Thursday, September 14, 2017

Jeromes Dream

Sorry, guys, I always had problems with punctuality. Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Jeromes Dream. A month ago I finally received a letter from their drummer - Eric with answers to my questions. And now with a short unfortunate delay I would like to share it with you.

We just happen to be fast approaching the 20th anniversary of Jeromes Dream's inception.
September 13th, 1997 is when JD began and as I type this in disbelief of how quickly the years have gone by, the memories are flooding in, leaving me unable to know where to start.

JD's music was a result of experimentation, feel, and broad musical influences. We never set out to sound like anything in particular — it was the chemistry between the three of us, and our collective musical tastes that shaped JD's sound. 

Our writing process was a curious one: often I would write songs or parts and present them to Jeff and Nick and see what would resonate with them. I didn't really know how to play guitar, so I would approach the guitar as a percussive instrument, which I think might explain why much of our music is written in obscure time signatures. It was all based on feel.. whatever was going on in my head, and much of the time, the parts clicked with Jeff and Nick — we were almost always on the same wave length.

After showing Nick the song, he'd take what I wrote and apply his own feel and style to the parts, making them his own. I think with Nick's style of playing is nearly impossible to replicate. That's what makes his musicianship so special — the way he played his guitar was like nothing I've ever seen or experienced before. 

And the same holds true for Jeff's bass playing. He too approached the bass like a percussive instrument and actually played like a guitarist, strumming chords rather than single notes.

In the beginning days, we'd flesh out songs in either Nick's parents' basement, or our eventual apartment that we all lived in — and because of neighbors, I actually played my drums with chop sticks when we went through parts. A couple years later when I moved to Amherst and lived with Will from Orchid and Tim from Wolves, Jeff and Nick would drive up from Connecticut and we'd flesh out songs in my bedroom, full volume... that's where we wrote and rehearsed presents.

When it came to lyrics, they were all incredibly personal and Jeff's own. They were for him and in ways, him only. As a band, we connected through the music itself. The sheer energy of playing together — but Jeff's lyrics were his "own place", if that makes any sense. Hence why he didn't bother using a microphone when we played live.

Nearly 20+ years later, there are several artists/ records I find myself checking in with from my past.

1. Portraits of Past

Their LP to this day projects the same energy and impact it had on me the day I discovered it 20 years ago. Occasionally, I'll throw it on, close my eyes and listen. That's it. I got to see them twice on their reunion tour when they played in Brooklyn and Manhattan in 2008. Those shows were the most cathartic, intense shows I've been to in my life. Unforgettable. I have the flyer somewhere and have been meaning to frame it for years!

2. Hurl

One of the more underrated bands in underground music, Hurl hailed from Pittsburgh and formed in 1991. Jeff (from JD) and I would often sit in Jeff's room and listen to their records on repeat and marvel at their discordant riffs, time signatures and real sense of dynamic. 

3. Swing Kids

Unhinged, chaotic, and punk as fuck — I can still listen to their track "Disease" on repeat. The beginning of that track is one of the most satisfying intros to all out, blistering hardcore.

Other notable bands to mention here are Festival of Dead Deer — who I also had the pleasure of seeing this year... they did a couple reunion shows in San Diego and LA. I live in LA now, so the timing was perfect, and so was their set. Seeing the bands do their thing years later brings back that very unique, euphoric feeling that only these types of bands can induce. 

Erik is running Jeromes Dream's instagram account with some photos and videos from their shows. Check it out!

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