Jeremy Messersmith

23 Jun

“I think writing good songs is the only really important thing about the business. Everything else is just icing on the musical cake.”

When you sit down to write a song, you hope to tell a story to whoever is listening. The ultimate goal is for that story to strike a chord with someone and to be able to share a feeling or a moment. Jeremy Messersmith is a storyteller. Each of his songs seep into your soul and will reside there forever. His latest album, The Reluctant Graveyard, is centered around death, which you may assume would be too dark, however Jeremy turns the subject of death into a beautiful thing. Recently, I interviewed him to get a deeper look into his creative mind. Here is our interview:

Q. How did you get your start in music?

A. Well, I grew up playing music in church and school. Trumpet was my thing, at least until I got braces. When I was 17 I picked up the guitar and played in church a lot. I only started writing songs after I left for college.

Q. As an artist, what do you feel are some of the most important aspects in the business?

A. I think writing good songs is the only really important thing about the business. Everything else is just icing on the musical cake.

Q. You’ve released three albums so far, your latest being “The Reluctant Graveyard.” What has been one of the best times you’ve experienced while recording those albums?

A. Actually, getting to work with Dan Wilson on The Silver City was an amazing experience. I learned so much about how to make records, how to sing, write songs, and work in a real recording studio. I owe that dude more than I can hope to repay!

Q. You decided to price your album at “pay what you want.” What was your decision process in doing that?

A. To boil it all down- the golden rule: “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” I like to have the pay-whatever-I-want option as a fan of lots of bands. I wish more of them did it. It made sense for me to give it a try.

Q. You’re no stranger to playing sold out shows in many different cities. What is one of the best memories you have from a live show?

A. Last year I got to play at a political rally. It was opening for the President- simultaneously the strangest and most awesome show ever.

Q. You music has been featured on a few different TV shows, which is a great way for artists these days to become discovered. How did it feel hearing your music on national TV?

A. It was pretty awesome. I didn’t expect much out of it, but I thought the Chuck placement was brilliantly executed. I wish they were all that way, but usually the song ends up just being in the background. The most fun thing about it is all the phone calls I got from friends and family saying they heard one of my songs. I guess I’m not wasting my life after all!

Q. Social networking is a huge way to get your music out into the world. Do you feel like websites such as Twitter and Facebook has helped your career grow?

A. I think so. Twitter and Facebook are sort of the new infrastructure, much like radio was back in the day. I think anything that helps people share information is pretty fantastic overall. The internet is great for that. Plus, it’s fun being able to talk with fans and actually connect with them.

Q. What is next on your list of things to do?

A. It’s been about a year since my last record came out, so I should probably start working on another one!

Q. If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which one would it be and why?

A. “Miracles” from The Silver City. It’s kind of gentle and has a lot of soft strings and things on it. If it were any of my other songs I think they’d drive me insane!

Here is “A Girl, a boy, and a Graveyard” one of the more intimate tracks off of, “The Reluctant Graveyard.” Really listen to the beauty of the song.

To hear more of Jeremy’s music, click here.


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