Jeremy Harple 24 February 2016 on Rocket Shop
Words by Tom Proctor. Photo by James Lockridge.
Jeremy Harple of The Aerolites joined host Brent Hallenbeck on 'Rocket Shop', Big Heavy World's local Vermont music radio hour on 105.9FM The Radiator. You can listen to Jeremy at www.reverbnation.com/jeremyharple
Jeremy Harple is a musician that understands the common struggle, translating the tribulations of the everyman into folky, bluegrass Americana. He strives to deal with life’s issues head on, discussing the grind and fulfillment with the same gravitas other singers bring to love and relationships. With a unique voice and a blend of genres he sets himself apart and puts his stamp on each track.
In the studio for a blather and a natter he sat down to discuss making music for film, what constitutes a revolution of the soul and where he find his inspiration:
Tom Proctor: You have a number of songs appear in movies, including one by Daniel Quaid, what's the story behind how you landed that gig?
Jeremy Harple: In this case we had musical connection. We know the producers from working with them in the past and if they’re interested in your music they give you a call. That's how we got the nod for the film ‘Beneath the darkness’. It was also somewhat linked to our first album which we created with producer Martin Guigui and Oliver Leiber. Martin was working on a movie and needed another song for the film so he asked us to write a track called ‘Electronic Cigarette’. Victor and I went to a hotel room, recorded it and sent it over the phone the old fashioned way. He liked it so we got it recorded.
TP: Did you have specific parameters for the song or did you guys just wax lyrical.
JH: Yeah, he wanted it to be dark as the movie is a bit twisted. The protagonist in the movie smokes an electronic cigarette after he’s killed someone so that's why they needed a song on that subject. It ended up as the dvd menu soundtrack so a lot of people have fallen asleep to that song (laughs.)
TP: With such a time and subject matter constraint did you find the pressure helpful to your creative process or do you prefer to write in a more relaxed setting?
JH: I like both ways, but the best songs come out spontaneously, inspirationally. I enjoy a challenge to write a song it comes with the territory of screenwriting, and writing for film and TV is an aspiration of mine.
TP: VPR mentioned you have a distinct “Harple Sound’, what would you describe that as?
JH: (Laughs) I missed that one. I’d say it comes from the heart, I try and write in an interesting manner about interesting topics. Love songs are great but one of my goals early on was not to write solely love songs, I like to diversify. I have a lot of sides to my music, the main division being acoustic and electric. Accustic is more bluegrass and folk rock oriented and the electric is more americana, rock and jam. I've also had a lot of people say i have a very unique voice, it's not top notch vocally but it does what i need to do with it.
TP: You've described your music as Rebel Folk, is that due to the genres that you switch and combine or is there another reason behind that description?
JH: I haven't called it that in a long time, I described myself by that phrase back in the early 2000’s when my songs gravitated towards stronger messages. I wouldn't say they were political songs but they were spiritual, messages from the soul.
TP: You mention you have social commentary in your music, other than the spiritual aspect what messages do you tend to discuss?
JH: I write a lot about the daily grind, the 9-5 and how it often seems meaningless. At the same time i've recently been sticking with the goal of doing your best at whatever you choose to do. I try just to say what's on my mind, there's political references but generally it's more of a personal struggle that I document.
TP: Nick Sansone in a review mentioned that you “cry out for a genuine revolution of the soul” would you say that pertains to the personal struggle that you've mentioned?
JH: Yeah it's personal struggle, my own and others, when you know everyone goes through the same things it's pretty easy to tap into that and make a story out of it with the emotions involved. Nicks a big fan (Laughs).