Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Southern Hospitality: Diarrhea Planet's Jordan "Hodan" Smith (Loose Interview)

(1.) What are some of your favourite Punk records - sources of inspiration, if you will?

As far as Punk is concerned probably Latterman's "We are still alive..." and Against Me!'s "The Disco Before the Breakdown." Truth be told though, I don't know if most of us still listen to Punk that much anymore. There is a lot of Punk bands that are really fun to see live but it's hard to relate to a lot of the anger that the bands portray and write about.

(2.) Can you briefly discuss Diarrhea Planet's use-age of Pop & melody?

Sure. I know that we all have always been suckers for a good/memorable hook within a song. I feel like most of the scene that we participate in here in Nashville is based more heavily upon hooks and attitude than anywhere else. The "Punk" or probably more appropriately "DIY" scene here is different than any other I have ever been part of in that the bands still portray aggression and attitude in their songs but choose to do so through hooks and great melodies as opposed to anger, screaming, and heavy/aggressive guitars. I think that we would all agree that Nashville's sound has definitely influenced our songwriting in that above all else, a good melody is king.

(3.) Is "Orange Girls" a love letter to any specific Jersey Shore guidette... or am I totally missing the mark on this one? ha

Hahahaha, well, I hate to disappoint you, but you have missed the mark. It's sort of a coming of age/parody of sort on wanting to date the super hot, spray tan girl that you know will probably never talk to you or have anything in common with you.

(4.) What were a few of your favourite new artists/albums of 2011? A few of my personal favourites include: Frank Ocean, The Stepkids, Cults, and James Blake.

Oh gosh, that is actually a kind of tough question as I honestly do not listen to much music other than a few bands that I have always listened to. My favorite bands of the year though hands down were JEFF The Brotherhood from Nashville, Hooking Up from Harrisonburg, VA, and SKIMASK from Boston, MA. All three of those bands are ones you gotta check out if you haven't heard them.

(5.) What's next for Diarrhea Planet? Casey mentioned a new album & a 7-inch or 2 in a previous email... Would you care to elaborate a bit?

Sure. We have a split 7-inch coming out I believe in March sometime that will be pretty cool. Keep an eye out for it because everyone will definitely be surprised about who is on the other side of the record. We will most likely be releasing a 7-inch after that featuring a single from our new full-length that is currently in-the-works that will also contain 2-3 B-sides from the album, as well. We are aiming to have our new full-length completely finished and released by Fall/Winter 2012. It will probably contain around 12 songs and be a much fuller release than last year's "Loose Jewels." We also may be recording a collaboration record with another band wherein we plan on recording several songs with both bands playing together on all of the tracks. Needless to say, 2012 is already shaping up to be a super busy year for DP releases.

(6.) Can you briefly describe the general concept behind the Loose Jewels album cover? It's a very interesting, clustered "mess"/great piece of art!

Honestly, it was mostly a creation from the mind of our dear friend, Perry Shall. He does most of the great art for Infinity Cat and I have always loved the art he has done. I actually even have a tattoo that he gave me because I love his stuff so much. I literally just told him that I wanted to cover to be a teal/turquoise-esque hue and that I wanted it to look similar to a 90's Indie release. Perry took that idea and ran with it. I feel like he did a great job on it.

(7.) In your eyes, what's the ideal Loose Jewels listening format - CD, LP, digital (mp3), or cassette tape?

I definitely prefer the vinyl. Due to limitations, the recordings were kind of small sounding and I feel like the vinyl does a good job of mashing them together into a sort of wall of sound, which is what we were sort of going for on "Loose Jewels."

(8.) Madonna or Cyndi Lauper? 2pac or Biggie?

Definitely Lauper, definitely Biggie. We actually listen to Biggie a lot in the van.

(9.) Who was your favourite up-and-coming rapper to emerge in 2011? I think I'm gonna have to say mine was Lil B BASEDGOD. He's all over the place – Check him out, if you haven't already heard of him!

I don't know. Most of the rap I listened to this year was a few years old. We played an Odd Future after-party in Baltimore. But I was not really impressed with those guys. Not to mention they were also total dicks. Evan Bird, one of our guitarists, could probably name a lot of great rap releases this year. He even made some rap this year that [was] really cool.

(10.) What might your dream Diarrhea Planet T-shirt graphic look like?

Probably our own version of The Cramps "Bad Music for Bad People" album cover. That artwork was so amazing. I've been really wanting to make a sort of iconic DP album cover or T-shirt like that.

(11.) If you could choose any current Late Night show to perform on, which one would it be? I personally see Diarrhea Planet as a "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"-type of band... and you'd HAVE to get The Roots to back you guys! Now that'd be a TV debut for the books!

I would definitely agree with you on that one as well. Since Conan left the late night game, there hasn't been much to choose from since. I wish he would come back so we could play on his old show. Letterman would be alright too. But for now, definitely Fallon.

(12A.) Could you list a few of DP's favourite songs to cover live?

- Billy Idol's "Dancing with Myself"
- Meemaw's "Headdress"

(12B.) Can you explain the idea behind having 4 "Lead Guitarists?"

- Obviously we don't all play lead the whole time. Most studio records feature ridiculous amounts of guitar tracks. When you see bands live, they usually do not sound anything like their records because of this. I wanted to make sure that we could cover all the bases live that we do in the studio. A band should always sound just as big on record and they do live.

(12C.) I'm sure you guys get asked this ALL the time - But what's the (short) meaning behind "Diarrhea Planet?" Defiantly the most interesting band name since... Foo Fighters!

- Diarrhea Planet was a sort of jab at both the college we went to and the city we live in. Our city hates bands from our school and our school hates bands that sound like us. We just wanted to make a name that would annoy both.

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