Cherub apparently hadn’t had enough Colorado after a weekend of SnowBallin’ and brought the party down to Boulder for a night of free music and tons of positive party vibes. Big Gigantic’s Dominic Lalli even stopped in to sesh for a few songs, and between playing hits off their newest album Mom & Dad and a killer live version of Daft Punk’s “Around The World” (straight-up nailed it). Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber had a free minute before their impromptu show at ‘Round Midnight, and since the green room was packed with friends and noise, we all ducked into a storage closet for a little peace and quiet to roll out a few interview questions. Also, be sure to check out some of our photos from Cherub’s ‘Round Midnight performance here.
OK, well first thing, I want to talk about SnowBall. I came back from Snowball with the worst fucking cold ever; three days of drinking while standing on snow absolutely wore me down. How did you guys survive SnowBall?
Jordan: Dude, I don’t even know, because I was wearing Vans and my feet were getting so soaked every single day.
Jason: Really we survived because of all of our new friends helping us out, giving us places to stay, y’know, and warm socks.
Jordan: We had been juicing a lot, so our immune systems were boosted.
Jordan: We’ve been throwing kale in that thing, and like a whole bunch of oranges and apples. That was the secret: juicing. Juicing kept us alive during SnowBall.
Jason: We juice in our van.
How did your set go? You played Saturday, yeah?
Jordan: We played Saturday at 2:15 in the afternoon, and then again at 10:30 at the Agave afterparty. That was a blast, we had a great time. The day set was extremely cold, obviously…
Jason: …for about the first fifteen minutes, then we were sweating.
Jordan: Actually I did start sweating. The amount of support from the crowd at SnowBall was just such a great feeling, because there were so many people in the tent and a lot of them knew the words, a lot of them were dancing. It was just incredible.
Jason: So many friendly faces and so many new faces out there, it was awesome.
Jordan: The afterparty was sick, too. We actually got to do a sound check there, and have a couple of hours to chill before we go on. SnowBall was a little high-pressure because we did a line check and our fingers were so cold, and it took me a second to warm up before I was like “OK, we’re playing the first song right now… eeehhhh,” y’know, then go into it. But both sets went really awesome and the support was amazing.
Did you have a chance to party when you were up there?
Jason: Did we ever! We always find a chance to party. We saw a sunrise or two with Michal Menert and the Two Fresh guys. It’s always a good time. We love that festival atmosphere because we work hard, but we play hard too, y’know? And so does everyone else on the team, so it’s always good to get together and relax a little bit after everybody has a good set.
Jordan: Yeah, I boofed a whole bunch of drugs. [Laughs] That was my secret for not getting sick of Snowball, was by boofing drugs. [Laughs]
I heard a lot of people from out of town describing SnowBall as the quintessential Colorado experience. Do you think you know enough about Colorado to say that’s true?
Jordan: Me personally, I couldn’t be like “Yeah, that was super Colorado.” The bottom line is that it was awesome and Colorado kicks ass.
Jason: You’re at a music festival listening to beats in the snow: that was GLORIOUSLY Colorado!
And how long did it take you to decide you’d be playing here, at ‘Round Midnight in Boulder?
Jordan: Well we knew we were coming back down. This show? Yesterday, probably.
Jason: Yeah, we were sitting at dinner the other night with Berk and Devin Dollaz, and Devin cooked us this awesome pork tenderloin and we’re all sitting there, giddy over it and eating it. And then we were like, “You know what? We need to put a show together.” And you could just watch the little light bulb pop up above Berk’s head, so he’s immediately on the phone with the whole Elm & Oak crew putting it all together. It came together really quickly. We’ve been getting a lot of people calling in at the store today asking about tickets and stuff like that, and we’re just excited to be throwing a free show for people.
Jordan: A lot of people that missed us or who caught us and dug the set a lot that are in town or around the area, they can see us for free, it’s pretty awesome to follow up the SnowBall shows with that.
I think it’s awesome. I wasn’t even awake at 2:15 when you guys came on.
Jason: [Laughs] The people who came — that was the other thing– our set was mid-day and the people that were there that were getting down, it was awesome to have them at that time of the day after what they did the night before. To be able to do that… But, this thing was last minute. All we did was make a flyer and put some tits on it that have no nipples, and throw that shit online, and… bring out cupcakes. And hope people RSVP on Facebook, because that’s really cool!
Tell me about how the Elm & Oak connection. How did that start, and how has it helped you now that you have somewhat of a Colorado following, how has it been evident that these are good friends to have?
Jordan: It really started with Alex. He heard the music from a mutual friend, and one day while we were in the studio he gave us a call and caught us both off-guard. And from that point forward, we…
[Alex Botwin opens the door at that very moment and only pokes his head inside, big grin on his face – “Are you guys making out right now?”]
Jason: …and cue Alex Botwin walking in!
Jordan: Your nose must have been tingling!
Alex: What’s up! Good evening! [Slaps and pounds go around] Actually my whole body is tingling right now, I’m so glad to see you guys right now. Sorry, I’ll let you guys do your thing. [Closes door]
Jason: On that note, Alex Botwin is my hero.
Jordan: Well basically, after our buddy Ryan showed the music to Alex, relationships were made and everything got signed and official. Since then we’ve kinda just been pushing forward and Alex has been introducing us to a lot of people. You mentioned earlier how the Dom thing came about, well Alex and Dom have been really good friends for a while and luckily Alex put in a good word for us. And Dom liked the music, and he’s just a fucking cool guy. It’s awesome to have sincere musicians who really just want to make music with other musicians and not be dicks, y’know? He’s just one of those people who loves music and was down to work with us.
Jason: Music for music’s sake is so refreshing – working with Dom, that’s really what it’s all about.
And especially with someone who is actually a real musician. No offense to the person DJ’ing on stage right now…
…but you don’t see that as often in DJ culture, because how exactly can you just jam out with some other dude on a laptop? So tell me about that element, what do you bring to the stage and how do you classify Cherub?
Jason: We’re most definitely a live band. We encorporate electronic elements on stage just to aid in our performance, but we definitely are up there sweatin’, y’know? We have a lot of fun performing. If we weren’t performing it, it gets boring for us. It’s fun when things are hanging on a thread.
And otherwise, it would just be karaoke with Jason and Jordan.
Jordan: For sure, exactly.
Jason: Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of our set that’s live. People sometimes think that the vocals are auto-tuned and whatever, but all of the vocals and guitar and stuff are us.
Jordan: Trust me, Jordan Kelly can mess up a vocal line once in a while.
Jason: And I will BUTCHER them! [Laughs]
Jordan: There’s definitely fuck-ups in the set but that’s refreshing because it keeps the spontaneity and the live feel of everything. I would consider ourselves a live band; obviously, we play with bands that have like eight members and no computers on stage and sometimes we’re like, “ARE we a live band?” But we are, it is.
Jordan: We played with a DJ act and we show up with all our gear, and they’re like, “Aw man, why’d you bring all that stuff?” We play with a live band and they show up like, “Where’s your drum set?”
You can’t please everybody.
Jordan: We try to keep it new and exciting, embrace the new technology and all of the things that are going on, and at the same time give the people something they know and are familiar with.
Who would you say your influences are? I know who people compare you guys to musically, but where does it really start for you guys?
Jordan: A lot of the people that are mentioned that we sound like, I know both me and Jason love. I listen to a lot of R&B, early R&B. I really do love bands like Jodeci and groups that just wail, y’know?
Jason: You’re afraid of saying it… Prince!
Jordan: Yeah, I mean Prince is amazing. And Ready For The World I just heard the other day, “Oh Sheila” – that song is fucking sick. I dunno man, I’m just into songs that make me feel something, songs with a good vibe, y’know what I mean? I’m not worried about genre so much.
OK, and to wrap it all up, tell me about Mom & Dad and how what we were just talking about ties into how you’re pressing new things with your new album.
Jason: Well, Jordan’s “Mom” and I’m “Dad,” and we got some tattoos on our butts to prove it. And if anyone wants to say otherwise they can come see our butts! [Laughs]
Jordan: That name is so silly, it really has nothing to do with the content on the album, and to be quite honest most of the song content, it’s similar but there’s no theme throughout the whole thing. The lyrics are all over the place. Mom & Dad is just a funny-ass name for it. We don’t take ourselves too seriously; we obviously take all this seriously, we’re really stoked on where everything is going, but we definitely are just having fun and meeting amazing people. And I think that’s what this album is all about, going out and having fun with people.
Your 2011 recap video looked like a ton of fun.
Jordan: Yeah, going all over the place. Recently, people have been getting so stoked out to kick it and they’re so appreciative to take pictures or whatever, and it’s like, we’re AS stoked as them to be doing it. The fact that you feel that stoked? I promise you we’re as excited to meet you, for real.
Jason: The term we used at SnowBall was “overwhelmingly heartwarming.” It’s ridiculous to feel all this love from people all over the country, and never having met them before, to feel like you know these people. It’s really awesome. Music truly is a universal language and a really strong way for people to communicate. We’ve always talked about it, but touring the country you see it so obviously.