The Mean Jeans - with Jeans Wilder on drums/vocals, Billy Jeans on guitar/vocals and Jean Jeans on bass – play snotty, poppy punk rock in the vein of New York’s finest.
With their debut just out on Dirtnap, two of the three were kind enough to answer a few questions via e-mail recently.
How did the band first get together and why the move from D.C. to Portland?
JW: While recording some hot rap jams, we both realized our true calling was more Riverdales related. So while drinking those big Red Stripes from 7-11 on my front porch I told BJ to come over the next day and we would kick out the jams. He showed up, I sat at the drums, he blasted some chords out on the geetar, and we sang what became "Party Animal" on top of that. Then I was getting kicked out of my house and he was bored where we were at so..... Hello Portland.
BJ: Me and Jeans were chilling hard in his mom’s basement in late 2006, eating macaroni and
twerking on a miracle. We wrote a song called "Party Animal" that is actually on our new Dirtnap record. We were doing literally nothing with our crummy lives so we decided to write more party songs and move to Portland.
Portland obviously has a strong indie scene. How's the punk scene there?
BJ: We play pop punk music, which is not necessarily a common or respected practice in 2009. We don't seek out bands who have a similar sound to shred with, but as far as killer bands with killer vibes, Portland is righteous. White Fang, The Flip Tops, The Whines, Meth Teeth, Organized Sports, The Bugs, Therapists, Pure Country Gold - they are all totally different and they all totally wail.
JW: Don't forget Dooom Patrol. Gotta rep all the roommates' bands ya know. That’s how the Communists would do it. Equal rights for everybody, like Peter Tosh said (and he had an AK-47 guitar so you can't fuk wit dat).
What can you tell me about "Are You Serious"?
BJ: Are you serious? Have you ever been serious? Cuz I haven't. Are You Serious is a 90 MPH Astroglide Slip N' Slide through Keanu Reeves' butthole. To jam the record is to go toobin down the Slime Pipeline with Malibu the American Gladiator, a couple of beautiful babes and a case of 30 Stones; someone is bound to spew, but it'll be worth the ride. The songs are short and fast and mostly about partying.
JW: Yeah, what he said.
You guys obviously have an affinity for The Ramones. Do you have any musical inspirations that would surprise people?
BJ: Feargal Sharkey, Angry Youth Comix, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures (the Hanna Barbera animated series), Keanu Reeves' band (Dogshit or somethin?).
JW: Billy Ocean, Eddy Grant, Men at Twerk, Men Without Jimmy Hats. Oh and Carl Sagan's the Cosmos (the music, the outfits, the eyebrows).
How did you end up on Dirtnap?
BJ: I was buying a Surf Punks record and Ken Dirtnap asked if we wanted to do a 7 inch. I said shit yea!
JW: Ken's wife made him sign us. Whha-pishhh (whip noise).
Do you plan to do much touring behind this record? Is it tough to find time to get away to tour?
JW: We will tour anywhere, anytime, anyplace, anyways, if somebody organizes it for us. As soon as I wake up early enough to catch the 3 pm deadline for passport renewal at the post office, then we're going to go to Vancouver, BC to play a rad pizza party. Now is the time to do it, before I start my residency at the Geneva Center for Butt Cancer. (The legendary GCBC's).
BJ: We struggle with getting our shoes off before bed and finding food, but tours are in the works. We have some good Portland and Seattle shows booked in December, a bunch with the Cowabunga Babes from Austin.
What's next for the band?
BJ: We are gonna make more party records. We are doing a cassette release with Gnar Tapes N Shit. We hope to do an animated series about the misadventures of three time traveling slackers.
JW: Working on an instructional video on how to party. Hard.