Give us a little idea of who you are.
Well, I am basically a born and raised southern Indiana kid. I was almost born in Germany where my father was finishing his doctorate, but we moved to North Carolina just months before I was born. Now at the age of 26 I am living with my wife Carrie in a small town just outside Louisville, Kentucky. We are both a part of a church community called Sojourn, and a lot of my music is born within that community.
How did you get your start in music? (how did you learn to sing, play guitar, etc)
I began playing guitar about nine years ago when I would sneek into my older brother’s room and strum on his acoustic. I bought my first guitar for 90 bucks at a pawn shop soon thereafter. I managed to learn a few scales and chords before it fell in half. I didn’t actually discover I could sing until college. I started leading songs by myself at summer camps and retreats before I joined my first band. So essentially, I must have been 21 or so before I really got into music seriously.
You are an excellent songwriter. Describe for us your music and lyric writing process.
Thank you. I’ve been fortunate to get a good background in music education. I studied jazz and standard guitar for about three years in college, and took several theory classes as well. My main concentration was in poetry and fiction, however, which is what I attribute a lot of my lyric writing to. And of course, I listen to a lot of music, which always helps!
What are your musical and lyrical inspirations?
I read a lot, and have studied lots of poetry, so much of my writing comes from authors such as T.S. Eliot, W.C. Williams, Kenneth Rexroth, J.D. Salinger, G.K. Chesterton, Oscar Wilde. the list goes on. Many songwriters have inspired me as well, Jeremy Post (from Black Eyed Sceva), Matt Slocum (6pence), Bill Mallonee (VOL), Eliott Smith, Adam Duritz, Michael Stipe…just to name a few.
You were involved in a music project called “Sojourn”. How did that come to be?
Sojourn is a community of Christian believers who range in ages from about 18 to 40, and all live in the Louisville area. I currently volunteer as one of the musicians for our services, and have written several worship songs for the community as well. In March and April of 2002 we decided to put the songs I had written onto a cd called “With The Angels.”
How did you get involved with Jesse Eubanks?
Jesse (Jay) and I have been friends for 8 or so years, now. He was a youth leader in high school in a ministry where my older brother was on staff. In the midst of several mutual friends, Jesse and I hooked up and began showing each other songs, helping each other in the studio, etc.
Your new ep “The Old And The New” is an excellent example of musicianship, and is a definite progression from your last solo work, “January’s Song”. What was the recording process like for “The Old And The New”?
Again, thanks. I had learned since doing JS that the next time I decided to do a solo type cd I should play and sing at the same time, because the songs sound much more natural and flow a lot better. So basically, that’s what you hear on the cd. The only overdubs were a vocal harmony here and there, and Jesse playing percussion.
Do you have any lyrical themes that you try to convey through your lyrics?
I have thought a lot about that, especially as a student of poetry. That is, I have come to learn how to say things that are not only important, but that also come across in a memorable way. I am a very image-oriented lyricist, which is also a throwback to the great poets. I tend to lean more toward describing something in a more visual way, rather than making broad,
sweeping statements about a particular issue. Music is weird in that way, though. It can work on so many different levels.
What are some of the struggles you face as an independent musician?
There are many pros and cons to not being run by a label. One one hand, you have the freedom to make artistic choices and make your own decisions regarding where you go, what gets recorded & when, etc. Also, with the way technology has caught up in the last few years, indy artists have access to simpler home recording programs and consoles that weren’t available five or ten years ago; thus, making a quality recording no longer requires a million-dollar studio setup. On the other hand, indy artists usually don’t have access to distribution, funding for tours, wide spread promotion, etc; so that puts a load of work on us. There’s good and bad. It mainly comes down to an artist’s decision about what direction he wants to go with his music. Some artists have survived incredible careers without ever signing to a major label, Sunny Day Real Estate, to name one example.
If you could work with any musician/artist, who would it be, and why?
Right now it would have to be Matt Slocum, guitarist/cellist/songwriter for Sixpence None The Richer. Since the release of their first record, I have looked up to him as an inspiration for several aspects of my music– arranging, melody, poetry…the list goes on. The chance to work with him would be a great experience.
What is in the future for Jeremy Quillo, music-wise?
Okay. So I have the solo stuff going on (penguin <webmaster note: Jeremy is referring to The Old and The New ep, which contains a picture of a penguin on the cover>, january… …); then there’s the worship realm (with the angels); and furthermore, I have been singing for a band called “the address” (that name has changed about a bazillion times). All three of these will get recording attention this year, if all goes as planned. I also hope to tour the state of Texas, maybe in late spring, and then eventually some of the west coast. Oh yeah, then there’s the impromtu stage at Cornerstone Festival where about five people might stand there and listen. Watch out!
Any other comments?