Max Gottesman’s solo project has a brand new EP, and with Put Something Sleezy Between Your Legs, LJ & The Sleeze are taking dirty rock n’ roll to new levels of hilarity and delight. You can hear all about it at Fuzzy Cactus tomorrow night, but we’ve got the lowdown right here and now.
Easy Peasy, Pumpkin Sleezy. The music of Max Gottesman is everything you’ve been missing since the 80s — if you were alive then, that is. The one-person-band hit of the last two summers, LJ and The Sleeze, is on the loose again and looking to bust some new music between your legs (or your ears if that’s what you prefer) with the new EP Put Something Sleezy Between Your Legs.
Up until now Gottesman (who uses they/them pronouns) has been pushing the limits of NSFW creative content, and they aren’t looking to stop anytime soon. After being birthed from a penis last summer in their music video for “Aliens Exist!” and getting cozy with a blow-up doll in “Night Time Lover,” we’ll be getting down and flying high following the release of the new music video for “Cocaine.”
“I haven’t done cocaine in like four years, so it’s kind of hilarious. The video is just me with baking soda, it’s not anything real,” said Gottesman on the new video. “I was like, ‘How can I look like I’m Scarface in the funniest fucking way?’”
Backtracking and coming around again, Gottesman is releasing new music videos for older songs while hitting us with a tantalizing new 7”. Put Something Sleezy Between Your Legs is a four-track EP that delivers on the chaotic energy fans fell in love with when the first album, Keepin’ It Sleezy, hit airwaves in 2020.
While the music video for “Cocaine” doesn’t deliver on the same perversion of his earlier videos, it exhibits the creative mind of Gottesman when left to their own devices.
“I got final cut pro for free on a fluke, so I tried to just take a stab at doing it on my own,” said Gottesman. “I really like the band Fidlar, and they have a video for their song ‘I Want To Die’ where it’s just this one shot with lyrics going up the whole time. I thought that was a funny thing, and I did that in maybe an hour and a half.”
Gottesman’s previous videos were under the creative direction of their friend and co-creator John Stone, who really brought the sleezy persona to life.
“At first he found a stock image of a vagina, but then he did a change-up at the end and put this dick that I’m birthing out of — birthing myself out of my own dick. And I thought that was absolutely hilarious,” said Gottesman of the “Aliens Exist!” video. “I’m honestly surprised it hasn’t been taken down off YouTube or anything else yet. I guess that’s a plus.”
No matter what they do, Gottesman is always trying to push the bar on hilarity and perversion higher to see what they can get away with. Using their sleezy stage persona, Gottesman explores the absolute limits of YouTube’s content guidelines and fans’ sensibilities.
“If something isn’t funny or can’t make me laugh it probably isn’t worth the shit. So the more I can emulate this person who I’m not, the funnier I think it is,” said Gottesman. “I think it would be so funny to make something that is so goofy to me where people are like, ‘We just can’t do this.’ But if [the “Aliens Exist!” video] isn’t something that has gotten me in trouble yet, then I don’t know what would.”
To celebrate the new 7” release and perpetuate the life of The Sleeze, a record release show will be held at Fuzzy Cactus on August 13. LJ is playing along with beloved locals The You Go Girls and Trapcry.
While LJ and The Sleeze is Gottesman’s solo project in which they do all of the writing, recording, mixing, and mastering at their recording studio, 8Ball Records, they pull from all over the city to build a band of phenomenal musicians to play live. The “A Team Sleeze,” as Gottesman calls them, is Gray Stevenson (from Deli Kings and Night Creature), Caroline Hill (from Gusher), Ben Rosenstock (from Toward Space), and Eli Gray (who co-runs Glare Goods).
While the live band has its place, Gottesman has really enjoyed recording alone. “It’s been a blast just taking complete creative control. Sometimes I don’t play exactly what I want to play because I’m not as great of a player as I wish I were in some instances, but it’s never what I don’t want it to be,” they said.
Looking toward the future, Gottesman hopes to turn LJ and The Sleeze into a larger project, and possibly take on other musicians who can help them get the exact sound they envision in their head. The future for The Sleeze is looking bright as is, with eight songs already concocted for a future album.
“Most of the songs on the first record were written within two or three hours, roughly mixed, and got to be more together later,” said Gottesman. “I did maybe 30 songs and picked 10 for the record. It’s like the Sum41 record: ‘All Killer, No Filler.’ Fuck the filler, as prolific as I feel I may be.”
There is no filler necessary to encapsulate The Sleeze’s sound. What more could you want when Gottesman already gives you their all, and bares it all to boot?
Come join LJ and The Sleeze for the Put Something Sleezy Between Your Legs 7” release show at Fuzzy Cactus on Friday, August 13, and get your copy of this fantastic EP. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, and can be ordered from Eventbrite. Following the release of the “Cocaine” music video, a portion of the proceeds from the release show will be going to The Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance of Virginia (SAARA).
Photos courtesy LJ and The Sleeze.