By Steve Blanchard
Appeared in The Watermark April 6, 2006
TAMPA – Jeremy Gloff believes he has reached a milestone. The Tampa resident will release his 14th album later this month after taking three years off to “tie up some loose ends” in his personal life.
With Now’s the Right Time to Feel Good, fans will learn from his music and lyrics that the openly gay singer-songwriter in a better place than before.
“I dealt with a lot of stuff during those years. I went to therapy and I finished my associate’s degree,” Gloff said.
“There are 18 songs on this disc and it has taken me three years to get this releasedl. This CD is a lot more refined and I put in a lot more detail on this album. I spent a lot more time arranging the songs and making the sound fuller. I consider this more of an adult album.”
While Gloff is always awaiting that priceless phone call from an agent or a record label, he hasn’t let the lack of one hold him back. He has produced each of his albums himself. Gloff’s last five albums were recorded at Atomic Audio in Tampa.
So far, Gloff doesn’t have plans to leave his day job as a waiter in a Downtown Tampa restaurant – at least not until a record label comes calling.
A running theme
During Gloff’s 20s, he was a socialite who was always spotted at many hot spots around Tampa three or four nights a week. When he outgrew that, he felt as if he was caught between two phases of his life.
“When you hit 30, you’re kind of stuck between being a kid and becoming an adult,” Gloff said. “It’s a weird feeling. So I was kind of like, ‘Well, now what?’”
His answers may be deeper than you think. Growing up with a home life marinated in mental illness and alcoholism, Gloff was featured in the 2003 documentary, Hooked, that looked at gay men addicted to cruising the Internet for sex. Todd Ahlberg’s film depicted Gloff – who also provided some of the music for the docu – as a guy who “collected” men as a way to find a sense of intimacy. After years of an emotional dependency, he tells Ahlberg, his friends told him to get a pet. Eventually, he pulled away from the Internet and explored other aspects of life.
Throughout the new album, Gloff says he tries to convey that theme of trying to find his place in the world. The phrase “Now’s the right time to feel good” was prevalent in at least five songs, so he selected that as the album’s title.
“I enjoyed being a studio geek spending hours and days on mixes,” Gloff said. “For the first time, I really fancied being a craftsman and building these songs from the floor up. To be honest, I still don’t know how I feel about this album as a whole, but the people who have listened to it give me about 90% positive feedback.”
Take a look through Gloff’s CD collection and you will notice an odd trend – none of the music dates post-1993. Gloff admitted that’s an odd quirk for a man intent on creating new music.
“I am really closed-minded when it comes to new music,” Gloff said. “My music changes from album to album. It’s quirky. Eventually I’d love to do a 1980s-style Prince-sounding album.”
These are big words for a guy who has trouble describing his own music. Some of his favorite performers are Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Sonic Youth and the Pointer Sisters.
Gloff provides the vocals and the keyboard work, and two friends play the bass and the drums for him in the studio. He said he prefers asking friends for help rather than being part of a band.
“This whole musical experience started as a band and I realized I just wanted to do it on my own,” Gloff said. “In a band you have to depend way too much on other people and I’m independent. By making this album, I feel like I’ve regained some of that independence.”
Live and in person
Gloff hasn’t been spotted performing live anywhere recently – but that’s all about to change. To promote his album, he is inviting anyone and everyone to his CD release party at Mirta’s Fine Art Gallery in Tampa on Tuesday, April 28. The event, he says, should be high-energy and feature high-profile locals.
“It’s going to be a fun night,” he said. “Friends are coming and we’re going to have dancing on the stage. It’s going to be lavish and it’s free and open to anyone who wants to come.”
Now’s the Right Time to Feel Good will be available to purchase for $10. So far, no time has been set for the beginning of the party, but he plans to release those details on his Web site.
“I’ll also be promoting the album and the party on WMNF, 88.5 FM,” he said. Hosted by Flee, the 5 p.m. show on Friday, April 24, will give Gloff a chance to promote his music, his new album and the release party. He’s even released his first single, the Madonna-ish “My Silver Lining”, on a MySpace.com page.
“I couldn’t be happier than I am right now,” Gloff said. “Of course, getting a phone call from a record label would make me even happier – but until then I’m going to continue making my own music.” W