Under the handle of the Homeless Gospel Choir, Derek Zanetti has issued five albums of folk-punk whimsy and hilarious self-deprecation, guaranteed to turn those downhearted blues of yours way upside down. For the first time this fall, Zanetti decided to put together an honest-to-God band of similarly minded rockers and head out on tour. Which happened to include a stop in front of the cameras at APTV.
Somebody decided it would be cool to have the Choir rank My Chemical Romance’s output. And Zanetti and his team were totally OK with it. Turns out that Zanetti is not only a huge MCR stan himself, but he’s also longtime buds with Frank Iero. Iero has had the Homeless Gospel Choir open many dates in his tours over the last few years. And back in the day, he’d call up Zanetti to ask about Western Pennsylvania shopping malls while the band were writing “Early Sunsets Over Monroeville.”
It’s an entertaining chat with all kinds of viewpoints. You won’t win any points for guessing what Homeless Gospel Choir think is the best MCR rec. But you will appreciate and outright laugh out loud at some of the opinions being announced here. Guitarist Matt Miller admits he’s only heard each album one time. Bassist Megan Schroer and guitarist Maura Weaver begrudgingly go along with Zanetti’s opinions, adding their own caveats. And drummer Craig Luckman tries to stay as quiet as possible so he doesn’t have to be called on for an opinion.
“I think sometimes in the world that we live in, people sometimes see things happen on a larger scale whether it’s MCR, Green Day or even Yo Gabba Gabba,” Zanetti begins. “And they think that because it’s commercial, it doesn’t have the same punch. I think it was MCR, Green Day and things like that were a great gateway tool to get kids into other punk bands that they wouldn’t have otherwise found.”
“If it weren’t for Green Day or My Chemical Romance,” Schroer reveals, “ I wouldn’t listen to anything I liked or play music or do anything cool, ever.”
If you disagree with the Homeless Gospel Choir’s rankings, it’s cool. Stick around for their version of “Na Na Na Na,” where they sound like monotone bees hanging out in front of a hive. They also suggest a listening list of their personal fave recs for you to check out. We think you’ll be so down with HGC, you’ll want to tell everyone you’re personal friends with them.