The sibling duo of Jake and Jamin Orrall, known collectively as JEFF the Brotherhood, know all too well what a solid gig at Bonnaroo can do for a band’s career. Having grown up in Nashville, they have witnessed Bonnaroo’s evolution into one of America’s biggest festivals from the eyes of locals.
In the twelve years since the brothers formed JEFF the Brotherhood in High School, the band has also seen their star rise. With the 2012 release of “Hypnotic Nights”, produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, JEFF the Brotherhood has built a massive cult following through relentless touring and a strong live show.
Now JEFF the Brotherhood has two chances at Bonnaroo to make a new slate of fans. We sat down with the Orrall brothers backstage after their Sonic Stage performance to discuss Bonnaroo, their career, and the Nashville music scene. Here are some highlights from our wide ranging discussion:
On their just finished Sonic Stage set.
We only had a half an hour so we just did it as a two piece and brought it hard and heavy. It got really rowdy with some kids stage diving and and what not. It was really fun. We’ve got really funny fans. We had a lot of fans in the audience today. ZZ Top came an watched our whole set today, which was great because we went and watched their whole set last night! We are huge ZZ Top fans so that got us so excited.
On their upcoming show Sunday in This Tent.
Yeah, it’s a really early show, so no sleeping in! We’ll do the first half hour tomorrow kind of like we did today’s set, as a two piece hot and heavy, then we bring two buddies out for kind of a more fleshed out four piece. Some of our newer material, some more rocking stuff.
On growing up with Bonnaroo nearby.
We’ve never been! Well, we played two years ago but we’ve never come and watched bands all weekend. It’s really cool to play a big festival near our home town. This is one of the first times we’ve done the big festival thing and camped out. I didn’t think I’d like it but I really do!
On the emerging rock music scene in Nashville.
As what people call country music has changed, country stars have kind of become pop stars. And it’s getting to be a bigger city so there’s a lot more stuff to do for other kinds of music.
On working with Dan Auerbach for “Hypnotic Nights.”
Yeah, he asked us if we wanted to do a couple of songs and of course we accepted. We went to his house where he has a studio and he said “do you have time to do a record” and we said yeah! Dan was very hands off with us. A lot of what he brought to the table was good advice. Which tunes to pick, which arrangements, etc.
On why Bonnaroo fans should be sure to catch their Sunday set.
We’re playing a lot of songs off “Hypnotic Nights” at this one. You want to change up at a festival show. If you’re playing a club, it’s you and two other bands and everyone’s there to see you, so we can play some older songs and things people didn’t know. We’re tailoring this one to do songs and try to draw people in. Come see us. It’s going to be a great time!
If you’d like to see JEFF the Brotherhood performing at Bonnaroo 2013, you can catch them in This Tent on Sunday from 1:45-2:45. They will be sharing a tent with The Rubens, Baroness, Swans, and Divine Fits.
We’ll be on site all weekend with more interviews, reports, and live updates from Bonnaroo 2013. Click subscribe at the top of the page to have it all delivered to your inbox.