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[Dale Earnhardt] JR JR out with a new band name and album

Sep 23, 2015

Daniel Zott (left) and Joshua Epstein (right) of JR JR
Credit Catie Laffoon

Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr made it big back in 2011 when they covered the song, “We Almost Lost Detroit.”

They went on to play big music festivals with Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo.

The duo is out with a new album and have changed their name to simply, "JR JR".

Band member Daniel Zott says the old band name was confusing to people are familiar with the race car driver with an almost identical name.  

“The band name became like this extra member of the band that wasn’t contributing so we felt like we had to kick him out,” says Zott.

Their latest album, Jr Jr has some power pop songs like “As Time Goes” and “Gone.”

Other songs like “Listening to Outcast June 23 2013” have interesting electronic elements in it. A lot of the instrumentation on the last track on the album was made by distorting an iPone voice memo.

Band member Joshua Epstein says a lot of the songs on this album were produced by the band creating their own samples. They then put those samples on a keyboard and would play them as if they were playing a chord.

What started out as a basement recording project in Detroit is now a fulltime job for Zott and Epstein. They are now with the Warner Brother’s music label, but are still recording and producing their own music in Zott’s basement.

Zott says Detroit has many perks for artists in the city, such as open space and a low cost of living which allows him to dedicate more time to music.

“If you are in New York or Los Angeles, to pay your rent, you would have to have one job or two jobs on the side [in order to make] music,” Zott says. That’s not the case in Detroit.