Hello, Modern Drummer! I want to use this little time with you all to do two things: 1) to let you know about my band, the Jaguar Club, and our new record, And We Wake Up Slowly, and 2) to drive my good friend and band bassist, Yoichiro Fujita, into a Modern Drummer caused depression.
The band just released our first full-length effort after two previous EPs. We recorded in a huge barn in the country in upstate New York with the brilliant producer Kevin McMahon (Walkmen, Titus Andronicus, Die Die Die, French Kicks, Frightened Rabbit). It was really my first taste of drumming freedom in the studio. Up to that point we had always recorded our music as quickly and cheaply as possible. We rarely did overdubs, and when we did they were always extra guitars or vocals—never more drums. Well, this time around that changed. I added layered drum parts to just about every song, and I feel like I was able to really affect the scope of the record. Songs like “Corks Pop,” “Antarctica,” and “Sleepwalking” took on new shapes with layers of tambourines, maracas, shakers, bells, and wood blocks. The record was a year in the making and was self-released in September. Now that it’s out there, it’s like a baby butterfly that we’re all very proud of as we watch it grow and flutter through the music world in its own unique way.
As for Yoichiro…. Yoi is an extraordinarily talented bass player who would do perfectly in a feature of his own for a bass guitar related magazine. So why should he care about me blogging in Modern Drummer, you ask? Well, Yoi was a drummer growing up: He was in the marching band, he was in the jazz band, and he was the drummer in a rock band as recently as 2002. He loves Modern Drummer. He used to make drawings on napkins of his dream drumkit to pass the time.
As for me, while I truly love playing the drums, I was a late starter. I played piano growing up, then the trumpet, then the French horn, and then the drums. I didn’t own my first set until I was a junior in high school. I taught myself and I’m still a novice compared to most of the guys who grace MD’s pages.
So when I learned that I was going to be doing a blog for Modern Drummer, the first thing I did was call Yoi to give him the good news. Sure he was happy for me, but I could sense some jealousy in his voice. Well, the next time I saw him, he was ready for one final push to reclaim his previous drummer glory. He presented our PR person with a napkin drawing of my drumset and stated very firmly, “I should do the f@#*ing blog entry, Jeremiah doesn’t know s%#t about the drums!” Well, Yoi, I still don’t know s&#t about the drums, but here I am! And that’s my picture looking at you! And no, you can’t have that napkin drawing back, ’cause we’re saving it for when I make it into the Modern Drummer Hall Of Fame. Ha!
For more on Jaguar Club, go to www.myspace.com/thejaguarclub.