Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Interview: Jason Brewer of the Explorers Club

The Explorers Club is one of my favorite bands. I have wanted to interview them for years and I finally had the chance!

The Explorers Club are a pop band that sound a lot like the Beach Boys with perfectly in pitch vocal harmonies and unbelievably catchy hooks in all of their songs. They released their debut album "Freedom Wind" on the Dead Oceans label in 2008 and since then I have been so incredibly anxious for new music from the guys. Thankfully NEXT WEEK the Explorers Club will be returning with new music in the form of three exclusive "suites" of music that will be available through Amazon.com beginning next TUESDAY, October 25th when the "California Suite" will become available. Keep checking explorersclubmusic.com for more information!

I am so excited for these suites! I watched the promotional video below and it will feature a cover of the Burt Bacharach song "Walk On By" (also covered by the Beach Boys in 1968), the song Hitchin' A Ride as well as two "under construction" mixes of songs from their soon to-be-released new album "Grand Hotel" that will be available on Rock Ridge Music.

Jason Brewer is the principle song writer for the Explorers Club. He is the Brian Wilson of the band. I admire him a heck of a lot. He reminds me of Brian Wilson in a lot of ways; teaching his band members the vocal harmonies and meticulously rehearsing each part over and over again, giving suggestions to make the sound just the way he hears it in his head. I imagine him coming into band rehearsals and recording sessions with brand new songs in his hands anxious to show them off to the guys.

I have probably listened to the Explorers Club's 6 song EP and their debut full-length "Freedom Wind" a million times. I seriously spin the Explorers Club as often as the Beach Boys (and that is saying a lot). I don't think the Explorers Club are copy cats, I think they are pop fanatics, just like me and I think to label them as anything but fantastic is a poor judgment call.

I love the Explorers Club and I am absolutely giddy to share this interview with Jason Brewer!


1. When and where did the Explorers Club form?

Jason: We formed in 2005 in Charleston, SC in Dave Ellis' (one of the band's singers and multi-instrumentalists) backyard.

2. Are you [Jason] the only song writer in the band?

Jason: I am the only songwriter in the band, but I collaborate with Troy Stains and Mike Williamson - two songwriter friends of mine.

3. Besides the Beach Boys and the Beatles, who are some other big influences for the Explorers Club?

Jason: Herb Alpert, Neil Diamond, The Bee Gees, Burt Bacharach, CSNY, Andy Williams, The Grass Roots, The Turtles, The Zombies, Dan Penn, Joe South, ABBA, Frankie Valli, Bob Crewe, Roger Nichols, Paul Williams, Jimmy Webb, Glen Campbell, Booker T and the MGs... too many to name!

4. Your self titled, 6 song demo cd, where was it recorded and who mixed and mastered it?

Jason: It was recorded in too many places to name - a lot of it was done with my friend Troy Stains in Atlanta, GA. We mixed it ourselves. It was most likely mastered by Kevin Crothers in Charleston. That was WAY TOO LONG AGO.

5. What was the process like of getting signed to Dead Oceans and recording Freedom Wind?

Jason: They saw us play at SXSW in 2007 and signed us on the spot. We spent that summer making our record with Matt Goldman in Atlanta, GA. We really explored vocal harmonies and sound combinations to get that classic sound down just right.

6. What praise have you received that meant the very most to you so far (for example, if Brian Wilson told me he liked my music, I would cry)?

Jason: I think Brian [Wilson] calling me was real special. I also felt like our review in UNCUT magazine by Bud Scoppa was a career highlight so far. Singing with Darian and Nelson from Brian's band at the Troubadour in LA was very special.

7. What makes your new CD "Grand Hotel" that is about to be released different from "Freedom Wind"?

Jason: It is the REAL Explorers Club. It is our own sound. It is harmonies, classic pop sounds, lighthearted spirit and most remarkably - it's own VERY unique sound that is new and classic all at once. It is a musical vacation.

8. Are you going to buy the Smile Sessions by the Beach Boys when it released in November?

Jason: I plan to camp by my mailbox from now until it is delivered.

9. What are you planning to do after your next album is out? Tour? Record more? Take a break?

Jason: We will play shows and hopefully make a new record REALLY fast to follow it up. I already have two concepts half written for two more albums... get ready!

Listen to this tasty groove:
Do You Love Me? by expclub

and visit their website explorersclubmusic.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Eric, for letting me know this AWESOME band!!! I think it is going to became one of my favs too.
So good you could fulfill one of your dreams.