Hard work paying off for Nashville band
By John Flannagan
Nashville band *repeat repeat has been making a steady climb toward widespread recognition. If its wildly entertaining day one set at Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta is any indication, it is poised for a major breakthrough in the very near future.
However, the group remains humble, as its members have worked hard to be where it is, a fact that isn’t lost upon the husband-and-wife team behind the music, Jared and Kristyn Corder. BLANK caught up with *repeat repeat backstage one day after the band’s Shaky Knees performance in order to discuss how it has distinguished itself from the crowd in a congested Music City music scene.
As it took to the Criminal Records Stage at half past noon on Friday, it was apparent that *repeat repeat was the right band to kick off the proceedings. While that time slot isn’t always ideal at a festival due to smaller crowds and/or heat, neither did anything to lessen the band’s energy or gratefulness on the day. “We always try to put on the biggest, best show no matter what,” Jared explains. “When you’re spending your hard-earned money and taking time out of your valuable life to come and see this thing that we created … it’s taken some getting used to.”
As our conversation continues, I mention the buzz surrounding the set, to which Jared responds, “That’s amazing and exciting to hear … we’re never looking to be in someone’s top three of whatever. We just want a place at the table, so shows like yesterday really vindicate us.”
Knoxville readers will be interested to know that *repeat repeat has a special tie to the Scruffy City. The group has performed in Knoxville a few times, most notably at Rhythm N’ Blooms in 2015 – its first-ever festival appearance. “To have [the] Pilot Light packed front to back, we were like ‘Oh, this is what festivals are like; this is a full room of people,'” says Kristyn. The group also played a Knoxville Music Warehouse secret show, which the couple describes fondly. “I remember playing to a ton of people at that show with no [air conditioning], and there was a connection between us and the fans,” Kristyn recalls. “That show was a highlight.”
Every touring band has to tie up loose ends before it hits the road, but the process is a little more intense with *repeat repeat. The couple owns 11 rescue animals – including a horse. When asked who is looking after the couple’s pets while they are at Shaky Knees this weekend, Kristin explains that “best friends and fellow rockers Waterfall Wash step in when we step out of town as the cool aunt and uncle.” (Check out Waterfall Wash, which also has graced Knoxville stages, here.)
As mentioned previously, it can be tough to find a way to be visible in Nashville, so I ask what attributes *repeat repeat has that have made it successfully stand out from the crowd. “First off, I don’t think we’re over the hump,” Jared replies. “We try not to take anything for granted. When we’re listed on a poster … now the work starts, but that’s exciting for us.
“It’s changed over the years, but what I’ve learned is: You just try to work harder than anybody else. You’re not going to, but you try. And if that person is working until 3 a.m., then you work until 3:30. You try to work harder than everyone else, and you try to be more patient than everybody else.”
Jared explains that the formula for *repeat repeat is 45 percent patience, 45 percent hard work and 10 percent luck. With regard to that hard work, Kristyn says, “Because it’s the two of us together as a family, we’ve forfeited a lot. We don’t go on vacations … it’s nonstop.”
Regarding patience, “It’s like making a stew,” Jared says. “You do all the work, and then you have to let the flavor simmer. That is a really hard part.”
As we wrap up and head back out to enjoy another beautiful afternoon of music, Jared adds one more tidbit, “The keys for Nashville – or any scene, really – is, ‘If you think you could be working harder, then you probably could be.’ I try to go to bed every day feeling like I worked as hard as I could … I’ll sleep when I die.”
Immediately following Shaky Knees, *repeat repeat will head into the studio for three days of recording. It also will be performing at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee, and at Sloss Festival in Birmingham, Alabama, this summer.
Find more information about the band at www.repeatrepeatmusic.com.