Fifty Shades Of JJ

Jonathan Jeremiah // AB Café


Foto’s voor Fifty Shades Of JJ

Jonathan Jeremiah.

Jonathan Jeremiah meet zichzelf weer een plekje aan in de spotlights. Vier turbulente jaren na zijn debuut, komt hij nu met een derde: Oh Desire. BILL schotelt hem samen met een Australische collega een uitgebreide vragenlijst voor. 

The Bear House

Dylan (BEL): "We know you as a musician now, but at some point in your life, you weren't. How did the bug catch on?

Jonathan Jeremiah: "My dad used to be an electrician. There's this venue in London, called Wembley Arena. It's not that big, but when I was a kid, it looked absolutely massive. And now - this sounds ridiculous - it's not big, but it's about ten thousand people. My dad was an electrician there, so he used to bring me to alot of gigs. Whenever there was an issue, they would call him first. My sisters were ushers, showing the VIP's around and so yeah, that's how it all clicked."

Simon (AUS): "What do you think about free Spotify subscriptions? Is me going to a live gig enough?"

"Well, I put my own songs and live performances on Youtube every week. I just played in this amazing building, it's called the Bear House, so naturally I upload some of the footage. I think it's a different world, it's not the same as twenty years ago, you just got to accept that people want to listen to music instantaneously and they don't necessarily want to run upstairs to get a cd. Who still wants to do that?"

Dylan: Do you think it's a positive or negative evolution?

"For the artist? As long as people keep coming to the shows, that's all I'm interested in."

I Was A Loner

Dylan: What's the best way to form a band and become a professional musician? What would you say to aspiring kids out there?

"Well, what you do is, you hang out with people in Ghent, you go to that bar, that jazz bar, I think it's called Hot Club, there are some amazing guys in there, they are all about twenty, playing jazz in there, funky stuff. I mean, that's how you do it, you play there. It just has to be a quite natural thing, a social thing, just guys and girls hanging out."

Dylan: "Is that how you started?"

"No, I hated that (laughs). I was a loner, I f*cking hated people. No, not really, sorry, excuse my language. I found it really tough to relate, to hang out with crowds. I just like to be playing in the studio. And then suddenly you get a record deal. And you have to play live and that's pretty scary, that's tough." 

Dylan: Don't you get used to it after a while? Like being a teacher: it's hard at first, but then after a while you mastered your craft so well, you find your job easier?

 "I think it's more like being an athlete than a teacher. It's more about rythm. So you need to get ahead in a way. After five gigs you feel better, but the first two were scary. Live on tv, you know, every word is a new word, you never know what to expect."

Simon: Is it like that with every new album?

"Yeah, it's not a continuous thing, making music. Music is all about rythm and momentum. With every album you record, you'll make progress creatively, when it comes to writing. But performance wise, that's not the case, it doesn't work that way. You have to find something new and make it work, over and over again."

Fifty Shades of JJ

Simon: I have prepared a game for you, it's called Fifty Shades of JJ. Pick a question. Okay, here we go: is there any particular place where you have been exceptionally succesful with groupies?

Jonathan: "Succesful with groupies? I don't think anybody ever calls themselves a groupie anymore. That's more a Steel Panther kind of thing. So yeah, best city for groupies? It just doesn't work like that anymore. You get attention from people and when they introduce themselves to you, the first thing they say is: "I'm not a groupie or anything." The typical groupie, will be the first to acknowledge they are not a groupie. But you do get specific attention, when your record is doing very well, it's like flies on shit, basically.

>>> Jonathan Jeremiah speelt op Les Nuits Botanique, 12/05. Tickets zijn verkrijgbaar hier. Oh Desire komt uit 27 maart 2015.