The Presidents of the United States of America photographed by Karen Moscowitz

The Presidents of the United States of America

Average Rating:

Hometown: Seattle, WA (USA)


Yeeeaaaggghhh!!! In the midst of an unpredictable election year, what better band to resurface than the once and, if they have their way, future leaders of buoyant, absurdist rock, the Presidents of the United States of America– The newly–reunited PUSA has been in the studio cooking up a new album, a new platform, as it were, for playfulness in rock, featuring 14 songs including the already hit single ‚??Some Postman‚?Ě.

Since the band‚??s their split in December of 1997 fans have been sending letters and e–mails urging the band to reunite and asking why they broke up in the first place. Truth be told, their decision to disband came as a surprise to just about everyone. Twelve months earlier, the Seattle–based trio had released II, the follow–up to their wildly successful 1995 self–titled Columbia Records debut. Recorded for $8,000 and initially released on indie label PopLlama, The Presidents of the United States of America went double platinum, rocketed all the way to #6 on Billboard‚??s Top 200 Album Chart, produced three Top 40 hits (‚??Lump,‚?Ě ‚??Kitty‚?Ě and ‚??Peaches‚?Ě) and a #1 single on Billboard‚??s Modern Rock Chart, and garnered two Grammy nominations and a gaggle of critical praise for its sense of pop savvy and quirkiness. Their videos blanketed MTV, they toured the planet, played a live MTV concert at Mount Rushmore, and appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O‚??Brien, The Howard Stern Show and Dick Clark‚??s Rockin‚?? New Year‚??s Eve. As if that weren‚??t enough, II spawned another top–ten Modern Rock hit, ‚??Mach 5,‚?Ě and the band contributed a rocking cover of ‚??Video Killed the Radio Star‚?Ě to the platinum–selling soundtrack to Adam Sandler‚??s The Wedding Singer. At the end of the line, Pure Frosting, the band‚??s swan song for Columbia, included a cover of the Ian Hunter song ‚??Cleveland Rocks,‚?Ě which was used for many seasons as the theme song to the Emmy–nominated television series, The Drew Carey Show. For the average artist, such achievements usually mark the summation of a long and healthy career–if they‚??re lucky. The Presidents, however, accomplished all that and more in just a couple of years.

‚??It was an amazing time and we‚??re proud of how hard we worked,‚?Ě says guitarist Dave Dederer. ‚??But as difficult as it may be to comprehend, it all became a bit overwhelming. It‚??s sort of a ‚??be careful what you wish for‚?? kind of thing. We went three years without a day off and worked ourselves to exhaustion. Eventually, we reached a point where we had to take a break.‚?Ě In the five years that followed, each President worked on various projects: Ballew formed a band with Young Fresh Fellows drummer Tad Hutchison, cleverly titled Chris and Tad. In addition, he built his own recording studio, where he writes and produces music for advertising, film and television. Dederer played with former Guns N‚?? Roses and current Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan in a duo called The Gentlemen and in McKagan‚??s band, Loaded. The guitarist also worked on a benefit for Seattle non–profit YouthCare and served as a public relations consultant to Experience Hendrix, LLC. Drummer Jason Finn became a much–sought–after Seattle stickman, serving time with The Fastbacks, The Nevada Bachelors and the Gentlemen, among others. In between, the trio collaborated on a project called Subset, which featured famed ‚??Baby Got Back‚?Ě rapper Sir Mix–A–Lot. Though the three friends recorded an album (2000‚??s Freaked Out and Small) for Internet startup Musicblitz.com, the Presidents did not perform publicly for almost five years.

For their new album ‚??Love Everybody‚?Ě, the band recorded basic tracks at Egg Studios with Conrad Uno (Posies, Supersuckers, Young Fresh Fellows, et al.) and at Jupiter Studios with Martin Feveyear (Mudhoney, Mark Lanegan). Ballew‚??s home studio, a shack in his backyard, is the band‚??s choice for polishing and rough mixing the new tracks. The new songs run the gamut, though one tune, ‚??Some Postman,‚?Ě has already proven itself after being leaked onto Seattle‚??s KNDD and subsequently turning into a highly–requested local hit. Says Dederer, ‚??I was blown away when we played two sold–out shows recently at the Showbox (ed.: a 1200 seat club in Seattle). I expected it when people sang along to the songs from our first record, but the whole crowd was singing along both nights to ‚??Some Postman,‚?Ě which isn‚??t even commercially available yet.‚?Ě

The band was offered several record deals, all of which they decided to walk away from in order to have more control over their music and careers, and to keep it all local. They recently hired Seattle–based managers Mike Tierney and David Meinert at The Blue Team Music Management to coordinate the marketing and promotion of their new album which will be released on the band‚??s own PUSA Music label, and distributed through Northwest based NAIL/ Allegro Distribution.

The band will also re–release their eponymous multiplatinum debut this fall along with a DVD including their hit videos, live and interview footage. Nine years later the songs–smart, tuneful and exhilarating–from The Presidents of the United States of America still hold up. ‚??We gained back the rights to the record and thought it would be fun to put it back out there on our own terms,‚?Ě says Ballew.

Does this mean the band is back together for good–

‚??I think so,‚?Ě says the lead singer. ‚??We‚??re gonna take things at an even pace and not kill ourselves this time. The key is to keep everything fun and in perspective and cherish it and keep it all positive. If we can do that–and I think we can–I really don‚??t see us ever splitting up. Besides,‚?Ě he laughs, ‚??we can‚??t play the break–up card again. We‚??ve already done that once.‚?Ě


The Presidents of the United States Of America Love Everybody

The Presidents of the United States Of America

Love Everybody (2004)

Pusa Music

The Presidents of the United States of America The Presidents of the United States of America

The Presidents of the United States of America

The Presidents of the United States of America (1995)


Related News

Rise Against, AFI, Foo Fighters, Blink-182, Pixies on "Rock Band: iPhone"
The onslaught of rhythm games continues, with EA announcing that Rock Band will be coming to the iPhone later this month. The game will feature 30 Seconds To Mars, AFI, All-American Rejects, Beastie Boys, Blink-182, Blondie,…
October 14, 2009
Presidents of the United States of America, Fall Out Boy in Rock Band
On November 4th, Election Day, Rock Band will be adding a trio of tracks from…
November 01, 2008
Videos: Presidents of the United States of America: "Mixed Up SOB"
Seattle's The Presidents of the United States of America have posted the latest video from their fifth studio album, entitled These Are The Good Times People. The follow up to 2004's Love Everybody hits stores on March 11th. The video was directed by Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic. (On a related note, how sweet was…
March 07, 2008
Media: Presidents of the United States of America: 'These Are the Good Times People'
Seattle's The Presidents of the United States of America …
March 04, 2008
Media: Presidents Of The United States Of America detail next album, dates
Seattle's The Presidents of the United States of America will return next year with their fifth studio album, entitled These Are The Good Times People. The follow up to 2004's Love Everybody hits stores on March 11th. The 14 song album will also be the band's first to feature Andrew McKeag on "guitbass," taking the spot previously occupied by Dave Dederer. It was…
December 21, 2007

Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go