Jeremy Jermaine Jerome: Buffalo bizarre-core
blog by Ben Kirst • June 14, 2012 @ 9:52am
Buffalo is a city that celebrates the fringe—from outsider visual artists to aurally challenging musicians to avant-garde theater, there is a rich vein of anti-mainstream and, quite frankly, weird creativity that resonates through the region. It’s not necessarily beautiful or even accessible, but it can often be quite powerful.
Enter Jeremy Jermaine Jerome: a verbal artist with a handlebar mustache, a penchant for experimental film and an underground album, Weapon: Canonization that combines his subversively literate flow with a heavy combination of garage, hip-hop, new wave and even industrial beats. The foundation is then melded together with feedback, environmental noises and a series of esoteric samples ranging from spooky choirs to sex moans. It is, to be honest, a bizarre record, like listening to Cex remix a Nine Inch Nails album on DMT. And, like DMT, it is also bizarrely addictive.
Jeremy Jermaine Jerome has been described by buffaBLOG as “...this mullet wearing, patriotic flag waving Weird Al-Outkast lovechild. He’s a wild man that runs, jumps and prowls the junk yard looking for something to break. It’s the kind of thing where you laugh out at loud while bouncing your head to the undeniably catchy beat.” Yet JJJ is no joke—he is serious about his music and passionate about his art, as you will see in the sprawling email interview below.
Jeremy Jermaine Jerome will perform as Just Ending Now at 8 p.m. on Friday at Soundlab (115 Pearl St., Buffalo). He will be joined by recent Artvoice Best of Buffalo award winner A.J. Jordan. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Buffalo.com: Not much is known about you (by design?). Are you from Buffalo? How long have you been making music? What is your connection to North Carolina?
Jeremy Jermaine Jerome: Yes, I was born in the great renaissance known as Buffalo, N.Y. and grew up my entire life splitting time between here and various locations. North Carolina has been the most prominent place I have gone back and forth from. I completed a majority of my education there, and coming back home to Buffalo continues to be great luxury to me. My whole family is from here and as well I have deep ties in North Carolina, too. It is suiting to have a New York state of mind mixed with Southern hospitality, for it is the components that make a worthy opponent to push a defining artistry. Too add living in England has had a great impact on my life, too.
Music has been the great trial and tribulation of my history. I believe everything has been centered around it in some way, shape, or form since 12 years old when a friend asked if I could freestyle on a school trip. I believe I wore a No Limit Records chain shortly after and Wu wear became my dress code. That point is when I felt it was within me to carry out my own contributions.
Music has haunted me my whole life way before that incident. Rock n roll was my household upbringing, on top of mimicking every Michael Jackson music video. Life got real for me at eight years old because that is when hip-hop crashed into my whole eco system. I was trying to get a pager, pegs on my bike and asked to start getting boxers just so I can sag my pants. Funny thing was, my mom taught me to wear my boxers above my belly button so when I “sagged” they really were at my waist. Good one, mom. I also remember cutting off my circulation constantly because I was had the proper waist size but still felt determine to pay homage to the cause. That is what probably drove to do the unimaginable and pull off the greatest sag ever conceptualized. I sagged so hard that to the untrained eye it may have appeared I was not wearing any pants at all though I can’t disclose exactly where they were hanging from but I do believe I held some kind of record.
Buffalo.com: Your work combines some really interesting rhyming, kind of non-traditional beats and unsettling samples. It’s much different than anything else I am hearing locally and even nationally. Who do you consider your musical influences? What do you listen to? Where do you find sounds?
JJJ: My musical influences taught me that there is no reason in doing this if I don’t truly have something to contribute. We are in a day and age of “it’s all been said and done,” but I love that challenge. There is this theme of constant recycling of material, and in all due respect that best applies to the contents of paper, plastic and aluminum. To each there own, and not to contradict what I just said, I do think all music belongs. Personally, I feel obligated to be innovative and genre-defying, undeniable, incomparable and unclassifiable.
Other than that I wouldn’t be making a contribution to something has given so much to all of us. It is worth a listen because I feel very responsible in not wasting anyones time.
My favorite band of all time are the Red Hot Chili Peppers and, coming right after, A Perfect Circle. My hero is Trent Reznor, the soundtrack to a never ending process he has created.
Music I have been listening to recently: the new Lana Del Rey, Regina Spektor and Sigur Ros albums. I am estatic to evidently hear the new Fiona Apple material! She is a marvel with lyrics! Does Coco Rosie got a new single out !?! A huge tangent has been halted!
Sounds have been contributed by close friends or myself. Everything I produce is completely played all the way through, and as original as time and unbeknown will allow. Others use samples amazingly, though I just don’t prefer it for myself unless it is on a toothpick. There is a strive to capture a full sound and one that will metaphorically and literally shake things up. It is exciting to create an enigma of always expecting the unexpected because there is no where musically that it is intimidated to go. As untypical it has been, it can very well go to any precise direction at anytime and still have strong integrity and high curiosity attached to it.
Buffalo.com: What else do you have planned besides the upcoming show—other performances, shows, travel, etc.?
JJJ: I love the process of showing and proving so much that my first performance at home is my whole focus. This (show on Friday) has been one my biggest goals set in this lifestyle I have chosen. To come home and present something that the city will be proud of and support, knowing it can shape the whole world. The goal is for the world to recognize how incredible Buffalo is and, at the same time, inspire others to feel wherever there from is exactly that way, too! Plus, for each individual to gather if you are here in this life, you are important.
More specifically, there is alot of work ahead. That not only pertains to that is new, but as well what has already been done. I am not a believer in things being outdated or too old to present. I do recognize certain things could have been done differently and stronger, though I stand behind the flaws.
Buffalo.com:When we were at Squeaky Wheel (for a screening of JJJ’s short film,——-), it sounded as though the film was not your first work. How heavily involved are you in filmmaking? How did you get started? How much film work have you done?
JJJ: The short film - - - - - aspires to make an staple in American cinema and a cult sensation around the world. The effort is made in this artistry to be recognized and acknowledge for that is the necessary measures taken for the true messages and experiences to come full circle. For the record, it has been told a certain someone talks in circles when, in actuality, everything is very definitive, though just like life it was in front of us the whole time it just took however long for one to realize.
It is strange, because when I was younger, there was a time I thought, how are people obsessed with music (ironic right)? Then I recall watching The Basketball Diaries a couple years after it came out, and that is when films became real to me. They were lessons, their sacrifices from others to show us things we can grow from without all the hardship.
Honestly, I feel films might have a stronger influence on the music being created than songs.
I have seen so many superior films I have a deep understanding of what greatness is via motion picture. Then one can only know to attempt it yourself—this is what you strive for and completely surpass it!
There has been an ambition to never limit myself though it has been surprising to get into other territories of culture. The determination has lead to film, and i am involved with everything not by choice but because it just has to get done. The creativity is the best part to make something endless that has only so much to it. Really, this last film was very special because my close friend ROY got involved and we did everything. We did it completely together with a great cast of individuals. It was a blessing to have someone believe in me so much and sacrifice so much and work extremely hard to see this through! This was done completely together! Like how things should work.
We just started presenting - - - - - and we have a great voyage to go because we feel it is a very important piece and will make sure it is an available resource for the world! There are so many great conversations and thoughts that await this short film for so many! Watch it! Please.
ROY! is already planning our next contribution and it will only push the envelope further.
Buffalo.com: What are your goals right now?
JJJ: To work hard to have the opportunity to work harder is my personal goal. I want to live the day to see my mother happy living in the manner of what she wants to do, and away from what she has or going to do. Basically no more worries.
To give back what was given to me by so many. I didn’t get through life by myself and I am determined for the day to return the helping hand to all of those that lent theirs to me.
Culture-wise, to raise the bar, set the standard and continually break it.
To give the highest quality and most introspective displays of sound and literature with the most powerful impact.
Be considered one of the elite performers of the world!
Migrate intelligence as the forefront of common place.
For all to strive for experiences, and make the best of what we endure.
To ultimately deal with our problems and learn not to avoid them.
The process of growing is so completely beautiful.
To break barriers. To shed light on what is dark and cast a shadow on what blinds us. Everything is necessary and getting through it is the triumph of living. Life is the most incredible experience granted to us thus far being in it. We are so fortunate to coexist with so much done before, present and that which will come after.