When you sit down for an interview with the greatest rock ’n’ roll band ever, you better have your shit together.
I feel privileged to have gotten an exclusive interview with Jeff Two-Names & The Born Agains. Savannah’s premiere punk band is embarking on a week-long “International East Coast” tour to the great fortune of Americans in general.
Around 10:32 a.m. on a Friday, I wandered into The Foundry Coffee Pub and was immediately greeted by frontman Jeff, who plays under the name Glowy McNeal. McNeal is the Executive Director of Vocals and Chief Lead Guitarist for Jeff Two-Names.
With him was one of his, I am assuming, 12 children. An adorable, golden-locked two-year-old named Sylvia or something like that. I just wanted him to break into “Dad Band,” the something or other track on the band’s debut EP. It’s my favorite song because they spell out the chords before they play the song. It’s educational punk rock.
Joining us for this epic interview was the other founding member and drummer Rev. Kev, Deacon of Drums; a commissioned preacher with a penchant for good coffee he uses to bribe journalists into writing good things about him.
Auxiliary Lead Guitarist Michael Doctor MD was probably off saving lives, so he wasn’t able to join us. Jeff Two-Names has never had a bass player. They do have someone stand on stage with them and pretend to play bass. This person is usually called “The Bass Player.”
I was disappointed the band’s manager didn’t accompany them to the interview. Dr. Petee booked the entire tour and is a pivotal part of the band, which is probably why he moved to Atlanta recently. Ego can weigh heavy on a band’s chemistry.
Here’s the interview, which is edited for content and other things:
Hissing Lawns: So you’re going on tour?
Jeff: We are going on an International East Coast Tour with Johnson City thrown right in there. Monday is still to be announced. We’re keeping that one up our sleeve for now.
Hissing Lawns: Is this the first tour for Jeff Two-Names?
Jeff: It’s our first real tour. We did a weekend in Florida, but Rev. Kev couldn’t go.
Hissing Lawns:Who is playing bass?
Jeff: Petee is playing bass. It’s his last hoorah.
Hissing Lawns: How’s Petee doing as manager?
Jeff: He just started, but he booked this tour all by himself, pretty much.
Rev.: He almost got fired, because the house show in D.C. fell through. He came right through and got us at a burger joint that does punk and metal shows.
Jeff: Which is way better than a house show.
Hissing Lawns: Is he going to get a raise?
Jeff: Instead of one burger, he can pick two off the menu.
Rev.: He get’s free hugs from me for life. He loves hugs. Anyone who sees Petee should give him a hug.
Jeff: He’s a big hugger.
Rev.: Big hugger.
Jeff: Big hugger.
Hissing Lawns: What is it like to play in the greatest rock ’n’ roll band ever?
Rev.: It’s hard to say, because I am part of what makes it so amazing.
Jeff: I was going to say something very similar.
Rev.: You will have to ask Michale Doctor MD what it’s like to play with us. I imagine it’s pretty amazing.
Jeff: You get used to all of the fans, and press. And all of that, following you around. It’s good times.
Rev.: It’s why we have to have our secret identity jobs.
Jeff: We’re like super heroes of music.
Hissing Lawns: So being a reverend is just a cover?
Rev.: Yep. Reverend by day, punk rocker by night.
Hissing Lawns: Jeff, what’s your cover job?
Jeff: I am a soccer coach.
Hissing Lawns: Really? I thought you sold insurance.
Jeff: I wish.
Rev.: You’d probably make more money.
Hissing Lawns: Have you been rehearsing your setlist for tour?
Jeff: We did, but Petee just moved. We practiced a lot before he moved. We have acoustic sessions that we call “The Milk Sessions” because we crank up the heat and drink milk.
Michael Doctor and I have been doing a lot of milk sessions. Petee’s been milking a lot on his own, I am sure. We’re going to have another milk session this Saturday night at my house.
I don’t think we’ll have time for a milk on tour. Milk is no drums. It takes it down quite a few notches. It’s pretty fun listening to our songs acoustically. By funny, I mean awful. I wouldn’t do that to anyone else, but ourselves.
Rev.: I keep trying to get Jon Waits to book us at Trinity. We want to do the Trinity Concert Series. They need to mix it up and have some punk rock bands do an acoustic set.
Jeff: We could do it. People won’t like it, but we could do it.
Rev.: We could do it. It would be amazing. Amazingly bad.
Jeff: Take over the rock ’n’ roll world, check. Become the greatest rock ’n’ roll band in the history world, check. Acoustic rock, check.
Rev.: We need to get Jared Hall and Jon Waits on that.
Jeff: There would be at least two people that would laugh at that. So it’s totally worth it.
Hissing Lawns: Do you have any merchandize for this tour?
Jeff: We do! Super fan, Jeremiah designed a brand new shirt. Rev. Kev has a picture of it.
Rev.: Pictures are great for sound recording.
Jeff: Dropbox it. Super fan Jeremiah designed that bad boy while he was working.
Rev.: Here (at the Foundery). With me. But, he had permission.
Hissing Lawns: What do you think about dad going on tour?
Sylvia or something: …..
Jeff: Is dad the greatest dad of all time?
Sylvia or something: ….
Rev.: Or, am I the greatest dad of all time?
Sylvia or something: ….
Hissing Lawns: Are all of your songs true stories?
Jeff: “We Are Rock Gods,” true. “Sydney Got A Tonsillectomy,” true.
Rev.: We have a whole punk rock opera that isn’t true. We only play one of the songs. It’s a great epic story of a crazy person who stalks and falls in love with a girl, kills her boyfriend.
Rev.: Husband. Then he kills her and falls in love immediately with someone else.
Jeff: It’s pretty intense. My wife helped me write all of the lyrics to that. I kept wondering if she was trying to tell me something. Nothing happened. No attacks.
Hissing Laws: How many bass players have you had?
Rev.: We don’t have a bass player.
Jeff: We’ve never played with one.
Rev.: Dan will be number four.
Jeff: Officially, we don’t use a bass player.
Rev.: We always let someone stand on stage with us.
Jeff: Basses only have four strings. We prefer six. Between Doc and I, we’re using at least eight. You don’t want to use more than that. You’re pushing double digits.
Hissing Lawns: That’s all the questions I’ve got.
Jeff: That’s it? You are going to put that we are the best rock ’n’ roll band in the history of the world?
Hissing Lawns: Yep. That’s the opening line.
Jeff Two-Names & The Born Agains International East Coast Tour.
December 12: TBA!