Brothers, maritime warriors, merengue-dance-off champions, rock and rollers, audio junkies – many are the hats of the Jellyfish Brothers. And in the band's relatively short tenure in South Florida’s ever-expanding music scene, the Jellyfish Brothers have risen as elder statesmen and tastemakers with their seemingly tireless efforts to promote art and music.
Recently compressed into a duo and inches away from their next full-length, Hyper Light Drifter, the brothers, Greg and Eddy Alvarez, have just released a video for their single “Silly Boi” and the effects are hypnotizing, off-kilter and oh-so South Florida.
We had a chance to catch up with burgeoning Jellyfish brother Greg Alvarez to talk about the video, the band, and what’s next for the always-expanding tendrils of the Jellyfish Bros.
New Times: What’s been going on with the band lately? There seems to have been some lineup changes recently.
Greg Alvarez: The band has been nonstop touring. We try to play out of Florida at least once a month and we are playing North Carolina’s Savage Weekend Fest this weekend. Recently, we made the decision of becoming a two-piece and focusing more on the songwriting and the dynamics between the two of us. I also switched my main instrument from guitar to analog synth, giving the band a different and heavier electronic sound. Eddy is still rocking out on the drums giving the whole thing a live electronic punk feel.
It’s been a year since Sentinels of the Space Age. What has been the feedback on the record?
The feedback has been great. We learned a lot from that album and we did all the proper things an indie artist should do with an album release like get mentioned in blogs, tour, and support it. Bufu Records has been crucial in spreading the word out on the album and I feel like it was a good representation of us at that time.
I get a sense of tweaked-out electro in this new track and a slightly more experimental vibe. What is the band’s current musical focus?
The new album Hyper Light Drifter is the first album that’s one hundred percent recorded, mixed, and mastered by us and I feel it is the best work we have done. Every single sound is there for a reason and in a way, it’s way more experimental than our other albums, but it’s also very pop-influenced. I’ve been listening to a lot of Madonna and I finally feel like I found my own voice as a vocalist and Eddy’s having a lot of fun grooving with the synths. So there is just tons of attitude and lyrics in this album as opposed to our other albums which where a bit more instrumental and doomy.
What inspired the video/song?
I’ve been watching a lot of Rick Ross and Stitches videos and I found that in those videos, Miami is always depicted from the perspective of a moving car. Maybe the reason is because I feel like Miamians are always going somewhere and endlessly driving. As soon as they get somewhere they want to be in another place right away.
Also there is a line in the song that goes 'I think I am running circles/Am I running circles?' that made me think of driving around in circles and just thinking and thinking about failed relationships, gravity, and the hold they have on me. It’s a total 'sad boi' song but it’s sung and presented with attitude.
I like the car culture, first-person driver video game feel of it, but I want to know about the piracy, snakes, switchblades and the fact that I can’t un-see the kaleidoscope of Ray Fang at the end there, a credit I guess to his snake-charmer’s ways.
[laughs] Ray Fang represents a lot of things to me in this video. He has been playing and supporting the scene for a long time. He is tireless and always positive about being yourself and rocking out. His band is called Full-Time Motherfucker. There is nothing subtle about that. He is very much a pirate that’s about to take over your ship and rock it out whether you like it or not.
In the video I see him as a metaphor for me and my brother finally doing this by ourselves in the spirit of always finding a way to rock and see past the bullshit, and just being happy with yourself.
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I guess that’s where the switchblade and attitude fall into place.
What’s next for you guys and how soon can we expect a new album/EP?
Bufu Records is going to release the album and we are having an album release party May 16 at Gramps in Wynwood with special guest Guerrilla Toss from Boston. Guerrilla Toss is a band that I’ve been trying to get to play in Miami for about a year. It’s music that I think is going to blow the minds of kids here.
Also playing is Free Pizza, Other Bodies, and Man’s Trash. After that we are planning really cool things for this summer and we are looking to collaborate and tour more with more artists.