"We're an American band."
The name's Karl Rove, Jr. (no relation to the political figure) and I'm a rock journalist. I've been one for over two years so naturally I thought I'd seen it all. With this band, I got to see some of it again. They are called "America's Next Top Models" (no relation to the TV show or to the models) and for all appearances they are just another one of those offensive bands that aren't just liberal in their music and words, but even in one or two of their actions. This is still America, so I sat down to set them straight. I wasn't prepared for what I found. These are good people, no different than you or me or Jesus Christ. What a treat.
The following interview took place on July 4, 2005 just outside a planning meeting for the 2005 Commemoration Celebration of the 2004 Republican Convention.
KR, Jr.: I've noticed an almost political angle to some of what you do. Do you have something against the President?
Joyce: Oh, no. It's really all in good fun. We like to think of ourselves as a musical version of the Capitol Steps.
[Editor's note: The Capitol Steps might be considered a musical version of the Capitol Steps.]
Anne: We help the audience to get into the political process, but to do so politely. We hand out campaign signs so they can have a fun, but polite, rally. "The laws of Men must bow before the Laws of Evan!"
Evan: "I'm Pro-Joyce!" (He wipes a tear from his eye, laughing at his own joke. This happened a number of times throughout the evening and I didn't bother to record them all).
KR, Jr.: You have a song called "Condaleezza." What whimsy! Is it about anyone real?
Anne: It's a tribute to the Secretary of State. I think the State in question is Wyoming. But it's also a tribute to all States, and most Secretaries.
Evan: Actually, the Secretary of State in this case is a national position, held by the person who sleeps with the President but if while that's happening the President gets a phone call from his wife the Vice-President is supposed to be all "Sorry, I think he's in a meeting." The Office is one of the few notable improvements in the third draft of the Articles of Confederation, AKA the Patrick Henry remix, which was mostly shoutouts and naming all these Virginian colonies so people would go "Oh shit, Williamsburg!"
Joyce: There are some people out there, like blackboxesvote.org or whatever her name is, who don't believe this Secretary was actually elected. We thought with all the controversy going 'round, and the negativism from all the negative nellies, she could use a pick-me-up. Maybe our song could be like a bouquet of flowers that picks you up. In fact, I call it a Makes-Me-Feel-Better Bouquet.
KR, Jr.: Well, nellyism is rampant in our country today, but I have to admit I don't know a single person who voted for her. And I have seen a lot of people's voting records. But let's move on. It's great that you covered "Born in the USA." Most people remember it from the 80s, when Bruce Springsteen wrote and performed it as an hilarious send up to Cheech Marin's moving "Born in East L.A." On repeated listens, I noticed some of the lyrics were different from either version. It got me thinking about memory loss because sometimes I can't remember the words to my favorite songs either. I hear drinking sodas from aluminum cans causes Alzheimer's, but then my buddy says the data isn't statistically significant. Evan's laughing, he knows where I'm going with this! Up high! [A high-five takes place]. I'm talking about the picture that goes with the song on MySpace--the one of W holding the megaphone--what's going on there? It looks pretty crazy!
Anne: That's a rather famous photo of him leading his squadron on maneuvers in New Haven. He was Captain of the Yale Yellers. They held back the evil tide of Communism by shouting "I see you there!" at any Viet Cong who set foot in Connecticut. The liberal media won't tell you, but they were 100% successful. There was never a single Vietnamese soldier in any part of New England during the entire conflict, whereas under Hanoi Kerry's watch the region he was assigned to was just crawling with them.
KR, Jr.: Good stuff. So, I know some of you have done some film work. Big deal.
KR, Jr.: ...and I noticed your silence was collective. But isn't the common silence's good best served by each individual working for his silence's best interest? I mean his or her silence's best interest, right ladies? [An awkward tap to Joyce's knee takes place].
Evan: I wholeheartedly agree. [A high-five takes place].
KR, Jr.: I understand you recorded recently, taking full WTO-style advantage of labor practices in Nepal. How was that?
Anne: It was really fun. They only have, like, three tracks in the whole country, but our engineer more than made up with it with his can-do spirit! He really responded to the beatings and even though he didn't get a break in more than 36 hours of "tracking," you could just tell that if he had had a watch he wouldn't have looked at it once.
Joyce: I used two different amps.
KR, Jr.: Another great song you have is this one that calls itself "Let's Hear it for Making A Tribute to the Oil." It's a valid point--it's always troops, troops, troops, but who's thinking of the oil?
Evan: Most definitely. We thought the message wasn't out there. And we thought, how can we get it out there? So you know what we did? We went and put it out there! [A high-five takes place, once it is clear nothing else will happen until it does].
Joyce: Although after "Union 2003" I've been way into hydrogen...
Joyce, of the band America's Next Top Models, is "way into hydrogen."
- America's Next Top Models can be found online at their space on MySpace. MySpace is a subsidiary of NewsCorp.
- The Capitol Steps, "the only group in America that attempts to be funnier than the Congress," can be found online at "www.capsteps.com". The site seemed to be down at the time this article was written (panic!) but hopefully the Steps will be back online soon and doing what they do best--making us smile and making us think about smiling about our wacky political scene!
- Call the President and tell him bang up job so far. His number is 202-456-1111. Note: the old lady who answers the phones is hard-of-hearing. Just yell from the moment you get a person and say "I gotta talk to the President!" Keep yelling no matter what.