INTERVIEW: JEREMY NEALE
Written by Brodie Popple
After years of leaving a very positive print on the Brisbane and Australian music scene, multi-talented and all-round great guy Jeremy Neale released his debut LP Getting The Team Back Together last week. Jeremy's infectious style has captivated crowds for years as both a solo artist and as front man of the much loved Velociraptor. Now with 2017 coming to an end Jeremy Neale has gifted us with his most exciting release to date, an album teeming with energy that touches on some very relatable themes. I was keen to learn a little more about Getting The Team Back Together so we grabbed a coffee at The Foundry Records (shout out to Willow) and wagged some chins, check it out below:
Being the multi-talented dude you are, you've been playing shows and entertaining crowds for the best part of a decade, how does it feel to be putting out this debut Solo LP?
Good question! Look its felt very differently at different points in the last maybe, almost two year process. Because you know, at it's conception it was super exciting, you got the songs and it's great, you record the songs and it's great, but there's that kind of feeling of if I'm going to get it right. We had this elaborate pre-production process, so we could control all our variables, but there's so much that can happen in the studio, when other people come and do over-dubs you get different ideas happening. So it's kind of a sigh of relief after recording sessions, but then there's that big dragged out process from July last year (when recordings started), to now when it's out. You kind of keep second guessing yourself. But having said that I love it and it's got longevity for me and I'm not over it, which is a good sign.
I see you recently travelled to the US of A, was this a personal trip or part of the production process?
That was more of a leisurely trip, I needed a total reset but I've since stressed myself back out again haha. It was kind of the first steps I've made towards my new record that's happening after this record. I did a bit of writing there and I've since done a bit more and I've got the basis for the next record. Me and George are working on it!
Being the musical guy you are, I'm curious did you come from a very musical family? Did your parents have much influence in shaping the way you make music?
I mean my parents both like listening to music but they didn't play instruments and it wasn't until I was like 12 that my best friend at the time was getting drum lessons and she would teach me second hand the lesson she just had. So that's how I got into playing and then when I got into high school, it wasn't a very well funded public school, but we had a drum kit and some nylon string acoustics. But they did like one term of guitar lessons and then cancelled that programme. But that was enough to get us into it and we just kept spurring each other to learn harder and harder pieces.
Well that kind of segues into my next question because you've worked with some incredible local artists on this release (shout out to Pool Shop), how important is it for you to have so many great people to bounce things off of?
I'm very lucky because there's so much talent here and it means that anything you have as a vision you can make happen, which is crazy! But you know, they're all your friends and there's always amazing vibes in the studio. It's the ability to spend time with the wonderful people in this town who give up their time to be involved in your vision. The only important thing really in music is community, because everything else is just so fickle. I still feel like I'm bothering people when I ask them to do things, but I'm usually assured that I'm not.
'Getting The Team Back Together' touches on a few themes, including the idea of trying to align your ideal self with your real self, is this sense of disassociation of identity something that troubles you often?
I don't think that music is conducive a lot of the time, like if you're going as hard as you're supposed to and covering all the basis and giving it 100%, it's not conducive with being your ideal self. Because it's not a balanced life and it’s a very different way of thinking about everything you do. I guess to solve those two things was to make sure that music was apart of my life, but not all of it. That's what the start of this record was you know, things weren't good in my life at around the end of 2015. I was pretty much bankrupt, credit cards and all that, which is essential to the whole music thing, but trying to get back on top is a bit crushing. I'm lucky as a solo artist that I can be myself across most things with the exception of being jacked up on coffee occasionally, but I'm not projecting this troubled rock star persona.
What a lot of people don't know about is your alter-ego Briz Springsteen, will we be seeing you reprise this roll any time soon?
Briz Springsteen has a once a month residency at The End and that's about it, I was Djing a lot for a while, but those hours aren't conducive to a day job or being hung over all the time. Whereas The End, it's a beautiful set, 8pm to midnight on a Saturday night. A reasonable party with a reasonable bed time and a kebab. Briz has taken on the similar kind of path as me, even though we're completely different people.
Since you began your career as a musician both solo and in bands, what has been your favourite venue in Australia to play in?
That's a good one, because you like different venues for different things and you do wanna rep your home town. But a very cool venue, is Mojo's in Freo, it's such a cool and legitimate venue you know. Northcote Social Club in Melbourne is great, Sydney has changed a bit but im excited to test out the Lansdowne at one point. Frankie's Pizza in Sydney though! That is a crazy fucking venue, we played a raptors show last year and it was the wildest time. We have it great here in Brisbane though, Black Bear rules, The Foundry, The Triffid, all great places!
For anyone who knows you, you are a very positive, charismatic and encouraging guy, aside from music, how does Jeremy Neale wind down at the end of the day and compose himself to keep being the man that you are?
I don't consume heaps of music, but I'll usually whack a song on as a kind of pick me up. At the end of the day I'm more of a glass of wine and some video games kind of dude.
Ooooh what video game you playing at the moment?
Fortnite Battle Royale!
Mate I've been obsessed with that lately, lets exchange gamer tags?!
Yeah for sure! You gotta have a team to win it!!
Any young up and comers that you would highly recommend keeping our eyes on?
I really like Sleep Club, I'm hanging out for some online content! I love watching them live. (We also fanboyed over a WHALEHOUSE before the interview).
And last but certainly not least, could you share with me your three desert island discs, songs that if you were stranded for the remainder of your life you could listen to every day with no dramas?
Oh man, Top Loaders Dancing in the Moonlight for starters! It just picks me up all the time.
Also if you're on a desert island you need a song to air guitar along too, to keep your body going. So at the moment that's gotta be Tuckers Daughter by Ian Moss, it's just an 80's Australiana classic and I just love it.
And lastly, one to help you sleep at night, what with all the existential dread of a desert island, and that is Enya, May It Be, from The Lord of The Rings soundtrack. There was a period of my life when I was 18 or 19 where I'd play that soundtrack to put myself to sleep and just take out all the battle soundtracks. But yeah the two Enya tracks would always put me to sleep.
Listen to Jeremy's new album Getting The Team Back Together below
// JEREMY NEALE //