AJJ discuss the influences behind new LP ‘Disposable Everything’
Having started out in folk punk territory but branched out over the years, AJJ at this point are just one of the most unique underground rock bands around--there's really no one else who has their perspective, their humor, their detailed lyricism, their catchy songs, and their unmistakable sound. Their latest LP Disposable Everything is out today via Hopeless Records, and vocalist Sean Bonnette has marked the occasion by telling us about some of the core influences behind the album. His list is a mix of music, film, TV, and other things that go beyond consumed media, and you can read what he had to say below.
AJJ are also opening The Front Bottoms' Talon of the Hawk 10th anniversary show in Hamden, CT tonight (5/26) and then touring with Oceanator and Gladie, including NYC's Webster Hall on May 31. All dates are listed below.
Gladie are also opening a leg on Jeff Rosenstock's tour.
INFLUENCES BEHIND AJJ'S DISPOSABLE EVERYTHING
Hi all, Sean from AJJ here. Today I plan to answer the age old question: What are your influences? Here are some of the things that influenced our new album: Disposable Everything.
I Think You Should Leave
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson is the best sketch comedy since Mr. Show. It’s hypermodern, sublimely silly, and poetic as shit. We quote the show to each other so much that it’s become a shared language; a friendly shorthand for when normal, unfunny words fail us. The new season is dropping May 30th and we are still deciding whether to cancel our show that night so we can watch it over and over again or to just turn the show into a watch party.
The Mael brothers show us time and time again that humor is sacred, and that you can write a song about anything. The confidence and freedom they exude as artists is very inspiring.
Get Back (Beatles documentary)
Get Back came out a couple weeks before we recorded Disposable EverythingM and we all watched it dutifully. The premise of Get Back is this: The Beatles have 30 or so days to write and record an album before Ringo has to leave to star in a film called The Magic Christian.
What’s really striking is how they are exactly like every other band I’ve seen in a studio. They all have their comfortable little riffs that they play, and they alternate between bickering and trying to crack each other up. They have a friendly shorthand, even when things get tense.
Like the Beatles, we too were working under the clock, only not for anything so glamorous as The Magic Christian. We found ourselves in a time crunch because of…
The Holiday Season 2021 Omicron Outbreak
Holiday travel and multiple Covid exposures are the reason we canceled practice before going in for our 7 days of basic tracking, and I think it’s why the record has that hectic energy. I’m sure in some other dimension we got to practice, but I think I like the way this record turned out better. We made a lot of quick decisions that week.
It used to just be Sliders and Candide, but the idea that every possible variable is playing out in infinite realities concurrently with our own has been appearing in our cultural consciousness a lot more lately: Everything Everywhere All At Once swept the Oscars, Meow Wolf is expanding all over the Southwest, and the noisy and crowded Marvel Cinematic Universe will likely hit critical mass in a year or two.
Depending on my mood, I find multiverse theory comforting or disturbing. If everything that can happen is happening, what still matters? Late at night, though, when we were tracking the record live, it felt like the band was an antennae taking in radio waves from those other worlds. And that made anything and everything feel possible.
Heavy Metal (1981 film and soundtrack)
I watched a late night screening of this animated anthology from 1981 and found myself referencing it a lot during the writing and recording of Disposable Everything. I wouldn’t say it’s a good movie, necessarily. It has all the rough moments one would expect from a barbarian sci-fi movie from the '80s. Still, I love the anthology format and how each story inhabits it’s own universe that connects to a greater narrative. Also, the soundtrack is sick! It’s chock full of b-team '80s butt-rockers as well as some very tasteful '70s/'80s prog rock
'70s/'80s Prog Rock
One of the most cherished memories I have of my mother was smoking weed with her in my minivan while we listened to King Crimson, Yes, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. She would count out the time signatures to me and I’d be all like “whoaaa.” She died in December 2019, and I’ve been sewing little threads of her into songs since then. AJJ is not a prog-rock band (in this dimension) but we definitely took some prog swings on this album in tribute to Jeanne Bonnette, and the result is utter lunacy. Who better to indulge us in these art-rock flights of fancy than the biggest Pink Floyd fan we know: David Jerkovich.
We’re all big fans of David Jerkovich. His albums under the name Novi Split are fantastic, and when he dies he will go to Croatian heaven for rediscovering and producing Branko Mataja’s Numero Group reissue Over Fields and Mountains. His latest project, Deep Dreem, is his best, and you need to hear this song right now:
He is an amazing producer. He pulled songs and performances out of us that no one else could have, and he did so with the utmost love and care. Speaking of great producers, while we were recording we got a surprise visit from Don Was.
AJJ -- 2023 Tour Dates
May 26 - New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall *
May 30 - Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom #
May 31 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall #
June 1 - Providence, RI @ Fete Music Hall #
June 3 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair #
June 4 - Woodstock, NY @ Colony #
June 6 - Harrisburg, PA @ HMAC #
June 7 - Rehoboth, DE @ Dogfish Head (AJJ Only)
June 8 - Richmond, VA @ Broadberry #
June 9 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer #
June 10 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club #
Oct 21 - When We Were Young - Las Vegas, NV
Oct 22 - When We Were Young - Las Vegas, NV
* = support for The Front Bottoms
# = w/ Oceanator & Gladie