Introducing – Army Navy

June 16, 2009 by  

Army Navy 2

Answering the call of sunny LA, all four members of Army Navy independently ‘ended up’ there after growing up in various parts of the US. Luckily for front-man Justin Kennedy, one of his home-demos found its way into the hands of Ben Gaffin, (bass) who in turn passed it along to people he knew and it is in this way that Louie Schultz and Douglas Randall (taking over from original drummer Josh Zetumer) got their papers and the full Army Navy line up was recruited.

With a self-confessed ‘deep love for campy 70’s music’ it’s easy to understand why Kennedy was so keen to get away from the ‘rainy and depressing winters’ of Seattle and there’s no doubt that this band sound like sunshine – albeit with a storm cloud on the horizon. Often spoken about in the same breath as Teenage Fanclub, it’s easy to see how these comparisons can be made. Kennedy admits that Teenage Fanclub has been a huge influence: ‘It’s definitely one of the bands that changed my life growing up. They are such amazing songwriters and have some of the best guitar tones ever.’

It isn’t difficult to pull out some of Army Navy’s other influences on tracks such as ‘My Thin Sides’, most notably Pixies and Wilco – but Kennedy makes it clear that Army Navy are also trying to do something unique, and this is especially evident in their choice of novelty cover version, British R&B legend Maxine Nightingale’s million-seller ‘Get Right Back’.“We had been talking about playing a cover for awhile, but nothing seemed unique enough or felt quite right. I just happened to be listening to that jam at home and I started playing along and a lightbulb went off. We tried it at the next practice and it felt like one of our own songs! We didn’t know about the Sinitta’s cover until someone on Youtube synched up our version to that video. Look it up, it’s fucking hilarious. And yes we do all of those dance moves live. We have also started wearing a lot more spandex bicycle shorts.”

It’s difficult to work out whether or not the cycling shorts comment is to be taken on the chin or not – you definitely wouldn’t put it past these guys to don the spandex for real. Army Navy have just completed a set of successful US dates which included a couple benefit gigs and has also featured a support slot for the legendary Lemonheads in Kennedy’s hometown last week. However, much like their music, the touring is proving to be a bit of a two-sided coin; the band recently had most of their gear – including customised vintage guitars – taken from outside another Seattle venue. Not a band to have their enthusiasm stifled, they have even more benefit gigs lined up over the summer in the States and they’re also looking forward to their upcoming debut UK release ‘Saints’ and the accompanying shows which are in the pipeline.

Kennedy told us about the fun they had shooting the new video for ‘Saints’ with director and friend Ben Cresciman. Light-hearted and slightly chaotic but with a dark undercurrent, the video is Army Navy all over,‘…it was just a matter of finding a free stripper… getting some ninja costumes, and trying to find a 10 year old we could get drunk!’ The track itself is a melodic, roll-the-top-down summer anthem with a retro vibe, it’s jangly, infectious guitars acting like a plaster over a fresh relationship-wound, in fact Kennedy summed it up perfectly, ‘…it’s about a relationship going bad and the envy of another more fucked up relationship. Oh, and the kids can dance to it!’

‘Saints’ 7” released July 6th on Club Fandango, UK.

www.myspace.com/armynavy

By Angela Slater


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