Q and A With Laura Collins

September, 1997

LC: So Jeremy how are you doing?
JG: I’m okay
.
LC: Did you want to tell me something about your childhood and what it was like to grow
up in this area?
JG: Well there’s definitely a big difference between city people and small-town people. I feel kinda
fortunate that I grew up in a small town cause I kind of like the sense of community that you
get in a small town. I think it added a lot to who I am as a person.

LC: Did you spend your entire childhood in Fredonia?
JG: Yeah. I didn’t leave until I was nineteen.

LC: Where did you go then?
JG: Buffalo, New York

LC: How long were you there
JG: I lived there for a year

LC: Were you by yourself or did you live with people? How was that?
JG: I actually moved with my friend Shauna (hey Shauna). She was going to college out there and
needed a roommate so I decided I could fill that position, so to speak. And I didn’t spend
much time alone in Buffalo. I had a lot of friends and spent a lot of time having friends at the
apartment.

LC: Is Shauna the only person you lived with when you were in Buffalo?
JG: Yes

LC: How long did you live there again I’m sorry?
JG: I think eleven months, so basically a year.

LC: You don’t seem to stay away from Fredonia very long do you?
JG: It always seems like I’m going from one place to another-this is always like a home base, so to
speak.

LC: Now what was high school like for you? What happened to you there?
JG: Well I was very much an exhibitionist in high school. I always felt the need to draw attention to
myself by how I dressed, my actions.

LC: Can you give us any examples of that?
JG: The day before Easter vacation I wore a one-piece pajama outfit and carried around an Easter
basket with a whip, handcuffs, and a candle in it. I had long hair at that point and I put it in
pigtails. I guess that day I was the “Bondage Bunny” or something.

LC: Did you have a little sign or anything that said “Bondage Bunny” or just told people
this?
JG: I think people drew their own conclusions.

LC: Did you draw any songs from your high school experience?
JG: Actually, a lot of what went on in high school didn’t come out till my fifth tape Below the
Velvet. A lot of stuff from high school actually came out on that tape.

LC: Can you think of any explanation. Maybe you weren’t ready to deal with it until then?
JG: I think so because a lot of the problems I had in high school would be dealing with my
sexuality. It wasn’t till the point I made that tape that I was really comfortable with it so I could
finally go back and take a look at how I lived then and actually write about it.

LC: The song I seem to recall standing out on that tape about just accepting yourself
perhaps is “I Am a Boy.”
JG: Yeah that song was definitely about high school.

LC: Were you involved in any organizations when you were high school?
JG: Yeah I was in band.

LC: What did you play?
JG: Percussion. I was in chorus. I was in the musicals. Actually my big appearance in high school
was as the rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof.

LC: Is that the appearance you gave the radio interview for?
JG: No that was for a different play I did once I graduated.

LC: Now you were on the Camilla Scott show. That’s a Canadian talk show isn’t it?
JG: OH GOD! Yeah.

LC: Do you want to tell us about that?
JG: It was fun being on a talk show but I don’t think I said enough cause I wasn’t very confident
once I actually got on the stage.

LC: The show was trapped in the 80s wasn’t it?
JG: Yeah

LC: Can you tell us anything about the other panelists that were on it?
JG: They were all nice people but none of the people were actually trapped in the decade that they
claimed to be. I think everyone just wanted to get on TV, including myself.

LC: Where was this set and how did you get there?
JG: It was in Toronto and I got there by bus. My friend Julie Gwiz volunteered me to be on the
show so we got a free trip out of the deal.

LC: She went with you?
JG: Yeah she was on the show with me.

LC: You paired up with Anne Fearman for Hot Lunch I believe and you named yourselves
the Basement Lounge.
JG: Yeah we did make one tape together and actually the songs that became the Heavy
Machinery tape were supposed to be our second album but we split up as a band.

LC: Why?
JG: I think the way I work and the way Anne works are completely different. Like for me, music
is a 24/7 thing. I think for Anne it was more of a recreation. The way I worked and the way
she worked just definitely did not work together.

LC: Did she leave any kind of lasting impression upon you, influencing your music in any
way?
JG: Yeah definitely. It was Anne who pushed me to go towards the guitar. At the point when
Anne and I started working together I only played keyboard on my first two tapes. And it
was always Anne that said “let’s get out the guitar” so if it wasn’t for Anne my music would
definitely be different now.

LC: Well that’s a good thing I think.
JG: I think so too.

LC: You guys went to Chicago didn’t you or some city out there is seems?
JG: We went to Erie. We played in Erie a few times.

LC: You were in a club and Anne yelled at an old woman looking in. Do you recall what
she said?
JG: Oh this was at Cuppachino’s in Erie. Anne yelled out the window something like “suck my
clit” or something like that. So I heard that that coffeehouse no longer had musicians
playing there. So I’m glad we made a lasting impression. (Laugh)

LC: Leaving your mark all over the place aren’t we! What about your first acting
appearance?
JG: Oh god! Well I did act in the high school musical but my first acting appearance was actually
in a church video I made in eighth grade. I was a detective looking for a saint or something. I
can’t remember it very well.

LC: What church would this be for?
JG: St. Joseph’s. Yeah that was my very first acting appearance-very embarrassing to watch.

LC: Can we get our hands on that tape if we wanted to do you think?
JG: Yeah but I’m not gonna say how!

LC: Well I have my ways! After you graduated high school you said you were in a play or
musical?
JG: Yeah I did two productions with the local theater company. I did The Odd Couple The
Female Version and I did some other play that I can not remember the name of. The Real
Inspector Hound. That was the name of it.

LC: What theater groups did you do that with?
JG: The D+F Players.

LC: Can you remember anything about that. Like what part you had?
JG: All I remember is wanting it to be over kind of. Like it was fun but it was a lot of work for
little reward I felt.

LC: That’s too bad but you seem to have found your artistic medium. Now what about the
cover art on your albums. It always seems to be something different but at the same
time there’s a thread running through all of it that is similar.
JG: Well people who listen to my tapes know it’s always me on the cover usually.

LC: Except for Below the Velvet
JG: Yeah except Below the Velvet and even that was a cartoon character inspired by me I guess.
I think because the music so much deals with who I am that it’s only fitting to have who I am
on the cover too. What I look like and what I’m going through is always reflected by the cover.

LC: Who do you usually have take your photographs for your covers?They’re all very
clear and concise. You have good photographers.
JG: I’ve worked with a few different people. Someone I work with quite often is Shauna
Rinehuls, the girl I lived with in Buffalo. The last two covers I did not work with Shauna on
but many of the ones before that I did.

LC: Is Shauna the person who videotaped your video for Jeremy’s Wonderland?
JG: Yes she did. We made a video for the song “Wonderland”.

LC: Is it just “Wonderland” or is it “Jeremy’s Wonderland?”
JG: The album is called Jeremy’s Wonderland and the song is “Wonderland”.

LC: What about relations with other local artists? I know you have like 21 on your
compilation that’s coming out soon.
JG: There’s gonna be 21 people playing at the show and there’s actually thirty different people on
the tape.

LC: So you have pretty good relationships with the local artists?
JG: Yeah I like to work with different people. I usually don’t work much with college
bands…more people that don’t go to college.

LC: Do you feel they influence you like perhaps like Anne Fearman did?
JG: I don’t think so. I think Anne influenced me but around here I haven’t really picked up on
much.

LC: What about Another Dead Sharon. Do you think they influence you?
JG: Yeah definitely. I lived with them in Atlanta. Listening to their music and stuff definitely made
me push my sound into a more experimental…

LC: You can hear that on Jeremy’s Wonderland and Songs About Stupid People.
Tell us about Atlanta a little bit. You didn’t seem very happy there.
JG: Oh it was a nightmare. I was talking about it to a friend yesterday. I said it was like making
a jigsaw puzzle and having only one piece left to put in, and then trying to fit a piece from a
different puzzle in there. That’s how I felt in Atlanta. There was no way I could fit into it.

LC: You picked up some of the slang down there didn’t you?
JG: You know that’s right!

LC: Do you feel that your homosexuality is maybe precluding you a little bit from the
fame that you seem to seek? Do you feel maybe people are less likely to open
themselves up to your music because “oh God he’s gay I don’t want to be listening
to that” or something?
JG: Well I think if anything a lot of times what I am trying to say in a song is missed because
that’s all people can focus on. Like if I’m doing a love song that would totally seem
“normal” if I was saying “she” in it, people can’t get past the fact that I’m saying “he”
instead of “she”.

LC: Yeah do you think that might perhaps keep people from sitting down and listening to your music a lot of the time?
JG: I’d say sometimes. But I also think that maybe my music is changing people’s views on that
because it is so down to earth.

LC: Yes it is good but it is also very easy to get caught up in certain things. Now where
do you draw your inspiration from? It seems like a lot of it does come from being
spurned in love but you also have your mother and caring about your friends and
stuff…
JG: Throughout the albums I’ve made every album has a theme…and where I’m getting the
inspiration from is definitely different with each album. Like on Jeremy’s Wonderland I got
a lot of inspiration from traveling and from the sky actually. And just from trying to feel
good. Every album definitely has its own points that I draw from.

LC: You seem to have a growing fascination with the sky. Do you have anything to say
about that?
JG: Well I did go through a bad phase in my life and a lot of the times that was my only comfort.
I’m getting out of that phase a little bit…

LC: How old were you when you produced your first album?
JG: Nineteen.

LC: And how old are you now?
JG: Twenty-two. I am going to be twenty-three in a couple of months.

LC: How many albums have you released?
JG: I have made eight albums.

LC: So that’s like eight albums in three or four years. That’s prolific…. Now you have a
fun little anecdote about Dicky Barrett, the lead singer for the Mighty Mighty
Bosstones don’t you?
JG: Yeah he played at Fredonia and my friend was trying to pick him up (that would be Anne
Fearman from the Basement Lounge) and I pushed her out of the way and pushed a copy of
my tape on him and said “HERE’S A GOOD TAPE TAKE IT AND LISTEN TO IT!”

LC: And did he ever listen to it?
JG: I never heard anything from him again.

LC: Well that’s too bad! Do you think he listened to it?
JG: Probably, hopefully.

LC: Won’t you just die if they release a cover of one of the songs on it?
JG: Yeah that would be something.

LC: Now your music really seems to have grown since your first “I’m a nineteen-year-old
this is my music” and now you’re twenty-two. It really has grown a lot in such a short
period of time. Can you give us any sort of explanation for it?
JG: Well definitely once again Another Dead Sharon comes into the picture. With their
equipment and stuff it’s been a big help. And my friend Josh has shown me the ins and outs
of how to record well. Other people have come into the picture too that have shaped the
music like right now I’m working with a guy named Andy, working on some songs for my
next album. And I think that’s a step up from the album that’s out right now even.

LC: Jeremy’s Wonderland?
JG: Yeah.

LC: How much do your albums usually cost?
JG: I sell them for two dollars. Two to three dollars.

LC: That’s a like unreasonably low price for such great music. How do you feel about
re-recording your songs? I know a lot of artists feel that is wrong, that just shouldn’t
be done, because once you do it that’s the way it’s done. You really don’t seem to shy
away from that. You recorded “You Could Never Love Me” twice: on True Stories and
on Below the Velvet. “Hollow Bodies”-you have two versions of that on Songs About
Stupid People.
JG: Yeah a lot of times the reason that that’s done is cause something that happened to me once-
it takes on a new life. And like there’s more to the story or the words mean something different. Whenever I re-record one of my old songs it’s definitely a different version. I don’t think I’ve ever done the same song twice.

LC: No I don’t think so. “Prince Charming”-you have another version of that coming
out on this upcoming album.
JG: On the upcoming album there is a new version of the “Prince Charming” song from Hot
Lunch and that will also be on my compilation I am coming out with.

LC: Do you have any idea when your new album will be coming out?
JG: Hopefully February or March. Sometime in the late winter / early spring.

LC: Well we’ll look forward to that. How did you go about casting your video? You
have a new video coming out.
JG: Well I walked into a meeting at the college and I saw this kid sitting there.

LC: What kind of meeting?
JG: The gay/bisexual blah something something something

LC: Okay
JG: And my friends told me about this kid that’s in a club-the Rocky Horror Picture Show club
that would fit the video-the concept I was looking for-and actually when I saw the kid I felt
like he was someone that I wanted to be in my video.

LC: What about the other people in your video? Were they just sort of hanging around
your house and you said “come be in my video?”
JG: Yeah my friend Kortnee made an appearance in the video and that was kind of like spur of
the moment “oh why don’t you walk up there” and my friend Toad’s also in the video and I
think she’s a very good image for the camera. I definitely wanted to use her character in the video.

LC: Did you go into symbolism of did you just think “oh that looks neat?” I noticed you
sort of frolicking in a creek with a sheet on in the very beginning.
JG: Well there definitely is symbolism in the video. The first half of the video shows just me in
some very strange situations. And I think in the first part of the video I was putting myself in
some very uncomfortable positions-like I was freezing in the water- then the second half of
the video shows me finding comfort or happiness in a way- and that kind of deals with the song.

LC: Is there any symbolism in you and Jason Piper’s character in front of the church
with Toad?
JG: Basically what that was showing was I was on one part of the church and he was another. It
was a separation between two people. Like we were never together.

LC: So it wasn’t “THE CHURCH” or anything?
JG: No. Well in a way.

LC: It was?
JG: A little bit. I wanted to use a church because my sexuality is so unaccepted in the church. It
was kind of funny because during the filming of the video a lady poked her head out the
door and said “hopefully what you’re filming is appropriate for the church” and I said “Oh it
is!” but if only she knew the concept I was going for.

LC: What about the railroad tracks? I believe you had them on the inside cover of
Jeremy’s Wonderland too except here you were on one track, and Jason was on the
other and then Toad was in the middle.
JG: Yeah there was definitely more with the separation theme. At the end of the video me and
Jason become more of a unified…

LC: And I notice that Toad pulls you together. Is there any kind of symbolism in the
female bringing you together or anything?
JG: Yeah she’s definitely the guardian angel or whatever you wanna call it.

LC: Does the fact that she’s a girl have any sort of meaning in it or is it just she’s sort of
like a person…
JG: I think it’s definitely because she’s female-there’s always a more sensitive caring side to the
female than there seems to in the male.

LC: Skipping back to high school. You had a party for Madonna’s Girlie Show. Do you
wanna tell us about that a little?
JG: We did have a party where we all became characters like out of a circus troupe and we all
dressed up in our costumes upstairs while the audience waited downstairs not knowing
what to expect and we all came down wearing various outfits that I should not specify at
this time. It was definitely a shocking party for our age. (laugh)

LC: A dominatrix party?
JG: Yes it was a dominatrix party. I don’t do that anymore though! I’ve tamed down a lot.

LC: (Laugh) A much more mature Jeremy Gloff is sitting before me. Now Songs About
Stupid People- that was recorded mainly in Atlanta wasn’t it?
JG: All songs but one were recorded in Atlanta.

LC: Which song wasn’t?
JG: “The Sorcerer”

LC: Okay. And “Fredonia” is on that isn’t it?
JG: Yes it is.

LC: That’s a rather bitter song for your little home base isn’t it? Harsh…
JG: Yeah I was a very bitter person at that point.

LC: Now did you have any kind of different sources of inspiration for Songs About Stupid
People than some of your past albums because there was kind of maybe a recurring person that inspired you until then?
JG: Yeah…

LC: Was that like “the last one”-the end of an era of inspiration for you?
JG: That album definitely is the hardest album for me to understand out of any of mine. The
whole thing was just about trying to make it through to the next thing. I wasn’t happy
anytime, and any of the songs I wrote I never felt like they were good songs when I was
doing them. There was a big question to whether to it a ninety minute tape or a sixty minute.

LC: Can you give us a little background about your major source of inspiration for your
love songs? Are you comfortable telling us about that?
JG: Um…I had a bad experience with this kid named Scott in 1994 and no matter how much I
grow up or whatever I go through I just can’t seem to get over it ever. And I’ll probably
write him for the rest of my life in a way.

LC: Do you think he your soul mate?
JG: I don’t know…yeah I guess I kinda do.

LC: There didn’t seem to be any on Jeremy’s Wonderland about him were there?
JG: No that was the first album I’ve made that there was not even a mention of him in any lines.

LC: Have you ever been in love with a girl?
JG: Yeah…I think back before I did my first album there was this girl named Katie. Nothing
sexual ever happened between us but I was–as much as you can be in love with someone
at seventeen-I’d have to think I was in love with her. I don’t know if I was cause when I
see her now it’s just a friendly “hi” but at the time it definitely felt like it.

LC: So it was maybe puppy love or a crush?
JG: Yeah