Oh Jeremiah

“I have been in bands my whole life. While my friends were learning about sex, I was learning about the guitar. I had the anti-high school experience. I didn’t play football, I played Blink 182 songs in my garage. I was in punk rock and indie rock bands. When I was in college, the last band I was in broke up. Everyone likes music when it is convenient, but it is hard to find people who like music when it is ugly–no money, playing for two people and four-hour gigs of people talking over you. The wrong reasons of music can kill you. We are in it for the right reasons, even at its worst, playing music is better than anything. I was solo for six months before I met Erin.”

“I never sang before I met Jeremiah. A friend convinced me to sing at an open mic night and I sang a Norah Jones song and hated it, but a friend of Jeremiah’s saw me and when Jeremiah asked him if he knew a violin player who could sing, he told him about me. I told him no via the Internet, I didn’t want to be in a band. I didn’t listen to the radio because I was in the classical world and I was pretentious. I did go to his gig to see what he sounded like and that was it. Romantically and musically.”

“The romance was electric from the beginning, but she was dating another guy. A friend had a birthday party canoeing on the river and I got in Erin’s canoe. It takes five hours to go down the river and if I couldn’t win her over in five hours, I couldn’t do it. It was an amazing time.”

“I called my mom when the canoe trip was over and told her I found the one.”

“Then I played hard to get by getting the West Nile virus from a mosquito bite. I almost died. I lost 35 pounds in a few weeks. It was terrifying, I was scared for my life. I had West Nile for Oh, Jeremiah’s first show and I don’t remember the show. We realized no one would love the music the way we would and we became a duo. On the nights when music isn’t what we need it to be, our marriage is. When the music is what we need it to be, our marriage adds to it. They go hand in hand and it doesn’t stop when the lights go down. I wasn’t into a show one night and she said, ‘Look at me. Connect with me and you will enjoy it more.’ The show turned right there. If the show isn’t good, it is because I wasn’t focused on her. Whatever the alchemy of our relationship is is what makes this work. My favorite compliment is that we sound great together. I want to be seen as the two of us. People want to know more about her. We have gotten this far because there is nothing else we are good at and there is nothing else we love. I don’t have to leave her when I go on tour. We made an album a couple of years ago and then the first thing I did was buy a ring and asked her to marry me.”

“Why did you move from Hattiesburg to Athens?

“We needed to be a family together and move away from everything that was comfortable. We needed to get uncomfortable and couldn’t get bailed out with a phone call.”

“We needed to figure out how we work as a team. For the first time, we are financially supporting ourselves as just a band and not other jobs.”

“I don’t know if Athens is where we are supposed to be later, but it is exactly what we need right now. I am hyper-extroverted and she is introverted. I made us go out and make friends and she told me she just needs a cat and a nap. I didn’t know that before we moved.”

“He would wonder why I got fussy after a show and it is because I like to crawl into a hole after we are done. People coming up after the show is emotionally draining. I am vulnerable and comfortable on stage and I am done when it is over. I am not a talker on stage or a spotlight person. Moving helped him understand I can’t turn things on and off.”

“And I love talking to people so much. I can’t small talk and it gets deep quickly. The audience thinks I am the funny one, but she is really the funny one, but you have to get to know her to see that. I show my cards at the beginning but no one makes me laugh like she does. Making the video for Tremble is one of the most fun things I have ever done. I have had the green jacket since 8th grade. It took four days to shoot the video. I am so proud of it.”

“It was fun, but acting is my nightmare because I am so black and white.”

“As a songwriter, this is the first time I have something I want to say. I think I went a little crazy after our album was released. It took so long. I want to be comfortable getting songwriting back. There is so much noise and fluff out there. How as a songwriter do you say something that means something. I have to say something that people need to hear and that is how I try to break through the noise. I want to write songs that I believe in so much that I don’t care if they are ever heard. They exist and I need to hear them. I am writing songs that I need. People will know I mean every word of the song and this is all I can hope for. The music industry doesn’t care about us, but I care about us. I want us to be proud of what we are doing and that is all that matters.”

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