You might know New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Jeremy Zucker from his ‘comethru’ fame. Maybe you were one of the lucky few who got to meet him in Malaysia last year.
Well, last week we were lucky enough to have Jeremy Zucker agree to answer anything on our Instagram page. So we turned to our fans to help! His fans from Singapore and Malaysia asked questions about everything from his favourite guitars to his lyrical inspiration.
If you missed our feature on Instagram, you can still watch him via our highlights, or read on to see his answers to your questions!
Must have guitar pedals?
I actually don’t own any guitar pedals and I also don’t even own a guitar amp. I literally just plug my guitar into my computer and I have a bunch of virtual sounds on there through Logic Pro. You should try that out, you get a lot of different options for very cheap. You don’t have to buy individual pedals for individual sounds which I like alot.
What digital audio workstation (DAW) do you use?
I use Logic Pro X.
What is the favourite guitar you own?
I only have two guitars and they are both electric. I don’t own an acoustic guitar right now because it got stolen on my last tour and I just haven’t gotten around to buying a new one. I have a Fender Stratocaster and a Telecaster but I think I like the Tele the most just because it’s so pretty.
How do you come up with your lyrics and what inspired you to write the songs that you have written?
That’s a really good question. I think my lyrics come from my life and my experiences. They are always very, very honest and sort of “train of thought” and conversational. My life experiences and the voice inside my head is what inspires a lot of the writing ,n my songs. You know, the sort of like rumination and overthinking things. Almost like, putting myself in therapy; like I’m the therapist and the person getting therapy. That is sort of the dynamic that stems a lot of the writing in my songs.
Any tips for production/ mixing ?
Well, yeah. I would say practice, practice, practice and also A/B your mixes with other mixes/productions that you like a lot.
I actually don’t mix my songs anymore just because it started to drive me crazy and it’s, in my opinion, I think it’s the least creative part of the process. Not that it is the least creative part, you can get really creative with mixing but you need a lot of technological know-how which I have but it’s really hard for me to mix my own music because I have such a specific idea in mind so I like to sort of send it to out to someone else that I trust a lot and have them really pick it apart and do their thing and I sort of strip back what they did and we meet right in the middle where I couldn’t have brought it myself.
My biggest tip for production/ mixing is to sort of A/B and listen to mixes that you like and try to make your mixes sound like that, if that makes sense.
What made you want to pursue a career in music?
It was not my goal initially. I was a molecular biology student in college and I was pre-med. I thought I was going to go to med school but I think deep down I didn’t really want to go. I was always making music on the side and honestly it was you guys that made me want to pursue a career in music because I think if I did not have such early support before I realised that this was what I was going to do I wouldn’t have done it because I think it was not realistic that people would like my music. I believed in it but I didn’t know if anyone else would.
These next questions are from Malaysia.
Yes! New album: “Love Is Not Dying”. It’s coming very soon and it’s my favourite thing I have ever worked on.
When are you coming back to Malaysia?
I don’t have a flight booked. Umm, I’m going to come back as soon as I can. You know there’s a lot going on in the world and I don’t know when that’s going to happen. But I hope it’s really soon because I had a really amazing time the last time I was in Malaysia.
How did you get into songwriting?
It was weird, it was the most natural thing for me because my parents sort of made me take piano lessons when I was little. And I remember like when my first, no, literally my second piano lesson. I must have been 6 years old. I sat down at the piano with my teacher and while I was practising I made up a little riff [sings a melody] or something stupid and basic like that. I was like “Look! I made a song.” and she (my teacher) was like “that is not a song.” and I was like “it’s not?”
And I guess ever since then I was sort of afraid to experiment with piano. I ended up quitting piano and picking up guitar because I was obsessed with bands like Blink 182. I basically started copying their music and rewrote their lyrics and then, from there it was really easy to just start writing my own songs. I guess because I had all of this knowledge of how to play and how other people write. Also, I think all songwriters start copying someone else and then you sort of learn to find your way.
Stratocaster or Telecaster?
Playability, it’s just easier for me to play on a Strat but I think Telecasters are prettier.
Do you see yourself collaborating with Bruno Mars?
I am a huge fan of Bruno Mars. He is crazy talented but I don’t know if I would see myself collaborating with him. That would be insane though, like I guess I’m down, but I don’t know if I see myself collaborating with him. Would be sick!
What is the craziest thing your fans have done for you?
This was probably in Seoul, Korea during my last Asia tour. I played two sold out nights there and on the second night, someone in the crowd snuck in all of these giant post it notes or these giant index cards that had the lyrics to “comethru” and “talk is overrated” on it. It also had all the translated lyrics on it and then when you flipped it around, it had my name and a bunch of hearts and so they were all teaching everyone in the crowd the lyrics who didn’t know my lyrics. They were screaming the lyrics to my songs and then at the end during the encore they all flipped it around (there were instructions when to flip it around and they all flipped it around at the same time) and it said my name and there were hearts and like everyone in the crowd, all 600 or 800 people had one. That was a really insane moment then, there was a lot of love in the air.
Your favourite guitar related purchase?
Oh, I actually just got a travel guitar. Just like a little acoustic, a mini acoustic guitar. It’s in my studio right now so it’s not with me but that was one of my favourite guitar related purchases because it is so little and sort of dinky sounding but really cool in that way also. You can also take it wherever because it’s this big [places his hands about 1 foot apart].
Also thanks so much for the questions guys. This was fun.