Interview With Gay For Johnny Depp - 15th February 2011
Photo Of Gay For Johnny DeppKarlie caught up with Gay For Johnny Depp backstage at Bristol Croft to talk about the band name, their current album and much more.

How did you come up with the name ‘Gay For Johnny Depp? And would you get gay for Johnny Depp?
I’ll start with the end of the question first – yes I would, absolutely. The name was kind of a joke but also an attempt to get rid of any knuckle head morons that might come down to the show. We wanted to create a violent sounding band with a non-violent sounding name. It was to stop people misreading what we were trying to say.

Have you ever had any feedback from Johnny Depp himself about the band being named after him?
Yeah, apparently he’s flattered, which tells me he hasn’t listened. I think he was probably going through an array of things he had to do that day and his publicist said to him, ‘Oh, by the way, there’s a band called ‘Gay For Johnny Depp’ and they need a quote’ So he said, ‘tell them I’m flattered’. Although he seems like a pretty open minded cool guy so I would imagine he’d approve. I’d love to get him to play on a track.

How would you describe your music style to someone that had never heard you before?
This is always hard. It’s fairly chaotic and abrasive, it has hints of metal and hardcore but we’re not really dumb enough to play straight hardcore and we’re not really good enough to play straight metal, so it’s right in the middle. It’s a little bit chaotic and distant and hopefully it’s groovy.

You’ve just produced your new album ‘What Doesn’t Kill You, Eventually Kills You’, how has this gone down with your fans and the press?
So far so good, but it’s only been out a day! The preliminary reviews have been great across the board. I don’t really care too much for reviews but then again it’s always nice to read good things about yourself in print. Everyone in my peer group and the other musicians I know from New York and London love it, and that feedback is what I respond to the most so that’s been great.

What themes and stories do you cover within the album?
It’s really different. Basically the way the band works is we write the songs and I come up with all the song titles before the singer has heard it. He basically hears it for a week and a half before he records all the vocals.Some are based on sound, some are based on the song title I’ve given them, even though a lot of them are tongue in cheek. I would say more than anything this record is a bit more serious. In the beginning obviously we got a lot of press for talking about anally raping Johnny, but we don’t really sing about that anymore. In fact, I don’t even think his name is mentioned on this record. We sang about that stuff in the beginning because it was hysterical to us. There’s only so many times you can write about having brutal, violent gay sex with a man.

What would you say is your favourite track from the new album and why?
Ummm… [pause] I think maybe the first track, ‘Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and Artistic Integrity’ because I never thought I’d be in a band that would be able to make that particular sound. As a guitar player and songwriter I write a lot of different things, sometimes you write within the limitations of your band mates, not only what they are capable of but what they listen to, and that came out bizarrely how I wanted it which was kind of strange and nice.

You recently released a very explicit and shocking video for your song ‘Suckcess’, who’s idea was it and how did you go about creating it?
Chelsea Piers As The Hunter (Bass)takes full and absolute responsibility; I had nothing to do with it. Apparently he was searching online and there is an all-male black porn video with the same title. He interspersed shots from this 80’s porn film with some live material that we had done in Brooklyn. It’s really Chelsea’s baby, all credit goes to him. I hope it’s on his epitaph.

What has general feedback from the video been like and where can people watch the uncensored version?
I don’t know how there’s an uncensored version because it’s still explicit, apparently it’s on YouTube and you can watch it there. The censored version is quite exciting. We also have a new video for the new single ‘Come On Feel TheBoize’ which is coming out in a week or so.

Tonight is the first night of your massive UK headline tour, what can we expect from the tour and the shows?
Hopefully some witty banter on my part. We’ve been doing this a while and it’s theatrical as much as it is visual, hopefully we’ve got better at it. I think the idea is that if you bombard people with enough imagery, both audio and visual, they can be mentally bludgeoned into accepting things on face vbalue. It’s so easy to walk into a room and see 5 dudes, kind of overweight, with long stringy hair and metal shirts, and you can say ‘I know what this band are gonna sound like’. Now if this band came out and played ska, you’ll be shocked. And then you accept it with new ears. You see a group of guys in a shirt and tie and you think they’re gonna be a Beatles theme. Then they come out playing a noise metal project it make you go ‘woah’. We don’t just try and do one thing, we try and do as many things as humanly possible in the 30-40 minutes we’re on stage trying to shock people’s minds into accepting music as it is.

You’re touring alongside The Computers, how did this come about and are you fans of their music?
Yeah, absolutely. We played shows with them a couple of years ago. We did like a mini tour with them, and we hit it off really well and they’re really good mates. They’re from Exeter so we usually see them when we swing through. It worked out really well because we’ve just finished a tour with Pulled Apart By Horses, and they had just finished a tour with Alexisonfire, and it was something we both needed to do at the same time. It was like, ‘hey guys, do you wanna repeat the past’. Right before you got here it was like a little family reunion.

Are you looking forward to any shows more than others?
London, really. No disrespect to any other town, but I lived in London for a while and have quite a few good friends there so it’s always nice to go back. There’s always certain bright spots, Manchester is always a great time, Edinburgh is always a great time, Glasgow is always a great time, but I’m always looking forward to London.

How would you compare shows in the UK compared to shows back home?
We don’t really play shows back home all that much. We don’t tour back home. We will, probably soon. In the 6 or 7 years of being in the band the UK is the only place that has released our albums. This is the first album that’s getting released internationally, so we’ll probably do quite a bit more touring. This is the first opportunity that we’ve had. We play New York, obviously ‘cos we’re from there, and Brooklyn, but we don’t really tour over there, ‘cos there’s really no point. The UK has always embraced what we do and we love them for it. We love it here. I adore British culture in all of it’s ridiculousness and fantasticness.

Can we expect to see GFJD at any UK festivals this summer?
Yep. I don’t know which ones right now, our booking agent is working on that. I know there’s some but I don’t know which ones.

Where do you expect to see GFJD in a year’s time?
I really don’t know. It’s funny, it’s a good question. I never have in any of my previous projects thought about a goal. I mean, there’s a goal of wanting to continue doing what you do and yuou work towards them but you never think about a specific goal. It’s not as if I would only be happy if we sold 20,000 records, or 50,000 records because eat that point it’s just silly, or what size venues you play. I think as long as we get to continue to make and create art, and showcase it for people that are fans; any level of success is ok by me.

One last question we ask everyone, if you could be an animal out of a zebra and a giraffe, which one would you be and why?
I would be a hippopotamus. I know it’s not an option, but hippopotamus is the answer. If you think about any animal versus a hippopotamus the hippopotamus wins. They’re mostly vegetarian animals but man, don’t fuck with a hippopotamus.

Thank you for your time, have you got a message you would like to leave for your fans reading this?
Yeah, just enjoy your life, and do as many drugs as you feel you can handle.

Interview By Karlie M
 Band Members

Sid Jagger
Marty Leopard
Nico Pesticide
Chelsea Piers
JJ Samanen
 Latest Releases
Gay For Johnny Depp - What Doesn’t Kill You, Eventually Kills You
Release Date - January 2011
1. Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and Artistic Integrity
2. Suckcess
3. She Has the Hottest Limp (It’s All Noize)
4. Humility is for People Who Don’t Comprehend Their Own Mortality
5. We Are the World? Burn It Down!
6. Rod Don’t Surf
7. Nine Inch Males (Born to Hate)
8. No, I’m Married to Jesus. Now Keep Your Fucking Hands Off of Him.
9. Pink Flag
10. What Doesn’t Kill You, Eventually Kills You
11. Cum on Feel the Boize
 Band Related Links
Gay For Johnny Depp Myspace