So, last month I went to a concert in Columbus, Ohio. Relient K and Paramore were playing at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion. I’m a big fan of both Relient K and Paramore, so I was all about heading down there for the show. Matt Thiessen, Relient K’s lead singer, introduced the song “The One I’m Waiting For” by saying, “This is a song about Katy Perry.”
Now, I found that somewhat interesting. I mean, if you don’t know anything about Katy Perry or Relient K, it might not mean much. Relient K is a relatively popular band in the Christian music market. Katy Perry sings songs about kissing girls and liking it. Why would Matt Thiessen write a song about Katy Perry? What was going on?
I had happened to stumble across something before relating Katy Perry and Matt Thiessen, but I didn’t think too much about it. On Kelly Clarkson’s newest album, the song Long Shot was written by Matt Thiessen, Katy Perry, and Glen Ballard. Okay. Odd. But still. He writes songs (and Kelly Clarkson doesn’t). Big deal. Kelly Clarkson seems like she might ask for his help and ask for Katy Perry’s help. She has a clean image to uphold, so she could like his work, but she’s also a woman who might like Katy Perry’s input as well.
As it turns out, you can find a video of Long Shot on Youtube, as performed by Katy Perry before it was recorded by Kelly Clarkson. And there’s this fellow playing the guitar in the video who looks an awful lot like Matt Thiessen. And she’s singing to him and looking at him like he’s more than just a friend.
A little research into the subject turns up a lot of surprising information that I simply wouldn’t have expected based on what I’ve heard from Katy Perry on the radio and in the news. She has changed quite a bit. In 2001, Katy Hudson, the daughter of a preacher, released her solo debut on Red Hill Records. It flopped pretty badly. She then changed her name to Katy Perry to avoid confusion with actress Kate Hudson, and was signed to Island Records, where she worked with Glen Ballard, writing songs including Long Shot, but was dropped from the label before releasing anything. It was during this time period that she was apparently dating Matt Thiessen of Relient K, as the song he mentioned at the concert (“The One I’m Waiting For”) was released on the album MmmHmm in 2004. In 2005, she was signed to Columbia Records, and shuffled around for years without a major release until she was dropped from Columbia, signed with Capitol Records, and put out her popular album, One of the Boys (2008).
They broke up years ago, but they apparently still talk and have worked together recently (scroll to the bottom for the quote), and he has been mentioning her at his concerts and in interviews recently, which can be seen in the following video from approximately 3:35 to 4:55.