By Jason Henry
August 7, 2018
Surf rock candy. The musical description evokes memories of youthful exuberance, salty air, the sun and the waves. It’s also a catchy way to describe a band’s sound and an even better way to draw in new listeners. *Repeat Repeat has done just that while touring behind two studio albums and a good amount of hype. The husband and wife duo Jared and Kristyn Corder, whose band name originated from the instructions off the back of a shampoo bottle, mix a pop-punk sound with that of 1960s West Coast beach pop (reminiscent of the Everly Brothers and the Beach Boys). Previously a three-piece band, this last year saw the departure of drummer Andy Herrin shortly after the completion of the Floral Canyon album. The duo pushed forward undaunted and have spent much of their time playing music in bars, clubs and festivals across the United States. We had the opportunity to catch up with Jared on a variety of topics while they traveled from their home in Nashville, Tennessee to their next show in Akron, Ohio.
The band, often favorably compared to a mix between the Arctic Monkeys and the B-52’s, is constantly on the road. The B-52’s, who for their part have been touring for the better part of forty years (with a recent stop in Charlotte along with Boy George and the Thompson Twins), could be *Repeat Repeat’s guide to longevity. When asked if he could see himself and wife Kristyn touring into their 70s much like Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider, the answer was a resounding yes. “Absolutely! By design, we have no fallback plan on what to do with our lives if this falls through, and we don’t want to be doing anything else. It is a motivational tool,” Jared said. “Unless the universe sends us a real clear sign to stop then we will continue to push on through. Honestly, I’d like to die on stage.”
While most of their shows take place at smaller venues like clubs and bars around the United States, the band is also very fond of the festival circuit and have even curated their own East Nashville Underground festival from 2012 through 2015. The festival, formed around the DIY rock scene in Nashville, took place every three months and concluded before the band itself was formed. “These were the days before east Nashville had established venues for these types of bands,” said Jared. “Kristyn and I were fortunate to host up-and-coming bands in smaller venues and sometimes in the basements of our friend’s houses. The camaraderie amongst like-minded friends working towards a common goal was one of the best parts of the experience. Margo Price (pre-solo career) was on the ticket one year. We gained valuable perspective doing this festival and by being able to see all the necessary components through the lens of different participants, that of promoter, organizer, beer pourer, etc. We wore all the hats. Ultimately, it’s not how we wanted to spend the rest of our lives, but we are grateful for the experience and perspective gained,” said Jared.
When asked about memorable festivals this year so far, Jared brought up Shaky Knees Music Festival back in May. The band had the tricky assignment of opening the festival as the first band onstage Friday. They had driven in from Nashville that morning and did not get their hopes up with regards to crowd size due to the early start; the festival gates opened only 30 minutes before their set time. “We weren’t expecting much of a crowd. Our set started, and we look up to find 2500-plus screaming fans all singing along with our music. It was unexpected and awesome,” Jared recalled.
The pop-friendly surf rock band has released two records – one (Bad Latitude) independently and the second (Floral Canyons) on Dangerbird Records (also home to Fitz and the Tantrums and Silversun Pickups), with a new one in the works. They are currently tight-lipped about plans for the third album, but their sound is evolving. “We don’t want to do the same record twice. On this record, Kristyn and I have co-written all the songs which has not been the case before. The recording process has been physically and emotionally draining but in a good way. We are leaving it all on the line at the studio,” said Jared.
The ‘60s psychedelic, surfy sound may be changing with the next record but, whether it be a live show or blasting the album in your car with the windows down, the energy and fun remain the same.
Catch *Repeat Repeat in Charlotte on Thursday, August 8 at Stage Door Theater.