Cherub at Bardot Miami June 22
"Read more books" and "fall in love."
We can't help you tick these things off your summer checklist. But if "get freaky" or "get really freaky" is on there, good news: Cherub is on the way.
Nashville's reigning electro-pop party freaks will head to Miami this week, in part because they are touring the new 100 Bottles EP and in part because Miami is where the party is.
But when New Times recently connected with Jason Huber and Jordan Kelley for a conference call, the Cherub dudes were split between two taxis, heading to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, to meet up with members of Grammatik, with whom they had just finished a U.S. tour.
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"When we get to Miami," Jordan said, "I'm going to smack Jason in the face."
"No," Jason corrected his bandmate. "He's going to smack me on the butt cheeks and call me 'Daddy.'"
At the time of this conversation, Cherub was in New York to play the Governor's Ball, one of the many festivals the duo has booked this summer. And Saturday's show at Bardot is merely a one-off squeezed into the schedule because the pair has never played Miami.
Quite remarkably, Jason and Jordan have been world-touring party monsters pretty much since they started. Only a few months after forming Cherub, they toured Mexico.
"We got superlucky," Jordan explained, "to have a promoter who wanted to bring us down and show us a lot of central and southern Mexico. We did a handful of gigs, and it was a really awesome experience.
"It gave us a good perspective," he added. "Instead of whining about being on the road and being like, 'Oh, we don't have the hotel rooms and blah, blah, blah,' we were forced to communicate with people through music and saying, 'Salud,' as we held up drinks."
With all of that communicating via tuneage and partying, do they ever get caught up in the moment when they're off-duty and start talking in the falsetto they use in many of their songs?
"I've never spoken in a falsetto," Jordan insisted. "I never sing karaoke. I'm never singing just in the middle of hanging out, just being superobnoxious and singing Creed songs."
Jason disagreed. "I want to call bullshit on you. I've totally seen you, at an afterparty, jump on the table and start singing."
They took a moment to compare notes on some recent and not-so-recent parties. And eventually, Jordan made something of an admission.
"This was when a DJ was already playing. But it wasn't falsetto, and I was dancing with my shirt off."
After learning that Florida is indeed Creed Country, Jordan made yet another admission: This party freak is actually considering working a cover into Cherub's set.
"My arms will be wide open, and I will embrace it," he promised. "If someone yells, 'Scott Stapp!' or 'Long live the Movement,' I don't care what they say, because I am all about it. We can find a way together."
Then Jordan launched into a Scott Stapp impersonation so convincing that New Times nearly hurled the telephone into the ocean.
"I also do a good Eddie Vedder," he boasted. "You get one down, and the other one takes care of itself."
So far, though, Cherub's music has been marked by a joyfulness that is absent from its clear artistic forebear, Creed's music, making even Stapp's ecstatic Marlins endorsement, "Marlins Will Soar," sound like a funeral dirge (which any Marlins song would sorta have to be).
"I always wonder," Jordan wondered, "about how the songs work out so happy when I'm just sitting in the room, just contemplating what I'm feeling. But 95 percent of the time, I'm pretty happy or chill, and that comes out in the music. Even when we're in our room, the party atmosphere comes out."
And Jason admitted, "Our studio is essentially our home now. So there's not much difference anymore."
Who, then, is the ideal listener that Jordan and Jason would like to invite inside their musical pleasure dome?
Jordan says, "If I'm going to be serious and not just say, 'Oh, some girl who has a big ass and is really hot,' I would just want it to be someone who was really into the music and took it for what it was.
"There are so many [of our] lyrics that are tongue-in-cheek, and some people get frustrated. But I just want people to feel good or feel something. And if it pisses them off, I guess that's feeling something, but I'd rather that they feel good."
When they are recording their music, though, there must be some person they'd really like to hear their songs. Maybe an ex, an idol, a world leader?
"Gallagher!" Jordan exclaimed without hesitation. "And not only because Jason is going to look like Gallagher in 20 years," he laughed. "It's going to happen."
"I've already started stocking up on suspenders," Jason acknowledged solemnly.
Just then, a strange echo and delay ruined this deeply confessional moment, just when Jason's metaphysical Sledge-O-Matic was poised above his very fragile psyche. The Cherub dudes' separate taxis had both arrived at the same time, and the closeness of their phones devastated the conference call with New Times.
There was some panting and static, and then Jordan returned to the line. "I just had to walk away from Jason. We're now on opposite sides of the block."
In response, Jason yelled, "Stay on your side of the corner!" A moment passed. "He just turned around." Then he whispered into the phone: "It's OK. I don't like looking at him anyhow. I make a point of doing it as little as I can."
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