Turbo Fruits Talk New Album, Strange Influences and Vinyl

'I went back to Enya’s greatest hits with a fresh pair of ears and turned it up really loud'

Matt Hearn, Dave McCowen, Kingsley Brock and Jonas Stein of Turbo Fruits pose for a portrait at the 2011 Bruise Cruise Festival on February 28th, 2011 at sea.
Roger Kisby/Getty
September 8, 2012 4:08 PM ET

Lil Wayne, ‘70s soul and Enya: this is the "weird shit" Jonas Stein of Turbo Fruits was listening to while writing and recording Butter, their forthcoming record and the latest release on Serpents and Snakes, the label founded and maintained by Kings of Leon.

"Rock and roll is our first love," says Stein, "but I was trying to listen to stuff that was still getting me off. I wanted to hear something that was totally unattached. It made me feel really weird, so I went back to Enya’s greatest hits with a fresh pair of ears and turned it up really loud."

Whatever it was about rap or Celtic crooning, the weirdness worked, as the wall of noise Butter delivers is a roughly 34-minute barrage of furious riffs and driving anthems that come together in a solid, straightforward body of sound. Produced by Jim Eno of Spoon and with the endorsement of the aforementioned Followill family of Kings of Leon, Butter serves as a coming out album of sorts for the Nashville rock quartet – a debut Stein’s been waiting for since the inception of the band six years ago.

"It took three years for me to find a permanent lineup, and in the three years since then we’ve really grown together," says Stein. "The dynamic solidified. I’d say this third record was a bit more of a communal writing experience than the first two – more people chimed in on this one. We were just way more prepared. I’ve never been more prepared for recording a record in my life. We had a no-mess, non-stop work ethic. The first song on the album, 'Where The Stars Don’t Shine,' was recorded live with no overdubs. We were just like, no bullshit, no fuckin’ around, this is the way we’re starting off the record."

With plans to do a run of Butter on vinyl as well – pressed on butter-colored wax, naturally – Stein’s thrilled that the album’s going to be Serpents and Snakes’ #001. "It’s an evolved type of record label – where everyone’s really in it together – and I’m just excited to be at the beginning of [the label]," he says. "I don’t care if people want to listen to it on mono, or digital, or steal it, whatever: I just want it to be pumping through their stereo system. It’s very important to me that the vinyl is there for people who do want the vinyl."

So, does he have "Orinoco Flow" on wax?

"Ohhhh. No. But I should. That has to exist."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

More Song Stories entries »