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Comprising core members Sean Bonnette (acoustic guitar) and Ben Gallaty (upright bass), Andrew Jackson Jihad, aka AJJ, is a folk-punk outfit from Phoenix, Arizona. The Jihad formed in 2004, when frontman Bonnette was still a teenager, and the duo quickly began writing humorously explicit music with macabre themes. Early topics ran the gamut from self-sacrifice to childhood drug addiction, all sung in a frantic manner with acoustic instrumentation. Their self-released debut, Candy Cigarettes & Cap Guns, appeared in 2005, after which a number of self-released demos and EPs attracted the attention of Plan-It-X Records. The label issued a split release with Andrew Jackson Jihad and the similarly styled Ghost Mice in 2007.
On September 11 of the same year, Asian Man Records released the Jihad's second full-length album, People That Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World. Another EP followed in 2008, and in 2009 Asian Man released the band's third album, Can't Maintain. They spent several years touring the U.S. and Europe before the 2011 release of their fourth LP, Knife Man. The following year Bonnette and Gallaty were joined by second guitarist/keyboardist Preston Bryant and drummer Deacon Batchelor, expanding the lineup for a fuller band sound. Their touring schedule and profile increased in 2013, and in 2014 the band signed with L.A. indie SideOneDummy Records to release their fifth album, Christmas Island.
In 2016, after having been referred to as AJJ by many of their fans for years, the bandmembers officially changed their name, saying they no longer wanted to be either a reminder of the former President or disrespectful (as non-Muslims). The Bible 2 arrived under the AJJ moniker that summer and landed on multiple Billboard charts, including the rock, alternative, and independent albums charts. ~ Andrew Leahey, Timothy Monger & Marcy Donelson
- Phoenix, AZ
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