Is Jeremy Neale the hardest working touring musician in Australia? The acclaimed solo artist, as well as member of a whole host of Brisbane indie outfits, most notably Velociraptor, is the self-described “Harlem Globetrotters of live music”. This year alone he’s been on three East Coast solo tours, a European tour with Velociraptor and a whole host of support tours for acts like Ball Park Music, The Preatures, Surfer Blood and Gung Ho.
Neale has just dropped his debut solo EP, In Stranger Times, and found himself a strange moment of time to drop us a line about being on the road, mastering the theatre show and running one of the funniest artist Facebook pages we’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering.
Music Feeds: Hey, Jeremy! Thanks for your time. Do you love being on the road or are you horribly sick of it by now?
Jeremy Neale: I love it when I’m there and it’s an honour to be able to play in a bunch of different cities. The only hard part really is trying to balance a normal home life. Work is hard to fit in but necessary to fund touring but then you find yourself not writing enough because all your time is taken up. I guess I just gotta learn to write better whilst on a plane or something.
MF: You must have some pretty great stories from all of those adventures. What’s the best moment you’ve had touring this year?
JN: Best moment I’ve had touring this year was finally getting to drop a line I’d been patiently waiting months to say – “if you like having a good time, you’re gonna love having a great time”. Yes, it’s the simple things but it was beautiful and the audience at the Enmore in Sydney were very supportive of me during this magical time.
MF: Your debut EP In Stranger Times has just come out. Can you tell us a bit about inspiration behind the record?
JN: The EP takes snapshots from my life – no concept EP here. Well, unless snapshots is the theme. It’s mostly upbeat songs about varying elements of heartbreak. Merry-Go-Round deals with the hazards of maintaining friendship post-relationship. Lone Tiger addresses balance and the need to be awake and present in a relationship, though Swing Left is based around a nightmare I had of being in a coma for 10 years. Heavy stuff.
MF: And how does your solo stuff vary from the many bands you’ve been a part of?
JN: I guess the start of the solo journey has been all about being quite precise in what I’d like to accomplish recording-wise but I think the real difference will become apparent as I head towards the next release. Stylistic changes are easily achievable when one has the freedom to change at will and when you’re the main moving part you can make that jump quite quickly.
MF: Do you have a favourite track on the EP, and does it differ from your favourite track to play live?
JN: Well, my favourite track on the EP is a song called Lone Tiger but my favourite to play live is definitely still In Stranger Times. Mainly because of the desire to stage invade it brings out in people.
Watch: Jeremy Neale – In Stranger Times (Live At Music Feeds Studio)
MF: We love your video for In Stranger Times with the Go Violets. Can you tell us about the making of it?
JN: We didn’t have any money but we did have an iPhone and the need for a video clip. I didn’t really have a concept either so I just wrote down like 80 ideas for brief cutaways and then we kind of just made it up as we went along. Not technically great but quite possibly entertaining and a fun day out for myself and Go Violets.
MF: You’re currently on the road yet again – what can punters expect from a Jeremy Neale live show?
JN: I don’t know if I’ve mastered the art of the theatre show yet. I mean, the band is super tight and we definitely entertain but I break the fourth wall of performance too much. Too interactive with the crowd perhaps? That might be half the fun though. I encourage stage invasion, sing-a-longs and an occasional get to know a local legend segment.
MF: Hats off to your Facebook page – there’s always some hysterically odd stuff going on over there. Do you think social media plays a big part in getting yourself out there as an independent artist in this day and age?
JN: Ha ha, thank you. I think my Facebook music page is a lot of fun to run. I think social media is super important as an independent artist. It has connected the artist and fans in an amazingly direct way and made for a greater community environment for music in general.
MF: Your home town of Brisvegas has a thriving music scene. Who else should we check out that we might not have heard of?
JN: Johnny and The Fembots, The Good Sports, Occults, Major Leagues, Babaganouj, The Creases, Cannon, The Madisons and James X Boyd & The Boydoids just to name a few.
Jeremy Neale is touring with ‘In Stranger Times’ right now. Remaining tour dates are below.
Jeremy Neale In Stranger Times EP Tour
With special guests Major Leagues
Tickets on sale now
Friday, 8th November
Rocket Bar, Adelaide
Saturday, 9th November
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Friday, 15th November
SOL Bar, Maroochydore
Saturday, 16th November
The Zoo, Brisbane