Green-thumbed psychedelic Nashville rockers JEFF The Brotherhood bring new album to the Prairies

Thursday 02nd, April 2015 / 14:31
By Brittany Rudyck
Photo: Jo Mccaughey

Photo: Jo Mccaughey

CALGARY — At first, the phone rang without response. The second time BeatRoute called Jake Orrall of JEFF The Brotherhood, the response was a hesitant, “who is this?”

Touring steady since the Nashville duo began in high school in 2001, it seems the Orrall brothers have had their fair share of time on the road answering dubious phone calls. With their new album, Wasted on a Dream, out March 24th, it’s a sure thing that they’ll be receiving several more requests for their time from other curious journalists.

Once the intention for the phone call was made clear, Orrall opened up excitedly about the new album, their current tour and what kind of shenanigans they get up to when they’re not on the road.

JEFF The Brotherhood’s newest offering was recorded over a year ago, but following a drop from their former label Warner Bros. Records, Jake and Jamin Orrall decided to hop back onto their very own label, Infinity Cat. They released a statement regarding the drop on in February, declaring, “We are SO FUCKING PLEASED to announce that we have been DROPPED from the clutches of the demented vulture that is Warner Bros!”

Now, they can return to focusing on Infinity Cat, which has been dubbed by Billboard as among the “50 best indie labels in America.” The brothers started it in high school along with their band; it has since released nearly 100 albums.

“It’s just a lot easier to do it on our own. We got what we needed out of the experience [with Warner Bros.],” says Orall. “Infinity Cat is filled with kids in Nashville. My friend comes to me and says, ‘hey, check out this band. They’re in high school.’ They’re pretty stoked when we sign them.”

Aside from making high school kids’ dreams come true by giving them the gift of label support, JEFF The Brotherhood has had a busy career not only touring, but birthing eight studio albums since their inception. The recent, Wasted on a Dream, is a highlight for the band, who usually bangs out their albums in a few days. Their 2012 album, Hypnotic Nights, was recorded in one week with the help of the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.

Orrall is quite proud of the new effort, explaining, “This was the first time we got to sit and spend some time and money on making a record. A lot of our other records were done for free in the span of a few days. I think we improved the songs ’til they couldn’t get any better, and then we recorded them.”

JEFF The Brotherhood also collaborated with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, who provides a mean flute solo on their first single, “Black Cherry Pie.” While the overall sound on the new album moves toward a slightly poppy feel with songs like “Coat Check Girl,” or “Karaoke, TN,” Orrall assures that their live sound is still gritty and loud as ever.

“Our shows are definitely not boring. It’s very loud rock music with a lot of guitar solos and excitement. Not boringness.”

Jake and Jamin have been crafting their ‘not boring’ live shows during their constant tour status and have played such festivals as Bonnaroo, SXSW and Coachella in their near two decade stint as a band. Something that only occasionally wears on the band when they are missing their love of gardening or collecting records at home. Seems like they’re doing okay in the meantime.

Check out these psychedelic green-thumbed wizards on April 5th at the Palomino in Calgary with Bully and April 6th at the Pawn Shop in Edmonton with Bully and the Lad Mags.

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