Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
Equal parts political and pornographic, New York spazzcore eye-gougers Gay for Johnny Depp have been slogging it out for the better part of a decade. While an underground cult sensation in their hometown, they’re a downright smashing hit in jolly old England, which has greeted their bruising, provocative art-core with no shortage of accolades and fawning magazine articles.
It figures, since GFJD magically fuse the American 60-seconds-or-less bile-spew of bands like the Blood Brothers with the decidedly English melodic sense of bands like Ikara Colt, Shooting at Unarmed Men, and Part Chimp. To wit, their new EP, Sex Vid Singles Club (due October 12 via Shinebox), is six songs bundled into a 12-minute monster: screamo sing-alongs for short attention spans, Ritalin ragers, and Jesus Lizard worshippers. It’s just the right balance of hooks, harrying, and hectoring. “You Have a Theory, I Have A Gun” is an anti-war rant delivered in one minute and 14 seconds, lead singer Marty Leopard’s voice hardly ever wavering from a shrill, vein-bursting screech, but still managing to evoke a remarkably detailed world of melody.
Gay For Johnny Depp guitarist Sid Jagger on “You Have a Theory, I Have a Gun”
What is “You Have a Theory, I Have a Gun” about?
Well, had we wanted to compose an essay or a dissertation, I am sure that we would have, but instead we composed a song, so I am going to have to let that work stand on its own. Although not as complex or intriguing as a Joyce piece, I believe the lyrics speak for themselves, and your fine readers will be able to embrace the nuance of the work below:
We’re looking for a few good men willing to sacrifice the things they don’t value
There’s no I.Q. check there is no book
You just have to be as dumb as you fucking look
When you go, you will never come back
Waiting for that company of sin, you hear the pitter-patter
Of all the bullets going into your heart as you die
Lies, all the lives they’ve taken, all the lies, all the lives they’ve taken
You’ve never read a newspaper and you want to be all you can be…
Join the Army
What has been the most extreme and/or unlikely reaction to your band’s name?
Several full-scale brawls at some of our shows, as well as a few closets coming open in the process. It has been quite a ride thus far.
Has the real Johnny Depp ever weighed in on you guys?
Yes. Apparently he is “flattered,” which tells me he hasn’t listened to the music yet.
Your band seemed to form in direct response to the Bush administration. How do you feel Obama is doing?
Well, it sure is nice to not have to be completely embarrassed about your nation’s leader when overseas. It’s actually in direct response to the Wilson administration. We’re old school. Obama is wonderful. He is austere, if not Buchanan-esque.
What’s the most memorable show you’ve ever played in New York?
I think our singer broke his foot or something jumping off the bar onto a concrete floor in socks and had to walk with a cane for a few months. That was pretty hilarious, although not exactly “memorable” to most of the players involved.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
I have hands-down the largest, most beautiful kitchen in all of Brooklyn, and adore nothing more than cooking my loved ones a knockout veggie meal and pouring a fine Oregon Point Noir. Eating out to me is the rare occasion of leaving my bedroom.
Gay for Johnny Depp play the Shinebox Records CMJ Showcase at Death by Audio on October 21.