Wrapping up a tour is no small task, especially the day after your new album drops. It’s a feat *repeat repeat, handled with ease as they traveled from a show in Toronto on the release night of their new album, Floral Canyon, to Buffalo for their final show with Beach Slang. The evening was rife with celebration, drinks at Deep South Taco and a stellar, emotional performance at Mohawk Place. Between all of this the good people of
*repeat repeat: frontman Jared Corder and vocalist and key-slaying extraordinaire, Kristyn Corder sat down for a chat about vegan eating, Halloween shows, and making it as a musician.
Why is being vegan something you’re so passionate about?
Jared: Well the two of us are vegan.“Neil [their guitarist for the tour] is vegetarian, Andy eats meat, occasionally, but it’s been something very important to us. We have a lot of pets, 10 animals and we’re against animal cruelty.
Of course, I have to ask what they are?
Jared: We have a retired race horse, an African Grey Parrot [ who has a brief cameo in the music video for “Girlfriend,” which just came out] five cats, three dogs; total of 10. Animals are very special to us. We don’t eat meat when we’re on the road. It can get tricky in places, especially in the middle of nowhere.
Kristyn: In most cases we end up eating a lot of Taco Bell, which is actually vegan friendly. They’re definitely starting to cater to veganism. We’re part of “Feed the Beat” - [program to provide touring bands with Taco Bell for a year] and I think they were drawn to us because we’re vegan and they’re trying to promote that side of things.
Jared: Someday we want to have a show where we showcase cool vegan places. Toronto has a ton, there’s so many cool cities that have places like that and we could be the people that host a show like that.
It could also double as a city to play a show.
Jared: We’re making a list of cool places we’ve been to on tour and places we’ll go back to and try to showcase them. No one’s really doing a cool vegan show. I feel like it gets a bad rap because people see vegans as stuck up...In Toronto we played at Lee’s Palace. There’s something special about old venues that have been around forever...The show was awesome and ran really well. It’s hard to top going out with locals on the night your record comes out when you’re in another country. When you’re [in Buffalo] people say that’s not another country. In Nashville you’re nowhere near seeing a country across a lake. It’s really hard to top that. As a band we’re always in great spirits when we’re connecting with people.”
It sounds like you met some very cool fans! Are there other fan moments that stand out from your tours or home shows?
JC: We play a halloween show in Nashville every year, it’s free and at midnight. It’s a big spooky thing. The last two years we’ve done it, someone has dressed up like us. Last year someone dressed up like Andy, tattoo and all. Someone dressed up like me, with the white and black striped shirt and shoes, and someone dressed up as our horse. The year before that someone wore a red and black striped shirt, spiked hair, and angry eyebrows. They were evil Jared. I don’t know where or when it started, but we’re all for it. It’s a total trip. It’s not something we’ve every asked anyone to do, but each year someone’s done it.
Kristyn: I think people realized you always wear a striped shirt and it would be easy to dress up like.
Jared: Some people don’t get it. They assume I don’t own another shirt. I assure you, I do own another shirt.
F: So you’re suitcase is secretly 20 of these and two white t-shirts.
Jared: It's 20 of these and a few flannels that I wear during the days. I wanted a signature look that people would recognize if I was walking down the street.
Getting back to the animals, what’s the story behind the retired race horse?
Kristyn: I grew up with horses. I’ve always lived in Nashville, being right near Kentucky, there are so many discarded race horses that didn’t cut it. He was a baby when he was discarded. He had been in a couple of races when I got him that he came in last or second to last. I got him when he was four, we just spoil him. His name is Lincoln, we’ve had him for a year. I love and adore him. I basically spend time with him trying to undo all the damage the racing industry did. In a sense it was a rescue, but he’s huge and has a lot of attitude. He’s a trip.
Fun fact: If you’re into cats, as many internet and music loving people are, search #sirclementine on Instagram - Jared and Kristyn’s rescued handicapped cat.
Obviously, the big elephant in the room is that your new album, Floral Canyon, just dropped. What was the inspiration behind the album?
Kristyn: We have a lot of California influence. Jared grew up there, my whole family is there, I went to college there, but I was raised in Austin, [Texas]. I grew up learning the folklore of Laurel Canyon, the amazing artists that came from there. Jared and I took a road trip once and we were listening to an audiobook about Laurel Canyon, and we turned to each other and talked about how it reminded us of East Nashville, where we came up as a band because it’s a lot talent in one area. What made it different verses what we were experiencing was that back in the ‘60s, Laurel Canyon had a lot of dark undertones with the Manson Murders and other events. We turned to each other and said, East Nashville is like Laurel Canyon, but with much more light hearted, love and support, a Floral Canyon. It’s a combination of East Nashville and Laurel Canyon in terms of the sheer amount of talent and support that came from those areas minus the darkness… or at least a lot of it.
Jared: We made the record a year in advance of when we thought we’d put it out.
We thought we’d have a year to shop around and find the right person to get behind it. That turned into three years. We know what we want. It can be hard to find the right thing. If you know what you really want, you have to get used to saying no more than you say yes until that right thing is there.
How would you describe the sound you’ve created?
Jared: There’s always “Your favorite band’s favorite band.”
Kristyn: The ‘favorite band’s favorite band’ came from being in Nashville where all your friends are in other bands, and it took shape that way. We were our own thing, in our own world and all our fans were other musicians and bands before we got out of that. I can’t ignore saying we have a crunchy guitar sound that’s harmony heavy. The best description I’ve heard was one of the first reviews about us by Patrick Rogers from Nashville Scene who said [they’re] “Dick Dale’s snot nosed grandkids.” That meant everything. We don’t try to be surf guitar, but we do have surf element in our sets.
Jared: He’s the king of surf guitar.
Kristyn: 78 now and still amazing live.
Jared: We want to be entertaining, but we want it to be authentic. If we’re having a rough time, we want it to come out. We want it to be raw.
Kristyn: When you jumped down and knocked over the mic, I had a moment where I thought about picking up the mic for you. That would be the wifely move. But I knew he was going to figure out how to work it out. We always let each other figure everything out. Our sample pad works sometimes and sometimes doesn’t. We could fix it. We could get a laptop.
Jared: But we wanted to figure it out, on stage, live and in real time. It’s hard sometimes, but as we get more established people will know to expect those random moments.
That was two months ago and since then the band has been busy, promoting the album, reshaping itself and preparing to get back out on the road.
What else is new,? You mentioned remodeling the band, what did you mean?
Jared: Our drummer Andy has went on to pursue other projects and focus on his radio programs as well. It’s helped us as we’re remodeling what we want the band to look like. We’re going to hire out a new drummer and eventually a new guitarist too. In a weird way as tricky as that might have been to deal with that change of pace, and find someone new to play those parts, it’s kept us on our toes. It forces me to remember why I wrote these songs and remember how each of those parts go. I had to go back and listen to them, and recompose parts of it. We never want our music to feel stagnant. It has always felt like it was her and I. We live together and not only are we married, we pursue our dreams together. It’s been a lot of rearranging and remodeling what we want the band it be.
I know you’ve stressed authenticity and patience, how do you think that’s played into the momentum you’re building?
Jared: There’s one thing we’ve learned lately it’s not to rush. Everything is in music is so fast. We feel like we appreciate things more and they come to us more smoothly when it happens naturally. There’s a ton of divisiveness in the world right now, since we come from an angle of inclusively and authenticity; that speaks volume. We want our fans to feel like they can reach out to us, and we went every show to be a love fest. The opening track of the record, is “Everyone is Falling In Love.” We have fans in their 50’s, 60’s. We’ve played festivals with tons of 16 or 17 year olds. People are writing us and telling us our kids love your music, and my dad loves your music. It’s great to be one of those artists that can connect those divides. Good music spans generations, and there’s a reason why certain bands are iconic, being enjoyed decades later. I hope some of our songs can be like that too.
Jared guarantees they’ll be back this spring, and you should definitely check them out. Floral Canyon is available on all major music platforms, and their music video “Girlfriend” just debuted on VICE’s Noisey. “This is just the start, this is not the end,” Jared sings in “Girlfriend,” and *repeat repeat is just getting started, one listen or love fest at a time. For upcoming tour information and new music, be sure to give them a follow.