JEFF The Brotherhood — AKA the two-man party machine consisting of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall — just released their seventh album (Hypnotic Nights) and embarked on what will basically be an endless tour of the world. Though the endless touring is nothing new for the Orrall brothers, who have basically built a career out of playing nonstop shows for the past decade, things have definitely changed. For their new album, the duo enlisted the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach as a producer and will release the album in partnership with Warner Bros, two moves that should help them expand their fanbase dramatically. Longtime fans of the bands of the Brotherhood needn’t worry too much about the band getting too fancy though. According to Jamin Orrall, the business of making records and playing shows is still mostly just an excuse to hang out and drink beer. When it stops being fun, they’ll quit.
STEREOGUM: Hypnotic Nights is the first record you guys worked on with an outside producer. Why now? And how was the experience of working with Dan?
ORRALL: I don’t think we were waiting for a right time to work with a producer. It’s the first time someone has come to us and offered, as a producer, so I think that was a big part of it. We’ve never been like “Let’s get a producer” and gone after and found someone. But Dan came to us and said he’d be into working with us, and wanted us to come to a studio and record. So we were like “Well, if he’s excited about it, might as well try it out, cause it could be fun.” And it was really fun. I thought it was going to be a lot different but it wasn’t really.
STEREOGUM: The actual role that a producer plays with a band can be very ambiguous, depending on the producer and what the band wants/needs.
ORRALL: I was kind of anxious up until the recording sessions because when he told us he wanted to work with us we went by his studio to check it out … and half the reason we did it was because we liked his studio so much. We didn’t really know him when we went in — we’d just met him a couple of times. I was just worried, “Oh it’s going to be awful” cause I’d heard so many horror stories about producers. But it was totally enjoyable and productive and fun. It didn’t really feel that different than when Jake and I just go in. It was just one more head there. Just someone there that would give us ideas and help us if we wanted it.
STEREOGUM: Production-wise, does he have a fancy studio?
ORRALL: Define fancy.
STEREOGUM: I just assume from what I know about him that he would have a bunch of amazing old gear.
ORRALL: Yes, if you mean old and amazing, then yes. He has a lot of old and amazing gear and it’s just a really great room. We got really cool sounds out of there.
STEREOGUM: How long did it take?
ORRALL: I think it took seven or eight days. Which was really cool because we’ve never been in a studio for more than three or four days.
STEREOGUM: Really? For a lot of bands, seven or eight days is nothing.
ORRALL: I think bands going into the studio for a month at a time is too long. Unless they’re writing in the studio but I think that’s a waste of money.
STEREOGUM: Yeah, that is a waste of time, I think. If you have your own studio it’s one thing.
ORRALL: Just have your shit ready to go before you get there, you know?
STEREOGUM: Well how did you guys work in the past? You would just have the songs and go in and bang em out as fast as possible?
ORRALL: Pretty much. We would just have the songs and then be like “Alright, this person said we could come in the studio really cheap for like two days or three days.” This was a lot more comfortable than that. I mean it’s exciting too to go in just for three days but it creates some limitations. It’s really nice to be able to hang out for a week and have time to just try things.
STEREOGUM: You are on the road now. I get the impression that you guys tour constantly.
ORRALL: Yeah, we tour constantly. Lately we’ve been having like one or two weeks off at a time between tours. Obviously we haven’t been going into the studio since we just made a record. With this record, we kind of realized that we’d been touring too much on our last one. We didn’t have any new songs because we’d been touring constantly. We just started going over to Jake’s house two or three times a week until we had a bunch of songs. When we went in I think we were doing the same thing we normally do –the first two days we were just like banging through it. I think we had all of the guitar and drum instrumental tracks — all the tracks without vocals — in the first two days, because that was the way we were used to working. I think we asked him, like, “Should we maybe work on some of these before we finish recording all the tracks?” He was just like “if you’re comfortable with it, keep banging it out and we’ll work on them later.”
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