Tonight our very favorite punky power-poppers, Potty Mouth, return to The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection for the first time since the charmingly haphazard re-opening of The Fire, and they’re bringing with them their super cool buddies, PARTYBABY. The two bands are about a third of the way into their Party Month double-headlining tour, which will have them sharing top billing tonight, March 4th, at Boot & Saddle for what I suspect will be the best party Philthy’s seen all year. Still in their early stages, PARTYBABY are an LA-based quartet led by Noah Gersh (of Portugal.The Man fame) and Jamie Reed (known for his work with 30 Seconds to Mars). Their debut LP, The Golden Age of Bullshit, hit shelves last September, courtesy of Warner Brothers Records. The album was mixed by Andy Wallace, known for his work with the likes of Nirvana, Faith No More, and Blind Melon (among about a billion other major names). The album boasts a blend of both soulfully sincere ‘90s alt rock balladry of the highest order and the most charmingly rambunctious college rock of the late ‘80s (Basically, they sound like they could’ve been touring the country in a recycled church van, as the support act for the final days of the Pixies… Ya, know… the first time around?) Yesterday I got a chance to chat with the guys, who tell me all about the beautiful craziness of the earliest days of PARTYBABY.
Izzy: I know you’re still touring your first album, but you’ve been doing music professionally for quite some time. How do you think PARTYBABY compares to your previous projects? Has it enabled you to try new things?
PARTYBABY: PARTYBABY was designed as a way for us to find our way back to loving music again. We try our best to remember that every day. We nail it about 93% of the time, 7% goes to the wolves.
Izzy: Your debut album, The Golden Age of Bullshit, has been out for about half a year now. What have been some of the highlights of the band since its release?
PARTYBABY: It’s mental to think how much has changed in that about half a year. Touring the UK with VANT and doing our first real headline shows in another country was a pretty incredible experience. Our president had won the election a couple days prior to us leaving for that run, so there was all that shit in the air hanging around. I think finishing this new single, “Problems,” is probably the highlight of our life as a band. We’re incredible excited about it.
Izzy: Have you had any favorite reactions to it?
PARTYBABY: We’re pretty consistently amazed by the deep level at which people interact with our band. We try our best to live up to that. Seeing kids with our logo tattooed on them and watching the friendships people have made over the music is probably the most special part.
Izzy: How was it to have Andy Wallace mix the album? He has a pretty insanely impressive catalogue of work.
PARTYBABY: I mean he’s a legend and we obviously knew that going into it. We had gotten some money after finishing the production of the album and moved to New York to mix it with him for six weeks. We went in like we were going to school every day, asking all the questions. Who would’ve thought the guy who mixed Reign In Blood would be a fucking sweetheart either. It just couldn’t have been any cooler.
Izzy: For that matter, do you have any favorite albums he’s worked on, in addition to yours? I’m a massive fan of Bricks Are Heavy, La Sexorcisto, Relationship of Command, and Just Enough Education to Perform.
PARTBABY: It’d be so hard to start with his catalog, although your picks are all bangers. Getting to talk to him about producing Grace for Jeff Buckley was pretty incredible.
Izzy: What would you consider to be the band’s most significant influences, both musical and otherwise?
PARTYBABY: Trying to stay happy with minds that like to be depressed on a planet that is sometimes so overwhelmingly not a place we want to live is our biggest influence. We’ve been listening to a shit ton of Winston Riley reggae compilations in the van recently. We’re also back on weed, which has been great.
Izzy: I fucking love your video for “Your Old Man” (in addition to the song). Like, it’s the best video I’ve seen in well over a year. It just reminds me of the fucking best of early-mid ‘90s indie cinema and 120 Minutes (despite the significantly ‘80s references to Basquiat and David Lynch). What is it that inspires your visuals?
PARTYBABY: Matt Sukkar, who directed that video, is a friend and when it came time to make a video for the song we kind of naturally came into it. He had these kids that he had found and approached them about just following them around the city, fucking around for a couple days. I think the most impressive thing about the video is how it’s completely natural, that was just this amazing group of kids with light still in their eyes living life.
Izzy: How is being on the road with Potty Mouth? Were you fans or friends prior to this tour? They’re some of my favorite people in music.
PARTYBABY: We love Potty Mouth. They’re so dry that we weren’t always sure that they loved us, but we’re pretty sure now. They’re the shit. We’d met right before they moved to LA, we played a show together in NYC. It was the most wild show we’ve ever played.
Izzy: What can be expected when the two of you double-headline Boot & Saddle? How would you characterize the PARTYBABY live experience?
PARTYBABY: This tour undoubtedly the most fun and best we’ve ever played. The band has just gotten to a really solid spot. We smile a lot and try to have the best nights of our lives every night and encourage the audience to try it out as well.
Izzy: What’s next for you? How do you hope and plan to spend 2017 after these dates wrap?
PARTYBABY: We’ve got our new single, “Problems,” coming out super soon. It’s incredibly exciting for us to move forward right now, because doing anything we’d written in the past wouldn’t feel authentic right now. 2017 will be lots of music, lots of shows, great times, a couple bad times, and I’m sure a hangover or two will sneak in there.