Last summer, Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber of Cherub discussed with us the influences behind their distinct, wide-ranging sound at Governors Ball NYC. Also this time last year, Cherub released their six-track 100 Bottles EP. As the case with any forward-thinking artist, the guys decided to vary their sound by collaborating with singer-rapper Forte Bowie and include new instrumentation for their yet-to-be released third album, The Year of the Caprese (yes, like the salad). As much as I hoped we could avoid a repeat of conversing in a random location – the Governors Ball interview took place along the Buttermilk Channel on the back of a golf cart – SXSW proved no different. We caught up with the trillelectro gents post set underneath a bridge in the outskirts of downtown Austin to talk about what’s in store for the present and future.
Life+Times: You just did a track (“The Night Is Young”) with Big Gigantic. It is awesome! Dominic played the sax on a track for you guys in the past, right?
Jason Huber: Yeah, a couple of tracks.
L+T: I thought so, how did the collaboration come about?
JH: They’re like our big, older brother. We just have a lot of fun together at festivals. We talked about making music for hours and hours on end; eventually it happened.
Jordan Kelley: It was really fun to collaborate with them.
L+T: The music video is hella fun as usual. I literally watched that video three times in a row. It’s a party!
JK: We were in Mexico. It was a fly-on-the-wall type of shooting. The only planned thing, like, was the hot tub scene and being drunk.
JH: By that time we were already drunk.
L+T: So that wasn’t fake. That was real.
JK: Yeah, we were taking real shots. There’s one faraway shot and you can tell I’m gone.
L+T: Sometimes you can’t tell in these music videos if the guys are putting on a show or…
JK: No, no, no. There were no shots of water in there.
L+T: Whoa! When we last spoke, Nick Curtis was part of the releases.
JK: Yeah, you ‘got’ the music we felt. Thank you.
L+T: I just don’t believe in pigeonholing artists. You have this whole electro pop-ish Prince and The Revolution kind of thing going on. It’s not really a genre.
JH: That’s awesome.
L+T: Album – what’s new for 2014?
JK: We have a new album coming out. We’re calling it a summertime album. We haven’t put the date out yet, but it’s gonna be coming out soon. It’s got a lot of new music on there.
JH: Yeah, you mentioned Nick Curtis.
JK: Up to this point, Nick mixed and mastered all the past four releases and we’re continuing with him for this one.
JH: It’s all recorded, mixed, and mastered at home in Nashville.
JK: We’re putting the final touches on it.
JH: It’s gonna be our major label debut, but the whole making behind the scenes – nothing’s changed with doing that. It’s really cool that Columbia [Records] was onboard with everything we have done so far.
JK: It’s been really refreshing to feel like we’re able to write and play our music. It’s such a cliché scary thing to be like, ‘Oh, major label, everything is gonna change.’ Really our artistic process has been completely undeleted. It’s been really awesome to be supported in everything that we’re doing.
JH: We feel like we’re part of a family.
L+T: That’s cool. Sometimes with record labels you never know if they’ll hinder you or not.
JH: It was a big, scary decision for Jordan and I to go into, but we know we’re in the right place. We’re with the right people. Everybody’s working towards the same common goal.
L+T: Any collaborations or tidbits you can share about the album? No secrets.
JK: We did a collaboration with Forte Bowie which is cool. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Forte Bowie.
L+T: No, but tell me about him.
JK: I think you would like him. He kind of falls into a mixture of his background. He raps and sings. He’s from Atlanta.
JH: His background is varied in all sorts of styles and genres. I know he did production for Trinidad James. He sings on this one. The song is really, really ironic.
L+T: So, he raps and sings?
JK: He just sings on our record, but in general he can do both very, very well. That’s really the only collab on the album. It definitely sucked with not being in the same place. Emailing back and forth is kind of lame.
L+T: I’ve heard that from different artists when it comes to a collaboration. They’re like, “Yeah, we email and we Skype.” That’s not the same thing as being in the studio together.
JK: It’s hard. Maybe Skyping would be kind of decent. Emailing is so impersonal.
L+T: Wait, does the album have a title yet?
JK: Yep. The Year of the Caprese.
L+T: Capreze or Caprese? You never know with you artists.
JK: It’s Caprezey, man! (Laughs)
JH: Keep it Caprezey.
L+T: See what I mean? So, Caprese like the salad. Ah. What was your favorite part of putting together this album versus 100 Bottles EP and Man of the Hour?
JH: The fun part that made this whole album making process completely different from the other ones is right before we wrote a lot of the songs for this record we both bought a lot of keyboards and vintage drum machines and a lot of gear. A lot of this record is about exploring these pieces of equipment and finding sounds that were fun and inspiring to us; and crafting songs to make around that as opposed to trying to come up with something and having it very focused and being very wide open.