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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."

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