Cherub knows how to have a good time, and they want you to join them. The duo makes an eclectic mix of funk, soul, dance, and pop music, which they initially showcased on their viral hit, “Doses and Mimosas”—a popular dance song of last summer (which is still gaining momentum), with a killer video.
The band—Jason Huber and Jordan Kelley—met during college, where both were studying music, and knew each other for five years before coming together to form their Prince-infused pop-outfit. During those five years, Kelley knew that they would one day be in a band (and Huber would be able to grow a mustache).
Cherub recently signed to Columbia Records and is working on a sophomore album, and in the meantime will embark upon a headlining tour across the U.S. with Carousel as support. We spoke with Jason Huber and Jordan Kelley about their ridiculous tattoos, “champagne and cocaine,” and getting away with anything onstage.
ILANA KAPLAN: Can you tell me about your Antipasto EP?
JASON HUBER: Antipasto was really just us having a fever to put out new music. We put out MoM & DaD in February 2012. Since then we’ve been in the studio making a lot of new music and touring. Antipasto is kind of our appetizer for what is to come. We just signed with Columbia so we wanted to put a project out with them as soon as possible. So, kind of playing off of the success of “Doses & Mimosas” and how it hasn’t reached its full potential, we wanted to put it out on a broader scale as well as putting out new music for the fans to get them ready for everything that is to come.
KAPLAN: What’s it been like working with The Knocks? What was it like having them do the remixes for you?
JORDAN KELLEY: We actually haven’t met them in person, so we’re kind of Internet friends right now. We haven’t really made that connection where we kicked it in real life. They did a great interpretation of the song and I think it turned out really awesome. It was a whole new feel of the song, with the chord progression and everything. It was important that it sound like that because having two songs that sound the same on a four-song EP is really bad.
KAPLAN: You have a full-length coming out this year. Are you guys still recording it?
KELLEY: It was all done, but we just recorded six or seven new songs for it. So, we have more than what is going to go on the album. We’re trying to figure out what to do with it, so we’ll have bonus tracks. This is the first time all of our music will be released internationally. It will be less stressful for us because we’ll have some B-sides and stuff.
KAPLAN: When you came up with “Doses & Mimosas,” were you guys on ecstasy and drunk off of mimosas?
KELLEY: No. We weren’t high or anything when we came up with the song.
HUBER: It was from a dude in a liquor store in Alabama. He was in his mid-40s, and we were buying champagne to go on the beach.
KELLEY: He just said the saying “‘pagne and ‘caine.”
HUBER: He said, “I remember the days of ‘pagne and ‘caine, man.” Then Jordan and I were like, “Yeah. That’s it.”
KELLEY: I thought that guy was cool, and I wrote the rest of it in the rest of Jason’s upstairs room.
HUBER: It was just one of those dudes who was at a festival partying his ass off. We just came up with it.
KAPLAN: Did you guys expect the success that you received from “Doses & Mimosas?” It was such a good summer track.
KELLEY: It’s crazy, it is so ridiculous to me. It personally was never written to be a single or anything like that, but we shot a video for it and that’s what made it get a viral hit, was because the video connected with the music and people could be like, “These dudes are partying in the video, and they’re talking about partying.” It made sense.
HUBER: The only reason we made the video was because the song was well received.
KELLEY: I’m astonished that at how far this ridiculous song has made it, which is a Catch-22 because we like making songs that are more heartfelt and serious. I think it makes people take us less seriously.
KAPLAN: How do you guys categorize yourselves genre-wise? I feel like “Doses and Mimosas” falls into pop music, but you said that you do like making songs that are more “heartfelt and serious”?
KELLEY: We lump us into pop music. Obviously we have electronic elements us and it’s dancey, but we slow things down and use a lot of organic elements as well.
HUBER: Especially on some of this new music: it’s slower and focused on songwriting.
KAPLAN: So, what’s the story behind Cherub as the name of the band?
KELLEY: [laughs] My cousin has a cute baby nephew and I never heard the word before. She used it to describe him. I was going to make up a story, but I’m not gonna do it. He’s this little, chubby guy, and he dresses so awesome. He’s just this little cherub. We have to show you these e-cards that were made for us. They’re little hand-drawn cherubs, and they look pretty weird.
KAPLAN: You should send valentines to your fans or use them as your album covers. I heard you have some funny tattoos. Care to share?
KELLEY: We have lots of them.
HUBER: We enjoy tattoos. We both have a set of ridiculous tattoos. They don’t seem ridiculous to us. I have a watermelon being eaten by a rat that has a champagne bottle and a Lego man. Jordan has a mer-kitten on his leg: half mermaid, half kitten. It’s lactating into a dog bowl.
KELLEY: I’ve started getting pedicures because they’re awesome. Every time we go to get pedicures the lady looks at me like I’m crazy. I also have this tattoo that says “New Twat City Bitch.”
KAPLAN: Was it a stick and poke?
KELLEY: I don’t know. I’m going to say it is.
KAPLAN: I don’t think that I’ve seen any tattoos that ridiculous.
HUBER: We have “MoM and DaD” tattooed on our asses for our album.
KELLEY: Jason showed his dad on stage at one of our shows.
HUBER: I was like, “Hey, Dad, is this weird?” I showed him “DaD” was tattooed on my ass. He was like, “congratulations.”
KELLEY: You can get away with saying anything to your parents on stage because they’re not comfortable. They’ll be like, “Oh, good one.” If I ever have any really terrible drug addiction, I’m going to go on stage and say it.
ANTIPASTO IS OUT NOW. CHERUB BEGINS THE BLOW’D TOUR WITH CAROUSEL TOMORROW, MARCH 1. FOR MORE ON THE BAND, PLEASE VISIT ITS WEBSITE.