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8 May 2009, 1:00 pm 14 Comments

Ask A Straight Guy: These United States’ Jesse Elliott


This post was submitted by Zack Rosen

Jesse Elliott shows that Amish is the new black.

Jesse Elliott shows that Amish is the new black.

Some bands get on my radar through reviews on the Onion AV Club. Others are reccomendations from friends. But some bands I find out about becuase their publicist stumbled across The New Gay and had such sweet things to say about it that I had no choice but to send over some “Ask A Straight Guy” Questions to their client. Several days the latter situation happened and I got the pleasant surprise that the band she was representing was really good too.

They’re called These United States. They have roots in DC (yay!) and Lexington Kentucky, and show a mix of low-key power and southern swagger that betrays both those locales. If Steve Goodman had bigger balls, or Born Ruffians a way to hold my attention, they might sound something like this. DC residents can check them out tonight at The Black Cat. Everyone else should take a look at their tour schedule and see where they’re headed next.

These United States’ frontman Jesse Elliott was nice enough to answer some of my questions about being straight. The interview is below, and following that is a These United States video.

(By the way, the publicists name is Erin. You should check out her blog here.)

The New Gay: When did you first realize you were straight?

Jesse Elliott: Leticia Benitez. 8th grade. Before her, who knows, coulda been anybody’s game.

TNG: What is your least favorite stereotype about straight people?

JE: All straight people are unfashionable. I mean, I’m unfashionable. But I’ve known some straight people who weren’t. I think they were straight.

TNG: What obligations, if any, do you feel that you have to the gay community?

JE: To provide them with a worthy foil, against whom their accomplishments and aspirations may be judged as incredibly fashionable. And also to love them, because they are people, and all people deserve love. Gay people are people, too, you know! I am very advanced.

TNG: What are the biggest challenges faced by a straight person in today’s culture?

JE: Gay people are better at pretty much everything. That’s bullshit.

TNG: If you had to “go gay” for one member of the same sex, who would it be?

JE: Johnny Depp, no doubt. Is that too straight an answer? I feel like all straight people say they would (have) go(ne) gay for Johnny Depp. I mean, Cry Baby, come on, right? I’m more of a ruffian, though. I’m talking Fear and Loathing. “We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the GAY began to take hold…”


TNG: Given the seemingly endless number of “indie” artist in existence today, how do you think you set yourself apart from the crowd?

JE: Dependent is the new independent. We depend on lots of people – for food, shelter, love, psychological affirmation of the worth of our existences, etc. We depend on the gay community in particular.

TNG: Finally, why should Washington, DC come out and see you play tonight?

JE: See above.TNG


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