Written by Chad Taylor
The Other Brothers is the product of frontman Eli Clark, bassist Lorenz Inez and drummer Jason Kadiwhompus. All three musicians have been involved in a diverse array of musical projects around the city, but they've come together to create something that really cooks. Bluesy, dirty and just a little sexy, The Other Brothers are about to be your new favorite band.
One of the guidelines we gave was "if there's a portion of the song you don't like, go ahead and take it out." You guys really took that to the extreme.
Inez: What Eli called it was "an analogue EDM remix". Because when a DJ does something like that, they just leave the hook and cut out everything else.
Inez: We struggled for a while.
Inez: He was like "Aw, I don't want to sing about Jennifer Lopez. I don't care about all of that."
Clark: So we just left the part that we liked, and we built a rock song around it.
Did you come to the decision fairly quickly, that you wanted to just strip down to the hook and build from there?
Clark: We kind of had that idea in the beginning. I really wanted to make it as simple as possible, because we weren't really that into it.
The truth comes out.
Inez: We kicked it around for a while, then finally (Kadiwhompus) came back to practice from the store and we were like 'this is what we want...' and he just kicked off that beat, and it was like 'there it is.'
Clark: Yeah, before that it was like 'just wait till Jason gets here, then we'll know whether or not this works.' It's like old R&B meets new R&B. The structure of an old R&B song, but with some new flair to it that's all rock n roll.
So, Jason, did it ever get to a point where you enjoyed this project?
Kadiwhompus: ...(shrug) yeah. I mean, I was pretty averse to doing anything with Kanye in the first place. But then I came in and they started to tell me about what they were doing, and I just started playing it. Most rap songs don't have a ton of complexity to begin with, so I wanted to kind of keep with that, but give it kind of an old school, big band feel. Because we're all old.
He makes a good point, that rap songs don't tend to be overly complex, at least musically-speaking. Where did you guys pull the riff you settled on?
Clark: Just old, British-style R&B. Dr. Feelgood, that kind of stuff, where it's got a killer groove behind it.
You sent me a real rough cut a few weeks ago. What did you guys change conceptually between then and now?
Clark: Not much.
Kadiwhompus: I think we sped it up a bit.
Did Bryon help shape it?
Clark: Absolutely. We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted, and told him what we were thinking. We were going up there thinking that we were going to have to recombobulate it, or God forbid, piecemeal it all together and spend even more time on it. But nope, he was able to just lay it down.
Inez: When we first started, we were big proponents of singing through the harmonica mic. We liked that distortion. Then, after our first couple shows, we kind of got away from that and into the cleaner vocals. Then when we got up there, Bryon was like 'how about we try one where we sing it through the harmonica mic and layer it over the clean track?' It took it into a different, strange area.
Do you guys see yourselves playing this out at some point?
Clark: It's doable. We may just gut all the lyrics and write our own song around it. Keep that melody and stay around that same area of copywright infringement.
Inez: I told him, 'that'll be the biggest irony here. This will be the song that people hear, and come out to shows demanding to hear.'
Clark: This IS our first professionally recorded material.
Inez: I think Stone Sour had a thing where they would play, like, some jingle or something when they were first starting out, and then people would come to shows looking for it. This could be us for us.
This could be your "Juicy Fruit."
Clark: It could be. It's rocking enough.
Inez: As rap songs go, I like the "Juicy Fruit" jingle a lot more than "Gold Digger."