Turbo Fruits' Jonas Stein Talks Bruise Cruise and New Album
You couldn't pick a better venue to watch Nashville's scuzzy and jangly punk rockers Turbo Fruits perform than Lake Worth haunt Propaganda. It's as if frontman Jonas Stein's dirty, debauched pop ditties were destined to be played on that stage. If you haven't witnessed Turbo Fruits' boozy, frantic, instant-backyard-party-type performances, this is a show that should be marked on your calendar, son.
Stein is a mesmeric frontman who can do some T-Rex-sized riffage while three feet in the air, striking a split leap. (We wonder how many pairs of skinny jeans Stein goes through in a year.) Stein has been plugging away with Turbo Fruits since he started the group in 2006 as a side project to his main gig as part of the frenzied garage-rock, post-riot grrrl licks of Be Your Own Pet.
Despite the band's having undergone a few iterations, Stein has held Turbo Fruits together strongly and has always kept fans coming back for more with a varied sound that blares past garage-rock revival and mixes in the right touch of the Black Lips could-give-a-fuck cadence with the Strokes' fetching effortless hooks.
His band's latest album, Butter, whets the appetites of fans with a bolder rock attack and meaty, buzz-saw guitar strokes. Stein tells us the group just finished its fourth album, but this new record won't be released for several months. Good news, though: A few new, juicy Turbo Fruits numbers just may be added to Stein's set list this Sunday. New Times caught up with him before the show.
New Times: How often has your band toured through South Florida?
Jonas Stein: Turbo Fruits has been through South Florida twice before. It's always a good time!
What are your favorite memories of our weird part of the state?
We played our last show of a 10 week long tour at Bal Harbor Resort and Suites (or something like that) and they put us up in the swankiest rooms I've ever been in. We had been sleeping on floors for over two months straight so it was nice to live the life of luxury for a day. I remember we were all walking around in the fancy bathrobes that came in the rooms. My bass player, Dave, and I both bought nice massages. I'm pretty damn sure the suite they gave us was worth 5 times more per night then what they paid us to play in their front lawn by the beach. Will never forget that one!
You are playing Churchill's, a Miami punk-rock institution. Very different from that...
Yes, I've been there before. I love the vibes. Everywhere else I've been in Miami always seems a little bit too "nice" for rock 'n' roll. I definitely look forward to playing there and getting down with the locals.
So you tells us you're working on a new album, explain how that's coming along?
We finished it! Really excited for the new stuff. Unfortunately it probably won't come out for several more months... But in the meantime, we will make sure we deliver you a taste of some of the songs via live shows, singles, etc.
So you are playing songs from this new album on your current tour?
Yes, we will most likely pick a few of the new songs and blend them into our current set. Our live set usually contains a few songs from every album. We like play songs that we can really nail live.
Last time I saw you guys, it was for the Bruise Cruise kickoff parties a few years back, those were a blast.
I believe we played the first year's kickoff party at Grand Central. That lineup was killer. Off the top of my head: Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Black Lips, Jacuzzi Boys, Turbo Fruits, Surfer Blood, Thee Oh Sees. What a crazy night that was. People from all over the world watching great rock 'n' roll in Miami at Grand Central. Who woulda thought?
How was your Bruise Cruise experience overall, given that you were partly in charge of the event, versus just performing in a band?
The experience was amazing. Very, very hard work and very little sleep. Playing in a band while trying to run a festival was insane. Usually when I get off stage, I get to kick back and have a good time. On Bruise Cruise that was not the case. As soon as I got off stage, I had to get straight back to work and make sure all the other bands were ready to go.
What are the chances that there will be another Bruise Cruise?
I do not have an answer for this. It was an extremely special experience both years that we did it, and it would be great if we could make another one happen at some point in time. Who knows if or when that day would come. I'm not going to say RIP quite yet.
Turbo Fruits. With New Coke and Lazer Puzzy. 8 p.m. Sunday, January 26, at Propaganda, 6 S. J St., Lake Worth. Tickets cost $5. Call 561-547-7273, or visit purehoneymagazine.com. Or catch them this Saturday, January, 25 at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami.
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