From the moment I saw this guy I knew I had land an interview with him. I am not sure if it was the confused look on his face or the ears from the hat he was wearing, but his pure creativity radiated off him like a bad smell. (Just for the records, he does not smell bad.) Add that to the fact that he has amazing lyrics, a polished set of instrumentals, and some graphic design work that could make the best designer jealous, he simply has the whole package. Hailing from Springfield, Missouri, sit with me today as I introduce you to the one and only Jeremy Larson. (For the record I have a feeling there are multiple Jeremy Larsons out there. But none of them live to the talent that this man produces!)
How long have you been performing?
I’ve been doing my own music full time for about four years. I had been a piano performance major at MSU for a few years, and decided that I was on the wrong career path. I suppose I didn’t really write any music until after I got out of college.
What is your first memory of the guitar?
My grandfather had an old Alvarez guitar that he kept in his basement (which I still have). I was about six years old the first time I played it. For some reason, it was able to keep my attention for hours at a time just strumming open strings on it; my fingers were not really strong enough to do much else.
Where are you originally from?
I grew up in a small town in Kansas called Lindsborg. It’s a small little Swedish town of about 4,000 people or so. While I was growing up, there were still a large number of elderly citizens that still spoke Swedish, and we were taught Swedish folk songs and folk dances in elementary school. It was a very unique place to grow up. I visited there recently and was pleased to hear an elderly couple walking the streets speaking Swedish to each other.
Is there much of a music scene in Springfield?
Yes, absolutely. There are tons of great bands in the area right now, there’s just not a lot of great places to play. There were some laws that passed in recent years that put a large percentage of the venues out of business. I’m not really sure on the details, I just remember seeing it in the paper a lot.
I have to know who came up with the idea for some of that photography?
That would be my girlfriend Elsie. She makes all of my merchandise designs, and takes all of my pictures. She’s a rare talent! It seems that she’s made it her mission to turn me into some kind of soft cuddly plush toy.
Who does all of your graphic design work?
Ryan Strong has done the design work for my first two albums. He’s one of my most talented friends. He does graphic design, photography, and is great song writer too. Elsie designed my MySpace layout and also helps me with my blog.
Do you have a job outside of music?
Outside of music, no. This year I’ve been doing a lot of work as a producer and string arranger for some other bands, and that’s turned into my primary job. It’s really nice to be able to step away from my music and collaborate with other great musicians.
You seem to be friends with some Indyconcerts.com favorites in Sleeping at Last and Eisley. How do you know all those guys?
The funny thing is that I’ve still never actually “met” the guys in Sleeping At Last. I have been a fan of theirs for a long time now, and recently got up the nerve to write them and introduce myself. I saw that they were working on a new album several months back, and thought I’d write them and ask if I could collaborate with them on some string arrangements. It’s a pretty gutsy thing to do; writing a band you respect and basically say, “Hey, let’s try to work together!” Ryan, being the kind hearted person that he is, wrote me right back and agreed to try it out. Since then we’ve become pretty good friends and will actually be sharing a stage for their album release show in a couple of weeks. And by the way, their new album is spectacular!
I was first introduced to Stacy Dupree by my friend Darren King. Darren and I were attempting to write a song with Stacy and her sister Christie a few years ago. To this day, I’ve still never met (in person) any of the Dupree family except for Stacy. All of our work together has been done by phone or email. It’s funny how this has become so common.
You are a story teller, tell me a story.
I tend to be very long-winded, so I’ll have to pass on that one. I know that my story would turn into a novel in no time at all.
Do you write all your own lyrics?
Where do you get inspiration for a new track?
Most of my inspiration usually comes from movies, oddly enough. I’m a HUGE fan of Charlie Kaufman. I’ve really fallen in love with the way that he tells stories. His movies seem to be so three dimensional and complex, but yet with a very simple underlying theme. It seems as though he is unable to let himself retreat into conventional ways of thinking about things, but rather is always attempting to tell an old story in a new way. I’ve also recently gotten pretty obsessed with David Lynch. I really love the freedom that he seems to feel in his writing, and the way that he is always pushing the limits of the viewer’s imagination.
Have you ever co-written with anyone?
If you could only perform one song for the rest of your career what would it be?
That’s tough…I suppose of all the songs I’ve written so far, I still feel the most attached to the song “Make Believe”. Maybe I’d choose that one.
What are your thoughts on the passing of the King of Pop?
I guess I don’t have too much to say on this, because we are talking about a person I’ve never met. The news was a little shocking, but then again we are talking about a human being, so it’s hard to be too surprised when someone doesn’t live forever. It’s always sad anytime anyone loses a family member, and it must be really heart breaking for his family to lose their father while he was so young. I imagine that losing your father has to be one the most difficult things that a person goes through.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Well, I mentioned Charlie Kaufman and David Lynch earlier…Right now I am listening to a lot of Chris Merritt, the new Animal Collective, and the new Sleeping at Last album.
Describe your genre in one word.
Let’s say you are about to headline a show at Madison Square Garden. Who is your opener?
Myself, but acoustic. Just kidding. I’m not sure…I’ve always wanted to share a stage with Ben Folds; mainly so I could just hang out with him.
What are your thoughts on MySpace?
I’m not on it much anymore. Most of the mail I get is “Hey come check out my band and the Junk Joint in Alabama! Free Demo!” and stuff like that. Just this month, I finally signed up for Facebook.
Are you on Twitter?
Do you tour very often?
Not really. I’m more inclined to stay here in Springfield in my studio. Like I mentioned, I will be headed out on the road in the fall for the Sleeping At Last tour.
Do you have a favorite venue?
It’s the Gillioz Theater here in Springfield. We shot our live DVD there. It’s beautiful!
What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?
My “patchy” beard. Or my music. Either one.
I always let the artist get the last word. Go.
Thanks for having me on here!