Q&A: Meet Husband-Wife, Surf-Rock Duo, *repeat repeat

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Husband and wife duo Jared and Kristyn Corder, also known as *repeat repeat, have been up to a little bit more than your typical married couple. In 2014, the band took a risk in combining California surf culture with New York street smarts, but it has really been working out for them. In the early *repeat repeat days, founder Jared Corder wanted to make fast paced, edgy, guitar driven music but felt as though the band needed a female harmony singer to round out its sound. He didn’t have to look far – soon after the search began, the band’s producer Gregory Lattimer (Albert Hammond Jr.) proposed the idea of Jared’s wife Kristyn filling the role. Much like their relationship outside of music, the couple’s voices seemed to be made for each other and with this addition to the band, new inspiration was found.   

In the fall of 2017, the band released their second album titled Floral Canyon, a subtle salute to the iconic songwriters of the 60s and 70s who resided in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon. The album stretches the band’s musical horizon, adding “depth, drive and darkness to the sun-baked, surf-tinged pop music” that the band had built its foundation on. This new composition consists of deeper, cultural driven themes such as rocky relationships, religious ideologies and many subjects in between that are all perfectly woven together with a mixture of percussive thunder, trembling organ, synth pads, coed harmonies and wide-ranging guitar parts.   

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Coming off a memorable Bonnaroo performance where the band was crowned “Most Enthusiastic Rockers,” the duo hopes to keep the positive trend going. Don’t sleep on these two, as they may have you and your partner contemplating a new joint career path. 

Jared and Kristyn took the time to answer some questions we had about their music, personal relationship, inspiration and future releases that can be found below: 

OTW: Having just been claimed Bonnaroo’s “most enthusiastic” rockers in Rolling Stone magazine, can you tell us a little about where this enthusiasm comes from? Does being in a band with your husband/wife add to the enthusiasm?

Jared: For us, I think we always feel an overwhelming sense of  gratefulness when people appreciate the music we make. Time is a valuable thing for people, and for any one person to take time out of their life to listen to our music or come to our show is a really incredible. Appreciating the fact that people could easily choose to spend their time doing literally anything else but decide to give their time/money/support to our endeavor is an important part of the artist-fan relationship. When we walk onstage to a crowd and see that they’re there to see us, and the energy is palpable, it’s impossible for us to feel anything but enthusiasm and gratefulness. Getting to create those moments with your partner and loved one by your side only increases our enthusiasm and excitement.

OTW: Being from California, do you guys feel as though you set out to combine 60’s surfer pop music and edgy rock or did the two find themselves coming together naturally?

Jared: Kristyn really brought the 60’s surf pop element into the band. She is a lover of harmonies, and dreamy beachy sounds. I grew up listening to west coast 3-chord punk rock. Before we started making music together I wanted everything to be fast and loud. Sometimes I still want it that way, but now it just has pretty harmonies and beachy undertones.

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OTW: Do you feel as though you get more of your inspiration from your past or what you see now in your new home in Nashville?

Jared: I honestly don’t know anymore. With our first album (the independently released Bad Latitude), we very much set out to define our sound. Then with Floral Canyon, I wanted to take our sound and evolve it by writing about more personal, deeper themes. Those first few years as a band felt more calculated, but I’m trying to not do that in this chapter of my life. I’m always trying to think of ways to challenge myself as an artist, and right now letting everything happen organically seems scary and challenging as fuck.

OTW: Who were some of your biggest inspirations growing up in California during the 60’s? What kind of music did you listen to growing up and has it influenced the music you make today?

Kristyn:  My dad grew up in Long Beach, California during that time and later raised me on great 60’s pop and rock, so I listened to a lot of The Mamas & The Papas, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, The Hollies - stuff like that - and of course The Beatles. I think it gave me a love of big layered choruses and a tendency toward more retro-sounding harmonies. That mixed with Jared’s punk-influenced guitar riffs and overall crunchiness seem to have somewhat shaped our sound.

OTW: Having listened to your new album Floral Canyon, I noticed that your voices complement each other very well, did that come naturally when Kristyn joined the band or did it take some adjusting to fit together?

Jared: That came naturally. It wasn’t even planned. She sang on a few demos because I knew we sounded good together, but Kristyn never set out to be in a band. So initially we weren’t setting out to be in a touring band together. In hindsight I couldn’t imaging singing these songs with anyone else.

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OTW: Your newest album Floral Canyon is said to stretch the band’s musical envelope – tackling modern culture, rocky relationships, religious ideologies – do all of your songs tend to have an underlying meaning to them?

Jared: On Floral Canyon, yes. Every song on that record has a story behind why I wrote the song when I did. With the new songs we’re working on, I’m trying to tackle songwriting from a different angle, and Kristyn and I are writing the songs together for the first time. I still draw from personal stories and experience when I’m writing new stuff, but it’s more about the song and less about the specific story I’m trying to tell.

OTW: You guys have described your group as a “family business” – do you feel like being in a band with your wife/husband creates only positivity or are there some cons? Do you guys make an effort to keep both separated?

Jared: Kristyn and I have something unique, and I can’t even pinpoint it. We’ve not spent a night apart in the 6 years we’ve been married and 7 years together, we really enjoy each other’s company. I wouldn’t say being in a band with your spouse is for everyone. We’ve always worked together on a number of projects, including music festivals and other business ventures. The only negative aspect is that sometimes it’s really hard doing the long drives and the late nights, and you see your spouse tired, sometimes sick, sometimes frustrated, and you feel like you’ve put a burden on your family. But then you also get to share in the incredible moments together and it all makes sense. I’ll go to my grave knowing I got to play Bonnaroo with my wife. That’s something I’d never take back.

OTW: What’s it like being in a band with your partner? How does it feel on stage seeing one and other with all of your fans in front of you? Does having each other on stage help with any nervousness?

Jared: The best part about being onstage with your partner is that right next to you in front of a crowd of strangers is someone that knows you more deeply and intimately than anyone else. That helps us feel like no matter what happens onstage, there’s someone right beside you that understands you. I love that we have a little secret language onstage and can share inside jokes just with a certain look from the stage.

OTW: Who would you consider some Ones To Watch?

Jared: Our friend R.LUM.R is a great, modern R&B and pop hybrid. Sad Baxter is super cool fuzz rock. Sun Seeker is awesome too. There’s really a ton of great new music coming out of Nashville.

OTW: What do you guys have in the works right now? Any new singles coming soon?

Jared: There’s no set timeline for new releases yet, but we can’t wait to share the new music with our fans that we are currently working on.

Take a listen to Floral Canyon:  

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