When we were young, our parents always advised us that toilet humor wouldn’t get us anywhere. Well, mom and dad, meet Diarrhea Planet. The rock ‘n’ roll band composed of six dudes and four guitars is a Nashville-based goldmine. The grunge group met at Belmont University, but strayed far from the ordinary college band, landing countless music festivals and receiving praise from NPR Music and Rolling Stone in just a few short years. Their fifth release, Aliens in the Outfield EP (2014), represents a more focused process and ripeness to their music, but they’ve still maintained their punk edge. DP’s heavy sound is best experienced though in their unruly live performances (picture Beavis & Butthead in a mosh pit). While the group gets a lot of flak on their humorous name choice, Diarrhea Planet has developed into an extraordinarily successful band and vocalist Jordan Smith assures that, “DP is a well-oiled machine” with more to expect in the future.
Catch them live at the East Side Social Saturday, June 20.
Continue below for some words with Jordan Smith, guitarist and vocalist of Diarrhea Planet.
Interview with Jordan Smith, Guitarist/Vocalist of Diarrhea Planet
A UFO lands in your backyard and an alien gets out and asks you what living in Nashville is like. What do you tell it and where do you take them in town to show them a good time?
Living in Nashville is like living in a major metropolitan city without all of the hang-ups. People know each other and it's tight knit like a small town. I'd take the alien to a punk show at The End! Woohoo!
There are plenty of musicians in Nashville trying to “make it.” Why/how do you think your method, having fun and “wanting to be the worst band ever” worked so well to your success? What do you appreciate about the music community here?
We never set out to be "the worst band," just a silly band that weren't super focused on things that don't matter until you are further down the road. It's important to get live experience before you get super serious about music business buzz words like "branding" and "image" and "genre.” Diarrhea Planet just kind of dove straight in and went for it. We played every show we could get and always made sure to make the experience about enjoying playing live regardless of crowd size. I think the important thing for bands to do is ignoring the trends and just make what they want to make. Don't worry about being cool or getting every hot gig in town. Focus on hard work and learning to play together. Figure out what you are good at and exploit that to the max while still leaving room for growth and new ideas. Get the ball rolling and get out and play, don't stay in your bedroom or the basement making plans forever. My favorite thing about the Nashville community is how small, yet diverse it is. A band can go out and play for a crowd and have several booking agents or managers or label people there and end up making a lot of great connections. Everyone is so down to earth, and it is so easy to get plugged in quick here if you work hard and are nice! Nashville is a wonderful "home base" for bands.
You’re well known for your live performances. What was your very first show as Diarrhea Planet like? How have things changed since then?
It was very scary. We played in a tiny apartment behind the library at Belmont University. I hadn't really sung in front of people since high school and was so nervous. We only played three songs and our set was about ten minutes long, but I definitely lost my voice from nerves by the end of it. We were a three piece at that show — two guitars, two mics, and a drum kit. Now we are a three-piece with an insane amount of shows under our belt. The music is tighter, the nerves are gone and DP is a well-oiled machine. Back then we had to focus on just getting through the songs without messing up; now we just focus on making the show as much fun as possible for everyone.
If you could have a beer with any musician/artist dead or alive who would it be and why? What would you ask them?
Probably my top three would be Kurt Cobain (he seems like he would be really nice), Jimi Hendrix (duh), and Sturgill Simpson (this could probably happen realistically as we both live in the same city). I would want to just chill with Kurt, I would ask Jimi all kinds of guitar questions and chat gear with him, and I would chat with Sturgill about life philosophies and stuff like that.
You are known for being rowdy, but what’s the wildest or most memorable show you’ve ever been to? (Not counting your own.)
Against Me! shows never cease to blow my mind. They engage the crowd so well. Monotonix was another band that was mad rowdy I've seen a few times. Meemaw takes first prize though for being the coolest/rowdiest.
Favorite Nashville …
Record store: Grimey’s — duh!
Music store: East Side Music Supply
Band/Musician: Pujol and Sturgill Simpson
Favorite city spot: My favorite place in all of Nashville is the Music City Greenway area around McCabe golf course!