By Melissa Fossum
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"We take our music seriously," Dana says. "We do practice. I know sometimes it seems like this disorganized mess, but we practice a lot."
"We work on the songs, and the songs we try to get good, but when we're playing, we wanna have a good time," Jeff adds. "We don't wanna get up there and be like, 'This is so serious. Everybody just sit there and listen.'"
For the band, "having a good time" entails Pete wearing things like T-shirts with big boobs airbrushed on the front and knee-high socks onstage while Dana bounces around in a bank-robber mask and Jeff bangs on the drums in a hot pink wig or whatever. But it's also about exploring new musical ground. "When we practice or when I'm coming up with a song, I try to think 'Okay, what haven't we done?'" Pete says.
"And that's a challenge because we've all pretty much played everything over the years," Dana adds. (The members are all in their mid-30s).
In addition to trying to play nothing they've ever done before, JJCNV also plays a little bit of everything they've done before. "We'll play anything, whether it's a '50s-sounding song or a new song," Jeff says. "It's not like it has to sound a certain way."
"I never know what to say when people ask what we sound like," Pete says. "It's kinda loud, noisy, fun. That's about it. With a little Broadway thrown in."
The band's eccentric sound is partly derived from the members' diverse tastes in music. The Mesa home of Dana and Pete (who've been married for three years) houses an impressive vinyl collection, with records by artists like British New Wave band Simple Minds and raucous analog noise band Big Black sitting side-by-side. But this genre-orgy doesn't extend to JJCNV's work ethic, which is decidedly punk rock, and do-it-yourself — they design all their own T-shirts and put out their music on their own label, Flab Fjord Records, including a just-released "double 7-inch, quadruple-band, split-vinyl" record with fellow locals Haunted Cologne, Skinwalkers, and Ray Reeves and the Phoenix $onz. The vinyl is available starting this week at Valley stores Stinkweeds, Eastside Records, and Revolver Records.
The band plans to play a show "at some gay bar" in October (local band The Complainiacs are organizing the show), but in the meantime, they're pushing the new record.
"We're taking a break from shows to focus on getting the record in local stores," Dana says. "And if people wanna e-mail us, they should — we're at firstname.lastname@example.org."
The band says brightly colored wigs and tongue-in-cheek humor are welcome.
I appreciate new times giving attention to local bands but damn dude, this band is definetly not a cover story, a cover story band should be a band that's innovative with a purpose and has a new excited sound that is making the music scene exist again. The outfits aren't funny, sorry.
we played with jjcnv at angelo's lounge a year ago and jeff dressed in football equipment and these enormous cokebottle goggle things that made his eyes seem impossibly distant. and in the middle of a song, he pounded out a sarcastic and intentionally awful, clumsy drum solo for a really really long time. it was incredible. like a live stsanders video. the goggles already made him seem kind of alien. combine that with the inscrutable, solipsistic drum solo, i think they call that magic.
easily one of the most memorable moments i've ever seen at a show.
but yeah. these cats are awesome. and what's rad is that all the brash insanity is anchored by a really solid sense of songcraft (see: frankie the beaver, can do attitude). glad to see they're getting deserved attention.