"Some of its early songs, for example, include the tongue-in-cheek “Who Needs a Girlfriend When I Got Drugs?” and “Puke-Man Loves Your Baby”— a song about a drunk guy who, covered in his own vomit, mistakes a woman’s dog for a baby.
“I’ve always been amused and slightly appalled by all those band [names], where it’s basically like ’Johnny and the Guys Who Hang Out With Johnny,’” Rhodes explained. “I don’t understand why Tom Petty needs a solo album when it’s already Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.”
Initially, the band played up the joke part of its name, taking it to the nth degree. At the beginning of early shows, for example, it would announce that Captain Amazing was dead and lying in a ditch somewhere, leaving the audience with the rest of the band, the ego-challenged Okay I Guesses.
Even as the band has moved away from such overt parody and goofiness, it still manages to infuse its work with humor. Take, for instance, “Love Took a Shit.” Here, the song’s expression of heartbreak is genuine, but the choice of words is shocking, funny and just plain weird: “My heart is a gas-station bathroom, and no one’s got a mop or even a broom / Wake me up when anything ever goes as planned.”
“The song title seems like something you would find on a tape in the ’80s at a Longs Drugs,” Rhodes said.
Clearly, the line between humor and sincerity here is still one that’s blurry. Usually Captain Amazing executes both simultaneously—just take into account the band’s desire to create a short film based on its namesake character.
“As musicians, we aspire to be living cartoon characters,” Rhodes said.
“We want to be larger than life. Each song has an emotion that goes along with it. We just want to write good songs that also have a sense of humor.”