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The best rock ’n’ roll, the kind that gets under your skin and makes all your senses heighten, is simple and comprised of hard work and unrelenting passion—all of which JEFF The Brotherhood embody and exemplify on their Warner Bros. Records debut LP, Hypnotic Nights. Brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall have been playing together since they were little kids and formed the group when they were in high school. The boys grew up with a voracious appetite for any music they could get their hands on.
The band incorporates a DIY ethos in everything they do, including their raucous live shows. JEFF have been touring tirelessly for the past 10 years, playing any and all conceivable venues—from basements and backyard sheds to Bonnaroo and The Bowery Ballroom. The duo clocked in over 400 shows in the past two years alone and have shared bills with Best Coast, Fucked Up, Pentagram, The Kills, The Greenhornes and more.
When it comes to creating their desired sound, JEFF believes that less is more. This idea is reflected in Jake’s decision to play a guitar with only three strings. Jake explains, “When we started the band, I didn’t know how to play guitar,” he remembers, “I thought, in order to teach myself, it would be easier to play if I simplified it. I started with two strings, but you can’t really play any chords that way, so I added a third string [which added] this interesting limitation that forced me to create my own style and approach to the instrument.”
These musical intricacies all come together on Hypnotic Nights, which was co-produced by Jake, Jamin and musician/producer Dan Auerbach (Dr. John, The Ettes). The album was recorded in Nashville at Dan’s Easy Eye Sound Studio in early 2012. JEFF entered the studio focused and prepared with a clear vision for the album they wanted to make, completing Hypnotic Nights in only one week. For any other band, completing an album in seven days would seem like a challenging feat, but for JEFF those seven days felt like a luxury when compared to the amount of time spent on making 2009’s Heavy Days and 2011’s We are The Champions, which were released on the band’s own label Infinity Cat Recordings. Each took only three days to make.
“We’ve never worked with a producer before, so this was the first time we’d ever had any outside input,” says Jamin. “It was Dan’s first co-production, too, and it really worked. He just hung out, let us do our thing and helped when we needed it.” Adds Jake, “We write songs without anyone else in mind, so Dan brought in this idea of, ‘Well, you guys do what you do and I’ll present it so everyone else will understand.’”
The result is Hypnotic Nights, an album that uniquely blends elements of indie, punk, garage, and psychedelic rock. The first single, “Sixpack,” is a fuzzed-out rocker driven by reverb-heavy riffs and propulsive drumbeats. Songs like “Leave Me Out” and “Dark Energy” venture into new musical territory for JEFF, but the band isn’t afraid of experimentation. After all, it’s this imagination and ingenuity that makes Dan Auerbach plainly say, “JEFF The Brotherhood are the next big name in showbiz.”
In the end, Jake and Jamin just want to write great songs, play great shows and inspire fans to rock along with them. For JEFF The Brotherhood, blood is thicker than water—and music runs through the band’s veins.