Angelo Petraglia and Eulene Sherman of The Jane Shermans are looking to bring raw rock 'n' roll back into the mainstream. You might know Angelo for his work developing a little band called Kings of Leon, co-writing their first two albums and producing much of their work. Now he steps out from behind the curtain and on to the stage with Eulene, whose sultry, textured voice and tight bass lines bring forth the spirit of a true rock 'n' roll chanteuse. 

Music Times chatted with the duo ahead of their LouFest set to talk about their beginnings as a band, their forthcoming album, the intensity of their live show, and the future of rock.

Music Times: Can you tell me a little about how you the band got together?

Eulene Sherman: The truth is our music collaboration began with Sunday morning coffee jams, often in our pajamas in our studio at home where we would just rock out. Suddenly we realized we were writing songs together and we began to kind of focus it in. It was just a completely organic process.

MT: How did you and Angelo Petraglia originally meet?

ES: Nashville is a pretty small. Angelo and I would kind of see each other around the music clubs. So we knew about each other and what the other was doing separately at the time. So we began to chat. There really wasn't a plant to work together. He shared one song, I shared one song and it just kind of happened.

MT: Was the band just the two of you at the time?

ES: Yes. It was just Angelo and I. It's always been us. Our drummer has been with us for a while, but he is not a collaborator. We've just recently added a horn section and three background singers. So they are just jumping in on what's been in place.

MT: Where did the Jane come from in the Jane Shermans because that's not your first name.

ES: No. It's a family name. We were jumping around trying to come up with a band name. Of course we had a long list, and we kind of had "The Jane Shermans" in there. Jane is somebody in my family. It just stuck. It was just like wow we love that. We slept on it a bunch of nights, and it kept rising to the top.

MT: You've put out the single "Shotgun," but what else are you working on right now?

ES: We have a record in the can but we don't have a release date for it. We are chatting with a bunch of people right now. We are working with a guy Pete Anderson over at APA agency. We are basically building our team and holding the record until we have the full support underneath us. But we are always writing and we're always moving forward. We just did a couple showcases. We did a showcase at the Mercury Lounge in New York, and we did a showcase out at the Viper Room in LA. But of those were really killer. We've been in Nashville for a while, and we've played a few things out of town but it's really been good for us to get out of town as well.

MT: We've previously heard "Shotgun," but can you tell me what the rest of the record sounds like?

Angelo Petraglia: "Shotgun" is going to be on the new record. It has a certain kind of style to it that I think works on the record but it's not totally representative of the other songs. It has a little bit more high energy almost a rockabilly feel to it at times. It fits right in with everything. Being so entrenched in the songwriter tradition, the record goes a few different ways, but seems to have a very strong thread through it -- one being Eulene's bass playing and her singing. So I think it all fits really well together. We're really excited about getting it out.

MT: Were there any themes that inspired your lyrics on the record?

AP: Lyrically I think we are pretty much in the moment as far as what's going on with us at the time. So we always have to be able to somehow relate it to what's going on with us. Either it's happening to us or we see something happening that we're feeling in the world. We aren't out on a certain mission as far as lyrically. We just write about things we are feeling, things we like and we are inspired by classic songwriting.

MT: Having a strong background as a producer, do you approach your songwriting with that mindset?

AP: I try to get out of my producer head a little bit and not think about it so much or over think it. I kind of just get into being in a band and getting back to the garage and kind of just feeling it. Of course it's always nice with the stuff I've been through, I'm able to kind of take advantage of what I know and the tricks I've learned in the studio. Overall, I try to look at it like, "Hey, I'm 15 and trying to be in a rock band again."

MT: Did your experience working with Kings of Leon inform what you wanted to do with The Jane Shermans?

AP: Kings of Leon came along a little later in my life as a musician. I don't know if you know the whole story but Kings of Leon started in my living room you know, which is when I first met Nathan and Caleb [Followill] the drummer and the singer. They were brought to me for me to help write with them because my number one gig over the years has been a songwriter. So they came to me 13 years ago, and they hadn't done anything. They weren't Kings of Leon yet. I sat down and wrote with them, and the three of us wrote the first Kings of Leon record. Around that, Kings of Leon was formed. Then they got their little brother in and their cousin and kind of grew to what they are now. So I was kind of mentoring them in a sense, teaching them about everything from what a vintage amp is to this is The Clash and this is Exile On Main Street and this Beggar's Banquet and this the Velvet Underground. Because they had come from a Pentecostal church background where they weren't really exposed to any rock 'n' roll. So I took them under my wing and out of that living room grew Kings of Leon. Along the way, I kind of jumped out of the songwriting seat after the second record and just more into the full-on production side of things.

MT: Once you and Eulene started working together, did you have a concept in mind like with Kings of Leon?

AP: It wasn't put together as a concept. It was more a natural flow of things happening. Eulene at first was playing guitar then she started playing bass and took that up really quickly. So the sound of The Jane Shermans and anything I had lent to the Kings of Leon in their growth I guess I take it wherever I go. Whatever I have that makes me "me," that I brought to the Kings of Leon or that I bring to The Jane Shermans or Eulene brings to the Jane Shermans, is something I kind of ... I mean of course you always fall back on your experiences and your other playing you've done in your life, but pretty much you kind of just got to let it happen so it comes off as real as opposed to manufactured.

MT: What are you aiming for with your live shows?

AP: Yeah I think the live shows are getting more and more exciting. It had always been a three piece, which was new for me personally because I had never played in a three-piece before, and musically I understand now that you end up having a much bigger job with a three-piece because everybody's got to fill their spot or it's very obvious if they're not. So everyone kind of has to come with their best game. Overall, the shows have been pretty wicked and in your face. The music is loud and song-driven, so we thought it would be nice to add the horns and the girls, which has gone over real well. We've only done three shows with it, so we're excited about coming to LouFest. People seem to really dig the show. There is a lot going on, but there is also a lot of focus. It's not a jam band; it's very intentional and specific as far as everybody walks into what they're doing. Underneath the groove is great. Josh is an amazing drummer, kind of a mad man on the drums. So yeah, it's high energy but it also has its quieter moments, when it focuses in.

MT: So it's like a real "rock" show.

AP: Yeah. It's kind of old school in that way. We kind of like that. The horns have a cool effect, and they seem to make people want to get up and move around. The horns are more in a section, so they aren't improvising all over the place like a funk band or anything. It really supports the rhythm section, so it feels really good.

MT: Where do you see rock 'n' roll headed these days and what does it take to be successful in that genre?

AP: I hope it's coming back around. I think it's one of the more exciting parts of the music scene. As far as where it's headed. I wish I had the other answer because I can't predict. I think kids are starting to get off on instruments again. I love electronic music too, but I think it's cool to see bands out there making mistakes and playing out of tune and playing not in perfect time because all of those mistakes are where you really feel things you know. The beauty is in the scars and the individuality. If everyone's playing the same BPM, and nobody ever goes out of tune because of Autotune... you know, we' just like to keep it real. I think kids right now are getting back into that. So hopefully that's a trend.

ES: Yeah as much as I do love all of the sort of Irish influence which is now considered rock music, it's a little folksy for old school rock. So my hope is that the trend is going to swing back. Certainly there is a sure lack of female fronted artists that anyone can really talk about right now. That's kind of a shame, and hopefully the business and the powers that be can help bring some focus to that and allow some females to come forward because there are girls out there doing really good work and you know there is no Blondie out there anymore. There's no Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders there's nobody getting a shot. So anyway that's a long ramble for what we hope for the sake of all to see happen.

MT: Yeah it seems like the only women getting recognized are in pop, and then they are generally pinned against one another.

ES: Yeah it's all kind of based in the Top 40. Like Taylor Swift went from the country girl who now says she's going to do pop and stay on top. So the Top 40 thing is its own planet. It's these super slick produced records, many that I love by the way, but hopefully there will be a swing here soon.

You can check out The Jane Shermans' LouFest set Saturday, September 6 from 1:45-2:30 p.m. at the BMI Stage.