10:20 PM: Aaaaand we're calling it! Thanks so much for the questions! This was a blast!

Hey gang!

We’re Andrew Jackson Jihad, a band from Phoenix, Arizona.

We have a new record out today, called Christmas Island. You can listen to it here: http://sideonedummy.bandcamp.com/album/christmas-island

Come hang out with us this summer! http://www.andrewjacksonjihad.com/shows/

Members: Sean Bonnette, Ben Gallaty, Preston Bryant, Deacon Batchelor and Mark Glick

We’ll all be answering questions, ask us anything!

Comments: 1221 • Responses: 100  • Date: 

death_to_all_humans234 karma


AJJTheBand403 karma

Mark: Hopefully soon!

AJJTheBand183 karma

Ben: I was under the impression that selling out was a thing of the past. You know, like slap bracelets and Clear Pepsi.

the-landlord194 karma

I just want to request a 8 minute clip of sean eating cereal. You dont need to talk or do anything, just eat cereal in front of a camera. (Please this is important)

AJJTheBand151 karma

sean: maybe on a less busy day, my friend :-)

kamikyhacho165 karma

I put the lyrics of "Getting Naked and Playing With Guns" through all the languages on Google Translate and back to English. Behold:

Getting naked playing with gun

Microwave stone, baseball and jerbus

I want to build. Love relationships Microsoft says that 94

Microsoft says that 94

McDonald Xbox.

Frys Chocolate sweet talk walls of the room

Blades touch God, fuck cream

The future, because our father Country

I want to kill our friends, we smomali

One thing that young parents - ACTO Acto die or New York, deceased.

We have vacancies for the future of the city

A surprisingly sweet.

Maskus magic smoke bleeding Biography

Page fresh feeling

Can Sad circulating rush site


But it will take NaCl children yet.

Castle Age added that the CuO

Weapons dream up squid.

Discontinuations morning instead of cheating

Getting naked playing with gun

Microwave stone, baseball and jerbus

I want to build. Love relationships Microsoft says that 94

Microsoft says that 94

Microsoft in court - says 94

AJJTheBand175 karma


Yeah, I wish I wrote THAT.

AJJTheBand103 karma

Mark: This is amazing.

jksmth122 karma

What the hell are twin wire hangovers? I love the new album. See you guys in Denver. Edit: if you won't answer that what's your favorite Vonnegut book?

AJJTheBand126 karma

Sean: that line fit in just perfectly, i didn't give too much thought to what it meant at the time. thanks! denver should be fun. Fave vonnegut book: Breakfast of Champions

Newhorn113 karma

I just want you guys to know that during the process of losing my virginity, I had my iPod on shuffle. Fucc the Devil played. It was hilarious, so thanks for that.

AJJTheBand138 karma


ddrroonnee75 karma

Sean and Ben: what key are all good songs written in?

AJJTheBand77 karma

Ben: D flat. Which is also the tuning that my other band, Fireswamp, uses.

AJJTheBand43 karma

F flat minor.

daneatdirt75 karma

Personally, I discovered you guys back in the day on OiNK. What are your guys's stances on "illegal" file sharing? Has it affected you as songwriters, and if so, how?

AJJTheBand287 karma

Preston: filesharing is fine. I do it. we all do it. it's a fact of modern life and there's no sense in getting all Lars-Ulrich about it. filesharing has exposed our music to a much wider audience than we could have ever imagined, and that's a good thing. there's no stopping it. in the words of Dimebag Darrell, ROLL WITH IT OR GET ROLLED OVER.

glasspopcorn67 karma

when the fuck are we gonna collab

AJJTheBand71 karma


Oh Snap! I still gotta get that instrumental to you huh? Look for it soon, eh?

scyphomedusae64 karma

Good part of the songs on People Who Can Eat People... and Knife Man had the most relatable lyrics on my high school years and they still have, to this day. (I thank you everyday for writing Big Bird.)

So, I wonder what albums/songs were the soundtrack of your teenage years? Do you guys still listen to them?

(Also, I want to know if y'all would marry me. Polygamy, y'know. Like that. I know might be too early in our relationship to ask that, but I couldn't resist.)

AJJTheBand103 karma

Mark: In high school, I listened to a ton of the Mountain Goats (this was around Get Lonely's release), Murder by Death, and way too much generic death metal. I still love the Mountain Goats and Murder by Death, although I only listen to a select few metal bands now.

AJJTheBand92 karma

Sean: :-) I listened to a lot of stuff when I was a teenager, but I think the two artists that I associate the most from that period are Belle and Sebastian and Ol' Dirty Bastard.

AJJTheBand45 karma

Preston: in high school I listened to Pantera, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Sepultura, White Zombie, Morbid Angel, stuff like that. I still listen to Sabbath all the time, not so much with the other stuff. however, I do still have a special place in my heart for Pantera's "Great Southern Trendkill."

Skuly49 karma

Ben, I find your upright bass simply hypnotizing. I always find it really lifts my spirits.

How did you come about playing an instrument that is decently inconvenient to travel with and somewhat costly to get into?

AJJTheBand69 karma

Ben: Yeah, it's a pain in the ass but I love it. My dad gave it to me. Cool dad!

Martinlutherqueens45 karma

Hey Guys. First of all, Christmas Island is the coolest album since, well, Knife Man. I feel like I’m watching season 4 of Arrested Development, listening to these lyrics and trying to decipher all the complexities and references (and even callbacks). My questions are: 1. Do you have any favorite references or lines on this album that you’d like to mention/explain? 2. What other musicians, artists, writers, filmmakers, etc. have had the greatest influence on your songwriting? Your album, “People who can eat people…” has a couple of direct Vonnegut quotes and is named after a line from “Hocus Pocus”- What about Vonnegut was so in-tune with the process of making that record?

AJJTheBand53 karma

Sean: Hey! Thanks for all the nice words! 1.) I was really proud of the motif from Temple Grandin, "stevie wonder to the..." it took a trope from pop and rap songs and I got to throw my piece into that tradition. 2.) I count pretty much all the media i joyfully consume to have an influence in some form or another. Lately it's been a lot of Bowie, Wayne White, Herzog, Suzanne Falk, JJ Horner, Jackson Casey, Perfume Genius and John Congleton. 3.) I was reading a ton of Vonnegut at the time, and I still think he has a very special pure message.

AJJTheBand43 karma

Mark: My favorite reference on the album is the line about Forever Lazy and the Slapchop. I love useless things that only serve one purpose. I'll save the songwriting bit for Sean.

ConnerMarbut38 karma

Really glad you did this AMA, guys! I'm a huge fan of your music.
It's helped me get through a lot of shit in the past year.
It seriously kept me going at my lowest. I wish I was clever
enough to form an actual question, but all I really can do is
thank you for letting me be happy.

AJJTheBand34 karma

xoxoxo :)

GraphicNomad33 karma

Hey guys, love the new album, my favourite songs are probably ‘Children of God’ and ‘Getting Naked, Playing with Guns’. So my question is: a lot of your songs seem to be very sad or angry. But from every picture/video I see of you guys I get the idea you are just very jolly dudes having a good time. Is writing songs something you guys do to get those emotions out of there, does it work like therapy? Or are you guys actually quite ‘angry at the world’ (Cause that’s what I often interpret from your songs)? Thanks for all the great songs that have helped me through some shitty moments.

AJJTheBand46 karma


Thanks for the nice words!

Our music can definitely suggest otherwise, but we are not 'angry at the world'.

Speaking only for myself as the lyricist, I consider myself a pretty well adjusted person. Music is always therapy!

AJJTheBand39 karma

Mark: There's something to be said for the efficacy of catharsis. We're all generally happy dudes, besides the times we're not happy.

ThatSaltyGuy33 karma

Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan, and thanks for doing this AMA! But enough with the sycophancy, and on to the questions.

1) Which musicians and groups have influenced your music?

2) What is your favorite venue or city to play in?

3) What inspired you to name the band Andrew Jackson Jihad?

AJJTheBand49 karma

Sean: Thanks a lot!
1.) Many many many musicians, groups, and other things. More movies than you might think... 2.) Phoenix, Chicago, Portland, NYC, Cleveland, every city and venue has a story :-) 3.) Free association really, but these days I think of it as a symbol of overcoming ones awfuller parts.

thanks again!


flimphister30 karma

Hey Andrew Jackson Jihad ! Loved your record, I've been waiting for years for the new record and it's totally amazing.

Sean, I don't know if you remember me since I'm sure you meet a lot of fans, but there's a picture of us together. and it was probably the best day of my life. My friend and I asked you if your People songs we're a "trilogy" and how you liked Death Grips and said they were "Fucking awesome"

and you also signed my record that day!

I had a long stream of questions just waiting for this sweet release, but I'm only going to ask a few.

  • Sean, what do you feel is your technique when it comes to songwriting?
  • Ben, Does having a kid change touring or writing songs?
  • Are you guys going to do any covers of Jay Reatard on tour?

And a question for everyone

  • What are some of your favorite films?


AJJTheBand44 karma

Mark: I hope we do Jay Reatard covers. My favorite film is Synechdoche, New York.

AJJTheBand26 karma



I feel like the technique changes from song to song. Sometimes it feels like drawing a cartoon, other times it just comes from nowhere, sometimes it feels like writing a novel and then cutting out the middle of it.

I watched Ravenous and Bram Stoker's Dracula yesterday and today, they were great!

AJJTheBand24 karma


Also, I think you gave me that death grips shirt, yes? I love that thing!

expresstrain10127 karma

hey guys, my name’s elijah and i play solo folk punk under the name human kitten. i’m such a huge fan. i have a million different questions but i’ll narrow it down to just one:

what advice would you have for young musicians just starting to release music and tour and all that jazz?

AJJTheBand16 karma

Ben: Start small. Small releases. Small tours. It's cheaper and keeps it fun.

ll-ll-ll26 karma

What's the creative process for you guys?


AJJTheBand30 karma


for the last record I brought the band songs in varying stages of completion and then we took the opportunity to develop them and have fun in the discovery zone!

AJJTheBand78 karma


The discovery zone: where kids rule

Aregular8926 karma

Your new video feels like it was created by Tim and Eric

AJJTheBand48 karma


Hannah Getz, the producer of the video worked on Check it Out! with Dr. Steve Brule, the best Tim and Eric show.

Also Joe Stakun, the director works on Adult Swim stuff all the time. They rule.

AJJTheBand29 karma


QuillJS25 karma

Breakin' out the ol' Reddit account for this. My question is: what do you guys personally listen to? Naturally, I generally assume a lot of 80's punk, noise rock, emo, and Top 40's Country.

AJJTheBand34 karma

Mark: throw in some hip hop and metal and you've pretty much nailed it.

AJJTheBand14 karma


I would agree with Mark, we're all over the place.

radbananas24 karma

If a pregnant woman is decapitated, will the baby survive?

AJJTheBand25 karma



wallcrawlinghero23 karma

First off, I love the new album. It’s been on non-stop repeat for the last week and a half (I got my pre-order early… and also maybe a shady internet copy slightly before that).

Sean, you said once in an interview that you got into social work through volunteering at a suicide prevention hotline. Your background in the field definitely comes out in your lyrics. Did your experiences with social work drive you to start writing music? If not, did your job change the themes or tones of the music you were already making or do you feel that your music would be as socially and politically aware even without your experiences in the social work field?

Ben, bass players are fuckin rad. I know because I am one. When did you start playing? Did you start on upright or transition to it from electric? I’ve heard of bassists in rock bands learning classical upright theory in order to expand their understanding of the instrument. Some say it’s helpful and some say it’s a bullshit waste of time. Do you have an opinion on that?

For everyone, what are your favorite books if you have one?

And lastly, can you guys always tour with Jeff Rosenstock? He should open every show you play and vice versa. You would be unstoppable.

AJJTheBand31 karma


is this wes? hi!

I think no matter what i do for a living I will write songs. I also think my career in social work definitely colors the stuff at times. I think I would probably be socially aware to an extent without the social work career because I've been volunteering for stuff since I was 15.

I've been digging haruki murakami for the past few years, particularly windup bird chronicle

Jeff is the man.

AJJTheBand28 karma

Mark: I agree about touring with Jeff Rosenstock. He's the best and the tour with him in 2012 was a blast.

AJJTheBand16 karma

Preston: East of Eden. Moby Dick. Memories, Dreams and Reflections by Jung.

SneakyWizard22 karma

Any plans on coming to Australia?

AJJTheBand31 karma

sean: it's a priority, for sure.

AJJTheBand21 karma

Ben: I wish we could say that we have set plans but we do not. For what it's worth, we really want to.

deko10521 karma

Hey AJJ, big fan from Australia here,

Has there even been a song that you have regretted writing and releasing?

AJJTheBand24 karma

Sean: Yes and no, but when I'm yessy there are loads! I think everyone who puts out songs has a few of those.

SaganTheJames20 karma

What exactly is the story behind "Backpack?"

AJJTheBand31 karma


nothing super heavy, I assure you. Die Hard 2?

hellyesman19 karma

If I remember correctly you're a social worker as well as a musician, Sean? How would you say balancing the two in your life has been? Do you have advice for other social workers?

P.S. You guys are my favorite band. You've gotten me through so much, and I just want to say thank you for that. You guys are brilliant.

AJJTheBand37 karma


Hey! Thanks so much!

-Right now the balance is skewed towards music, although I still pick up shifts at a job when I am in Phoenix.

-SELF CARE IS VERY IMPORTANT. Can't help anyone if you have unresolved problems.

bayernownz199519 karma

Hey guys, you've changed your instrumentation/set-up/whatever the musical term is a lot since your first releases when you had a simple set up with two people in the band. How do you think having more band members has affected the sound you try to achieve?

AJJTheBand25 karma

Sean: good question!

It's been making it a lot fresher, we aren't really trying to achieve a sound now so much as discover what the song is going to sound like together :-)

vinylmonster18 karma

Hey guys! Thanks a bunch for doing this AMA, I’m a huge fan of yours. I don’t mean to inconvenience you, but I have two questions: Firstly, do you have any advice for a fledgling songwriter? Second, where did the idea for the salad glove come from?

AJJTheBand49 karma

Mark: Finish songs. Even if you don't like the song, at least it's over with and you can move on. It's like any other skill, you need to do it to get better at it.

The idea of the salad glove was borne of the misery of forks.

AJJTheBand11 karma


I completely back Mark's song advice. also, it helps me a lot to not worry about what the song is about.

agi2117 karma

Hey guys, why does you music make me feel so many feelings, do you like to make girls cry?

AJJTheBand65 karma

Ben: We actual prefer to make boys or grown women cry.

CapnWhales17 karma

I've been a huge fan since the release of Can't Maintain. Really awesome that you guys are doing this Q&A. It feels like I've always had so many questions to ask, but I can't remember any of them now that I can actually get them answered.

What does your songwriting process look like? Is the process drugs?
Where the hell do some of these magical lines come from? Is that also drugs?

In your music, when you reference "god", is it usually in reference to the Christian capital God, or is it more a reference to the general workings of the world?

Are we ever going to see a return to the People-era minimal instrumentation, or is this the more elaborate sound (which I love) a permanent change? Will we ever get to hear some of those older songs in this new style?

Can you confirm or deny allegations of a secret Sean/Jeff Rosenstock side project? If deny, can you get to starting one, pretty please?

With the addition of another album, are you worried you're no longer going to be able to play your whole discography in one set?

At Bottom of the Hill last year, there were a lot of requests that you play "Love Song", but you declined. Was this because the requesters were incredibly annoying, or do you just not care for the song anymore?

Are there any songs you regret making or releasing?

Do you have any special fondness for the C Am F G chord progression, or is coincidence that those songs happened to "stick"?

Not as much a question, but I really just want to stress how much I love the song "Getting Naked and Playing With Guns". It really captures the lonliness, despair, comradery, and hatred that penetrates everyday life in small towns.
I grew up in a small mountain town, and it hits uncomfortably close to home. (except the actually killing people part)

Thanks so much for making the music you do. It's gotten me past some really dark times, and opened me up to understanding others. I'll be there at Slims in August!

AJJTheBand12 karma


hey thanks! I'll answer as many as I can, and I might copy and paste one or two from other answers, hopefully that isn't poor form.

-I feel like the technique changes from song to song. Sometimes it feels like drawing a cartoon, other times it just comes from nowhere, sometimes it feels like writing a novel and then cutting out the middle of it. Drugs don't help. Nothing helps.

-yeah, we'll totally take this instrumentation to our next tour and we'll play some classics. We like to change, so nothing is really too permanent with our sound.

-we reserve the right to retire songs. besides, I don't think people would want to hear us play songs we're tired of.

-we haven't been able to do that for a looong time ;-)

-thanks so much!

THE_nalla17 karma

What is your favorite drink? This is extremely important to me

AJJTheBand27 karma

Preston: whiskey and water

LordOfTheLemon16 karma

First off, just wanna say how much I really appreciate and love your music. Hearing Big Bird while listening to Knife Man in it's entirety for the first time just destroyed me emotionally and caused me to break down and rethink my whole life (for the better). Can't wait to see y'all in Houston next month.

Anyways, through some googling I learned a bit about Operation Dominic and it's relation to the albums title (which is a pretty neat easter egg I wasn't expecting), and am simply curious as to whether Sean's grandfather actually played a role in that. I imagine that must have been a particularly terrifying yet interesting operation to be a part of. I'm sorry if that is too personal of a question to ask, and won't mind if you'd rather not answer it.

And one last thing, I felt like quite a few songs off of Christmas Island have a really strong Jeff Mangum-esque vibe. I know y'all have covered Two Headed Boy before, but did Neutral Milk Hotel play any kind of a role in influencing the sound for this album?

Once again, thank you guys so much for doing what you do.

AJJTheBand35 karma

Preston: NMH has been absorbed via osmosis, their influence will always be there.

AJJTheBand12 karma


What preston said regarding NMH, and

;-) gooooogle.

thanks for the kind words!

Adtr198716 karma

How's it feel being the greatest rock band of all time?

AJJTheBand25 karma


aw shucks!

kendyl16 karma


AJJTheBand28 karma

Preston: 1) one time, during a really pretty song, two women started fighing. that was surreal. 2) my fave at the moment is Temple Grandin.

AJJTheBand19 karma

Ben: It was Chicago and the song was Love Will Fuck Us Apart. Weird stuff. We had to stop the set!

mercurysgirlx15 karma

AJJ, you guys were the first folk-punk I listened to, words can't express how thankful I am for that! <3

If you could do me a huge favor and just give a shout-out to my fellow reddit-addict and folk punk enthusiast Matt, he'd probably die a little bit. He feckin worships you guys. I have a feeling he's going to miss the AMA and cry when he finds out.

Best of luck in all your endeavors, you guys are fucking rad xx

AJJTheBand28 karma


JoeArpioIsAChump14 karma

Can you guys start selling the hoodies with the kitten on it again? Mines broken.

AJJTheBand18 karma


I'm hoping we will, gonna try to pressure mark and ben for you.

daneatdirt14 karma

After releasing your previous albums with Asian Man Records, you signed to Side One for this current release. Was it difficult parting ways with Asian Man?

AJJTheBand28 karma

Ben: Nope. Mike is an awesome dude and we had his blessing. We're still buds.

UnitedFanDes14 karma

Currently studying in Brussels and saw/heard you guys for the first time when you were supporting Frank Turner in Brussels and was inspired to download your back catalogue

The giveaway of your drum kit was hilarious and you played a great set.

When do you think you will be back in Europe? (Specifically Ireland)


AJJTheBand29 karma

Preston here. we are coming to Europe very soon, in October! we don't have dates yet, stay tuned!

Clarkone13 karma


First off, just need to say how much I love you guys and the new record! I think your song writing is some of the best ever! First off, I know you guys work with a lot of groups and people including but not limited to Jeff Rossenstock and The Gunshy (Silent songs is an amazing album)

How does working with so many people, across various genres of music effect your own song writing and direction? Has there been anyone in particular that really inspired you?

Also, Sean, being so busy and all do you ever get the chance to skate?

I'm super bummed you guys aren't able to make it out to Montreal this time around, hopefully you can make it out soon!

Thanks for taking the time to do this! I've been a fan for years and love absolutely everything you guys have been doing!

AJJTheBand23 karma


-It all feeds into something wonderful, I think :-) . It's great to learn new tricks from people. On this record I was especially tickled that Jamie Stewart from Xiu Xiu was down to sing on Coffin Dance, he has inspired me immensely for the past ten years.

-I'm not that busy, I skate at least once a week :-)

-I'm bummed as well! We'll be back for sure.


Aregular8913 karma

Do you dislike some of your older songs for being overtly offensive? I've noticed many of them have dropped from your live sets.

AJJTheBand61 karma

Ben: Do you stand by all of the stuff you did when you were 18?

mackleton12 karma

hello jihadmen!!! i have a couple of INTERESTING AND ORIGINAL™ questions for you guys!!!

  1. it seemed that christmas island was less emotionally charged than past albums like knife man, are you guys happy feeling better about your status as a band?
  2. what is your opinion on anthony fantano (melon man, light/heavy rating dude)
  3. do you guys browse reddit memes a lot (because this website is spooky as FUCK WOW)
  4. why did you follow me on twitter i'm a NERDLORD

thank you for taking time to do this haha i love you all you guys are hella cool

AJJTheBand8 karma


Greetings Mackleton!

  1. for me this record is the most emotionally charged album. and yes, we are feeling happy about our band.

  2. I like Anthony Fantano, I think he brings a much needed conversation back into music criticism.

  3. I like memes but this is my first time using reddit. I have a lot of friends that live on this site tho.

  4. I still don't know why I did that, but I don't regret it as much as i thought maybe?

CronusPorrima9 karma

how the fuck do you do that thing where you play string instruments really fast and its sounds good and consistent?

AJJTheBand14 karma

Preston: practice.

unicornlover699 karma

I've got some questions for you guys. Who's Rigby and why did you want to stab him? How's your relationship with Gene Simmons these days? What brand of cigarettes do you prefer? Also, I bought a shirt from your online store and it smelt like eggs. It was great. Thanks.

AJJTheBand11 karma



-Rigby is John's dog. He messed up the take, but I shouldn't have yelled at him like that. I felt bad, and the shame is immortalized in that song.

-I hollered at Gene the other day to see if something was a bootleg but he never hit me back :-(

-I would love to quit smoking. Planning on it before I'm 30.

-that's because we lovingly pack every t-shirt order with scrambled eggs!

Emmmet9 karma

Have you ever met anyone that was pissed about FWP?

AJJTheBand9 karma


funnily enough, not really! I guess we quit that one while we were ahead :-)

touj8 karma

First of all, I’m a huge fan. Your music has helped me through a lot of bad times, and has influenced me a lot and been a big part of me being who I am today- from my sense of humor and with coming to terms with how to deal with my own issues while still being a good person and trying to help others. I love Christmas Island and I can't wait to see you guys in Toronto and I freaking love everything about you guys.

But for an actual question: Your guys' style of music changed a lot on Knife Man and Christmas Island from previous albums. Was this just a combination of adding members of the band and experimenting more with electronics, or why did you guys decide to move away from more acoustic stuff?

AJJTheBand13 karma



We really value changing as a band, there has been a conscious effort to change with every album we make. Interesting that your ears hear more electric stuff because Christmas Island is mostly acoustic! It sounds really gnarly because John Congleton worked his gnar magic.

Hambone_McTrashboat8 karma

Heeeeyo dudes real quick question and I hope I get an interesting answer, what's the worst bathroom you guys have ever encountered while touring? Keep up the great work and I love the new album!

AJJTheBand8 karma

Ben: I won't name names but it was in Manchester, England. The toilet paper came in little, individual squares. I can't recall any other details but I know it was painful. I almost ran our rental car into a double decker bus that day too. Good times!

mellentb8 karma

Not including beards, who's the hairiest member of the band?

AJJTheBand35 karma

Preston: Sean's dog, Sassy.

i_do_not_like_reddit7 karma

Did you ever get a hold of Brad Neely?

AJJTheBand13 karma

Preston: yes, but he's hella busy :(

AJJTheBand4 karma

Mark: He said he was too busy with everything else going on for him. :( At least he responded though!

paperknight7 karma

Hi , I love you all, and I'm going to see your show when you stop by Houston ! How does one train to fuck the devil in his mouth?

Edit: forgot its more than just Ben and Sean now!

AJJTheBand8 karma


listen to season of the siccness by brotha lynch.

Raibnlk6 karma

Question for Sean, how do you strum like that? I'm surprised your hand doesn't bleed every night. Even with a pick it's pretty painful (or maybe I'm just a pussy but don't tell anyone.)

AJJTheBand9 karma


Why wouldn't you want people to know you're a kitty cat?

I started by playing bass with a pick, and then when I moved over to guitar it was harder to pick the strings for some reason...

I started by learning how to do a simple country strum and then sped it up.


AKDTSP6 karma

Love the new album!

AJJTheBand17 karma

sean: thanks!

evinugur6 karma

Hi AJJ Gang, I just recently met Sean and Ben in Boston at NU.

Could you please entertain these questions:

  1. What is a twinwire hangover
  2. I'm in the midst of learning how to program 6502 micro-processor assembly so that I can make video games on original Nintendo. Would you guys be cool if one day I made AJJ Race to the Crescent Ballroom. Not super sure on the details yet but your van breaks down and you have to run and jump your way through obstacles to get to a show (and maybe some other shit like saving the president or something)

AJJTheBand4 karma


Hey Evin!

Whenever you learn how to make video games, please tell us and we'll think of something awesome together!

mcluskyism6 karma


AJJTheBand7 karma


Ian from cheap girls and I just fell in love with Future Islands' Letterman performance. I've been digging Perfume Genius a whole bunch lately, the two Suicide records, I just heard this band called Eagulls who are pretty cool. Lana Del Ray, Danny Brown, St. Vincent, lots of stuff.

GasMaskKilljoy6 karma

You guys are definitely my favorite band. It's great to be able to interact with you guys. I'm hopefully going to see you guys live in June, I can't wait? So my question is will you guys be doing a meet and greet at your show in Philly on June 13th?

AJJTheBand11 karma

Mark: We'll be around at the show, if you see us, say hi! We don't really like "official" meet and greet things.

AJJTheBand10 karma

Preston: we'll be around, come say hi!!

thekiduknow5 karma

Hey guys big fan and fellow Arizonan(Scottsdale). I've noticed a variety of themes in your lyrics (Awesome lyrics if I may say so). Some are funny, others are dark, and a lot of them are so dark they're funny. What mainly inspires your lyrics? I know some most come from real life experiences(Who Are You? Etc) but what about songs like "Bad Bad Things" or "Inner City Basehead Teacher"? Anyway thanks for making great music and the new album is fantastic!

AJJTheBand7 karma

Preston: Sean wrote that song about the movie Half Nelson.

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yeah, ICBHHT is pretty much a synopsis of Half Nelson, I wrote Bad Things on a night I was very happy :-)

thanks for the kind words!

daneatdirt5 karma

I stumbled upon the title of your 2007 album "People That Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World" while reading a Vonnegut book (Hocus Pocus, maybe?) Are you guys avid readers? What author's, books, etc?

AJJTheBand4 karma


We all like reading. I've been on a Manson bio kick lately. Also I just read Swag by Elmore Leonard, it was pretty good.

Nateacus5 karma

Do you guys like coming to Chicago and the surrounding areas? I saw Sean live in DeKalb last year, and it seemed like he had a blast. I know you're coming to Rockford this year, which is where I live, which I unfortunately can't go to because it's 21+. But I'm going to try and go to the show in Chicago the night before. But yeah, do you guys enjoy it here?

AJJTheBand14 karma

Mark: House Cafe was so awesome! The Chicago area is always really fun.

AJJTheBand10 karma

Preston: yes! we love Chicago. great city, great people.

_rand_mcnally_5 karma

Hey guys, we drove down from Canada to see you in Nashville a couple years ago and when we told you this your response was: why?

My question is how many salad gloves have you really sold?

AJJTheBand10 karma

Ben: 189 so far at www.ajjstore.bigcartel.com!

borzughul5 karma

How did the band come together? What's your origin story?

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it's been nearly a decade in the making:

A tale as old as time: Sean and Ben worked together, started a band with Justin. Justin left the band and Sean and Ben continued. They met Preston serving him coffee at the shop they worked at and he started recording things with AJJ in 2006. Deacon played drums in Ben and Randy (from Randy's House)'s band, his first appearance was on Can't Maintain. Mark became our friend during a trip to the fest and started doing merch for us. Preston, Deacon and Mark all played on Knife Man and Sean and Ben invited them to be full time touring members of the band.

hobosavant4 karma

hey AJJ! long time fan, hope to see you in NOLA.

what are you dudes listening to at the moment?

AJJTheBand12 karma

Mark: Danny Brown, Clipping and that Songs: Ohio tribute record that just came out have been getting a lot of play time for me.

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Preston: Juana Molina's new album.

kathmanduke4 karma

Sean, what's your favorite thing to do around Portland? I know you're a fan of our skateparks, but are there any places that you always like to visit whenever you come to town? See you at the Alhambra!

AJJTheBand10 karma


I really like that diner where you can spin the wheel for a freebie when you have a meal there... i think it's called Holman's.

I really miss the Artistery.

plobster4 karma

I heard a rumor you guys might be touring with the Smith Street Band here in Australia, is this a plan at all in the future?

Because that would be the best thing in the world.

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ElasticDawg4 karma

Do you guys take more inspiration from punk or folk? Keep up the good work.

AJJTheBand5 karma

Preston: we take inspiration from wherever we can get it. we're not ideological in that way :)

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Lately i've been taking most of my inspiration from synthy stuff, rap and movies.

lachaudelapine4 karma

Love, love, love y'all's music. Listening to Knife Man as I'm typing this. Your music has touched me in ways I cannot even begin to explain and though I won't go into detail, your music helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life. So thank you. Going with my best friend in June (who shares my birthday and my AJJ love) to get tats inspired by your lyrics as bday presents to ourselves! Also, though he says he's asked before, COME TO MEMPHIS! Pretty please?

Also, my question: Which of your songs are you most emotionally connected to? Which gives you the most feels when you perform it?

AJJTheBand7 karma

Preston: i'm pretty connected to/love playing Heartilation and Hate Song For Brains.

supermutantMIRV4 karma

What sort of things do you guys have planned for the tour? Anything special?

AJJTheBand7 karma

Preston: lots of late-night Denny's stops :)

edwards126914 karma

Hey guys, huge fan, I got to see Sean on his solo tour with Ian Graham in Columbus, and it was fantastic.

There were a couple questions I had for you guys:

1) Each of your albums have an extremely different feel and sound to them, I think most notably with Knife Man and On Christmas Island. Do you guys feel that there were any concious decisions or major influences that changed your sound from record to record? Did your recent touring with Jeff Rosenstock affect the sound on the new album?

2) If I went out to your guys' cars right now, what would be in the CD player? What else have you guys been listening to lately?

3) A lot of AJJ lyrics have very dark themes. Do these tend to come more from personal experiences, or are they more of "fictionalizations" of true, personal feelings?

4) If you could do a collaboration with any artist that you haven't worked with yet, who would it be?

Hopefully you guys come to Columbus again soon! Thanks!

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Preston: 1) there aren't a whole lot of conscious decisions, the band has never been ideological in it's approach to music, the only conscious decision on Xmas Isle was to do an acoustic record. that was about it. 2) "Deceit" by This Heat. 3) sean is probably better suited to answer this question, sorry. 4) David Bowie.

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  1. I back prestons answer to q1

  2. water liars last record, perfume genius, xiu xiu, the monkees' HEAD

  3. a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B, the more i write the more I realize I'm just sketching.

  4. wayne white music video would be cold blooded.

SeaOfBears4 karma

When are we going to see Salad Gloves being sold in stores and on HSN?

AJJTheBand20 karma

Mark: HSN isn't able to support the salad glove due to the sheer amount of sales there are.


Are you gonna do any other Neutral Milk Hotel stuff? maybe all of ITAOTS!?!?!? :D

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Preston: i wouldn't count on it. we'll let Neutral Milk Hotel play Neutral Milk Hotel songs :)

Ja_Rule_Fan3 karma

You guys have a great way of covering very fucked up social issues in songs, whether it's showing thing for what they are (or appear to be) or just straggling issues with satire. My questions go to both Sean and Ben. Are your lyrics so catchy and clever because you guys are mentally disturbed/crazy or are you both really just that talented? Also what inspires you two to keep conversation on these issues on going in your lyrics as you keep writing more songs?

Edit: poor grammar missing word

AJJTheBand4 karma


Hey! Thanks for the question!

-I hope it's because we're talented, but it wouldn't be the worst thing I guess if we were just crazy.

-there's never really an intention to bring up issues in songs, the subject matter just kind of flows out naturally.

traaap2 karma

what other bands have influenced you the most?
What other bands are you enjoying currently?
Thank you for all the music you guys have put out!

AJJTheBand10 karma

Preston: I can only answer for myself, but my biggest influences in my teenage years were metal bands like Black Sabbath, Pantera, Slayer, etc. When I got a little older it was stuff like Velvet Underground, Jay Reatard, Kate Bush, Arthur Russell. Recently I've been listening to a lot of John Maus, Xiu Xiu, Ilayaraja, Can, and Ennio Morricone.

tpac27212 karma

Hey Andrew! Knowing that you started in Phoenix what are you're views on the city? The environment and culture in general along with the diverse music scene. Have you ever thought about coming up to Flagstaff, AZ to play? Just recently saw Erik Petersen from Mischief Brew play a house show recently up here and would like to scratch AJJ off my "Important bands to see before I die" list as well!

AJJTheBand4 karma

Preston: we love phoenix, warts and all :) we played The Orpheum in last June, we hope to come back there as soon as scheduling allows. I come to Flagstaff a lot on my own as it's my hometown and some of my family still lives there.

chriscatpark2 karma

You guys are my favorite! Thanks for doing what you do :) Much love!

AJJTheBand7 karma

Preston: thanks!!!!

Ethaneus1 karma

When did Preston, Deacon, and Mark join? Also, is Mark related to a Kevin?

AJJTheBand7 karma

Preston: Deacon and I started touring with the band two years ago but we've both been playing on the AJJ records for years; Deacon first appeared on "Can't Maintain", I first recorded with AJJ on a really old song called "Little Brother." Mark played some cello on Knife Man but he "joined" the band about a week before we started recording Christmas Island.