In ancient Greece, the orchid was a symbol of virility. With the swagger of their long locks and
bell bottomed flares the Brittany brothers of Jet Black Orchid ooze 70’s inspired virility indeed.
Not only do their outfits come straight of the psychedelic age but so do their namesakes. Rio is
on guitar, Jagger on drums, and Gunnar with lead vocals and sensational bass.
Not only do they pass as punk rock virile, they represent some very cool early rock n’ roll just by their birth names. I got the chance to ask Gunnar if he felt they were destined for musical
stardom and his answer was right on the money. “Yea I think so. I think definitely so. The three
of us are brothers so I think when they (their parents) named us, that’s something they had in
mind. Our names have definitely set us apart and if it wasn’t music, it was definitely going to be
something in the entertainment business.
If you look at their Reverb page or JetBlackOrchid.com you’ll see that a huge influence was the
one who petitioned for those fabulous himself, the guys’ dad. It’s not uncommon for young
musicians to steal some records from the Pop’s collection, but starting out with The Rolling
Stones, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin is always a step in the right direction.
Jet Black Orchid doesn’t wanted to penned in though just as a garage rock band. “I guess we like
to consider ourselves a rock blues and funk and a little bit of soul mix. James Brown was also a
big influence. Rock and blues base with a little funk and blues. And naturally being younger we
draw in more modern influences, and have a little bit of a more modern flare.”
Of course the emphasis is on flare, and even though they may remind you of Nashville favorites
The Black Keys or The Kills’ poised psychedelics, that’s good company to be in on the global
scale. But don’t let their potential for main stream awesomeness fool you, these guys are the real
deal, even down to Gunnar’s base. If you dig deep enough into the reaches of youtube, you will
find Gunnar playing a Paul McCartney style violin bass. “I use it from time to time. When we
were out in LA I got a new bass and that’s what I use now.”
Not only do they keep it unique with their personas and gear, the video for “Na Na Na” (which
happens to be Indie Ville TV’s theme song) has the guys jumping around in milk carton masks.
Somehow Jet Black Orchid are fusing originality and punk rock personalities, with their smooth,
sultry rock tunes. And it’s no wonder the band’s sound is so polished, it would be after spending
their early years in dive bars and clubs of Kentucky.
“In Louisville we’ve definitely seen even in the years we’ve been playing, the music scene has
definitely grown. Playing in the scene we were like 15-16 playing in different bars, we’ve def
seen a lot of fights. For us we’ve found that kind of scene, the grittier scene gave us a chance to
kind of cut our teeth and what we found is rehearsing is one thing but actually playing… what
works in rehearsal doesn’t always work live. That was really invaluable to us especially in that
gritty bar environment. It gives you a chance to make mistakes. We’ve played for a bunch of bikers and it wasn’t really a forgiving scene.”
From humble club beginnings the guys eventually recorded an album here in Nashville in 2014.
“It was a home studio with a friend of ours who is a country artist. The past decade he’s been
building it. We knew him from years back and he gave us cart blanche in the studio and let us
record. It took us a month or two to track everything in his studio, and it was actually funny for
payment, he had a couple shows, so we moonlighted as a country band.”
Now that’s dedication. What they tracked turned out to be huge potential hits. “Na Na Na” is
Indieville’s favorite, “Curious Creature,” is the front man’s own (“For me as a performer it’s a
really fun one to do”), but I think the stand out song on the self titled album is for sure “Fever.”
Not only have the men of Jet Black Orchid have some heavy hitters for your playlist, they have a
Southwest-West tour under their belt. “We saw a few things. We stopped on cool places along
the way.” Some of those places including the historic Kibitz Room and The Mint. “The Kibitz
Room, it’s been around from the 1930’s. That place was cool, it was a small place but has got a
lot of history. We walked in, handed the bartender a cd, and got the date later that day.”
Talk about Rock N’ Roll. These guys have confidence, and some major candor. True musicians
at heart they played a show on the Santa Monica Pier for passersby. “We went and set up there a
couple days in a row. We basically built a dolly and played for the people walking . It was a lot of fun.”
Jet Black Orchid’s shows often turn into parties. From Albany to Southern California, these
Kentucky boys bring a show, and new music. “During our most recent tour out west we wrote a
lot of new songs, so coming up soon we plan to start releasing a few new eps with our new music on them.”
As for success Gunnar says the goal is to “Just get as successful as we can. What we aim to do as a living and everything and not put any sort of limit on it and just go as far as we can. That’s the agreement.”
We hope the agreement includes a Nashville show here in the fall and some new music, along
with their self titled “Jet Black Orchid” at the merch stand.
For now, you can find more of their music on all of the usual sites. Reverb, Facebook, Instagram
and Twitter @JetBlackOrchid, and of course for all the latest JetBlackOrchid.com