The Giraffes

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The Giraffes reach year ten of their ongoing dick joke with new DVD

:: The Giraffes ::
:: Bluebird Theater :: June 18 ::
::  Larimer Lounge :: June 18 (late night) ::

By Brian F. Johnson

It’s no wonder they named their band after an animal with a long neck. Something that sucks as much cock as this beast does has to have a deep throat.

Now see, anyone who doesn’t know The Giraffes might find that to be a horribly offensive statement. Those in the know, however, understand that it’s precisely comments like that — and the unwritten permission for the band to dish it back — that makes the group one of the most purely cathartic acts left in rock and roll.

The Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based punk-metal band views the music industry as this safe little retarded baby and, without apology, they want to shake that baby until the business becomes irreverent and fun again.

Formed in the late 1990s by left-handed and upside down guitar virtuoso Damien Paris and drummer and former DIY Network host Andrew Totolos (“Tricked Out” and “Resto Rides”), The Giraffes were originally a surf metal group, with Paris doubling duties as a vocalist. But when he finally came to the realization that he pretty literally sucked when he opened his mouth, Paris found Aaron Lazar at a party and The Giraffes became a four-piece. Denver native Jens Carstensen replaced the band’s orignal bassist in 2007.

The band is returning this month after a short hiatus thrust upon them by finances, kids, loved ones lost and relationships that imploded. Their comeback show in New York in early June on-board the Half Moon Concert Cruise will also serve as a DVD release for their Crustacean Records-backed DVD Live at Union Pool.

“We’ve never really had a proper representation of what we do live, for better or worse,” said Paris in a groggy voice when The Marquee recently woke him up for an interview. “So when the chance came we said, ‘What do you say we get a bunch of fucking assholes with cameras in here and let’s see what we can come up with.’ So I got the most professionally cheap motherfuckers out there and we shot it and then took it home and I cut it. I put a lot of blood, sweat and fucking feces into this thing.”

Lazar added, “Our old friend Todd Kancar did the DVD packaging. He got his hands on an actual giraffe skull and managed to do some absolutely beautiful photographs — really pristine and staid and understated and the performance that we do is anything but,” he said in a separate interview several hours after I spoke with Paris.

That DVD is preceding the release of a new album Ruled, which they hope will come out later this year. The album has been in the can since 2009, but the band tends to let their albums rattle around for a while. “We like to sit on our records because we’re idiots. We treat them like little baby eggs on our warm asses,” Paris said.

Lazar confirmed that, saying, “Typically, the way The Giraffes operate is the minute that we record an album we have at least another album worth of new material ready to go. The time it takes to record and release something — well not necessarily record, but to release it, the waiting the finding someone to put it out, that whole fucking thing — is just so extended and distended that by the time it finally gets released we’re already sick and tired of playing the songs and totally bored with them. Our response to that is to write more and we wind up being ahead.”

The band was elusive about the new material, but Paris did say that the album is meant to be played from start to finish. “All I’m going to tell you is the last song is like 14 minutes long,” he said. “Trust me, it’s not a jam at all,” Lazar added. “It’s brutal, it’s not intricate and it is not friendly. It’s almost unlistenable and I love it. It’s not an attempt to be musical, it’s an attempt to bludgeon the point home. It’s the last song on the record, ‘The Occupation,’ and it never ends and it doesn’t change and it kind of manifests, musically, that frustration.”

The DVD and the album will represent the second and third releases for the band with Crustacean Records and both Lazar and Paris talked highly of the label — which came on board after the band had already gone through a batch of their last album, Prime Motivator. “They are cool. They’re very simple and they have a very easy business model, and they really like the music. It made it a little easier on that end. But nobody’s making money in this fucking bullshit business. So it’s a labor of love for them as much as it is for us,” Paris said.

After ten years of dick jokes, political incorrectness, and picking on, well, pretty much everyone, The Giraffes have, for better or worse, become solidified for life. “I can tell you the Giraffes will always be around, even if we’re all in wheelchairs, even after the lobotomies and state-sanctioned castrations, we’ll still be playing. We love it. All of us do. It’s what we were born to do. It’s the most fun. Who wouldn’t want to drive in a van with their best friends and fucking play the music they love,” Paris said — what a homo?

:: The Giraffes ::

:: Bluebird Theater :: June 18 ::

:: Larimer Lounge :: June 18 (late night) ::

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