Like many garage-rock bands, Nashville’s Turbo Fruits have a reputation for partying hard and a catalog of music aimed at listeners with a similarly hedonistic bent, but on their upcoming LP No Control they show a much different side.
“This one is kind of a departure from raucous, party lifestyle and moves into something a little more real,” says front man Jonas Stein. “A lot of it is about heartbreak. It’s pretty easy to talk about partying and rock ‘n’ roll and having a good time. As we all get older life gets a little more real.”
The album’s lead single is emblamatic of this shift. “The Way I Want You” is more subdued than their previous work, but the melodies show a newfound refinement and it delivers an emotional weight that their early stuff lacked.
For the video, director Stewart Copeland gave Stein’s emotional travails a very literal, very physical manifestation. “The song has a controlled intensity that fit well with the slow-motion physicality of jiu-jitsu,” he says. “Molly [Dupertuis] is a competitive MMA fighter from Tennessee, and I’m so thankful she agreed to do the video. She took the time to walk Jonas through the holds and throws before she would do them, but when the camera was rolling she didn’t hold back. Jonas got body slammed hard, over and over, for about four hours. He was a good sport about it.”
“I was trying to be nice,” Stein recalls, “but I was also talking smack to her a little bit. She had to teach me how to fall. She’d choke me out. I had to tap her on the side to let her know I couldn’t breathe any more. I was definitely sore for a week or two after that. It’s a good physical metaphor for a toxic relationship I was in. I was mentally getting my ass whooped.”
No Control, which was produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, is out April 20 on Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers, and is available for pre-order now.