Nashville’s Turbo Fruits are a great rock ’n’ roll band. On their latest album, No Control, the band is straddling that fine line between wild abandon and mature responsibility. The Turbo Fruits are currently on tour with sci-fi surf legends Man or Astroman?. They’re playing Austin Saturday, Aug. 8 at The Parish.
Red River Noise spoke to guitarist/vocalist Jonas Stein about the tour, the new album, and the Nashville music scene (Austinites should be able to relate to that last one).
RRN: How did the tour with Man or Astro-Man? come about?
TF: It was a combination of a couple of things. One, because they approved of us – that’s always
good – and two, we’ve been working with this new booking agent who’s a mutual friend of mine and Man or Astro-Man? and he was able to kind of sneak in there – having a mutual friend of both bands definitely helped. I met Brian from Man or Astroman? a long time ago and haven’t seen him since. He opened up a really cool venue in Birmingham called the Bottletree. It was one of my favorite venues for a long time. My old band Be Your Own Pet played one of the very first shows they had there. For some reason I feel like they weren’t licensed to have live music yet at that point. I remember Brian gave our drummer a really badass snare that just happened to be laying around. That left a really good impression on me.
RRN: You’ve released four different albums on four different labels. Why is that?
TF: The honest truth is that we haven’t really been invited back to any of the labels we’ve worked with. At the end of the day, this is a business and we are a business investment, and sometimes numbers don’t work out as planned. We always try to work hard on our end of things but we’re not much of cash cow for anyone who has invested in us. I really appreciate everyone who has given us a shot and we are going to keep on working hard.
RRN: Patrick Carney from the Black Keys did some production on the album, how did he get involved?
TF: He moved to Nashville a few years ago and I think we were on his radar screen. He and our guitar player at the time had become friends and Pat had expressed interest in recording some of our album. I was a really fun experience and we hope to do more with him down the road. Great dude to have in the studio.
RRN: Is there any central themes running through No Control? Some of it seems a little heavier than your past albums.
TF: Yeah man. The older we get, the more real life we have to deal with. For the first time, we really dove into some heavy relationship issues. I did everything I could to get her back, I mean everything I could possibly think of. At the end of the day, she wouldn’t have me and I had no control over the situation.
RRN: How’s the Nashville scene going these days? Do you feel it’s under or over-exposed?
TF: It’s pretty crazy these days. There’s something fun to do every single night of the week. It didn’t used to be this way. A few years back, it was one or twice a week we could find something fun. Now there is good entertainment all over the place. I get a bit overwhelmed with how fast Nashville is growing – new faces everywhere, new bands everywhere, and new buildings everywhere. As discouraging as it it, I think it’s what I always wanted to happen to Nashville. So I will say I’m excited for Nashville. I just wish there weren’t so many damn condo buildings going up!!!
* Watch the music video for “Don’t Let Me Break Your Heart Again” by Turbo Fruits. Enter our drawing for tickets to see Turbo Fruits with Man or Astro-man? in Austin here.