In upstate New York in December, with space heaters and sleeping bags, Diarrhea Planet recorded its second album.
The six-piece band from Nashville, Tenn., spent a little over a week in the barn-turned studio, Marcata Recordings, where bands like The Walkmen, Swans and Titus Andronicus have recorded with producer Kevin McMahon. Each track for “I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams,” released in August, was recorded live. Outside the studio, the band members spent their days in the open-air barn.
“Every time I went downstairs to make mac and cheese,” recalls drummer Casey Weissbuch, “I was shaking and wearing gloves.”
Made up of lead vocalist and guitarist Jordan Smith; guitarists Brent Toler, Emmet Miller and Evan Bird; bassist Mike Boyle; and Weissbuch, Diarrhea Planet brings its pop-punk, guitar-laced show to Belly Up today.
From its first album to its second, Weissbuch said the band members have matured, as songwriters and as people.
The first song Smith ever wrote for the group, “Ghost With a Boner,” is a fan favorite. Weissbuch said it’s a great song to play at a party or to get people excited, but recently, the band has been putting it in the middle of its set. No longer does the band want Diarrhea Planet to be synonymous with boner songs.
Weissbuch was asked about the name — if he worries that the band won’t be taken seriously as Diarrhea Planet, a name it earned in a lost coin flip.
“Never. Not for a second. If somebody takes themselves so seriously that they can’t get past a band’s name, ... then that’s their own problem,” Weissbuch said. “I don’t mean to be so blunt about it, but when they come around to realizing what’s going on in their head and want to come check out the music, we’ll still be here.”
He said the group may have started off as “less than serious.”
“But on the new record, the songs are very ominous and very emotionally forefront,” Weissbuch said. “With songs like ‘Ghost With a Boner,’ I don’t think there’s any serious emotional attachment.”
He said that when you put six different personalities, with six different lives, together as one, there will be maturation and progression that only those six people can understand.
“You put that through your instruments and onto the record,” he said.
On “Loose Jewels,” the band’s first album, Weissbuch said there are some goofy moments. But with “I’m Rich,” the band took more of a serious approach.
Laughing, he described a day when the band stayed in a funeral home. Smith was wandering around and spotted a dead body, inspiring “Emmet’s Vision,” the last song on the new album.
When it makes its Aspen debut today, Weissbuch hopes the band will be measured by its music.
“A band is about their music,” he said. “The name is just a moniker, something people remember, and I don’t think anybody’s going to forget the name Diarrhea Planet.”