Q&A: Pissed Jeans’ Matt Korvette On Having Kids, Listening To Techno, And Not Naming His Band “Unrequited Hard-On”


The resurgent noisecore and pigfuck scenes are currently all the rage in the DIY warehouse spaces and shithole lofts littering Brooklyn and beyond. This weekend, the PA skuzzballs Pissed Jeans—who, arguably, initially lit the under-ass fire that galvanized the underground into embracing the sort of noise-slobbering, cutthroated post-hardcore ickfest that Sub Pop label-mates Mudhoney perfected over two decades ago—strut into town.

After a bit of a break, the goofballs in Pissed Jeans are back on the road, testing out new tastily perverse Black Flag-ian and Flipper-esque fuzz ‘n’ sludge dripping epics off their forthcoming release later this year. Sound of the City spoke via email to the band’s frequently shirtless, beer-bellied bawling front-dude Matt Korvette.

How did you come up with the name Pissed Jeans? Did you have a backup band name?

Honestly, there’s no great story. Brad (Fry) and I were in another band together and were brainstorming band names just for the hell of it, and we went with it. We actually initially went with Unrequited Hard-on but decided to make the change to become more approachable. In hindsight, I wish we didn’t have such a vulgar name.

It’s been said that your hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania is a downer kind of city. Is it that bad there and is that why your music is on the angry, noisy side?

I don’t think it’s that bad. None of us have lived there for years, though. But we all still live in PA. I think we just really enjoy playing angry, noisy music, so that’s what we do. I enjoy listening to happy music but couldn’t imagine myself seriously making it.

I’ve read you guys have day jobs. Is that still the case? One would think that being on Sub Pop you’d be able to live off music and touring.

We probably could, but not comfortably. Touring is a mind-numbing affair that destroys so many bands. It can be fun, but it’s not the life we want for ourselves. We’re homebodies.

When you guys signed with Sub Pop, was it a dream come true given the label’s history? Did you have any other offers?

It was definitely unexpected and flattering. I don’t think we’d want to work with anyone else.

You’ve done some touring with Mudhoney. Do you have any memorable stories to tell of those dudes?

We’ve really only just played shows with them, never toured. I don’t know about memorable stories, since their wild drug days are long behind them. They are certainly cool guys that I personally admire, though. And Mark Arm totally brings it every time.

Do you have a favorite Mudhoney song?

Off The Lucky Ones, “Next Time.”

Your video for “False Jesii Part 2” is, in my mind, one of these best videos ever. Was there something that inspired the concept for it?

Brad had the idea, and worked with Shawn Brackbill to make it into something we could do.

Are all those dancing girls Pissed Jeans fans?

I’d hope that if all the lovely women in the video weren’t fans prior to the shoot but that they were after the fact.

It’s been quite a while since the King of Jeans LP and the “Sam Kinison Woman” 7-inch. What’s taking so long for a new record? Can we expect a new record in ’12?

We’re all having kids, which slowed things down. We’ll be recording our next album in April though, and it is shaping up to be our best one yet. No name for the upcoming album yet, still working on it.

A slew of noise-rock/pigfuck type bands—White Suns, The Men, Pygmy Shrews and Pop. 1280—have been causing a ruckus in the underground as of late. Pissed Jeans burst onto the scene way before those other bands. Would you say you guys planted the seeds for a new noise-rock scene? Do you think you don’t get enough credit or attention?

I don’t know that we were the cause or inspiration for the bands you listed, but I will concur that we have existed longer than them. I think we’ve gotten plenty of credit and attention over the years, but I’m always down for some more.

Is there a singer or front-person who’s inspired you? Did you always want to be “the singer?”

I take inspiration from all sorts of singers, from the way a singer looks to a particular lyric or shimmy of the knees. Singing is a lot of fun, and as I’ve played instruments in other bands, it’s nice to not have to worry about screwing up a note or anything.

Did you guys all grow up together?

Brad, Randy [Huth] and myself grew up together, and we met Sean [McGuinness] a little after the fact. But yeah, three of us have played in bands together since [our preteens].

What bit of minutia–bands you listen to or TV shows you watch, anything really–can you offer that would surprise or shock the Pissed Jeans enthusiast?

I would hope that the average Pissed Jeans enthusiast would be refined and open-minded enough to expect us only to be out-of-control social degenerates. But if that isn’t the case, it might surprise someone to know that I listen to a lot of techno.

What do you hope for in 2012?

Less pain, more happiness, fulfilled fantasies… same as every year, I guess.

Pissed Jeans plays Music Hall of Williamsburg Sunday.