By

The High Key Portrait Series: Pissed Jeans

Pissed Jeans | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN
Pissed Jeans | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN

High Key” is a series of profiles conceived with the intent to tell the story of Philly’s diverse musical legacy by spotlighting individual artists in portrait photography, as well as with an interview focusing on the artist’s experience living, creating, and performing in this city. “High Key” will be featured in biweekly installments, as the series seeks to spotlight artists both individually and within the context of his or her respective group or artistic collective.

Pissed Jeans kicked off their record release show at Boot & Saddle last month waiting on drummer Sean McGuinness, before he finally emerged from the bar, swam his way through the wall-to-wall bodies of the sold-out house, and climbed up onto the stage.

The set is an intractable inferno, furious and urgent, demanding the rapt attention of the hundreds of fans and friends who came happy to give it, as they sweated and moshed, crowd-surfed and stage-dived, in the pious tradition of rock worship of these esteemed ministers of “sludge-punk.”

“I’m not really too concerned [with labels],” remarks frontman Matt Korvette. “That’s fine. Whatever people wanna call you, you’re stuck with.” Adds guitarist Brad Fry, “it seems very generic but yeah, it’s just rock music. But taken from all elements of rock — punk, metal, garage rock.” Fry, bassist Randy Huth, Korvette, McGuinness and I are sitting in a cramped in a “green room” — the venue’s euphemism for a basement storage closet behind the kitchen with a sofa and a lamp — in advance of their show that night. I’d later wish I’d gotten the opportunity to interview them after the show rather than before, just because I wanted to ask about why Korvette would make a demonstration that night of destroying several vinyl copies of some of my favorite Beatles albums on stage.

Why Love Now is the band’s fifth full-length album, and their fourth on Sub Pop. “It was crazy. We were shocked. Totally shocked,” remembers Korvette about being signed to the label, established in Seattle in the mid-eighties and made famous by Nirvana. The label took notice of them “organically,” to hear Korvette tell it, and having originally brought them in just for a single, their deal was broadened to include one LP, before Sub Pop decided to keep them on board for the duration. “But even doing a single was shocking,” Korvette reflects, “because we weren’t, like, looking for labels. That was never part of our thought process.” Adds the singer with a characteristically dryly delivered irony, “they just had good taste.”

On stage and off, the four of them share an obvious and genuine chemistry, the intangible pixie dust that tends to elevate a band to more than a band. They juggle families, day jobs, responsibilities and commitments, and a commute to connect with Fry, too, who doesn’t live in the immediate vicinity. But the arrangement works for them, and they see no reason to change things at this point, after almost a decade-and-a-half. “There’s no reason to really stop. We’re all friends. We’re just playing music with our friends.”

As we talk, McGuinness wanders upstairs and we wait for a few minutes for him to return before we get to the questions, but he never does. I ask if they were ok getting started without him, for now. “Yeah,” Fry replies. “He’s not that important.” Continue reading →

By

Listen to the warped psyche of Pissed Jeans’ Sean McGuiness on his debut tape Ready To Be Rich

Sean McGuinness | via seanonthedrums.bandcamp.com
Sean McGuinness | via seanonthedrums.bandcamp.com

Sean McGuinness, known for his drum work with Pissed Jeans, Utensil and more, just put out his first solo tape EP, Ready To Be Rich. Being as unconventional as a record can get, the 17+ minute release (streaming as a single track, I might add) is split into 7 intertwined tunes, a Side A and Side B consisting of mostly instrumental sounds infused with otherworldly noises and aggressive punk vibes.

Continue reading →

By

Watch Pissed Jeans get swole in new video for “The Bar Is Low”

Pissed Jeans | via the artist's Facebook page
Pissed Jeans | via the artist’s Facebook page

Last week, we finally got to hear Why Love Now? in its entirety, but Pissed Jeans isn’t stopping there. The album officially dropped today, and to celebrate, they’ve shared a new video for lead single “The Bar Is Low”. It’s a glorious ode to feeling emasculated at the gym, so if that’s a sensitive subject for you, you might want to sit this one out. Otherwise, stream the clip below. Continue reading →

By

Stream Pissed Jeans’ brash thrashing of a record Why Love Now

Pissed Jeans
Pissed Jeans | Photo by James Breslin for WXPN

Philly punks Pissed Jeans shocked the world (or maybe the segment of the world that listens to Pissed Jeans) by streaming their new record Why Love Now a whole week early through Noisey. Their fifth record, released on Sub Pop, channels the angst of pure noise punk as the band blasts through 12-tracks of sexually-charged pit-forming rock n’ roll. Continue reading →

By

Pissed Jeans raise the bar with “The Bar Is Low”

Pissed Jeans | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist
Pissed Jeans | photo by Ebru Yildiz | courtesy of the artist

Philly punks Pissed Jeans have been perfecting the art of sardonicism for years now, and so far, they’ve shown no signs of slowing down.  From the ridiculous music videos to the wild live shows, their sneering, cynical approach to rock & roll has always set them apart from their Sub Pop label mates. It’s even reflected in their new press photos, which feature the band taking up about 5% of a glorified shot of the Kurt Vile mural. They’re currently gearing up for the release of their fifth album Why Love Now, and in preparation, they’ve shared its first single. Continue reading →

By

Pissed Jeans to make quick stop at Underground Arts next month

pissed jeans
Pissed Jeans | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

Pissed Jeans will take a break from their overseas travels to play a show at Underground Arts on June 25th. The stalwart Allentown / Philly punk band announced at the end of 2015 that they would be recording a new album this year, following-up 2013’s Honeys LP with “post-adult themes and pre-metal riffs with even less regard for interesting time signatures.”

Continue reading →

By

Pissed Jeans brings punk commotion to Ardmore Music Hall

Pissed Jeans | Photo by James Breslin
Pissed Jeans | Photo by James Breslin

On Friday night, Pissed Jeans bombarded the Ardmore Music Hall with their cataclysmic sound as part of their recent escapade with Tired Hands Brewing Company. The brewery recently teamed up with the snazzy Ardmore venue to host shows, and the gritty Philadelphia punk band was the first to be invited to perform and craft a unique beer with the enthusiastic brewing team. The brew, named “People Person,” contained juicy tastes of honey, smoke, and wheat, and was delightful to drink while watching some in-your-face live music. Continue reading →

By

Pissed Jeans and Tired Hands will celebrate local beer and local punk Friday at Ardmore Music Hall

Pissed Jeans | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Pissed Jeans | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com

This Friday, Philly-via-Allentown punk band Pissed Jeans plays the Ardmore Music Hall to celebrate “People Person,” a collaborative pale ale brewed with Tired Hands Brewing Company and named after the leading track from their clamorous Sub-Pop debut, Hope For Men. Tired Hands co-founder/brewer Jean Broillet and the brewing team, who share an affinity for noise punk, worked with band members to brew the hoppy, sessionable ale that is crafted for drinking at a Pissed Jeans show. Continue reading →