Extended Q&A with *repeat repeat
This extended discussion is supplemental to “A Surf State of Mind: An Interview with *repeat repeat,” and features our complete Q&A with Jared & Kristyn Corder, touching on their approach to branding, what it was like opening for Dick Dale, and their favorite tracks from the band’s forthcoming debut release, Bad Latitude.
Is there any significance to the stylization of the group’s name? What does “repeat repeat” mean to you?
Jared Corder: Well, we wanted something catchy and simple. We had thrown around a handful of different names but nothing stuck. I had this idea of reading directions on the back of a shampoo bottle or something where you would see an asterisk, then at the bottom of the page would say *repeat, repeat. And in the early inception of the name, we were going to include the asterisk and the comma in the name, but then we figured that might be too much punctuation for someone to follow.
I’m curious about the group’s decision to lean heavily on the surf tag. In speaking to No Country, the following description was put out there, “We are a surf-rock band, and try to create that vibe. We want to throwback to that surf sound from the Dick Dale era, but with a very distorted, rock feel.” “History,” “Chemical Reaction” and “12345678” definitely exist with surf elements, but what do you think makes the band specifically “surf”? What draws you to that style of rock?
Kristyn Corder: I was raised in Texas, but my family is from Southern California. I was raised on beachy, harmony-driven 60’s rock like the Byrds, the Turtles, [and] the Everly Brothers. My parents would teach me the harmonies in the songs, so I’ve always preferred that era of music over any other.
Jared Corder: Obviously we live nowhere near an ocean, but I think there is an element of surf-rock that isn’t directly related to the actual sport. Surf rock has a 60’s cool feel to it. For me it conjures up the mod-warhol-esque period too. I wasn’t raised on that music , but it was my musical mentor and our producer Gregory Lattimer that really started to get me into this simple, catchy, cool rock sound that was a throwback to that era, without being a direct copy of the 60’s sound.
Will those three aforementioned tracks be included on your new album? What is your favorite song from the forthcoming Bad Latitude?
Jared Corder: Yes, all three singles will be on the album. It is ten tracks total. My favorite song on the album is called “Love That Never Ages,” it’s a love song about the longevity of a good relationship. Growing old with your person. It’s basically two chords, and has this low-end rolling floor tom beat that drives the whole song.
Kristyn Corder: “Chemical Reaction” is my favorite. But I really love the chorus to the song “Melody” (laughs), it’s one of the first songs we wrote together and recorded as a band.
There’s a consciousness of branding that I feel comes with the “surf” description; do you feel that helps to separate your band from others in Nashville?
Kristyn Corder: The music came before the branding. We had written a few songs and made the choice based on how they were turning out to keep a surf vibe. That gave us a jumping-off point and a clear direction for where to take the music.
Jared Corder: It’s important to make good music, but these days you have to grab people’s attention with strong visual elements as well in the digital age. We’re not a Beach Boys cover band or something like that, so obviously we’re not limiting ourselves to a surf sound. That’s why our stuff has a retro vibe, but isn’t strictly people in board shorts and surfboards. We want people to hear a modern take on a vintage sound. We also are heavily influenced by the New York 60’s mod scene, and we try to incorporate that intrigue into our sound as well. Bringing the two coasts together has been an adventure.
On Facebook there was a note that Dick Dale (or his wife) reached out to you to open for the legend when he played Mercy Lounge last year. What was that show like and did you come away from the experience feeling inspired?
Kristyn Corder: We couldn’t think of a better first show in Nashville. We had been on the road a bit but hadn’t played our hometown at that point. Dick Dale and his wife Lana are awesome. This was the perfect show for us and we felt honored.
Jared Corder: It certainly was a testament to the power of good music. Here Dick was, in his 70s, and playing harder and louder than most bands in town. The guy rocked. He’s a living legend, and it was a moment in my musical career that I will never forget.
Jared’s played with Oh No No and Frances & the Foundation, and Andy’s played with St. Louis-based groups Cavo and Revolution One, but what is Kristyn’s musician background? Do you feel *repeat repeat is a culmination of your personal musical tastes or did one individual member guide the group’s musical direction?
Kristyn Corder: I have a performance background, but more on the acting side. Jared and I have been married for two years, and when he was starting the band he and Andy were auditioning female singers. I had been at the auditions and new all the girl parts just from hearing all the songs over and over again. Jared was demo-ing some songs with Gregory, and they called me in to just sing on the demos to have an idea of what the female voice would sound like on the recording. It was at that point that Gregory said “I think you’ve found your singer”…
Jared Corder: It is a culmination of our personal tastes and influences, but I write the skeleton of a song, then present it to the band. Typically from there it goes through a few rewrites with the band, then we demo it and send it to our producer. From there he’ll tweak some stuff and send it back with notes. When we make it into the studio, sometimes the song is fully produced and ready to just hit record, and sometimes we end of fully editing the song all together live in the studio. We try not to set one standard for the creative process, we just want good songs to happen and not feel formulaic.
What would you like listeners to take away from your album when they hear it?
Jared Corder: These songs have been a labor of love for the past two years. The songs will most likely convey a simple-love story in each hook. I wrote most of the songs while engaged and newly married to Kristyn, and I think the sound will reflect that. We are already writing new material, and letting our sound evolve accordingly as we mature as a band and experience all new emotions as time passes by. I think Bad Latitude is a perfect introduction to us as a band.
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Click here to read our feature, “A Surf State of Mind: An Interview with *repeat repeat.”