Emerging rock duo Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio

Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
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Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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| 00:21:48
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio (full session + interview) 21:48
  • Illiterate Light - Nuthin's Fair (Live at The Current) 03:13
  • Illiterate Light - I Wanna Leave America (Live at The Current) 03:47
  • Illiterate Light - Better Than I Used To (Live at The Current) 04:27

"We didn't necessarily set out to form Illiterate Light as the next power duo," says Jeff Gorman, although he and bandmate Jake Cochran seem to be well on their way to doing that. Formed in Virginia in 2015, Illiterate Light have been making waves as a rock duo, releasing a self-titled album on Atlantic Records in October of this year.

The rise of Illiterate Light was, no pun intended, organic: Gorman and Cochran met in college and became friends over their shared love of music. After graduation, they worked together operating an organic farm while concurrently developing their sound. "We eventually came to realize our chemistry was on point," Gorman recalls. "So once we figured out we were kind of jiving as a duo, we just said, let's go for it."

There's a solid precedent of two-piece rock bands: the Black Keys, White Stripes, Shovels and Rope, to name just a few. "We're both big fans of the White Stripes and the Black Keys," Gorman affirms. "[We're] both big fans of rock and roll and the blues, but we wanted to see if there's a way we could be a duo but almost sound more like some of our indie influences like Grizzly Bear or My Morning Jacket or Neil Young or Talking Heads or something like that. We were wondering is there a way to just do that side of things as a duo and not just have it be super guitar-blues driven."

There may also have been a practical reason for Illiterate Light to be a duo. "For a long time, we were booking our own tours and driving around the country in a Subaru Forester," Cochran explains. "There was just no room for a third person at that point. It was Jeff and I in the front two seats and the entire rest of the vehicle packed with amps and drums."

Illiterate Light visited The Current studio for a session hosted by Eric Malmberg. Between songs, Gorman and Cochran share more stories about their history, including their Wilco-inspired band name, recollections of touring by bicycle — and on a related note — how almost perishing while touring by bike can bring bandmates closer together.

The session airs Monday, Dec. 16, on New Hot. You can also listen to the complete session using the audio player above.

Songs Performed


"Nuthin's Fair"
"I Wanna Leave America"
"Better Than I Used To"
All songs from Illiterate Light's 2019 self-titled album, available on Atlantic Records.

Hosted by Eric Malmberg
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Peter Ecklund
Web production by Luke Taylor

External Link

Illiterate Light - official site

31 Photos

  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light prepares to perform in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light sound checks his effects in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jake Cochran of Illiterate Light has his drums ready to go in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light gets ready to perform in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light performs in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jake Cochran of Illiterate Light performs in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jake Cochran of Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jake Cochran of Illiterate Light performs in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light performs in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jake Cochran of Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jake Cochran of Illiterate Light performs in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light performs in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Jeff Gorman of Illiterate Light performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Illiterate Light's Jeff Gorman performs in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Illiterate Light's Jake Cochran performing in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Left to right: The Current's Eric Malmberg, Illiterate Light's Jake Cochran, The Current's Jim McGuinn, and Illiterate Light's Jeff Gorman in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)
  • Illiterate Light perform in The Current studio
    Left to right: The Current's Eric Malmberg, Illiterate Light's Jake Cochran, The Current's Jim McGuinn, and Illiterate Light's Jeff Gorman in The Current studio. (Peter Ecklund | MPR)