Festival Fast Talk with JEFF the Brotherhood

When telling people you’re going to interview Jeff the Brotherhood, those who have already been around the guys usually have one  of two things to say: One, that no one works harder, and two, that no band provides better company. So when the chance arose to talk to them at Bonnaroo, we quickly got on board to speak to the noisy pop duo.

As of the past year, the Nashvillian two-piece have been promoting their 7th record Hypnotic Nights with endless touring and festival gigging. We were able to speak to them about extended touring, their upcoming record, and a made-up men’s cologne someone out there will probably wish were a real thing.

How has this year been treating you guys?

Jamin Orrall: Wonderful.

Jake Orrall: Best year of my life.

Hypnotic Nights is your seventh record. Would you guys mind talking to me about the process of writing and recording it?

Jamin:  It was very rushed. As all of our records are.

Jake: We tour so much we don’t have time to write songs, so we actually pulled a lot of songs I wrote when I was like 19. [Laughs] Yeah and you know just, wrote the other ones in like two weeks.

Jamin: Honestly, we kind of shat that record out.

When you say that you pulled a lot of old songs, do you mean to say that you pulled them because they fit an aesthetic you were going for, or it was just their time to be completed and released?

Jake: It’s like “We have to have this many songs by this time” because we tour so much and don’t have time to write. We can’t write on the road. We either write when we’re practicing, which we never do, or when we’re drunk. You know those nights when all your friends are like “let’s do something tonight?” and then nothing ends up happening? Those are the nights when I write songs.

The best idea is just to drink.

Jake: Yea, songs come out when I’m drunk by myself at three in the morning, a lot of writing gets done then. But this summer we’ve taken off to write.

Speaking of, how’s the new record coming along?

Jake: I’d say we’re a third of the way done writing and then we’re gonna record in the fall.

Are y’all gonna record again in Nashville?

Jake: I think so maybe.

You do everything there, correct?

It’s our home.

You guys talked about touring a lot and can be seen at festivals quite a bit. Is there a preference to one or the other? Is there something you prefer about festivals or the road?

Jamin: I really like both. I like venues because it’s intimate and people are there to see you, and I like festivals because it’s different and you get to wander around. In the end, though, the audience makes the show. The audience is usually better at a venue, but as far as me, I like both because it’s different experiences.

How’s your Bonnaroo been?

Jake: We’ve seen Paul McCartney, ZZTop…

Jamin: Animal Collective… That was a crazy show. Their sound is incredible… and the lights. That was a really good show

You guys have a long documented love affair with releasing material on vinyl. Is this a personal choice, and if so, why is it important?

Jamin: Well, we grew up with it, as weird as that sounds.

Jake: Yea, we grew up collecting records.

Jamin: When we were young our dad would play us records. He’d play all kinds of different record,s and it became habit.

Jake: I guess it comes down to, music’s free now. You can get any of our albums for free on the internet, and so vinyl provides something special.

Are you offended if someone were to come up to you and say “I love you guys, but I totally torrented your entire collection?”

Jake: Absolutely not. Honestly, we encourage people to download the music. The people who want the physical copies will buy them.

Do you go shopping for vinyl on tour? If so, where?

Jake: I’ve been visiting Armegeddon Record Shop in Cambridge, Jerry’s Records in Pittsburgh, a few good places.

Any other big plans for this year?

Jake: We’re launching a clothing line… and a body spray.

What’s the name for the clothing line? What’s the name for the body spray?

Jamin: The clothing line is Judley’s Dudds.

Jake: The Body Spray is called Penis Hands. You spray it on your hands, and they smell like penis… but that’s still up in the air.

Any guess when the spray and album are gonna come out?

Jake: Well, it’s all tied up. The body spray deal is still in negotiation. Our label is tied into the whole body spray issue, and until we decide on a name, they’re not releasing the record.

Jamin: 2014

You can catch Jeff the Brotherhood at Nashville Outlines, an all-day bloc party and local craft market that will happen on August 3 at the Stone Fox in Nashville, Tennessee. 

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