Turbo Fruits went into their new album, "Butter," ready to "rock 'n' roll and kick us like we've done from day one," according to founder and frontman Jonas Stein. But the Nashville quartet has another purpose in mind for their third release.
"Man, we're ready to start being able to pay our bills," Stein tells Billboard.com. "Our hope is that this record takes us to the beginning of that goal. We always thrive on the road and we're really excited to get out there again, but one of the underlying goals, to be honest, is to be able to make money from touring, merchandising, record sales, just to be able to make ends meet. That's the goal this time."
Stein and company hope that a little more label support this time will help achieve that aim. The group -- which became a quartet in 2010 with the addition of second guitarist Kingsley Brock -- moved to Kings of Leon's Serpents and Snakes Records from Fat Possum, which Stein feels "didn't put too much heart and energy into us 'cause they've got bigger fish to worry about in their pond." The new deal came through label GM Seth Riddle, who Stein knew from his first band, Be Your Own Pet; Stein gave Riddle a copy of "Butter" -- out today, Sept. 11 -- before he took the job at Serpents and Snakes, which led to an invitation to sign with the company subsequently.
"Seth is definitely running things, but it's (Kings of Leon's) label, and they have to approve everything," says Stein. "They're supportive. They've been out to a couple of shows and gave us a little shout-out via Twitter, Facebook...and that always helps. Just them sending out a Facebook post reaches potentially 10 million of their fans, which really helps get the word out. It's really great to have a band of their stature and a band that successful still care about music that's being made in such a smaller circle. It's great to have their support."
"Butter" was recorded during the late summer of 2011 in Austin and produced by Spoon's Jim Eno. Stein says that with the album in the can for more than a year, Turbo Fruits have spent much of the interim working on new material.
"We wanted to stay on the fast track, so we got straight back to writing," he says. The upshot is that the group has "damn near a whole album of music written and demoed," with plans to hit the studio again maybe later this fall, after its first burst of touring to support "Butter."
"We'd like to have a new album out within a year of 'Butter,'" Stein says. "We're excited about 'Butter,' but we've got future plans. I think 'Butter' is a little more accessible than our first two records, and I think this next one will be as raucous as a lot of our other stuff but also more accessible and a more dynamic evolution of what we did with 'Butter.' Over time you start to get tired of being the same thing, so you start to change things up a little bit, which is good. And it's good to know we have a lot of material backed-up already for the next time we go in (to the studio)."