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Interview with Jeremy McComb

Interview with Jeremy McComb
Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout
Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe
yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?
 Answer:  I’m a story-teller. I grew up listening to the
great storytellers & songwriters that lived in the records my dad had. It started
with Willie Nelson & The Marshall Tucker band and as I grew up it was on to
the next group of songwriters. Jim Morrision, Jim Croce, Then onto Shawn
Mullins and Ryan Adams. So my show is heavy on interaction and connecting with
my audience. I’m an entertainer, a songwriter and a storyteller…
 Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you?
What were your highlights?
Answer:  The past 18 Months or so have been incredible. With
my fiercely independent album release last year of “FM”(pro-nounced
Ef’em) yarning over 1.1 Million streams and our fanbase growing even bigger
here in the states than ever before. It’s really humbling and exciting and
incredible to be in this place after touring like I have been for years and
years. To see the Hard work paying off is just surreal.
Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how’s it
doing?
Answer:  Well, FM is the last release, like I said it’s been
an unreal record. The way it’s connected with people and the way it’s made me
feel as an entertainer & recording artist. This year (March 2017) I’m
recording a LIVE album for my new tour which is called the “TroubleMaker
Tour” and I think it’s just another step to completely show people who I
am and what I do.
Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the
CD?  Is there a story behind the name?
Answer:  I think they each have their own thing. Every album
I’ve made is a place and time in my life, a snapshot of who I am and for me
I’ve never really had to throw it around. Normally the album title for me comes
even sometimes before the songs. It’s just a vision, a feeling and writing to
that vision. My 1st album was an introduction to me: “My Side Of
Town” – My second was really allowing myself to become outwardly who I am
internally without worrying about what the industry thought: “LEAP &
the net will appear” and “FM” is just a statement, aimed at my
industry, and it’s meant to be a battle cry for people who are running the hard
roads, to say who gives a shit what other people think. Go succeed on your own
terms. No one owns me and I like that.
Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs yourself? If not,
how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?
Answer:  I do. Every album for me is just so personal. There
are a few writers I connect with on some amazing levels where I’ve added
another writer’s song to my record… but it has to be a song I wish I wrote, a
song I’ve lived and just didn’t get in on that write (haha) Rick Huckaby is a
close friend who I’ve cut outside of my stuff, sometimes there’s just things
that hit you so hard they feel like they belong to you in every sense and it
calls out to be part of that project. Those are the only outside stuff I look
at, the ones that kill me, that just hit me in the face and push me to be a
better writer or human.
Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your
album (influences, etc).
Answer: It’s funny because I pick so much up from so many
places. The past few years I’ve really been into the folky kinda pop feel. A
lot of the “country” that’s out now just doesn’t inspire me. I’m not
bashing it, it’s just not inspiring to me right now  and if it doesn’t inspire me then I don’t
waste my time on it. So i purposefully don’t listen to a lot of it. I really
got into Matt Nathanson & Ben Rector on the pop side of stuff. I think Ben
Rector is writing some amazing stuff…stuff I would’ve expected country to go. I
dove back into Texas guys Like Darryl Dodd & Radney Foster along with the
amazing Tony Lane & Travis Meadows writing.
Lamitschka:  What is the difference between your last
CD and your current one?
Answer:  Well Theres been (Hopefully) major jumps between
each of my records, so I’ll look at 2016’s “FM” compared to the Live
Album approach of this year. “FM” is one of my proudest moments. It
sounds amazing and I’m not too shy to say that. Jamie Tate my producer just
found me and pushed me and allowed me to be who I am and he produced the shit
out of this thing. I would put it against anything on the radio sonically and
now to the “TroubleMaker Live” album I’m about to do, it’s really
going back to what I DO LIVE. Its Raw & Real and vulnerable and funny and
inappropriate. I just let the Live show go where it needs to. So it’s going
from the Radio Polish of “See I can do that too” to Here’s what Those
songs and really what I am sound like with just me and guitar, on Stage every
night connecting, 200 days a Year out here.
Lamitschka:  Your current single is being played by
radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to
hear it?
Answer: “Didn’t We” is the tune people are
playing from “FM” and I think there’s more than a few that could be
singles on this record for me anyway but I’m biased, so what the fuck do I know
Hahaha. But I’m proud of this album songs like: “Your Fault” &
“Keep me There” or “Yours In The Morning” They’re just so
close to me. But That being said “Didn’t we” is a song Tim McGraw had
on hold for his last record, They ended up not putting it on there so I took it
back and recorded it. It’s about Young love and the feeling of warm summer wind
rushing through the cab of a truck while you sneak out and run around the
mountains in North Idaho. It’s amazing how many people relate with this song.
The stories I hear and messages I get about. It’s crazy and humbling and just
an honor to be able to still be doing this.
Lamitschka:  What will your next single be?
Answer:  No Idea…. Hahahah You pick one.
Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record
the most?
Answer:  Again for me I’m big on the truth and connection.
For me if it hits me, maybe it will hit someone else so that’s really the test
for me.
Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the
songs you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?
Answer:  “Yours in the Morning” is a song from
“FM” that I wrote on the verge of quitting this business. And really
coming to terms with the sacrifices, I’ve made and more especially the people
who love me have made to do what I do for a living. so Its kind of an apology
to my wife and a Love note to the truth of my life. That I’ve been an asshole,
and I fall short but finding the path that allows you to allow yourself to feel
like you’re worthy of the people who care for you. That took a lot for me, to
realize my own self-worth and in that song I found a lot of answers I needed to
be better, and it re inspired me and my wife re-inspired me to push on and to
remember who it was I really am.
Lamitschka:  How much creative control do you have
over your music?
Answer: 100% of everything in my business from touring to
writing to booking shows, I’m a control freak so I’m
involved in every aspect which means I don’t sleep
much but I’m just in love with what I do so everyday its a stressful pleasure
to get up and do this job.
Lamitschka:  There’s a lot of work that goes into a
number one hit. What did it take to make it in your case?
Answer:  Haven’t Hit #1 …. YET =0)
Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories
about how fans have been affected by your music?
Answer:  I’ve had a handful of people get lyrics tattooed on
them, which is just such an honor that something you felt and wrote down meant
enough to someone else to live with it forever.
Lamitschka:  Most careers don’t last as long as
yours.  What’s given your career the staying power?
Answer:  I’ll be Honest, it’s been just being “Too Dumb
to quit.” I’ve never given up and this road has been 20 years of starting
in Clubs at 15 to going on the road, working my way up, and just when you feel
it’s coming together you get punched. You’ve gotta power through the garbage in
this business and keep pushing, you gotta out work everyone else and stay true
to yourself. For me the work ethic is the thing that I think has kept me in it.
Just doing everything I can to tour better, harder, write better songs and put
out better work each time. I had a mentor tell me one time… Fame, Fortune all
the shit that goes with it, at the end of the day, it’s only the work that
matters and I believe that 100% – The work is bigger than us all.
Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de ) for Country Music News International

 

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