[Interview] Cherub On Tour With A New Sound To Show Off
The electric-indie duo Cherub have so far fulfilled their promise of a new album to be fully released on October 14. The album, Bleed Gold, Piss Excellence, has a bit more grooviness and hip-hop elements with tracks like "Signs," which features T.I. In the midst of their Bleed Gold Tour, their stop in Atlanta allowed me to sit down with them before taking the stage to rock the socks off of The Tabernacle patrons. Hailing from the music-rich city of Nashville, their immersion in music early on coupled with a crew of their talented best buds, something not often achieved in this industry, has given them an air of undeniable excitement and camaraderie as they blast their way through the tour, boasting for their fans unreleased tracks from the album.
How are things going for you guys? How is the Bleed Gold Tour so far?
Jason: It's been super cool, it's awesome to get the chance to start playing new music. It's been two years since we released a record, so to finally be playing some of these new songs, some of them even before they're released. It's the first chance we've gotten to play songs before they're released so its super cool for us.
Jordan: I think the crew too, everyone that sees us play every night, are relieved that the songs that they haven't heard a million times get played. It's a nice break for their ears I think (laughs). In general, I think its been really cool so far.
Tell us about your recent release, “Signs," and being able to feature T.I.?
Jordan: It was pretty cool. It all came about from him by chance getting one of our albums and him digging it. Then he came out to our last show in Atlanta and from there we formed a relationship and he has been a really awesome dude. Super laid back, just wants to support us getting on a larger platform. And I've always been a huge fan of T.I., his first four albums I listened to religiously. It was just fucking cool in the studio with him, I was like, ‘everything sounds really good!’ I was geeking out the whole time. We wanted to bring him out to the show tonight, but he has another show. It would have been fucking epic. We're going to try to get him out for Red Rocks.
What can we expect from the new album Bleed Gold, Piss Excellence. What was the influencer behind this album?
Jordan: We experimented with a lot of new sounds, and I won't say we've completely departed from our norm, but we've always had a four on the floor kind of electronic music sound. And we've always played instruments as well, but we've always had that electronic dancey feel. I feel like this is much more of a departure. Even though its still dancey, it's more groovy and 'live band' sounding to a certain extent.
Jason: A lot of the same sentiment is still there, both lyrically and sonically in the instrumentation and the sounds that we use.
Jordan: And actually, people are saying it's easier to dance to! And we also have one of our buddies, Spencer Ludwig, he is trumpet on a song that isn't released yet that's badass. And we have Dom on the track as well from [Big Gigantic] doing saxophone, so we have other people that are involved in making the record sound fucking awesome to us. And then we also have just an amazing group of friends at home that we have had play on the record as well. JB, our guitar player, he played the whole bass line and guitar too on Bleed Gold, Piss Excellence. He's just an incredible musician. Just a whole bunch of friends came in and contributed to make this record what it is and it's been really special to us.
What kind of work and prep does it take before beginning a tour? Do you have any special routines?
Jordan: Just buy a whole bunch of shit, like underwear and socks (laughs). I think the hardest thing about touring for me, it took me three years, was creating a healthy regimen of living life. Cause when you're on the road, it's almost like people encourage you to be a degenerate to a certain extent. Like, ‘Yeah, get fucking hammered then sleep in till 4 p.m., do sound check, then get hammered and play your shit!’ It took me a while to break out of that. I still get drunk, but now I wake up, I go work out, and I've been trying to eat better as well so I'm not just bloated all day long and lazy.
Jason: On my end, I serve as the production manager for our band. We don't really have one. We keep everything in house so we don't even have a monitor engineer on staff, we do our own monitors on stage, things like that. I work really closely with our crew for probably a week or two leading up to every tour. It's months of planning, we're currently planning our winter tour right now. It's all of these questions about what the lights are going to be, how much everything weighs. That's something we're dealing with right now, we have an overweight trailer. And then, you know, dealing with the equipment, trying to get everything as organized as possible so everyone can do their job best as possible. There's a lot of work behind the scenes. Jordan and I are the face of this, but theres a bus full of 13 of us that are driving around on tour, and beyond that there's probably 25 of us that are working directly on putting these tours out, and then beyond that we have more team members as well that are working with the record label. It takes a lot of people to make the whole thing go round.
Does having 13 people on a bus while on tour ever drive you crazy?
Jordan: Honestly, it doesn't bug me at all. I could see it driving some people up the wall, but I don't have any issues with it at all. It's pretty crazy because I like my space. I'm not an introvert, but I definitely when I'm at home will spend the whole day in my room with the door shut watching movies. So, it's crazy that I literally have no issues with it. We're really lucky cause our whole crew, we're all best friends, which definitely doesn't always happen in this industry. We all genuinely care about each other, we all call each other when we're not on the road. If we're not already hanging out we're calling to check up and see how we're doing.
I hear Prince is a major influencer of Cherub as well for you personally. If you could have sat down with him and asked him any question, what would it be?
Jordan: I've never thought about that before, but maybe cause I've listened to so much of his music, I don't even think I'd ask him about music. I'd ask him something about a normal everyday living thing that I would find interesting. Like, I don't know what his diet consisted of. So maybe what he ate on a daily basis, something not about the music. Or like, what did he wear to bed at night? (laughs)
Does being from Nashville, a major music capitol, help in your decision to start Cherub? What were the beginning years like?
Jason: We met going to school for music production, and that's where we met both other band members that are playing with us now. We're all friends from freshman year of college. The whole thing started when we were going to music school, we ended up starting the band after, but it kind of facilitated the process of meeting each other. Meeting like-minded people that are doing the same thing. I mean if we were just floating around in Nashville, it's full of people that are all musicians going out on tour, writing songs, going into the studio, so we probably would have started doing this at some point but the fact that we were all friends from such a formative time in what we were all doing was really cool. And it makes me feel really proud that we're all still together doing this, now at this point on a major label and touring in a bus and doing all these cool things that we dreamed about when we were younger.
Jordan: All the things the professors told you you can't do in school. Literally our professors at the recording industry school were like ‘you guys who came here 'cause you want to be musicians, you're not gonna make it. You should just get your degree.' And it was like really? This is what you tell people that are playing tuition? I mean, they were being realistic given the statistics, but don't tell an 18-year-old kid that.
Does George the dog often get to hit the road with you guys as a groupie?
Jason: Yeah. All he's ever known is the road. Jordan got him and the next day he hopped in the bus for a week and half long tour so all he has ever really known is new people and new places everyday.
Jordan: He always finds a comfy place and he doesn't ever get bothered by much. He's always just chillin, and he's only a year and a half old, he's still a puppy. By the time he's four he's going to be, like, motionless. (laughs) He's just so used to people.
Tell us a story. Something that sticks out for you in your years as a duo.
Jason: I don't even remember what we were doing. We were going up to New York for one of our first times and we brought our friend Collin. And we played some party, I can't remember what the party was.
Jordan: It was an all white party
Jason: Oh yeah! And afterwards we went out to this after hours club and in the basement of this club we were partying at, Lindsey Lohan was there with a bunch of people. And our friend Collin, he was like, ‘Woah, this has been my childhood crush forever. I have to go talk to her.’ And so he mustered up the courage, and he pushed through body guards to get over to her and talk to her. He started talking to her and one thing lead to another and she ended up buying him a bunch of tequila shots. And then afterwards, like moments later, she made headlines when she started the fight with some other girl in the club and then got escorted out! That was a good one, we were there!
Photos by Missy Stowell for Bullet Music