INTERVIEW: Frederick The Younger’s Jenni Cochran & Aaron Craker talk about “Human Child” + more!

Vintage pop rockers Frederick The Younger are ready to release their debut full-length album Human Child, which is due out this Friday, February 3rd. To celebrate the new record the band will be performing the same day (2/3) at Headliners alongside Joann + The Dakota & Voodoo Economics (go here for more details on the event). Get a preview of the album by listening to their killer lead single “Horoscope” below:

The track has a major psych-pop infliction to it leaning on minimalistic, reverb soaked guitar riffs and Jenni Cochran’s energetic, booming voice which in my opinion has been the main attraction every time I’ve seen/heard FTY. It’s also worth mentioning that this song (and album as a whole) was produced by Kevin Ratterman, so you know immediately that you are guaranteed a first-class listening experience here. Hell yes.

To get you properly hyped on the release of Human Child and their show this Friday, we reached out to Jenni and Aaron Craker to see if they’d answer a few questions…

Never Nervous: How did Fredrick The Younger come to be? Is there an interesting origin story?

Jenni Cochran: I met Aaron when I first moved to Louisville in 2011. I saw his band Dr Vitamin play and it blew me away. I had a lot of songs I had written and I wanted him to sing them. I didn’t think of myself as a singer. We started working on songs together and he asked me if I wanted to join the band, which was great because I just wanted to be around him all the time. Dr Vitamin broke up in 2013 and a year later we started Frederick The Younger.

NN: Tell us about your new record, Human Child. How did you approach it differently than in the past with last year’s Warm Front EP?

Aaron Craker: The Warm Front EP is a collection of songs that we recorded at different times and at different studios. Most of it was recorded live and doesn’t have a lot of overdub. Our new album was recorded at La La Land and has a little more production. We cut a lot of it live and then went back and just started piling on the layers. I really focused on getting more interesting sounds and textures on this album.

“He (Kevin Ratterman) always has a lot of creative ideas and knows how to find out-there sounds.”

NN: What was it like working with Kevin Ratterman at La La Land? What did he bring to the table?

AC: Kevin’s great. He always has a lot of creative ideas and knows how to find out-there sounds. He had the idea for me to play “LP” on synth instead of the piano and it really transformed the song. He also played drums on “LP” and “Leaves Are Gone” which we plucked from a session we did a couple of years ago. Anne Gauthier also did a lot of the tracking on this album. Her and Kevin make a great team.

NN: I’m fascinated by band names and how they are decided on. Where does the name “Frederick The Younger” come from?

JC: Band names are hard. It took us a while because we didn’t like each other’s ideas. I was reading a biography of Frederick the Great at the time. I bum-rushed Aaron while he was at work and yelled “what about Frederick the Younger” and he was like “yeah, okay.” And that was that.

“I did some experimenting with how I sing on this record and a lot of it is very sassy.”

NN: How would you describe the music that FTY makes to someone that hasn’t heard you?

JC: We say “Feisty sunshine rock.” Someone described our music as “feisty” in a blog and I think that’s pretty accurate. I did some experimenting with how I sing on this record and a lot of it is very sassy. We also call it “sunshine rock” because a lot of it is “feel good” and energetic.

NN: After the release of Human Child, what’s next for FTY? Touring? More records? Music videos?

JC: All of the above! We will be touring through the end of the year. We are working on our material for our next record now. I’m very excited about it. And we will release some music videos soon.

NN: Do you have anything special planned for you record release show this Friday (2/3)?

JC: Yes! 1200 is going to be joining us on a song. Matt Meyers, Scott Carney, Jeremy Perry and Zach Driscoll are going to play a special set at the end with us. And there will be some surprises.

NN: Are there any bands in Louisville that have been tickling your fancy as of late?

AC: Yes; Joann + the Dakota, Quiet Hollers, Nellie Pearl, 1200, James Lindsey, Otis Junior, Dr. Dundiff, Brenda, Kaleidico, Twin Limb, Voodoo Economics, Boa, Jack Holiday and the Westerners, The Fervor, Black Birds of Paradise, Murals, Lazy Sunday…to name a few.

NN: Tell us about the best show you attended in Louisville that your band wasn’t a part of. What bands were playing, what venue, and what was so damn great about it?

AC: Bahamas at Zanzabar in 2015 was an amazing show. They were one of the best sounding bands I’ve ever heard. His songs are simple but very nuanced and expressive. I’ve never been that captivated by a show from start to finish. The whole audience felt it.

“It would be really healthy if we had other hobbies.”

NN: What non-music things have you excited lately?

JC: It would be really healthy if we had other hobbies.