Q and A: Jeremy Gloff’s ’21st Century Love Songs’

-by Okesene Tilo (appeared in the Square One blog)
-December 2009

Tampa singer-songwriter JEREMY GLOFF recently released 21ST CENTURY LOVE SONGS, his 16th studio album and self-described most mature collection of songs at SQUARE ONE’s creative extravaganza MAGNUM OPUS held at THE RITZ YBOR last month. Okesene Tilo recently sat down with the Tampa star regarding his new album.

OKESENE TILO: Good Morning Jeremy. First off, THANK YOU for performing at MAGNUM OPUS last November and agreeing to hold your album release party for 21ST CENTURY LOVE SONGS at the event. Describe your experience that night.

JEREMY GLOFF: Surreal. MAGNUM OPUS was one of those nights where it felt like life had been sped up. It felt like one minute I was unloading my gear and then ten minutes later, I was home in bed. I didn’t get to see much of the event except for from the stage, but it looked packed and people seemd to be enjoying themselves. I am grateful to SQUARE ONE for giving me the opportunity to perform in front of such a great crowd.


Jeremy performing at Square One’s Magnum Opus (11.14.09)

OT: 21ST CENTURY LOVE SONGS has been described as your most mature and grown-up album to date. What changed personally from last year’s 1987 album to inspire you to steer in a different direction musically?

JG: My previous album was a 1980s-inspired dance album. At first while promoting that album… I really enjoyed being goofy, zany, and outrageous on stage, but I found myself getting increasingly cynical and observational. I watched our country slip into the worst financial state I’ve ever seen since I was born. I watched the general public become increasingly numbed and fixated by the internet. I feel like an outsider more than I ever have in my life and this isn’t really something I’m enjoying. I think there’s a lot of that alienation in this new album. The album is also about love which I think might be dead.

Jeremy performing at his Square One sponsored 1987 Album Release Party (09.23.08)

OT: I attended a studio session while you were recording 21ST CENTURY LOVE SONGS, and was impressed by the sizable roster of local talent that came together to help create your record. How did you gather everyone together?

JG: Bascially I made a Tampa musician wish list: I wanted all of my great friends and peers that I respect and enjoy on this album. I made a chart with two columns. One column had the listing of new songs, and the other column had my musician wishlist. I then matched each person to the song I felt belonged to them. I didn’t tell anyone what to play in the studio, but instead just sent them demos. They showed up in the studio and poured a piece of themselves into the songs. It really blew my mind.

OT: Track 6 titled COKE & ECSTASY is my favorite song off of your album, but sounds nothing like any other song that you have recorded. How would you describe your sound today?

JG: This new album came out of nowhere without a pre-determinded idea of its style. Although I am not a fan of these bands, I do think there’s a melancholy similar to bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, and The Smiths. I love The Killers who write great emotional pop songs. I’m a huge Sonic Youth fan which I think some of their soundscapes inspired me this time around. I think this album, more than any before it, draws more on male musician influences than female. I don’t think my idols Madonna or Stevie Nicks figure anywhere on this new album.

OT: Currently, you are accepting online requests from fans to perform an acoustic version of any song from your catalog that spans over 16 years via YouTube. What inspired this?

JG: I’ve been doing this for almost a solid twenty years. I think as an artist I can be stubborn and too forward thinking. During the past year it dawned on me that sure I can be an advice columnist, an Amazon.com reviewer, a flashy public personality, but at the heart of it all… I am a songwriter. And through the years, I think some of these songs I wrote meant something to people. I wanted to give these people a chance to step forward and hear some of the songs they loved again. ..a great way to end a decade.

OT: Now that 21ST CENTURY LOVE SONGS is released, what is next on your calendar for 2010?

JG: Right now I find myself enjoying being at home, reading a lot and watching movies. I find myself angry and disappointed by society. I know I need to shake this reclusiveness if I want to properly promote my new album. I hope to create some music videos to go along with these songs, and to play some shows where I bleed my heart out and do it just for the music again.

JEREMY GLOFF’S 16th studio album, 21ST CENTURY LOVE SONGS is now available for purchase on iTunes and CDbaby.