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Mothership Celebrates Family, Rock’s Diverse Streams

Courtesy photo

Texas trio Mothership features brothers Kyle and Kelley Juett, and although it's not unheard of for siblings to play in bands together, Kyle Juett points out that he and his brother share bonds that run beyond their bloodline or music.

“My brother and I have always been into the same things,” he says. “We’ve always dove into the same bands at the same time. Our father always listened to good rock ‘n’ roll.”

Early on, the brothers recruited their father to fill out the band's lineup.

“Our dad played drums,” Juett recalls. “We said, ‘Come and sit behind the kit and come up with something for this.’ I started booking four-hour gigs, we learned a bunch of covers—ZZ Top, Johnny Winter, a whole bunch of old blues, old rock ‘n’ roll stuff. We played a lot of biker bars. They used to tell us that we couldn’t play any originals, but we were very sly about sneaking in our Mothership demos in a four-hour set. We’d go from a Johnny Winter song into a Mothership song into a ZZ Top song without even stopping.”

When their dad left the band, the Juetts recruited their friend Judge Smith on drums. Though he didn't share the same last name, the Juetts welcomed him as one of their own.

“There’s a common music theme with both of our families,” Juett says. “We definitely have parents that listen to great rock music, that listen to great records, that even played instruments. That paved the way for us. The final piece of that puzzle is them being able to support their kids wanting to follow their dreams and wanting to get out there and just say that you lived.”

He adds, “We don’t know what the future holds for what we do and what’s going on now with the band, but what we do know is that we have such a great support system of love back home that it makes it easier for us to get in the van and go on the road knowing that we don’t have the angst back home of having family that thinks we need to grow up and get a real job or grow up and do whatever. We don’t have any of that negative energy toward what we do.”

The band's latest effort is titled High Strangeness and has already been earning praise in the critical community and among Mothership's dedicated fan base. Juett points out that one question has plagued the group almost from the start: What is the exact brand of music the band plays?

“We can’t really tell someone that we play in a rock ‘n’ roll band because it’s followed by 15 different questions about ‘What kind of rock ‘n’ roll? What do you mean when you say that?’” he says. “I think that there’s a lot of writers and a lot of people who have reviewed our album who all take a little bit something different out of what they hear in our band. Really, it’s kind of a compliment. That’s what Mothership is: We are inspired by blues, classic rock ‘n’ roll, some heavy metal, some hard rock. Everything from Black Sabbath to Johnny Winter down to Stevie Ray Vaughan and everything in between. The easiest thing for us to do is just tell people that we play in heavy rock ‘n’ roll band just hope that they know what that means.”

Mothership's High Strangeness is out now. The band performs Monday evening at The Elbow Room.


Jedd Beaudoin is the host of Strange Currency. Follow him on Twitter @JeddBeaudoin.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.