Jeremy Neale seems content in Stranger Times
If you were to look up Jeremy Neale on his Unearthed profile, you would see him being referred to as “The Harlem Globetrotters of live music.” You might also discover that he is an avid shark-tank motorbike jumper, and likes climbing mountains in the Himalayas - when he’s not making music of course. A true pop genius, with an obvious heavy influence from the 60’s and his hand in multiple musical projects, he has just released his latest EP ‘In Stranger Times’ and has hit the road to celebrate.
I’ve just been scrolling through your Facebook page, you seem to have endless amounts of philosophical advice to give to this world. Where do you pull all this inspiration from?
There's usually something to take home from my posts, though they're also equally loaded with a whole bunch of nonsense. So you know, you don't have to think if you don't want to. Choose your destiny. There's a lot of things to notice in a day and in the interactions you have. I am fortunate to be able to write them in a public forum and then to try and find a way to make them relate to music somehow.
You really seem to keep in touch personally with you fans, whether it be via various social media platforms or fan mail. Do you think this is crucial for growing your fan base?
I'm not sure exactly. I mean there's probably a whole bunch of merit to being aloof and playing it real cool online too but I'm a pretty straight up and honest guy and so I'd rather just be myself. Which in turn means enjoying talking to people and also posting whatever is on my mind at the time.
You’ve just released your stunning ‘In Stranger Times’ EP, what were some of the influences behind it? I’m imaging some pretty wacky ones…
Well, in terms of the music I was towing the Mersey Beat line for a bit of it and then the logical conclusions of this and associated 60's pop music. I wanted to capture the writing style of that generation of pop artists but to still use modern production technology. The artwork was influenced somewhere between a greatest hits of Dion album cover I saw and Elvis' Viva Las Vegas, all brought together through the photography of Jeff Andersen Jnr and the design work of Sam McKenzie.
So you’ve obviously got a few talented musical projects including Velociraptor. If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?
Making YouTube videos and getting a whole bunch more sleep. Maybe a yoga instructor too. Yoga is important.
You quite famously completed a Pozible Campaign this year for your ‘Stranger Times’ EP, how did this happen?
Well, I kind of ended up in a place where I wasn't able to fund the rest of the record. It had been an intense year for touring which meant near bankruptcy. I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who pre-ordered the CD or Vinyl so that I could afford to press them. The campaign was a bit of fun, it meant I got to record some YouTube videos for it. I'm also now taking a few people out to dinner next month as part of some of the deluxe rewards that were on offer (laughs).
Earlier this year you completed a co-headline tour with Feelings, and are quite good tour pals with Major Leagues, do you find co-headline tours can be more beneficial?
I'm not sure if a co-headline is the optimum way to tour but its definitely a great way to make good friendships with other bands. With the Feelings tour, I already knew Simon Berkfinger quite well but it was rad to hang out with Joel (Mc Bad Genius) and Dan Sweat. Now we're taking Major Leagues as support for the EP tour which is amazing because not only do they make rad music, but they're total winner people.
Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time?
That's a good question. I used to look really far ahead and try and plan things out but now I usually just work in 6-12 month blocks. In 5 years though I'd like to still be making music that connects with people and is listened to. I'd like to have a bit more free time to get back to nature / go to the beach / play basketball again.
If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess?
The power to make people self-reflective.
A penguin walks through the door at your sound check tonight wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
"Hi guys, this is my first time here but I'd like to share with you my story". You see the Penguin is a recovering alcoholic and he mistook the venue for an alcoholics anonymous meeting. The sombrero reminds him of the good times but he knows he has to make a change.
And of course, what’s in the pipeline for you now Jeremy?
I’m going to finish this tour and then get back into the studio to complete the new Velociraptor record. We'll be back in February of 2014. Then I'll get to work on a new release as Jeremy Neale all the while working on new stuff for Tiger Beams and Teen Sensations in the background and well, maybe another band. Who knows, y'know? The future, so mysterious, so exciting, so futuristic.
- James Sherley
Here are the rest of the dates for the In Stranger Times EP Tour, with special guests Major Leagues:
Friday, 15th November - SOL Bar, Maroochydore
Saturday, 16th November - The Zoo, Brisbane