“Warholian Garage Rock. Surf Rockcandy. Your favorite band’s favorite band.”
Meet *repeat repeat, a Nashville-based band presenting a swirl of grunge rock and California surf pop.
The husband-and-wife duo Jared and Kristyn Corder released their first album Bad Latitude in 2014, and are back with their sophomore release Floral Canyon. Aiming to mix the steely close-harmonies of 1960-70s California pop with New York’s edgy punk rock, the band has something to offer to any music lover.
While their previous album Bad Latitude spoke on the experiences of the duo’s engagement, Floral Canyon reflects a number of the band’s experiences. From the sunny beginning of new love to the tumultuous nature of relationships, the album creates a blend of “bloom, doom, and boom.” “Girlfriend,” their debut single for the album, perfectly represents this sound: it’s a loud and crashy song about sweet love.
Here to talk more about the about themselves and the album is *repeat repeat. Jared’s responses will be represented by a “J” and Kristyn’s will be represented by a “K”.
I read in another article that your band name “*repeat repeat” came from a shampoo bottle! Could you talk a little bit more about your inspiration for the name?
J: Coming up with a solid band name is tough now! Once you think of something that in your mind is unique, a simple Google search will leave you feeling unoriginal. I saw the shampoo bottle, and it included the punctuation *repeat, repeat. So in the beginnings of the band, we used the asterisk & the comma. Two punctuation marks in a band name was too much. We almost immediately dropped the comma and kept the asterisk. It inadvertently works in our favor in show listings because we often get listed first, although that wasn’t the goal.
How do you want *repeat repeat to stand out from the music scene?
J: Kristyn (my wife and bandmate) always reminds me that in this business “there’s room for everybody” and I think about that a lot. I’m not too concerned with standing out as much as I am with being at the same table as the bands I love. I do think what sets us apart is our love for each other, our never ending hard work and willingness to eat sleep and breathe the music and all the moving parts behind it - and making music that is unpretentious tells a story and is relatable.
This idea of “blending opposites” is evident in your musical style: it’s a swirl of grunge/rock and California surf pop. Has this idea emerged in other aspects of this album or your music in general?
K: I think we come by that juxtaposition naturally. Even if I don’t directly intend to, I think I usually bring the retro vibe and that’s because it will always be my favorite style of music (and clothes, and art...) so I can’t escape it, and because we both have strong ties to California culture - Jared was born there, and I spent almost 10 years living there myself besides having a big family from there and visiting often (from Texas, where my dad had moved by the time I was born). We love the harmony-heavy, surf-inspired sound but can’t live without loud, crunchy guitars and a little bit of spookiness. The irony is we definitely consider ourselves an East Coast band and have come up as a band entirely on the East Coast. ...So go figure.
What is it about the 1960-70s aesthetic that inspires you?
K: My dad was from a family of seven siblings in Long Beach, California. He and his brothers were typical SoCal surfers of the 1960s — up at dawn surfing before school started — listening to The Mamas and the Papas, The Beach Boys, Everly Brothers — but also bands like The Beatles, The Kinks, and others from the U.K. He taught me to have a deep appreciation for that era and style of music, and from there the rest followed. The Beatles' girlfriends/wives and Carnaby Street fashion models were my muses. The color palettes are so, um, groovy. I’ve always loved sixties style, and the analog often psychedelic sounds, and the loud, colorful art. That beachy, harmony driven surf-inspired pop sound — and the London / New York City mod or Britpop culture blend together in a way that I find basically irresistible.
That overall aesthetic and peace/love/sunshine vibe has always been a big part of who I am and I think Jared could get into it and see why when we met and started dating. He had a latent retro rock quality to him being from the West coast himself, listening to bands like Weezer and Green Day — but he wasn’t raised on the music that came before his own time which I had almost entirely been raised on, so we had to unearth the influences of his influences a little bit before we found our own sound.
How does Floral Canyon differentiate from your debut album Bad Latitude? (In terms of goal/message, working with a label, etc.) Were there other album titles you were considering?
J: Bad Latitude was my love-tribute to meeting Kristyn. I wrote it when we started dating, through our wedding, so each song is about a piece of my life intertwining with hers. With Floral Canyon we knew two things were certain before making the record: that we would touch on more themes and allow ourselves to write about other aspects of life than we had on our first album, and that it would be called "Floral Canyon" (haha). We had that name picked out a year before we wrote the record. Floral Canyon was the beginning of a transition for me and my songwriting where I started writing songs that I felt had a deep meaning to me but also could be relatable in many ways to the listener.
Your website features the phrase, “*repeat repeat creates their own geography to match their sound.” Considering that Floral Canyon is a play on California’s Laurel Canyon, what about these locations (CA, NY, or Nashville) inspired you to create your own space within the music community?
J: Indie rock coming out of Nashville had its own distinct sound when we were making the record. Bands like The Black Keys, Jack White, Jeff the Brotherhood, and Bully all culminated in a feverish lo-fi urgency that we wanted to take apart and make our own. We are also obsessed with the 1960s mod culture of New York style and the Warholian era, so we wanted to capture that style and mysticism in our own music. Kristyn’s inherited upbringing in the surf sounds of California made big beachy harmonies inevitable. Our music at it’s best is an amalgam of all of those styles and nostalgic vibes.
What is your fondest memory of the making of this album?
J: The last day in the studio, we had to touch up a few vocal tracks. We had just done 16 songs in two weeks and were exhausted. We got sick the night before and sang on the tracks with a cold. Our vocals, being relaxed, slow, gave the notes we were singing more of a groovy feel. It sounded great on the recordings. So the producer and engineer ended up having us sing every song on every track over again in that one day. They ended up being our best vocal takes. Sometimes those things just work out in a funny way.
How are you feeling about this tour and being able to perform at huge festivals like South by Southwest (SWSX) and Bonnaroo?
K: We feel prepared, and excited to continue supporting the new album since it came out right before the Winter hibernation. It feels like a complete dream to be playing the festivals we have coming up! And honestly, it even still feels like a dream to have played Forecastle, Firefly, and SXSW last year now that I think about it. Bonnaroo being our “hometown festival” and feeling like we’ve grown up in its shadow and are now playing is a feeling that I can only describe as surreal and greatful. We’re pumped to go back to SXSW - we had a great time last year and it always leaves us with a feeling of accomplishment (and exhaustion!). Shaky Knees we are thrilled for because the lineup is right up our alley and our favorite band is playing (Alvvays), so we are playing and then hanging out for the weekend and staying at one of our favorite hotels in the country. And, Sloss Fest in Birmingham is a personal favorite of ours for really a whole list of reasons, starting with the branding and design, to the lineup, to the “old factory” location, and they are super sweet and supportive to bands online, which always feels warm and fuzzy. We can’t wait and hope the festivals keep coming.
What’s coming up for the band that you’re most excited about?
J: Lots of touring, even more festivals. Bonnaroo, Shaky Knees in Atlanta, Sloss Fest in Birmingham. We’re putting out another single at the end of March and going back in the studio this winter to work on LP 3. I’m most excited about the news songs I have been writing, evolving our sound with this next record, and some surprises we have planned for our Bonnaroo set.
And, lastly, a question for personal curiosity: what’s it like to live with 11 animals?
K: Haaa. It’s the best! Oh man, they are a trip. There is a seamlessness that our crew has that almost makes them like a pack, so they work with and around each other (and the near-constant Roomba) with love and respect. Cats snuggle dogs, the parrot tells us all what to do and when to do it. They are all rescues and several of them have crazy backstories and/or special needs. I have always had horses since I was a child so we have an adopted ex-racehorse whom we adore - and between his incredible care facility that is top-notch and our amazing beloved friends that take over the collective love-fest that is the other 10 in the house — when we tour, we truly owe them the world! It takes patience, cleanliness, Amazon Prime, and an inability to see yourself doing life in any other way.
For those interested, *repeat repeat will be on tour this spring/summer, coming to Pittsburgh’s Club Cafe on Friday, March 9.
As for me, I’ll be listening to Floral Canyon on *repeat repeat.