caused a fight that eventually broke the band up. However, in the summer of 1996, the band decided to re-form, but this time with James Dewees as a drummer. With them, he recorded the band's first two full-length albums Give Them Rope and Functioning on Impatience. Dewees was later kicked out of college for missing too many classes while touring with the band.[1]

The Get Up Kids[edit]

In 1997, Coalesce played a music festival in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania with fellow Kansas-Citians The Get Up Kids, who had just released their first album Four Minute Mile on Doghouse Records. At the end of Coalesce's set, they began smashing all of their equipment, and James picked up his Floor tom and threw it into the audience, hitting a girl on the head. Someone picked it up and tried to steal it, so James began chasing him, along with The Get Up Kids' guitarist Jim Suptic. They started talking, and Suptic invited James to hang out with the rest of the band.[2][3]

Coalesce and The Get Up Kids began collaborating more and more, playing shows together and eventually covering each other's songs for a split 7". James recorded keyboard for the band on their Red Letter Day EP, and after its release, joined the band full-time. After the release of the band's second album Something to Write Home About, The Get Up Kids began receiving much greater national attention. In order to capitalize off of the success of Something to Write Home About, as well as bridge the gap between their next album, the band released a collection of B-sides and rarities, entitled Eudora, in 2000. This also included a re-make of "A Newfound Interest in Massachusetts", with a new arrangement placing a much heavier emphasis on the piano.

In 2002, the band released their third studio album, On a Wire, produced by Scott Litt. The album was a major departure from the band's previous, poppier sound, and struggled sales-wise as a result. In 2004, the band released their fourth album Guilt Show. The album was met with a much warmer reception than On a Wire, but there was a great deal of tension between the band mates during their world tour supporting the release. Lead singer Matt Pryor, whose wife had recently given birth, wanted to spend more time at home. At one stop in Australia, the band broke up before deciding to finish the tour. However, they decided that they would do one final farewell tour before going their separate ways for good. Around the beginning of their final tour, the band released Live! @ The Granada Theater, their first live album. The album was recorded at the Granada Theater in Lawrence, Kansas at the band's tenth-anniversary show. On July 2, 2005 the band played their final show at The Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Missouri.

On August 28, 2008 James announced there will be a reunion tour in 2009. The Get Up Kids also did a tour in Japan in November 2013.

The band played US shows in Spring 2015.

Reggie and the Full Effect[edit]

While playing with the Get Up Kids full-time, Dewees began to write some of his own songs. However, he did not feel as though they fit with the distinct style of The Get Up Kids, so with the assistance of bandmate Matt Pryor, he recorded Greatest Hits 1984-1987, releasing it on Vagrant Records in 1998 under the name Reggie and the Full Effect.[4] He continued to write songs, finally releasing his second album Promotional Copy two years later.

In 2003, he released a third album entitled Under the Tray. After this album released, his marriage to his first wife Megan began to break down. He was soon involved in a bitter divorce, much of which inspired his fourth album Songs Not to Get Married To, which he was writing and recording during the divorce.[5] On April 8, 2008, Alternative Press announced that they had received details on the new album from Reggie and the Full Effect. The 12 song album, Last Stop: Crappy Town was produced by Sean Beavan with tracks also done by Paul Gray from Slipknot and was released on June 17, 2008 through Vagrant Records[6]

James sent a tweet in early 2013 saying "welcome back to Reggieland." He made a kickstarter project to help fund his release of the new album titled No Country for Old Musicians this album was released in November 2013 under Pure Noise Records.

Other work[edit]

Dewees in 2011

After The Get Up Kids split up in the summer of 2005, James entered the studio to write and record tracks with New Found Glory for their album Catalyst, later embarking with them on a tour to support the album.

In 2007, he joined My Chemical Romance as their touring keyboardist, becoming an official member albeit for a short period of time in 2012 until the band's split in 2013.

In late 2012, Dewees began collaborating with Get Up Kids bandmate Matt Pryor on a series of demos. The collaboration grew into several east-coast tours in early 2013, and a self-titled EP in October 2013. He also formed digital hardcore act, Death Spells, alongside Frank Iero. The duo began touring and released their debut single "Where Are My Fucking Pills?" and an accompanying music video.[7] Death Spells released full-length album 'Nothing Above, Nothing Below' in 2016.

In 2014, Reggie and the Full Effect went on a spring US headline tour then followed it up by supporting Say Anything and Saves The Day on their end of the year anniversary tour, choosing to perform Under the Tray in full. Dewees also contributed to Gerard Way's debut album Hesitant Alien, and began touring alongside Way as the keyboardist of his backing band, The Hormones.


On the various Reggie albums, James has created a series of different personas that appear as "guests" on the album. One of these personalities is "Klaus", the frontman for the fictional Finnish metal band Common Denominator. There have been four Common Denominator songs on Reggie and the Full Effect albums; "Dwarf Invasion" on Promotional Copy, "Linkin' Verbs" on Under the Tray, "Deathnotronic" on Songs Not to Get Married To, and "Dmv Featuring Common Denominator" on No Country for Old Musicians. The other personality present on many of his albums is "Fluxuation", a British techno-pop star. His credits include "Gloves" on Promotional Copy, "Mood 4 LUV" on Under the Tray, "Love Reality" on Songs Not to Get Married To, and "Sundae, Booty Sundae, Feat: Fluxuation" on No Country for Old Musicians.

Other bands[edit]

  • After The Get Up Kids separated in 2005, Dewees became the touring keyboardist for New Found Glory. He had previously helped write and record keyboard parts for their 2004 album Catalyst.
  • In 2007, Dewees became the touring keyboardist for My Chemical Romance. He later became a full-time member for the band in 2012, recording for their uncompleted and unreleased fifth album, despite only performing on one released song titled "Fake Your Death".
  • On June 30, 2008, in an interview with Lawrence.com, Dewees said he is "playing drums in a new band called Leathermouth [with] a bunch of dudes from New Jersey. Their drummer quit... I've been rehearsing with them a lot and I like it a lot." The band was on tour with Reggie and the Full Effect, with Dewees on drums. Likewise, the band's vocalist Frank Iero (also from My Chemical Romance) has played bass for Reggie and the Full Effect at live shows.[8]


with Coalesce[edit]

with The Get Up Kids[edit]

as Reggie and the Full Effect[edit]

with New Found Glory[edit]

with My Chemical Romance[edit]

With Leathermouth[edit]

With Frank Iero[edit]

With Matt Pryor[edit]

  • Matt Pryor and James Dewees (2013)

With Death Spells[edit]

  • Limited Tape (2013)
  • Nothing Above, Nothing Below (2016)

With Gerard Way[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.lawrence.com/news/2009/mar/09/kids-are-alright/
  2. ^ http://www.crashandbang.com/?page_id=3
  3. ^ Kelley, Trevor "Say Goodnight, But Mean Goodbye; An Oral History of The Get Up Kids" Alternative Press Magazine, July 2005
  4. ^ Reggie And The Full Effect | Vagrant Records Archived 2008-04-17 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Reggie & The Full Effect | Music Artist | Videos, News, Photos & Ringtones | MTV
  6. ^ Reggie and the Full Effect Album Details - News Article - AbsolutePunk.net
  7. ^ Whitt, Cassie (April 8, 2013). "Death Spells (Frank Iero and James Dewees) release video for 'Where Are My Fucking Pills?'". Alternative Press. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  8. ^ Gintowt, Richard; James Dewees (2008-06-30). "Lawerence.com". Retrieved 2008-07-09.