The Portland-based band, Fruition recently released their latest album, “Broken at the Break of Day.” It is the companion release to the band’s November release, “Wild as the Night.” The collection’s single, “Dawn” is currently impacting at radio. Influenced equally by acoustic music and rock ‘n’ roll, Fruition is composed of Jay Cobb Anderson (electric guitar, vocals), Kellen Asebroek (piano, acoustic guitar vocals), Jeff Leonard (bass), Mimi Naja (mandolin, electric guitar, vocals) and Tyler Thompson (drums). Their unmistakable vocal blend first revealed itself in 2008 when Anderson tagged along with Asebroek and Naja for an afternoon of busking in Portland. Since that time, they have opened shows for the Wood Brothers, Greensky Bluegrass and Jack Johnson, and appeared at festivals like Telluride Bluegrass, Bonnaroo and DelFest.
This new seven-song album was recorded in between tour dates in Fruition drummer Tyler Thompson’s newly constructed home studio, and like Fruition’s past releases, this collection of songs won’t fit into one box. Although it’s a challenge to categorize, Broken at the Break of Day feels whole because of the band’s dedication to honesty as well as harmony.
“This process was the quickest the band had ever written and recorded the songs,” Thompson says. “All the songs obviously fit either a ‘day’ or ‘night’ theme, but the whole rehearsing and recording process had to be done in about half the amount of time we were used to. That time limitation leant to us not overthinking things, playing instinctually—and all live—in the studio with very minimal overdubs. All the songs are very different, but I think the speedy process naturally created some sonic congruency.”
In addition to the new digital and vinyl releases, Fruition have also announced a slew of new tour dates, adding to their already-busy 2020 schedule. March will find Fruition playing their way through the American South before turning west to Indiana and Missouri on their way to WinterWonderGrass at California’s Squaw Valley Resort.
Catch Fruition On Tour:
Feb. 29-Mar. 1 – Frisco, CO – Subaru Winterfest
Mar. 3 – Charlottesville, VA – The Southern Cafe & Music Hall
Mar. 5 – Knoxville, TN – Open Chord #
Mar. 6 – Nashville, TN – Basement East #
Mar. 7 – Asheville, NC – Asheville Music Hall #
Mar. 10 – Covington, KY – Madison Live #
Mar. 11 – Indianapolis, IN – HI-FI #
Mar. 12 – Louisville, KY – Zanzabar +
Mar. 13 – St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House +
Mar. 14 – Kansas City, KS – recordBar +
Mar. 26-28 – Olympic Valley, CA – WinterWonderGrass at Squaw Valley Resort
Apr. 1 – Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room =
Apr. 2 – Jackson Hole, WY – Pink Garter Theatre =
Apr. 3 – Bozeman, MT – Rialto =
Apr. 4 – Missoula, MT – Top Hat =
Apr. 5 – Sandpoint, ID – Heartwood Center =
May 21 – Axton, VA – Pop’s Farm
May 22 – Martinsville, VA – Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival
June 14 -Laytonville, CA – The Hog Farm Hangout
July 16 – North Plains, OR – Northwest String Summit
Learn more about Fruition in the following All Access interview-
Happy New Year! When it comes to your music, what are you most excited about for 2020?
Performing the new record live, as always -Mimi Naja
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Do you find that your band name still represents you and your music today?
Yes, it was when Kellen, Jay, and I first sang harmonies together. And yes. -Mimi
Yes, when we all first sang together like Mimi said, but also after Tyler entered the band, and finally when Jeff came in to play bass. After that I think we felt more comfortable in our skin, and our capabilities as a group expanded musically. So I guess the name does represent us well still. Mainly because I think we are still growing and flourishing. -Jay Cobb Anderson
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If not, why is that?
Home towns come and go. I’ve had about half a dozen of them throughout my life. It’s more experiences and people that influence me. Average folks who do their jobs everyday, and extraordinary people who dare to live outside of the standards of our crumbling society. So yes it does. And it doesn’t really at all. -Jay
Let’s talk about your latest collection, “Broken at the Break of Day.” Did anything about the process of putting it together surprise any of you?
Yes, it felt the most cohesive creatively-speaking of any of our projects. And yes, the songwriter is the songwriter, but all 5 of us equally arranged and made suggestions and came up with riffs and styles and tidbits that made the final cuts what they are. And they are rad 🙂 -Mimi
I was surprised at how well it all went together, especially with how insane and chaotic the process was. It was stressful and so very exhausting to be recording all of this in the middle of a tour. -Jay
What was it like going into the studio to record the songs on this album? Can you pick out a couple favorite memories during the process?
My favorite memory was having a really challenging emotional day, crying in my iso room, wondering how to be strong and show up and participate. That was when we recorded the song “Do What You Want,” and my job was to make loud and insane feedback electric guitar sounds. It was the only thing I could’ve stepped up to in that moment and it was perfect. -Mimi
Like I said it was stressful. My favorite part of the whole thing was when we were getting set up to record “At The End Of The Day.” I’ve always wanted to have a song that has brooms keeping time on a song, since I saw a Neil Young video where he had someone use a broom as percussion on “Harvest Moon.” So I got to get that little dream of mine out which always feels great. -Jay
What was the inspiration for your current radio single, “Dawn”?
Mimi had a riff and I just started going stream of consciousness with the lyrics. We finished writing it altogether, and in the end it kind of turned into a hectic day described through a bit of psychedelic perspective. I worked hard to get the chorus to try to tie it all together. -Jay
Generally, how does this group go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately? What is the first step in your music-making process?
We try every possible approach we can. -Mimi
This was more of a collaboration writing than anything we’d ever done before. But generally we all write separately in any way possible. For me it can be a poem that turns into a melody, a melody that lends itself to a vibe that entices inspiration to write, or sometimes the sky opens up and the holy whole is bestowed upon you all at once. -Jay
I always like to ask bands if you all hang out socially apart from the music? When you aren’t working on music, do you guys hang out for fun?
Yes, we eat pho and go to the movies. When off tour we don’t live in the same towns, so we send cute dog videos to the group thread. -Mimi
What Mimi said 🙂 -Jay
How do you feel that this band has grown through the years? What has remained the same?
We’re all better humans, and therefore better musicians. We’re all still beautifully sensitive and still love each other immensely, and we’re all still perfectly silly. -Mimi
We have come leaps and bounds from the good-time busking string band we started as. I think really only in the last 3 years have we grown into what we’ve been capable of this whole time. What I mean is we’ve found our sound. We do take the music more seriously, but the rest of the time we are still just as ridiculous and silly as we have always been. -Jay
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
I love both the studio and the stage in very different ways. The studio is a playground to create and I love it more every year. The stage is a place of cathartic release. The problem with the stage is the touring it takes to get to each stage. Touring gets harder as the years go on. There’s a balance somewhere that we are striving to find. -Jay
What do you think makes for an ideal show for this band? What have been some of your favorite shows and venues lately?
Ideal for me would be different than for everyone else. My ideal show for this band is a packed out 500 capacity dive bar. I love the energy of a small room that’s full and raging. The last couple shows we played on this tour were fun and packed raging crowds like I said. One in Philadelphia and another in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh sang a lot of our song lyrics from the last 10 years! That was special. -Jay
With all the different social media platforms out there, how do you balance it all? How do you think that social media has impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize it through the years?
Everyone’s over saturated with information. And the platforms are constantly changing. We just try to keep up, and keep it real as possible. -Jay
What musicians have really been inspiring you all since you first started making music? Who would you still love to work with?
All the classics of course. We all have different musical tastes in the band so it’s different for everyone. For me: The Beatles, Motown, JJ Cale, Tom Waits, Delta Blues, The Kinks, TRex, Gillian Welch, Neil Young, Dave Rawlings, The Band, Folk music, Jack White, Nirvana, The Rolling Stones, the list is ever evolving and too long to put down. Really want to work with Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, and my dream is to work with Tom Waits and or Jack White. -Jay
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I hope that people just connect to the music. I hope that we can inspire healing, entice some good times, help people process whatever they are going through, and also help folks let loose! -Jay