Interview & Photos by Keira Zhou
Tell us a little bit about your new album "Glazed", How has the sound changed from the first album?
Jared: We grew a lot between the first record and our most recent record. We had toured a lot during the time we were writing it, and we played some of the biggest shows of our career at that point. We played some major festivals and opened for some big bands, and in that sense, from a musician standpoint, we were slowly becoming professional musicians. And we really honed in on what our strengths were with this last record, where as the previous record, we tried to touch on different things. We were really proud of that record, but this most recent effort, between Patrick (drummer from the Black Keys) and us, we searched for what our strengths were and we focused on that, and what we wrote about, we tried to create something special, musically, sonic-ally and lyrically. I think it was just a revolution. It was a mixture of simplifying things and honing on our strength.
Kristyn: And I think that instead of us trying to color outside the lines, on Glazed we were trying more to color inside lines, we tried just to do us the best we possibly could at that point of time.
The new album Glazed is produced by Patrick Carney (drummer from the Black keys). How’s it like working with him?
Jared: So we’ve never worked with someone famous before, and to have somebody like that, in that world, take us under their wing and believe in us, it makes you want to do absolutely your best, and makes you want to wake up everyday and just give 110%. It felt like a lot of pressure,there’s a lot on the line, but Patrick did a good job of making us feel at ease, but also making us perform at our best. He pushed us even when we were not used to being pushed. And I think because of that, we all felt very proud of what we made, but we also became family because of it. We showed up, willing to try anything, and say yes to anything in those moments in the studio, and Patrick saw that, and he wanted to work with a band that wasn’t gonna be stuck in their ways and somebody that was willing to grow.
Tell us a bit more about yourselves! How did you two meet and when did you guys start to play music together?
Kristyn: I’ll start with some brief order of the things, and you (Jared) can expand on that. I would say we met at a show in Nashville, which is just very appropriate. We were engaged quickly. And when we were engaged, the band started. And we got married sort of shortly after the band started. That was the order of things.
Jared: I’ve been a musician since I was about 11. And it was something I’ve always known that I wanted to do. And I didn’t really have a fall back plan. I graduated from college with a degree in music and I moved to Nashville. And then I was in some bands and that was how Kristyn and I met. She met me when I was in another band.
Keira: Were you (Kristyn) in a band too?
Kristyn: No, my background is working behind the scenes for indie bands, doing a lot of visibility stuff, like graphic design, album design and web design and email marketing stuff for indie bands coming out of Nashville.
Jared: But that band broke up, and we had started dating. We got engaged. I was looking for a girl singer to be in the new band that I was starting, and I hadn’t found one yet. But we were living together so she (Kristyn) knew all the songs and I had her sing on a few demos. Our producer at the time, was like, I think you found your girl singer, which is one of those things we had never pictured until it totally made sense. I knew she had a great voice.
Kristyn: So I had never pictured myself in a band. It wasn’t like I was presenting that as an option. I was really thrown off by the idea. But I just had the most perfect people around me in that kind of identity transition, that just sort of helped me through. It took about two years to sort of feel like I was in a band, like I’m in a touring band, before I would really talk about it to anyone that I knew.
Jared: In the hindsight there were a lot moments that were really solidifying for us as a band, like, ok, we are doing the right thing. But In those moments leading us up to making this record, it was funny. There were always those moments that, even when we were playing at Bonnaroo, Kristyn would be like not fully taking into account that she’s in a serious rock band.
Kristyn: I don’t know if I ever will!
Jared: I felt like it has changed a little bit since working with Patrick.
Kristyn: True! I would imagine that when I’m standing on an arena stage, I would be unable to deny to myself that we are truly in a working active rock in the United States of America
So how did you guys meet Patrick?
Jared: We have the same attorney. She sent over some of our stuff. She is an attorney for many pretty famous bands. But she sent of our stuff to Patrick, and I think he was into but he wanted to meet us first. He was looking to do a new project, so we met him. I think he was a little reluctant at first, but he agreed to do one song with us.
Kristyn: You kinda have to explain the reluctance though. There was reluctance because we are very excitable, and we came in sort of like, very excited, like preschooler on the first day of school, trying to be chill. And he (Patrick) was just like, they just have a lot energy… And we were like, ok we’ll chill out. We can chill!
Jared: So he agreed to do one song with us. And we were like cool with that. And that turned into a second song. And we didn’t really think much pass that. We were like okay cool, I guess we’ll just go work on the rest of the record somewhere else. And then one night Patrick texted me at 3 am and said that I’d love to produce your whole album if you guys would allow me. So we were like, yay sure; I guess we are gonna make a whole record now. And then everything kinda like just snowball from them. We ended up making the record with him, and then he ended up wanting to play the drums on the whole record. And then we found out that they were gonna make a new record. Nobody else knew that. They were going into the studio weeks after we finished our record. So it was this crazy secret we knew.
Kristyn: He was also weeks shy of becoming a dad. So it was like we were with him at this very crucial time of his life, and totally unreal time of our life.
Jared: Every time we think something stops, something else happens in a good way. Then we thought we were done. He announced his new record; we announced our new record. And then we got another text in the middle of the night that they were offering us two weeks on the tour with them.
Who are the musicians that inspire you the most?
Jared: We are inspired by a lot of older music, first of. Like Kristyn really loves the 60's. She got me into a lot of that as well. The Everly Brothers, the Beach Boys.
Kristyn: The Mamas and the Papas, the Kinks, like that kind of the 60's rock. Or like harmony heavy 60's pop.
Jared: The first record I’ve ever bought was the album Dookie by Green Day. I listened to a lot punk rock, and pop punk, things like that. Stuff with like three chords and all the distortion. I wanted things to be loud and fast. And then present days, we’ve been into a lot of indie rock.
Kristyn: I really like Alvvays, Broncho, Mitski. Japanese Breakfast is really good.
Jared: A lot of Canadian rock bands. There’s a band called The Beaches we are really into. And honestly, when we are not on tour, a lot of times, we’ll listen to classical music. Cuz when you are in the rock n’ roll world, anytime you hear rock n’ roll, you can’t help but compare yourself with them or wanna over analyze it.
Kristyn: I think classical music for us is the music without the business side of it.
When you guys are not playing music, what do you like to do together?
Jared: We bought a 12-acre farm an hour outside of Nashville, in the hills of Tennessee. We bought a year ago and it’s on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky, and then we made our record, and now we are on tour. So we really haven’t even fully explored all the 12 acres yet. We have 10 rescue animals. We have a horse, an African grey parrot, 5 cats and 3 dogs. They are all rescues; they are all animals we found and then ended up adopting. And eventually someday we’ll get pigs and goats and maybe a cow or two. Our neighbor across the street has 2 cows, so we get to see the cows every morning. But that’s pretty much what we do on our off time. We are like learning how to live on a farm, and it’s amazing, and it teaches you so many values, and so many wonderful things. And I think spending so much time in big cities and on the roads, and living so close to Nashville, you get the social aspect and interpersonal communication aspect of things. And living on the farm during off season teaches so much the value of hard working, how to fix things, just like how to slow down for a minute. We can see all the stars. We have this huge fenced in front yard that our dogs can just run around. And we drink coffee on our big porch every morning, and you watch the fog coming off the mountains. We watch baby birds hatch, grow up and fly away. That’s what we do during our off time.