「このアルバムを作ったおかげで、様々なレベルで自分と愛の繋がりを探求し、見つけ出すことができた」Interview with Jeremy Zucker about “love is not dying”

ーーWhat has your experience been like after your concert in Japan six months ago? 

Jeremy : It was really amazing. One of my favorite shows ever! I think I wasn’t expecting it to be as crazy and I wasn’t expecting to have as much love there as I did when I showed up.
People just told me that in general, audiences in Japan are quieter and more respectful. When I played my show, they were just as loud, and it was crazy as any other… it’s not more than any other audience I played in front of. So, it was like a really pleasant, fun surprise.

ーーWhat was your best memory from Japan? I saw that you posted a video from your Japan concert on your Instagram.

Jeremy : We had one full day in Tokyo before we had to leave for other shows. I wish we had more time, but we definitely got sushi like our two nights for dinner and I went to the mall in Shibuya. I forgot what it’s called. We got the cloths and I got lunch at this Ramen shop called Hayashi and it was so good.
I actually got a couple of sweatshirts and a couple of t- shirts and I got an earring with a planet on it that I still wear.

ーー What were you doing after your show in Japan?

Jeremy : I guess I came home from my Asia tour and immediately started working on my album and start finishing it so I did a couple of videos and yeah we really just worked on finishing the album and obviously it’s done and coming soon.

ーーFrom now on I’d like to ask about the album. You have finished recording your new album “love is not dying.” Has the experience of making this album been different from making your singles?

Jeremy : I would say the process was just longer. In the past when I made EP, just short projects, I worked normally and made a lot of music, but sort of like, would cut it down and only pick a few, only really be able to write a few songs and package them together for a small project.
But, in writing an album, I really just took my time. I would work on 20 or 30 ideas in a month and settle on one of them. And work on that one song for another month. So, I really was able to take my time on each song and put in the work. Eventually, I really worked one song at a time and the project slowly develops and which case, it slowly developed over a whole year. I wrote the first song, “julia,” last November… I think that was 2018. So, it is really long process and there was a lot of self-discovery and a lot of introversion and thinking, loving, and experiencing and it’s first throughout all the writing sessions. I look at writing music and living to my music is same as either tell or look at my life. There is a lot of really amazing moments and there is a lot of really hard moments. There is a lot of really nostalgic moments, really sad moments, and really wholesome moments and I think all those moments made into the album. It is really a collection of the moments that mean the most to me and the moments that define who I am. I would say that is my best way to describe the album.

ーーIn “julia” you decided to put effects on your voice, and in the following track “hell or flying” you showcased your beautiful raw sound. Was this flow intentional?

Jeremy : Totally! The sequences are very intentional. You will see some songs sort of flowing to each other and some of them that almost feels like there are two parts to the same song between “still” and the second song “we’re fucked it’s fine” and then between “not ur friend” and “full stop” and “julia” going all right into each other, they all sort of close theme mostly. I guess a lot of it is just feels right after each feeling but there is also a lot of intentions with why certain things come after another. Between “julia” and “hell or flying”, there wasn’t really like a connection and I don’t know why those two works next to each other, but “julia” ends precisely and abruptly and “hell or flying” begins with ambient rain noise with me sitting down at the piano and starting to play. I look at the music a lot like watching a movie almost. Each song is almost like its own scene and there are all these second shots in the scene that I try to make the last shot of one scene transitions well to the first shot of the next scene.

ーーYou have used numerous instruments in your songs. Are you particular about specific sounds in your songs? Are the songs inspired by the instruments used?

Jeremy : Everything on the album is what I wanted to do. Not in a way where it was pre-meditated but more so like I stumbled across all these different things and I experimented a lot and it came together the way it did and it couldn’t have turned out better for me, but the foundation for all the song-writing is piano and guitar and I just did a lot of editing and sound designing, manipulation to make it more interesting and more sonically pleasing. I did a lot of field recordings, went out and recorded random sounds, things of my friends talking and just like all the different places I’ve been, I collected sounds in that way. Random instruments and random samples, I sort of all edited and manipulated and pieced all together like a puzzle.

ーーIt seems like there is a storyline throughout the album, from having a crush to broken heart, and healing from that pain. Did you have the concept for this album in your mind after you completed “oh, mexico”?

Jeremy : It is not like I sat down and was like “I’m gonna write an album that is all gonna be about this.” It is more like I sat down and I had to express myself in each song I was writing. And writing happened over a period of a year or a year and a half and I experienced a lot of different things during that year. So what happened was I ended up with all these different songs about all these different parts of my life. At the end of it, I realized all these common themes between all of them and the title became what my life feels like right now. That is where the title comes from, “love is not dying.” It is sort of sentiment to the way that I feel now. There are a lot of meanings to the title that I won’t really go into because I think the music explains a lot of it, but when I wrote a last couple of songs of the album, that title sort of tied everything together for me.

ーーWhat does the title “love is not dying” mean?

Jeremy : I don’t know how to explain it because I do want to hold back on explaining where the meaning came from until the album is out and people have had the chance to listen and live with it. I guess it just feels like there is a reason for everything in there. The album is heavily tied with its fate and this idea that everything happens for a reason. It is just like the grander of life and how crazy impact for everything is and how beautiful life can be even when it is destructed…. I feel like I’m dancing around it but we should have another conversation where I dig more into it.

ーーWhat was the song that expressed yourself the most?

Jeremy : That is interesting. For me, it is “full stop” because that song sort of replicates this feeling that I had for a long time. I don’t really know how to explain it like, that song, for me, combinates this crazy… crashing, world-falling-down feeling. I guess the way it starts so mellow, so somber and so sad is just like an emotion that I really relate to musically. And feeling combinates everything crashing down and the sky falling. I just have all these images in my head.

ーー “we’re fucked it’s fine” has a dawn-like innocence and a dreamy feel to it, and I thought the contrast between the title and the song was very interesting. How did this song come about?

Jeremy : When I knew that I needed the perfect way to start it and “we’re fucked it’s fine” sort of came from… it is really the introduction of the album in a sense that it is shutting the stage for the theme of the whole project which is almost like a beautiful apocalypse. Does that make sense? Basically, being in this really amazing, beautiful situation and knowing that is going to end and if you’re singing with it and enjoying it for what it is – you know it’s going to be destroyed. That’s like the “we’re fucked it’s fine like we are screwed. Everything is gonna go to shit, but it’s okay.” So, that’s where the peacefulness and tranquility of the song comes from and it ends quite abruptly and then “somebody loves you” comes out and that sort of the beginning of the story.

ーーThe general impression of your songs is melancholic, but “lakehouse” seems to have a punk style to it. Do you think this song reflects your experience from when you were a in a rock band in your teenage years?

Jeremy : It probably comes from that. I grew up listening to a lot of punk rock, or pop punk growing up. A lot of stuffs. My music taste went from rock, or like punk pop rock to straight pop and dance music, and I got really into hip-hop. And then from there, like after really getting into rap, in college, I started to get into indie music, and all sorts of random, different… I was more into finding new artists then I was listening to certain genre. That is where I’ve been ever since. I’m always finding new artists and developing new music tastes.

ーー“orchid” is portraying your crush as an orchid, but why did you choose this flower? (I know orchid often symbolizes elegance and a beautiful lady.)

Jeremy : That’s an interesting one. That one is really just called “orchid” because the person that is about loves flowers and orchid is their favorite flower. That’s really it.
It’s not my favorite flower, it’s their favorite flower.

ーーYour lyrics seem to represent your daily life in Brooklyn, and later starting a journey. What is Brooklyn like to you?

Jeremy : It is really interesting because it is obviously right next to Manhattan which is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. I’m sort of on the edge. The neighborhood I live in, which I won’t mention because it is not that big, but basically there is quite a lot of greenery and good amount of space compare to Manhattan. So, I feel like I’m living in not quite suburban but just like way more relaxed urban area where I actually have a lot of space to breath and I’m surrounded by a lot of friends. When it is not winter, it is really nice out and I feel like I finally figured out how to make my home space where I feel like home. I’m also still close to all the happening and all the action and parties. My friends are really creative in doing really cool things, so I feel like I’m always feeling inspired. It is sort of having every part of my life that I imagined I would want …. Sort of my whole life really put together here with the exception of not really having a significant other. That feels like the one thing in my life that that isn’t there but it’s totally fine because everything in my life is in the way I want it to be. And yeah Brooklyn inspires me a lot. It is a really fun place and I feel really grounded here.

ーーAlso, how has the landscape of Brooklyn influenced your song writing and album production?

Jeremy : I think it will just be able to leave my apartment and walk and be surrounded by things and people. It is not like I would leave my apartment and I get into the car and drive to the city. I can walk there; I can take the train. And like I leave my apartment and there is a park where I right by there. So, I guess the city just influences my music because city is just sort of a background; I’m always walking around, listening to music and looking around. There is just so many people and I feel like I’m just one of those people, but the music that I write can be the soundtrack of anyone’s daily routine, just walking around. And I look around and like anybody can be listening to any music.

ーーWhat is the feeling you want to convey through this album?

Jeremy : I want people to feel connected. I want them to know that somebody…. I guess my hope is that people can really relate to the things that I’m saying and things that I’m feeling. Because I’ve been on the other side of it and I’ve been the fan that’s listening to music. Having this same connection with the song that somebody else who I’ve never met wrote and having this realization to myself like “wow, I can’t believe somebody else feels this way because this is how I feel.” I guess that is what I want my music to do for other people. Let them know they are not the only one that is feeling the certain way. And I just feel comforting knowing that somebody that they’ve never met before but there is some sort of emotional connection between the person who wrote that song and person who likes the song.

ーーYour songs often have a theme of heartbreak and melancholy, but do you think you’ve gained more insight into love? Tell us if you have any lessons on love.

Jeremy : I thought that I wouldn’t be able…. I thought that I was fully capable of being in love but during the writing of this album, and during the things I’ve experienced while writing this album, I have discovered that I am capable of loving and caring for someone romantically. I also discovered and lodged down to platonic love and family love and all the different ways that we love and how it affects our lives. So, the writing this album for sure helped me connect with love on all different levels.

ーーPlease give a message to your fans in Japan.

Jeremy : I am super excited to come back to Japan, and hopefully play some shows for you guys. I am really excited for you all to get my album and thank you for batting my heart for the all the support and from listening to my music and for supporting me. I promise I will make it up to you and see you soon hopefully.

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