Pissed Jeans mean a lot to me. I picked up their first seven-inch not having any idea what they sounded like. After one spin, I was in love. It was music that I really wanted to hear, if that makes any sense. It was something more than just a really cool sounding record...the best way to describe it would be that if someone had asked me what I wished a band would sound like, I would probably have attempted to describe what Pissed Jeans were doing. "Modern-day caveman weirdo sludge with sick guitar" or something equally stupid would've been my fantasy band desciption. And I was ecstatic that Pissed Jeans were actually delivering it.
I won't go on about how Pissed Jeans and some other modern bands are bringing back the AmRep or Touch & Go sound or whatever. I think we've all heard enough about that. I'm just pleased that they're cutting records in this day and age and that I've had the good fortune to catch their live show more than once. They're one of those bands that make all the compulsive record buying and obsessive music fanaticism seem worth all the effort. They're the fleck of gold discovered in the piles of silt.
Earlier in the year, Pissed Jeans frontman Matt, who I didn't really know except from maybe buying some records from White Denim, contacted me about interviewing them for MRR. I guess because he thought I had a decent enough grasp on what it was they were doing and was competent enough to form complete sentences. Obviously, I was flattered and thrilled. So the first part of this interview comes from that session, before 'Hope for Men' was released. As you might suspect, MRR ended up declining to run the interview due to the band's connection with evil major label Sub Pop. But, hey, I know this webzine I can run it in, guys...So, sometime towards the end of summer, after 'Hope for Men' was on the shelves, I finally got off my hump and did some follow-up Q&A just to make it seem somewhat current. And there you have it. Pissed Jeans, one of America's best and kindest bands.
TB: I guess the obvious first question is who is in the band, and what is it that you do in Pissed Jeans?
Matt: My name's Matt, I sing for the most part.
Brad: My name is Brad and I play guitar. Sean plays drums and Dave plays bass. Yesterday, we received the unfortunate news that Dave will be moving and leaving the band.
TB: And the obvious second question is, why the name Pissed Jeans? Are the jeans angry or soiled? What does it mean?
Matt: I don't know that it has much of a meaning, just gives off a certain feeling that fits with the band, and what we do, and what we play. It replaced our original name, Unrequited Hardon, because I guess we thought that was too limiting in our scope. It's funny to see people shocked by our name, because honestly I don't even think of it as having any meaning, just two words. Kinda like how people must relate to Gorilla Biscuits, no one is actually picturing biscuits of a gorilla.
TB: What were some other possible names that were vetoed in favor of Pissed Jeans?
Matt: I think that was it, there wasn't really much discussion.
TB: My grandmother called jeans dungarees. How about that?
Matt: At times I believe my Grandmother has also called them dungarees. Itís kind of like Pittsburgh calling it Pop and us calling it Soda.
TB: You were in some hardcore bands previous to this, correct? Please elaborate.
Matt: I've played bass in the Gate Crashers, and did vocals for the Ultimate Warriors and Citizens Unheard, my very first band. Citizens Unheard just wrote songs about ourselves and our friends, and kinda sounded like an incredibly sloppy Filth or something, I don't know. Ultimate Warriors were next and was a fairly amateur take on grindcore that eventually got pretty good. Had some really great live shows, usually filled with violence and humor. There are still some people interested in that band, which is flattering. The Gate Crashers were around the same time as the Ultimate Warriors and then the same time as Pissed Jeans. We were pretty inspired by the early 80s hardcore sound, but by the time we did a couple records, it seemed like the rest of the world had the same idea and suddenly you couldn't cross the street without bumping into a 7" with skateboarding skeleton on it. The Gate Crashers were tons of fun, and my bass playing got progressively worse.
Brad: Iíve played in the Gate Crashers, Ultimate Warriors and Citizenís Unheard with Matt. Also many not so serious bands with the Pearls and Brass dudes and a band called Torchbearer that in its later stages was more along the Dag Nasty/Inside Out vein. I also spent time filling in with Rain on the Parade and Carpenter Ant. Recent projects include City Monkey. Another interesting note is that Matt, Sean and I have all played drums for Air Conditioning at various times in the past few years.
TB: So what was the impetus to switch to the slower and sludgier approach? Doesn't loud fast rule?
Matt: I think we just wanted a change of pace, and to get to the root of heavy punk rock, just the total backbone to it all. It just seemed more interesting at the time, to take a step back and write some painfully simple songs and see where things go. I love a lot of loud and fast music, but I'm way into stuff that's the polar opposite of that too. Right now I'm just thinking that when it comes to heavy rock music, less is more, and it's way better to focus on the actual sound instead of the complexity of the riffs or whatever. Not that I could even play a riff if you gave me a guitar, though.
Brad: Yeah, just a change of pace. We love fast hardcore, but I donít know if at any time it was the main course in our musical diet. It definitely feels more natural playing slower.
TB: What were the first and last times you read MRR? I'm a bit rusty on current policies, so you might have to help me out.
Matt: Gee, definitely my early teens, but I don't know how much of it I could actually process back then, I would kinda just look at all the ads and figure out what's cool, and scope out any Blanks 77 interviews I could find. I can't remember the last time I bought an issue, but that has more to do with me not really buying any magazines these days. The only mags I read are Vibe and Interview, both of which I have free subscriptions due to some scam off the internet.
Brad: Yeah, early teens for MRR. It was so great getting it and running home to see what was in the Vacuum or Sound Idea updates. I think the last time I read MRR was early this year.
TB: I'm getting some repressed sexual vibing from your tunes/lyrics. Catholic upbringing anyone? Wait, can we talk about religion in MRR?
Matt: Yeah man, I think that comes across pretty well. That's definitely a huge aspect for the lyrics and feel of our songs. I think for me, I just like to focus on just how paradoxical my daily life can be, like all I do is fantasize about girls, but half the time if I get in a situation where I could basically do anything with some girls, I turn into a total prude and worry about feelings and get disgusted with everything. Total Catholic guilt that I can't shake, but also I'm kinda glad it's there, I will always have at least some level of respect for myself. I really hope I can grow up soon and stop craning my neck when I drive by a girl on a bike or something, it's getting pretty pathetic, but at the same time the Jeans are kind of a celebration of the pathetic, just letting you know "hey, I blew my nose thirty times today, and I'm gonna do it again tomorrow". Like, I can think I'm Mr. Cool and talk to a girl on the internet who is sweating me hard, but I'll walk by a mirror and then just stay in on a Saturday night, bummed on my ugly nose or receding hairline or something. I think it's interesting because I get the impression that tons of dudes are in a similar boat, in this weird post-90s period of social flux amongst young people where the internet is the main social network and no one talks to each other in person anymore, but they don't want to admit it or broach the topic. I want to grab all the like-minded dudes with similar problems and be like, "it's alright, guys". I find this stuff to be a lot more intriguing and crucial to my life than whatever most punk bands are rapping about, like killing cops or getting drunk. I've never killed a cop, and if I'm gonna get drunk I'm gonna lock my door and do it in private without ever telling anyone. That stuff is just the stereotypical punk storyline, one that's been done to death for years now and clearly not a real representation of the person speaking, one that I don't find compelling at all. I'd rather hear about what type of cereal you eat and how you're so sick of it, but you just keep eating it anyway because that's your normal routine. That speaks to me way more.
TB: From the sounds of your albums, people will probably be imagining you as a bunch of drug addled weirdos. But you guys look pretty normal to me. You think anyone gets bummed out that youíre not like, total stoned-out meth-heads drooling all over yourselves when they come to see you for the first time?
Matt: Yeah, I think so. Image is really important to a lot of people, and if things don't totally fit to their expectations, of course they'll be a bit bummed out. The thing is though, I'm not worried about impressing anyone with such rigid expectations. It's funny that drugs have to be such a part of the equation for this stuff, because I've been around plenty of drug-addled weirdos, and they really aren't making a lot of heavy stoned-out noise, they're just sitting on their couch like a log or bothering me at the bar, asking for a dollar. I'm gonna dress how I want, and wear what makes me feel good, Pissed Jeans to me is all about the removal of costumes and just being like, here I am, this is me. Facing these self-criticisms and problems is way more difficult than just getting plastered anyway. If I were totally baked all the time, I'd probably be writing songs about psychedelic spiders and the colors of the atmosphere, not Wachovia bank and diahrrea.
Brad: Yeah, pretty much what Matt said. This is the realest band weíve ever done. Not that others werenít or anything, but just on every level this band is nothing but the way we are. How we look, play etc, thatís just how we are. Musically, the stuff I write is just me hammering on a guitar at home or coming up with an idea in my head and working it through. Nothing is written to be cool or different, itís just what comes out. Iím a sloppy guitar player and I always have been. Just kind of play what comes out.
TB: I kinda think it's better that you're kinda straight looking dudes. It sort of shows how we all have some sick stuff inside of us, no?
Matt: Cool, yeah I would agree. I could probably clear a room of the nastiest-looking punkers, just by telling real stories. Most of the time, these scary-looking freaks are totally tame underneath the outfit.
TB: Will there be future tunes about bodily fluids and/or organs?
Matt: I don't know, maybe. I don't want to regurgitate the same ideas over and over, but there are definitely some similar themes through our songs.
TB: Playing shirtless: Do you do it to impress the chicks or creep out the dudes? Both?
Matt: Damn man, once again you've hit the nail on the head. If I could pull it off, I'd do one of those Bikini Kill moves where you force all the dudes to the back of the room and get all the girls up front. If we're on, it sometimes happens naturally without me having to ask. Also, it gets hot on stage, and since you can't always understand what I'm saying, and I can't let you inside of my outer shell with words, I'll let you in by showing some skin. I'm into my body and like working with it, although I've been notified that I have love handles, which is pretty pathetic for a thin dude like myself.
Brad: Iím usually the only one who doesnít play with my shirt off. I donít think anyone would want to see that. Usually after a show itís Matt, Dave and Sean talking to girls while late twenties dudes come up to me telling me they like my guitar playing.
TB: Have you got your plan together yet?
Matt: I assume you're referring to "Night Minutes", which was mainly written in a literal sense, meaning I needed to get a cell phone plan. I wrote that song before I owned a cell phone, and I have one now, but I don't know the number and it just sits in the glove compartment of my car. My grandfather only recently got an answering machine, there's a certain luddite stubbornness that must run in the men of my family.
TB: You played the garage-oriented Dot Dash festival in NYC last year. Did you get a good reception from that crowd?
Matt: Honestly, I don't know. The NY crowd is always one that just kinda stands there, and then tells you if you were good or not when you check the internet the next day. We've had some good shows there, and Dot Dash had a real cool lineup, but I will never understand the crowd. Just seems like everyone is scared to have fun, either that or they honestly don't enjoy the music that much and are just into it for the social scene, which is understandable.
Brad: Dot Dash was a little weird but fun. I felt like I played like crap that night. I think it was because everything went smooth. Seems to be that our best shows are ones where a member is missing, amps donít work and other various forms of chaos occur right before we play. Our reception was ok I guess. There didnít seem to be much of reaction. Weíre kind of used to that though with playing a lot of shows where we donít necessarily fit in.
TB: Are garage rockers more or less dorky than hardcore dudes?
Matt: I don't know, it's all the same to me. Dudes in costumes. One guy wears funny sunglasses and a Ben Sherman, one guy wears camo shorts and Nikes, what's the difference? I think that in any sub-genre, there will be dudes who just wear the outfit and help fill up a room, which is a necessity, honestly. But also, there will be genuine people who aren't just totally falling into their cookie-cutter roles. I hope to befriend those dudes more often than the first bunch. But yeah, for me to say garage rockers are dorkier than hardcore dudes, it's like saying Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies are dorkier than Milanos. Eat too much of either of them and you'll get fat.
TB: You've also played on plenty of hardcore bills and I even saw you at an art gallery with some cling-clangy bands. You're crossing over through a lot of scenes, what do you think makes for such a broad appeal?
Matt: I think probably because we don't have some strict, pre-established genre that we fit comfortably into. I also think we're a pretty simple band, and the more simple something is, the wider the range of people that can appreciate it. Also, I can dig on all sorts of bands and find common ground, musically and personally, with all sorts of acts. I'd be bummed if we had some tight little niche that we fit directly into.
Brad: The basis of the band is traditional punk music. All of us have a wide variety of musical interests and we draw from those and apply ideas and influences from all those types of music to the traditional punk structure. I really love being able to play almost any type of show with all different bands cause weíre a little different but still kind of the same. We always just do our thing and if you like, you like it.
TB: Are Pissed Jeans going to unite all the kids under one scene?
Matt: I don't know about that, and I definitely don't want to assume some sort of creepy leader role. If we can help kids check out different things, that's cool, but it's certainly not a specific intention of mine.
TB: If Pissed Jeans existed fifteen years ago, what label would you be trying to get on and who would you be trying to tour with?
Matt: I don't think we've ever really tried to get on a label, nor would we back then. The day I am strapping together promo photos and a press kit in hopes of getting "signed", please take away my right to be in a band. Fifteen years ago is 1991, so I'd probably be interested in going with Geffen or whatever major labels were scooping up any grunge or grunge-related band, good or bad, either that or Slap A Ham (which might not have existed until a couple years later, I can't remember). So yeah, a tour with Nirvana and Crossed Out would be choice.
TB: How has living in PA influenced the band?
Matt: Living and growing up comfortably in PA has personally allowed me plenty of time to reflect upon myself and my social surroundings, I never had to worry about getting food to eat or anything like that. Also, it's generally a pretty dull place, which forced us to be creative and make our own fun, not just sit back and let the world entertain us. It's a pretty fertile place for creativity, although we came up before the internet blew up and allowed everyone to see what everyone else looks like on a daily basis. I'm really happy that I came up where I did.
Brad: Living in PA is great. I love to travel and see new places, but leaving eastern PA would be very tough. I think an influence PA has had is the four seasons. Hot summers, cold winters, snow, awesome fall colors. I know it sounds corny, but changes seasons stir up various emotions and memories. I have different feelings in the fall vs. spring, summer and winter and cause me to write music differently. I donít know if that would be the case if I lived in Florida or California or Montana.
TB: Who is the one single person that has influenced Pissed Jeans the most?
Matt: For me personally as far as guitar, I would have to say Randy from Pearls and Brass. He and I used to play all the time and weíre in bands since we were 13. Just playing together all those years and watching him and his writing style is unbelievable sometimes. Heís such an amazing guitarist. I do miss just getting together and playing music with him. There were some summers where weíd play almost every day for 2 or 3 hours. I donít know if there is one person who has influenced the band as a whole.
TB: Are you guys serious record collectors?
Matt: I dabble.
Brad: Short answer is yes, but earlier this year I sold a good portion of my rare singles to Double Decker Records. Still kept a bunch of stuff though.
TB: What is your top want?
Matt: Right now, probably a couple different singles: Zero Boys "Livin in the 80s", Fun Things "Birdmen", Boyfriends "Wrapped Up in a Dream", although I doubt I'll get my hands on those for the current asking price.
Brad: My top wants are always Australian punk singles. Probably the Numbers "Sunset Strip" 7Ē, Skunks "Scratch N Sniff" 7Ē, Vacant Lot on Doublethink and the Slugfuckers 7Ēs and LP. Outside of Australia probably The Moderns "Year of Today" 7" or Count Vertigo single.
TB: What is your most valuable record and what is the one record you would save if there was a fire and you could save only one to re-grow a new collection from?
Brad: Most valuable is probably the Young Identities "Positive Thinking" 7Ē or the Chosen Few 7Ē. Only choosing one would be so tough, but Iíd probably have to say the Chosen Few 7Ē since itís my favorite record ever. It would be tough to lose the Tactics "Long Weekend" single too.
TB: So, are you guys officially on Sub Pop now? Wait, can we even talk about Sub Pop in MRR? Is Sub Pop even a major label?
Matt: Yeah, we are. It's pretty crazy, but we're all way into it.
Brad: Sub Pop was a label that we had all thought would be an awesome fit for us and then we were contacted by them, it was pretty nuts. Definitely a great group of people to work with.
TB: Who would you rather party down with, Will Shatter or Bobby Soxx?
Brad: Bobby Soxx. He wrote ďSatan BabyĒ.
TB: Do you believe in cities?
TB: So, Part One of this interview was declined by MRR due to their "no major label" policy. Do you think this that was a fair point or an archaic policy?
Matt: If I don't like it, start my own zine, right? It would've been nice to be in Maximum Rock N' Roll, every young punk's dream and all, but I understand they've got their rules, so I can't complain. It's still flattering to be interviewed for anything, and I'm not such a diva that I can really take issue with it.
TB: Sub Pop did a pretty nice package with the LP. Are you guys pleased with the way it turned out?
Matt: Absolutely! It was all done just as we wanted it, and we're super critical about this sort of thing. They totally delivered with what we wanted.
TB: If you don't mind me asking (and you obviously don't have to answer this), but going from a label like Parts Unknown, which I'm assuming was a handshake sort of deal, was it somewhat frightening or were you wary of signing with a demi-major label? Were there contracts and lawyers and such involved? I mean, you always hear the crazy Albini-esque small-band-gets-screwed sort of tales. Do you guys have a chance at actually making some money on this deal?
Matt: We were taken off-guard by the offer, and totally flattered, but why not do it, right? We're not trying to be a deliberately exclusive, obscure band. It was exciting, in that it's a totally new experience, but it really wasn't frightening. We were definitely curious to see how it would work, rather than worried about getting ourselves punked. So many people are into the idea of music as a business, and want to live off their band and "make it big" or whateverÖ I think that for our situation, we're far more realistic and understand that we'll probably never earn a living wage off of playing music. And we're totally fine with that. So really, we weren't scared about getting screwed, or worried about what percentage of royalties we make off of downloads or something. How can we get screwed, if we really expect to make nothing at it, you know? Anything above zero is just a perk. We've got regular jobs to keep our apartments furnished and fridges filled.
We had a lawyer buddy of ours take a look at our contract, and apparently it was fine. We didn't have to make any changes. I just hope they don't find out about us making copies of our own album and selling CDrs with photocopied covers for half the price...not sure if they'd be down with that or not. I should probably check the contract.
TB: Were you signed for more than one record? Sub Pop has obviously got you a wider audience. But, do you think it got you a wider audience of people who "don't get it"? I mean, some of the reviews from some more mainstream publications have beem somewhat laughable and/or puzzling. I think one did mention that you guys had "good hair" although I don't recall them digging the tunes so much. Are you pleased with the positive reaction to your hairstyles?
Matt: I think we're gonna do another record with Sub Pop, yeah. Nothing is totally confirmed though.
From what I've read, there are definitely lots of people who don't totally understand what we're doing, but I think there's also a bunch of people who appreciate us, who otherwise wouldn't have known we exist. The bad reviews are usually pretty interesting to read, especially when they have glaring factual errors. Generally, I'll always enjoy reading about myself, but it's most interesting when it's clear that someone actually took the time to listen, no matter if they hate it or love it. The worst reviews are when it's clear it's just a rehash of what other people have said and the record was obviously never really listened to. Even if it's a positive review, those are a bummer.
TB: Have you been keeping up with all the reviews or do you tend to try and ignore them? Does it bug you that nearly every review now compares you to some Sub Pop grunge band in some way?
Matt: I love reading our reviews. I think most people just need an angle to write about a band, they can't just talk about the music, and our angle has become the classic grunge days of Sub Pop revisited. Kinda silly, but whatever. Let me tell you though, since the designated "single" from the new record is "I've Still Got You (Ice Cream)", everyone loves to talk about us and ice cream, how it's crazy that we talk about ice cream, etc etc... looking back, I really should've called that song "Bitches N' Hot Tubs", which would be a much better angle for us. Also, you can be sure there would've been a video for that, no doubt.
TB: How strange is it to be reviewed in Rolling Stone? Did you ever imagine this happening? Did you ever foresee things moving so fast for the band?
Matt: I certainly never imagined that happening. It's pretty cool though, right? I mean, if Sub Pop's publicist said "we need you to talk about the Philadelphia Phillies on Good Morning America next week", I'd do it, why not? Rolling Stone may not be the beacon of hip that it once was, but I'm really just looking to make some good memories to share with my grandkids in fifty years. While things are moving fast, I'm well aware of how quickly the fickle indie-rock media can go from caring to not caring, and how flavors of the month generally dominate over actual substance. I mean, we could sell 50,000 records this year because of hype, and next year be as cool as electroclash, according to a popular blog or something. It's cool that people are interested now, but I'm not naÔve enough to have faith that it'll last. Time will tell, I suppose.
TB: You guys recently played a show with Body Count? Was it as cool as I'm hoping? Did you get any chill time in with Ice-T?
Matt: I don't know what you're hoping, but it was equally cool and not cool. We walked up to the club, and some security guy yelled "the emo show is over, get out!", assuming we were there for the matinee show that was apparently all emo bands. Apparently the lack of ill-fitting jeans and chain wallets didn't give off the "we're playing with Body Count" vibe for us. Our set was alright, but people were just dismayed, and the one punk kid there to see us got thrown out for spitting on me. It ended and I literally had my foot in my mouth, I just grabbed my socks and kinda just got out of there before getting yelled at by the angry soundguy. Definitely a hostile vibe, with security dudes just throwing people out randomly, a real fascist environment. I did see Ice, along with Coco, and we had a brief conversation. He's a god among men, no doubt. Also, three of the bands that played that night had stripper girls come out on stage and dance to them. I found their changing room upstairs, and then took a large piss on the tile floor above the stage.
TB: "Fantasy World" was the name of the local comic/D&D shop where I spent a fair amount of girl-free time in my adolescence. I'm not sure if the lyrics are hinting at something similar to that (the alienated fanboy) or something more sinister?
Matt: I actually stole the idea for this song, because my friends always used to sing a silly song about living in our fantasy world. There's an acoustic, acapella recording of that around somewhere. "Fantasy World" is pretty much about my life in the summer, when we'd just hang out at my friend Joe's house all night, and wrestle each other in his basement, videotape it, and then watch the videos. The only girl around was Joe's sister, who was disgusted by us. None of us had any girlfriends, or even connections to girls, at the time, and I really look back so fondly. Joe had a pool in his backyard, but one day we broke it.
TB: "The Jogger" and "Scrapbooking" seem to be the tunes people are either loving or hating, with little in between. Was that reaction you were hoping for? Someone had theorized that these are the sort of tunes written to poke fun at pretentious bands. Make sense at all?
Matt: I'm actually surprised people have put so much thought into those tracks. It's interesting to know that they can cause such ire in people, because if I don't like a track, I just skip it, so we really must've struck a nerve. I really didn't expect them to be taken as such polarizing tracks, I just wanted them to be part of a flowing, interesting album. As for poking fun at pretentious bands, I'm not into satire or parody when writing lyrics, so there's definitely none of that...I try to be pretty straight-forward, really. The idea of scrapbooking just kinda hit me hard from a few different angles, prior to writing the last record, and I had been thinking about the jogger for a while at that point. Some people take that song as just a total knock against yuppies, but really it's more complicated than that, especially since I personally fit the description of probably half ot the lyrics in that song. I don't even use any negative terms, so it's amusing to see that people just assume a punk band that mentions something more "mainstream" is automatically against it. As far as the different musical style for those songs, we just wanted to try different things, push ourselves a bit, but hopefully fit within the Pissed Jeans style. I think we did. Sure, people who love "Throbbing Organ" might not want to hear much else, and that's totally cool, but that would bore me, personally. I love "Throbbing Organ" AND "Scrapbooking", and hopefully some other people can find some merit in both, too. Also, we thought it'd be amusing to put some of our least-commercial efforts on our most commercial record.
TB: Tying into the earlier question of people "not getting it", do you think people are missing the humor in this stuff?
Matt: I try to figure out just where the humor is, and honestly I think a lot of people find way more humor in it than I intended. I would like to think that it's just a way to deal with feeling uncomfortable, like a nervous laughter, but chances are just as likely that what I find sincere is laughable to others. Like, "I've Still Got You (Ice Cream)" isn't a joke, although it was partially inspired by the comic strip "Cathy". It's about the need for comfort food, and my own personal substance abuse, namely high fructose corn syrup.
TB: Pissed Jeans and Eddy Current Suppression Ring both somehow wrote a song about eating ice cream. How did dessert become a topic for cool songs? What do you think of their tune?
Matt: Weird, right? When I first heard their song, I couldn't believe it! I think their tune is a total killer, Eddy Current Suppression Ring are my favorite active punk band right now. We're playing some shows with them come September and I'm totally stoked. Who is going to release the split single of us and Eddy Current covering each other's ice cream tune? Someone ought to step up to the plate.
TB: Are the pictures on the insert for the LP your actual homes? Do Brad and his dog often dress alike?
Matt: Yeah, you get a glimpse of each of our respective bedrooms with those photos. We wanted to let people in, show a little vulnerability, but still keep a distance. Brad's dog is the only dog I feel uncomfortable seeing naked. He pretty much wears sweaters all year long. It's not too rare of a coincidence when they match. I've gotten two new comforters since my picture was taken, too.
TB: What's upcoming for the band? Any plans for any more records soon? Tours upcoming?
Matt: We're writing new songs now, hopefully we'll do another album next year. We're actually working on playing some shows, and that's coming along real well...we're heading to LA for a long weekend in August, playing around the East Coast with Eddy Current Suppression Ring in September, then doing a pretty full West Coast jaunt with a pretty great, non-Terminal Boredom-friendly band called Mi Ami in October. Next year, we're headed to the UK, one way or another.
TB: Matt, I'd like to ask you about White Denim for a minute. What's upcoming on the label? How come you haven't done a Pissed Jeans record on your own label? Any idea why no one seems to realize that the Pay Toilets 12" is really good?
Matt: Not to namedrop them to death in this interview, but up next is a new Eddy Current Suppression Ring single, which should be out by September, for their US shows. It's great! I haven't done any Pissed Jeans records, simply because we haven't had the extra tracks around. We really don't write an abundance of songs, and I'm not interested in releasing anything half-assed, like live songs or demo cuts or whatever. Maybe eventually I'll do a Pissed Jeans record...it would probably be fitting for the label that it's released once no one cares about Pissed Jeans anymore and a couple hundred copies sit in my closet.
I was actually just thinking about the Pay Toilets record yesterday...you could probably even hear some of Pissed Jeans in their songs, we're not too far off from each other. I think that record really is great, and they did a second recording that I might like even better. I think the problem with them is that they are most certainly not a cool band, the record is too professional-looking for the collector masses to be into it, and it's a one-sided 12", which doesn't attract people like a 7" single or a full LP would. I'll tell you though, the Pay Toilets live was probably the most infuriating set I've ever witnessed. The crowd legitimately wanted to kill the band, and nearly did, after we got ambushed with a giant bin of ancient cigarette butts. I've seen so many bands try to do the antagonistic thing, but Pay Toilets really took it to the next level. I heard about their show the next night, the singer dumped a drink on a girl's head, then argued with her boyfriend for about 20 minutes, while the band just kept on playing. Pay Toilets, like most great Pittsburgh bands, will probably go down as a legend in the minds of a couple dozen people, while the rest of the world completely forgets.
Pissed Jeans Webpage
Pissed Jeans on Sub Pop
A far superior (and footnoted) Pissed Jeans interview
White Denim Records
Interview by Rich Kroneiss
Pics stolen from band's website at their suggestion, if anyone would like a credit please contact the editor