-by David Sautter
-November 16th, 2013
-courtesy of Pinellas Reader
Few local musicians know the business better than Jeremy Gloff. Celebrating his 20th year making music, Gloff released his newest album, Inside of Blue Buildings. The recent release party boasted a big turnout for what he considers to be the most important album of his career. “This is the one with the least amount of boundaries,” says Gloff. An independent singer, song-writer and musician living in Tampa, Gloff has released 18 albums. 17 of those albums, including his latest, were released on his label, Riotboy Records.
Scaling down the tracks of Inside of Blue Buildings, the influence of Gloff’s heroes is more than evident. The chilling piano that begs to be remembered in “Where is the Love” is quickly followed by Gloff’s vocals that are reminiscent of Lindsey Buckingham and Pat Benetar. “Paper Towel” hosts the melancholic melody that is characteristic of the earlier work of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Gloff doesn’t chain himself to his 80s influences for the whole album; “Control Tonight” displays a break into contemporary indie-pop with a cheerful beat on self reflection. The album ends strong with a return to his roots in “Life and Love”. The song is a beautiful harmony between Gloff’s musical and lyrical ability. Strong elements of The Cure are contained within, reminding one instantly of Love Song.
Gloff’s 20 years in music are reflected in each of his albums, highlighting his celebrated successes with his personal lows. Close to midnight, the rarely empty streets of Ybor City provided the backdrop for a conversation with the long time musician. The city itself seemed to sleep; exhausted from a long weekend of the characteristic joyous chaos that takes place week after week. The crowd was missing but the music from Bradley’s, Czar, and G-Bar played on. Following the long shift at his day job, Gloff was all too happy to discuss his latest album as well as his musical origins, inspirations, and endeavors.
Reader: “Thanks for taking the time to chat, Jeremy. You’ve been making music for 20 years, where did it all begin? How did this start?”
Gloff: “When I was a kid, I used to collect vinyl records instead of toys. I started with Fleetwood Mac albums then Blondie and Pat Benatar. Prince was a huge influence. In the sixth grade I discovered Joni Mitchell and everything changed. I started realizing that you could write songs about your life, I learned how to be autobiographical in my songwriting. Before Joni Mitchell, my songs were stupid teen pop.”
Reader: “Tell me about a time when being a musician really paid off.”
Gloff: “There’s a singer who used to sing with Prince in the 80s named Jill Jones and she put out an album called Two. I wrote a review of that album on Amazon and we became friends. I co-wrote with her on my new album [Inside of Blue Buildings]. I started going to New York City and hanging out with Jill Jones. It’s cool to write a song with somebody and know that I was in the same spot that Prince was in at one time.”
Reader: “How would you describe the evolution of your music?”
Gloff: “I think it’s always been lyrically honest but the music became more polished. I know I have a very weird, unique singing voice and on my earlier albums it’s really high-pitched. My voice lowered a little bit with age.”
Reader: “Have you ever been approached to sign with a big name label?”
Gloff: “There was a Tampa-based label in the early 2000s that I was working with but it didn’t work out. I guess I’m so controlling about my output I don’t even like changing my fonts for someone. I do my music more for personal satisfaction than monetary gain. My goal is to make a mark in people’s lives. I want people, years from now, to have memories with my songs. To be brought back into a moment. All my songs are time capsules of things that happened in my own life. I love when my songs become that for other people.”
Reader: “Have you ever doubted what you were doing?”
Gloff: “Yeah, between the last album and this one, I hit the lowest point that I’ve ever hit. I had a whole different group of people that I was hanging out with. I started taking a lot of advice from these people, my music started getting really glossy, and I started acting really bitchy on stage. I morphed into this persona that was so far from who I really am. I wasn’t giving a shit about music anymore. When I went into the studio to record this album, I was full of self doubt.”
Reader: “Was music your redeemer?”
Gloff: “When I was going through that depression, I wanted to figure out who I was. If I wasn’t a songwriter, then who am I? I put away my music, started being a normal person who isn’t creative. I started having dreams with new songs in them. I realized that even if I make the conscious decision to not write songs, then they’ll come to me in dreams. My talent is to take my life and distill it into a song.”
Reader: “20 years and 18 albums later, what’s next? Any tours?”
Gloff: “The 19th album! I already have a wish-list for my next album of people I want to get in the studio. I have friends all over the United States, I think it would be cool to visit friends and play in their living rooms. I want to get away from the music business one-hundred percent. I want to bring music back to grassroots and connect with people.”
Inside of Blue Buildings is the much needed antithesis of Gloff’s previous album, marking his return to the music world of true self expression. “People were ready for me to get back to being introspective with my music again,” says Gloff. If you are interested in listening to Jeremy Gloff’s music, you can visit his website (www.JeremyGloff.com). It has been a very rewarding two years for Gloff as he has triumphed over the struggle of internal, social and musical self discovery. “I lost a bunch of friends but in the process of losing them, I regained myself.” Gloff’s dedication to the living necessity of creativity is clear as the process, product, and people matter far more than profit. “I make music because I love it.
I love being in the studio. I love having my friends come in and be part of the recordings. Each album is another chapter in my book. There’s something pure and liberating about that.”