INTERVIEW WITH MUSICIAN JEREMY LARSON
Jeremy Larson is a very talented musician based out of Springfield , MI. I first found him off of his lovely wife's, Elsie, blog right around the time when he released the Fort Christmas 'Feathers' EP. The whole EP tells the story of him and his, now wife, starting with their first date, and ending with their engagement. He was kind enough to do an interview with me a couple days ago and here's what he had to say.
I would first off like to say I think you're an amazingly talented musician. The Fort Christmas EP 'Feathers' was on heavy rotation for many weeks. Can you tell us a little about how you can up with the idea to make each song about a time period in your and, now your wife, Elsie?
Thank you. This was during a time where I decided to limit myself to listening to only two albums- "Pet Sounds" and the soundtrack for "There Will Be Blood". I felt like I owned way too many albums, and didn't listen to most of them. So I decided on just two for a few months. I got really inspired by the way that Brian Wilson wrote his lyrics. It's such an inspired album, yet the lyrics are very simple in their approach. I tried to adapt this approach of sincerity and simplicity and apply it to stories about our relationship.
Let's go back to the beginning, tell us about how you got started in music? and what made you decide to pursue this path?
The first instrument I ever picked up was the piano, and I took lessons throughout grade school. I also played the trumpet and upright bass in junior high. I ended up majoring in piano in college, and shortly after, I started writing songs. I was really interested in recording, and didn't have any songs to record, so I started writing songs. It's probably safe to say that my interest in producing was what inspired me to write songs.
Besides the Feathers' EP you've also had three albums, two dvd's, have performed alongside alternative rock band Mutemath on the Jay Leno Show, and now you're currently making a new website that will have all of your albums, including instrumental versions, both live DVD's, lyrics, a new blog, and a page that will give you an overview of your collaborations. What do you have in mind for the future?
Well, at the moment I'm trying to finish up a side project I'm doing with Stacy King and Darren King. We started this project several years ago, and almost have an album completed. It's looking like a release will be in the near future, and I suppose I'm keeping an open schedule for that. We're hoping to do some photo shoots, a video, and just work on the overall look and style of this project in the next month.
What do you get your inspiration from when writing music?
About sixty percent of the time I get inspiration for writing a song, I'm leaving a movie theater. Movies are a very big part of my writing. But as I get older, I'm realizing I rely less and less on inspiration. Most days I wake up, go get coffee with my wife, and start working. It's pretty rare that I work past nine or ten at night- which is much different than it was five years ago. Music is a full time job, and I do it everyday.
In your blog last month you had an entry titled 'Popular Music' that I thought was a good perspective of "fun" music. Since the digital music revolution, do you think bands are pursuing this industry for the fact of making music, because they like it, or just to make money off of it, more or less than before? What are you thoughts about the digital music revolution and the years to come?
Well, I don't think most musicians are making a ton of money. I could be wrong, but albums are free, and concerts are cheap. I believe that most people that are making music right now are doing it because they love it. I don't have any friends that have ever said, "I'm just a musician for the money". But then again, I'm not friends with any pop stars.
I'm not against this digital revolution. I like the fact that people from all over the world can listen to a song I recorded in my bedroom the same day I recorded it. Instant worldwide distribution has it's perks. My main complaint about where music is now, is that music has become a bit disposable to a lot of people. I have lots of friends with thousands of songs on their iPod, and they just listen on shuffle. A lot of times they don't even know what song is playing. It's just one, of fifty thousand songs. I don't think music should be free. I wish us musicians could charge $50 an album, and give $40 to charity or something. The point is, I want the listener to have some value and respect for this thing that we've created.
Do you have any words of advice you want to say to people pursing a musical background?
Pay for music. You will love it more that way.