Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber, the only breathing members of the band Cherub, will have lots of technology backing them up when they hit the Varsity Theatre stage on April 16. Even though they are both exceptionally talented musicians, the duo depends on a variety of gadgets to make the most out of their performance.
“We consider our computers members of the band. They don’t ever have adrenaline. The computer always stays at one tempo -- all of the time,” Huber said. “Jordan and I have learned to lock into that.”
While admitting they have locked into the tempo of their computerized bandmates, Huber explained he and Kelley are the composers of Cherub’s music.
“Jordan composes skeletons of songs on his computer. Then we do fun things with audio software. Next, we take the songs into a studio to track the vocals and guitars and mix the record,” Huber said.
With their “Man of the Hour” debut EP, “Mom & Dad” EP and a full length “100 Bottles” album, Kelley and Huber have quite a bit of experience recording and making music. In fact, their onstage sound comes from careful planning of the live shows based on their recordings. After a Cherub album is mixed, they divide the songs up into the portions that they use for live performances.
“When we go from the studio to the live show, we try to stay true to the recordings but also add our own things that people don’t expect to be coming at them,” Kelley said.
Kelley’s fascination with instruments and music came at a very young age.
“I remember how super-obsessed I was with the way electric guitars worked when I was in second grade. My parents are not musicians, so I discovered it on my own, and it stuck with me,” Kelley said.
Kelley, a Lincoln, Neb., native, and Huber, who hails from Durham, N.C., met as students at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The university offers bachelor’s degrees in music business, audio production and commercial songwriting, and both men were pursuing recording degrees when they became friends.
“Toward the end of our college years, we ended up dropping out to do Cherub full time,” Kelley said.
“I personally had gone to school for five and half years before I decided to leave,” Huber added. “I talked to the professors and they gave me their blessing. Once we started getting enough shows to tour, it was really an easy decision to make.”
Because both Kelley and Huber liked traveling across the country and meeting new people, touring became one of the most rewarding aspects for the band.
“It’s really exciting hopping from place to place,” Kelley said. “It’s cool meeting people at shows and having them want to show you their city.
Since hitting the road, Kelley and Huber have played both big and small venues. But no matter the size of the club or crowd, Cherub always looks to make a connection.
“Some of the shows we really love are the ones that have thousands of people, but some other shows we love have only 30 people,” Huber said. “It’s really about getting a connection going with the crowd.”
Cherub opens for Gramatik April 16 at the Varsity. Tickets and more info at VarsityTheatre.com.
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