BEFORE YOU LISTEN to Diarrhea Planet, you've gotta prepare yourself for a few things. There's the quadruple guitar attack and the gang vocals, in service of scruffy pop punk and sweaty party anthems. But when friends ask what you're listening to, are you going to be ready to tell them? Are you okay with a future in which that name is proudly emblazoned on your iTunes library?
"A lot of people wouldn't listen to us," singer/guitarist Jordan Smith explains. "It's supposed to be a goofy, fun band that could never be a pretentious thing. Now it works really well for us because people hear us once or see us play and ask, 'Who is this band?' Someone tells you the name and you don't forget it."
Forget for a minute the dread of having to tell people that you dig on a band called Diarrhea Planet—just imagine telling your family after graduation that, no, you won't be forging ahead in your new career just yet. You've got a dream to chase.
"In the beginning they were like, 'What are you doing? Diarrhea Planet? You've got to be kidding me!'" Smith says. "The first record, my grandmother said, 'I heard your record, Jordan, and I really hated it.'"
That first record was an EP called Aloha. It has a song called "Ghost with a Boner" and another that contains the refrain "I partied the shit out of myself." There's a punk-rock backbone, but it dabbles in arena rock and metal-lite. Smith estimates that the EP has been downloaded about 20,000 times, thanks in part to some internet trolling on the band's part. Drummer Casey Weissbuch is now banned from commenting on the Brooklyn Vegan website.
Since then, Rolling Stone labeled the band a "Must-See Act," while MTV crowned them the best band of this year's South by Southwest festival. The group's new full-length—I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, the follow-up to 2011's Loose Jewels—comes out in August on Infinity Cat, the label run by the fellow buzz-worthy Nashvillians in Jeff the Brotherhood.
All this begs the eternal question: Just where is the ceiling for a band called Diarrhea Planet?
"We stopped by my parents' house the other day when we were on the road," Smith says. "We walk in and all my aunts and uncles are there, and they're all listening to Diarrhea Planet—our new record—in the living room. Me and the band walk in, and we're like, 'Aw man!' It was super cheesy. And my grandma said, 'I like this one. This one is really good.'"