text by Takahisa Matsunaga
photo by Marisa Suda

Interview with Jeremy Zucker

――It’s been three years since you were last here. A lot of things has changed from back then. How does it feel to be back and have you felt any changes yourself?

Jeremy : It feels amazing. If it was up to me, it would have been much sooner. Things feel much different now. I was very early in my career when I came here and I had a lot of personal growth since then. My music has had time to reach a lot more people. Even though it’s been a long time I’m happy to be here right now.

――In the last year you have been collaborating, we have seen you do something with Chelsea Culter as well. Have these collaborations helped to inspire you?

Jeremy : Yes, I would say they have inspired me. I have a funnier relationship with collaborating. It’s very fun to get inspiration and work with other artists, but at the same time, I feel it’s hard to express and be honest when I’m in a room with somebody else. My favourite way to collaborate is to go back and forth virtually and finish things in person. It’s a little different with Chelsea because our writing styles just complement so well. Working with everyone is a completely different world and could vary with the people you are with. Sometimes meeting a lot of people and working with them is exhausting and you just have to push yourself to find inspiration to work with people. When you do that a lot, being alone is much more rewarding, which is how I make most of my music.

――‘CRUSHER’ came out last year, you probably made that during the pandemic when you were alone. Were you able to appreciate those moments alone when creating this album?

Jeremy : For better or worse, the process I started alone. I didn’t write the first song till October and the pandemic started in March or April in New York. I had to start it alone and I had to figure out what I wanted before I involved other people in the process. I ended up collaborating a lot for that album. It was just a bit more selective. A lot of times I started the song on my own and I knew what I wanted for production. Many times it was based on a song that I was a fan of, and I would find the producer and work on it together. It was really fun.

――We thought it was quite interesting that ‘CRUSHER’ was different from your first album. The first album had a gentle vibe whereas this album with ‘18’ and ‘Therapist’ had a different emotion coming. What was it like?

Jeremy : I would say that I had to do something different because when I finished my first album, ‘Love is not Dying’ I exhausted every part of myself. I squeezed my heart and soul into that album. I was looking forward to touring with that album and not being able to do it broke my heart. I couldn’t continue in that direction without having the time or space to process that all the way. I had a couple of months of “What the hell do I do now?”. Essentially when I wrote ‘Love is not Dying’ I was pretty sad in going through things. It was a really weird period in my life. For ‘CRUSHER’ I was looking back on all of that and using anger as a way to get over a lot of those things. I was allowing myself to be angry, I’m not an angry person, so it was about embracing that anger and letting that out with energy and loud music. It was part of my learning to have fun making music again. It’s great because now I have got that out of my chest and it opened up the door for something new in the future.

――This year you had a collaboration with Benny and that song was different as well. It’s got that happy vibe to it. How was it working on this song? What was the process like?

Jeremy : I wrote it with a writer called David Hodges who helped write the first Evanescence album. It was really fun working with him because he has such a different musical background. I worked with him and his producer, Sir Nolan. We wrote the first half of the song together and I didn’t touch it for a year. I picked it back up again right after ‘CRUSHER’ and it was a pursuit of fun. I just came back from a vacation and I wasn’t loving someone on a trip. It was just a fantasy song about wishing somebody wasn’t with us on that particular vacation. The whole song is kind of like a joke which contributed to the light-heartedness. Sometimes it’s a realisation of freedom and choosing yourself.

――We are looking forward to your new album. Do you have any new ideas for that?

Jeremy : I do and you will probably hear one or two of them tonight.

――When will we know about the entire album?

Jeremy : I’m looking to release things on top of 2023.

――We are all looking forward to it.

Jeremy : Amazing.

――Is there going to be any love songs or heartbreak songs? Will there be songs from a different genre?

Jeremy : I plan to do a bunch of different EPs which is how I started as an artist. My first album was two years ago and before that, I released maybe eight EPs. I have so many new different ideas that I am collecting them by genre. The first one is going to be love songs, it’s more of a singer-songwriter style. I haven’t written a love song in a long time so that’s feeling good. I have some stuff that is more angsty, emo, sad and slow. I have stuff that is also bigger, celebratory and punk also. I’m excited, there is a lot of work to do.

photography Marisa Suda(
text Takahisa Matsunaga

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