JEFF the Brotherhood Works Hard, Parties Even Harder
Jake Orrall sounds tired. Granted he has a right to be. Jake and Jamin Orrall, better known as fuzzy two-piece JEFF the Brotherhood, have put out seven albums over 13 years, with yet another new EP coming this September. Jake has even been producing a different band's album, which is what he was doing all night the evening before I called him the next morning.
Courtesy the artist Don't let JEFF the Brotherhood's innocent faces fool you. They'll rock hard or get drunk trying.
As we hop on the phone to discuss the band's appearance at Club Dada for the latest installment of the Red Bull Sound Select series this Wednesday, Jake doesn't sound enthused to be interviewed this early, but you can't necessarily blame him. Doing an interview probably wouldn't be anyone's first choice the morning after pulling a long night of work.
But all of that doesn't matter. Because for all their hard work, JEFF the Brotherhood plays twice as hard on stage, and they do so at earth-shaking volumes. Along the way, they delve into plenty of debauchery as well.
JEFF is guilty of doing shirtless interviews, loving kombucha and unintentionally using microphones as nipple clamps. Orrall said an essential part of their pre-show prep is to "try not to get too drunk," but rather -- in an inimitably professional manner that they've honed from more than a decade in the biz -- find a sweet spot of intoxication.
"Ridiculous things happen every day on tour," Orrall says. As for what those ridiculous things are, well, he just gives a laugh. He's a little fuzzy on the details.
The band's last full-length release, Hypnotic Nights, was produced by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, but Jake couldn't quite recall the details of this either, saying they had "burned a lot of incense."
The peak of absurdity, though, was their involvement with one of the strangest collaborations in the last few years: the Insane Clown Posse rearrangement of Mozart, produced by Jack White. "Leck Mich im Arsch," German for "Lick Me in the Arse," featured JEFF on instrumentation, and the bizarre track had Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope meet with the band at Jack White's home recording studio.
On their current tour, they've enlisted a bassist and second guitarist to aid in their face-melting efforts, and Jake says to expect the sound to be even bigger than before, which is hard to imagine. They've revamped their older songs to accompany the bigger band, forming what he described as a "four-piece rock 'n' roll assault."
After being a duo for so long, Jake admits that it's refreshing to play with an expanded lineup -- and of course more to have extra people around. "We got kinda bored playing with just the two of us," he explains. "We've been doing it for over a decade."
As a self-professed vinyl lover, Jake says he makes a point to try and visit record stores in the towns he visits, particularly Pittsburgh, but says it depends if they have the time while passing through.
If you make it out to their show tomorrow night, crack open a six pack and enjoy a rowdy good time. Well, okay, the six pack wouldn't be legal to bring into the venue, but you get the point.
JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD play with Sealion and Not in the Face, Wednesday, July 23 at Club Dada, $3 RSVP as part of Red Bull Sound Select.