Local Lightning Review: Cherub

Cherub brings a dose of electro dance funk to Mercy Lounge…and we talk shop over mimosas at Mad Donna’s

Written by Sarah Sharp
Photography by Josh Carter 

Photo by Josh Carter

Nashville’s electronic music scene is on the rise like a ticking time bomb, ready to explode at any minute, with Nashville’s own avante-guard electro-pop outfit, Cherub, at the forefront.

After releasing their second LP, Mom and Dad, and touring around the country, Cherub returned to Mercy Lounge on Friday to show some love for the city that created all the buzz about them. Nashville was itching to get rowdy for its beloved Cherub boys, Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber.

They’ve come a long way from nights locked away writing music in bedrooms, have relocated from Murfreesboro to East Nashville, and this summer they are embarking on quite the tour, with festival stops at Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, and Forecastle.

I had the chance to sit down with them at Mad Donna’s over lunch and mimosas, and even got to leave with my very own pair of Cherub panties, which they shouted me out for wearing at the show.

Read the Q&A.

Photo by Josh Carter

How do you think you fit into Nashville’s music scene?

Jordan: We don’t, but we do. We definitely have become a forefront for different genres in Nashville. Every time we go somewhere else, people think we’re gonna be twangy, but we do have a very singer-songwriter approach…which is Nashville.

Do you have any plans to leave Nashville?

Jason: We love it here. We’re part of Music City USA, why would we ever move

What sets Cherub apart?

Jason: We play dance music, but we play live instruments. It’s a sweaty dance party, but we’re actually playing.

People compare you to Prince all the time…

Jordan: The fact I can make people think of Prince is super flattering. He has crazy fashion, rockin’ high heels, rips the guitar. My ideal future includes high heels.

How do you go about songwriting?

Jordan: I write all the lyrics.  I don’t want to alienate people. They connect with the lyrics and sing with us. Seeing people everywhere getting a hold of our music is the best feeling.

How do you complement each other?

Jason: Jordan is a little hook machine. What I bring to the project on the production side, and without the network of people in the beginning, we would still be in Murfreesboro not touring.

Jordan: Without Jason I would be making music in my room and burning CDs for people.
Tell me the story behind “Casa del Obispo.”

Jason: We were touring in Mexico for two weeks with Indian Summer Music. We apparently went down in infamy in Querétaro. We threw a rager on the rooftop of our hotel, Casa del Obispo. We found out our promoter, Ed, had to pay off the cops and the newspaper for not slandering us. We can’t wait to go back.
What do your parents think of Cherub?

Jordan: My mom took our logo off one of our condom wrappers and made a Cherub t-shirt out of it. She has never been this supportive of anything I’ve done…even college.

Jason: And some of the content… is….well…we’re open books. We don’t hide anything. The “Love You Right” video is of chicks beating us with bats…and my Mom shows it to her friends at work.
What song do you enjoy performing most?

Jordan: “Hold Me.” I’m still pretty self-conscious about slow songs, especially because people want to get rowdy. We want a live band. I don’t want to lose the crowd. When people don’t dance, I feel like a monkey in a cage.
Now to the important stuff…Cherub’s sexual orientation?

If Cherub were a movie genre?

Jordan: Drama. Because it’s all about the emotions.

Who would play you?

Jordan: Rob Dyrdek

Jason: I get James Franco all the time.


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