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The Turbo Fruits is a band from Nashville, Tennessee that plays rock and roll music. Their new album Butter sounds like the product of what would happen if Mountain was on Chess Records (After spending a great deal of time trying to make some kind of wordplay between Cream and Butter I gave up). After being on the road with Ty Segall, The Black Lips, and Surfer Blood they’re finally headlining their own tour. They’re shows are high-energy and raw, so if you’re pursuing a good alternative to the potentially anemic Presidential debate tonight, look no further.
They’re playing at DC9 tonight, doors at 8:30, with local band The Danvilles opening. Also, it’s Jonas’ birthday so buy him a beer.
The Turbo Fruits are now in a more permanent lineup. How has it changed the touring and the recording experience?
JONAS: It’s nice to have a permanent lineup. I can rely I them, they can rely on me… we can all rely on each other. We write together, we tour together, we fight together, we fight each other. It doesn’t stop. We’re a band of brothers and no one can fuck with that. It’s not too often when you meet another band with as big of a personality as ours. Come hang with us and you’re sure to get a good story out of it!
Any interesting things about Butter that we don’t already know besides the Enya factor?
KINGSLEY: As far as bands or records that influenced the writing process during Butter, there were a ton of them. The Enya thing was mostly a joke obviously. Jonas does have that record on his phone and he plays it occasionally, but only when we can all stomach it. Some of the bands we’re listening to a lot while we were writing Butter were Sabbath, the Strokes, Black Lips, Deep Purple. The list goes on and on.
How’s the current tour been going?
KINGSLEY: Tour has been great so far! The response from the record seems to be really good and the shows have been going really well.
The last two weeks have been pretty rough though unfortunately. We had a ton of van problems, which led to us buying a new tour van and trailer last week on the way back from Texas. Also, both of my guitars were stolen in Cincinnati a few weeks ago.
Did you recover the stolen gear?
I actually did not get my guitars back unfortunately. I ended up buying an Eastwood airline remake that I’ve been playing for the last week or so. It’s been holding up pretty well so far. Also, my buddy Dave Johnson who works at Gruhn’s guitars in Nashville is currently building me a custom guitar which will be my main squeeze once it’s finished. I’m not holding my breath about getting my guitars back at this point, but if anyone knows where they are, I’d love to have them back. They meant a lot to me.
How’s it been playing the new album?
It’s been really fun playing the new album live as opposed to in the practice space. It’s nice to have a bigger selection of songs to play live ‘cause it allows us to play a more diverse set and we can also play for longer than we had been previous to Butter coming out. My favorite song to play live off Butter would have to be “Don’t Like To Fight” or “10 Years”. They’re very heavy, energetic songs and they seem to be momentum builders for riling up the crowd.
You’ve repeatedly stated that the way the current industry works, some bands can work really hard for a long time to get their deserved accolades, but other times bands can get lucky through outlets like Pitchfork. Can you expand a little bit? How do you think it affects the overall trajectory of the band?
KINGSLEY: Yea. I think that theory definitely holds some weight. I can only really speak for us, but there’s no doubt that some bands work extremely hard for a long time before getting noticed, and there are some bands that get a lot of attention very early on by some of the bigger media outlets which puts them in a position to get a lot more attention right off the bat. That being said none of us are really worried about the effect those outlets have on Butter if it’s in a negative light.
Butter is our third record and has definitely propelled us to the next stage in our career but there’s no doubt in my mind had an outlet like Pitchfork given us a great review and not totally ripped on it, it could’ve definitely expanded the awareness of the band and the record a lot more. I don’t think outlets like Pitchfork sway what people who are already fans of us think, but it’s definitely harder to get the people who take the shit Pitchfork says seriously to even listen to the record if Pitchfork gives it a bad review. I think when you work as hard as we do you can’t really let anything effect your state of mind when it comes to what we’re doing cause staying positive and believing in what we’re doing is the only way for us do it.
Ideal music playing experience ad lib: I want to play at (this time of day) in (this environment- festival/small club/arena/whatever) in (this city [or I suppose body of water]) with (this band before) us and (this band after).
KINGSLEY: 10:30 pm, medium size club in New York with Ty Segall before us and the Strokes after us.
9) Can you tell me a bit about the Bruise Cruise? Jonas, I know you were central in the organization of it. Is another one going to happen, how do you feel about the cruises that have taken place? And now that names like Coachella are getting into the cruise game how do you feel that will change the scene?
JONAS: Michelle Cable (our booking agent) and I started something special… so special that it’s trying to be copied by much bigger companies with millions of dollars. It’s bitter-sweet because on one hand it’s really frustrating to see these big companies virtually copy our idea with millions of dollars to back it and on the other hand it’s nice to know that we’ve started a new trend and if you trace back the history of alternative music cruises you’ll come straight back to the BRUISE CRUISE.
10) What are some of your favorite alternative space/DIY experiences?
JONAS: I like the Medusa in Minneapolis, MN. I like Comet Ping Pong. I like the Zombie Shop in Nashville, TN. I also really like playing in Laredo TX. It’s not so much a DIY spot as much as it is an untapped market… so it almost feels like you’re playing some cool DIY spot but the reality is it’s a bunch of border town kids flipping out to Rock n Roll music in a venue/bar. Everyone is always buying shots of tequila for the band and just flipping out!