INTERVIEW: *repeat repeat // Sloss Fest

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*repeat repeat has been making waves throughout 2018 as they’ve supported their 2017 release Floral Canyon. The band centers around the duo of Jared and Kristyn Corder, a married couple from Nashville that has been churning out their unique brand of “surf-candy” for audiences all across the country. Named by Rolling Stone as the “most energetic band” of Bonnaroo this year, we were able to sit down with the couple as a part of our Sloss Fest 2018 coverage.

Melodic (Jones): Is this your first time in Birmingham?

Jared Corder: No, it’s probably our second time. We played The Nick a while back in one of our first bands.

Melodic (Jones): Oh, I’ve played The Nick before — it’s like a rite of passage in this city. Gnarly bathrooms, right?

Jared: Yeah, we played when we started out as a band, and we decided when we came back we wanted to come back in a big way, and obviously we’re doing that at Sloss today.

Melodic (Jones): Being as you two have had a massive year playing festivals, what’s the craziest thing that you’ve seen?

Jared: One of the more memorable moments for me was at Shaky this year, we got to see Manchester Orchestra — our friend plays bass for them and I kind of forgot and was like “Hey, there he is!” And then at the end of the set, the rain came in right as they started “The Silence” and it was just a really powerful moment. There are few moments as a band where you watch another band and you wonder what it could’ve been like in their situation.

Melodic (Jones): So are you two prepared for the rain today? (Update: It rained a lot.)

Kristyn Corder: I was actually just talking to our driver about that, and rain is just kind of like a beautiful adventure. These festivals are so big and so planned that you can’t just postpone anything haphazardly, so it provides a fun environment for bands to dive into. I don’t really think about the gear getting wet or anything; it just can sometimes be a relieving moment in a festival. Take Bonnaroo for instance: it’s so damn hot that rain can be a benefit.
Jared: And we want to meet the audience where they’re at — rain or shine, it doesn’t matter, and it’s on us to give all of the energy we possibly can on stage. So as long as the audience brings it, we’re ready for anything.

Melodic (Jones): The last time I saw you at Bonnaroo, I was blown away at how energetic you are on stage — in a festival environment like Roo where you’re melting in the heat, or today where it could be pouring down rain, how do you keep up that energetic reputation?

Kristyn: It’s adrenaline, really. We’ve had a lot of obstacles going into a set whether it be weather, illness, or exhaustion. But for some reason when you get up there, something else just takes over. We’ve played shows where I’ve been unable to talk all day — but when it’s show time, it feels weird to not get up there. So I go up, and it’s fine; at this point, it’s completely an adrenaline thing.
Jared: I think for us too, all of the guys that play with us (and us included) have never been in a band that’s got to this level. Back when we started the band, we were playing to twenty people a night, but to look out and see thousands of people in the audience at these festivals with a lot of them there to see you, it’s really impossible to not feel intense gratitude. We also kind of shot ourselves in the foot because Rolling Stone called us “the most energetic rockers at Bonnaroo”, which is a HUGE honor, but now it’s a healthy challenge. But I think about that article every time I go on stage, and we’ve got to exceed the bar that’s now been set for us.
Kristyn: Thank you, Rolling Stone!

Melodic (Jones): The press release for you two described your music as “surf-candy”, which I’ve honestly never heard before prior to listening to you. Tell me a little bit about that moniker and what it means to the band.

Jared: So, years ago when Facebook was even bigger for bands than it is now and there would be a genre section, I remember seeing Nashville bands we loved and admired choosing genres that fit them rather than the average “indie rock”. Like, what is that? What does that sound like, you know? So to us, it felt like we’ve kept this surf-tinged element throughout our music, it definitely felt rock, and it also felt super polished and poppy, which is where the “candy” part comes in.
Kristyn: I remember seeing bands that were “tropical country” and “swamp-rock” — obviously those terms were memorable enough to last with us, so we wanted to create something that was memorable for listeners. Someone once described us as “Dick Dale’s snot-nosed grandkids”, which I feel like is very fitting for us. We just want to take a genre and progress it — so take the west coast punk that I grew up on and mesh it with the beautiful big band harmonies of her influences.

Melodic (Jones): What’s on the horizon for *repeat repeat?

Jared: After this, we’re headed back to Nashville to work on our next album, and then we’re back on the road, including a date in Atlanta this fall. This has been the journey of a lifetime and we’re only getting started.

//

Thank you to *repeat repeat for chatting with us! You can follow the band at their website and listen to Floral Canyon on Spotify.

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