If anyone were to get a second chance at redefining themselves, they would most probably take the opportunity to do so. Now, Jeremy Zucker plans to do exactly the same through his sophomore album, “Crusher”. With a stellar collaboration with Keshi, the 25-year-old artiste has definitely lined up a power pack album for his listeners with high hopes that those songs provide them with some level of comfort.
We’ve had the opportunity to talk to Jeremy, recently, on “Crusher”, the songs in his new album and how he’s trying to redefine himself in the music industry by expressing his emotions to the fullest extent.
Can you explain to us, how the song, “Cry With You” came about?
I was on the East Coast making music with a couple of friends and my friend Lauren was living on the West Coast in California. She was going through a really rough time and it was an ongoing thing. She would call me every once in a while to vent and I would hear her out, try to take her mind off things and be there for her. It was really hard to do it from a distance and especially, through a phone call. There was this certain part where I just felt like I didn’t know what to do so, I told her, “If I can’t be there with you, physically, all I can do is cry with you.”
She immediately told me to write a song about that and I agreed to it. This song was based on pretty much all the things she had told me and the things that we would talk about her situation — more of a song for her, actually. It was a way for me to show her how much I cared about her. Hence, the birth of the song. “Cry With You” is definitely on a sadder side of things and it’s very reminiscent of my older music. The rest of the album is a solid mix of the previous three singles. Despite the songs being energy-filled, there are indeed some melancholy tunes in the album’s songs too not forgetting, more confidence from me as a vocalist and lyricist.
You said that in your sophomore album, “Crusher”, you became yourself more than ever — being more raw and confident. Can you talk about that and what is the importance of you being more evolved?
Life isn’t a straight shot to getting and becoming a better person. It’s full of ebbs and flows. The important thing is knowing that no matter the ups and downs, you’re heading in the right direction and it was a realisation that I wouldn’t be where I am right now without these low moments . I was embracing all the things because before that, I used to feel ashamed or afraid.
Specifically coming out of the last album, there was a lot of sympathy and empathy. I felt lost and when I put those feelings out in the open, I got to live with it for 4 to 5 months before making music again because of the pandemic. I thought a lot during that tenure and it took me awhile to figure out who I was and what I stood for. When you get wrapped up with you special relationships and going through a break up and a crazy situation, it’s really easy to lose yourself. In short, “Crusher” is like finding myself again.
How did you get that much of inspiration to write music during the pandemic?
It was really hard at first. There were 4 to 5 months where I really could not write anything. I was sort of in the same place and I kept making songs and sent them to my friends and my team. I just don’t think it’s fun to make the same album over and over again. A lot of it came from introspection, spending more time with myself and learning more about myself. I started prioritising connections and friendship since we didn’t really get to see people during the pandemic. There was a lot of thinking but I didn’t experience that much of new things. But the emotions conveyed in the songs were really raw.
Are there any particular musical inspirations for music making and songwriting for this song in particular?
I’ve been listening to so many different things such as electronic music, world music, post punk, early 2000’s alternative rock. I’m a really open minded creative person where I like to absorb everything in the weirdest possible way. I think it’s cool — picking out little weird things that I love, taking influences from that and making it into my own music.
Referencing being previously lied and manipulated to, is the “Crusher” album a revenge story?
Yes, it is. I’ve been dropping little hints here and there in previous interviews. I’m writing about the same situations on this album after having a couple of months to sit down and digest it. In “Love Is Not Dying” I was very sympathetic and empathetic and I was losing myself. I started questioning why I felt a particular way. “Crusher” is the realisation that I wasn’t treated well and was blatantly mistreated. There was a lot of anger on the project because of that. The first half of the songs I wrote, was an expression of anger and it was not designed or intended to hurt anyone but it is designed as a medium for myself to express my anger. Once I really got it out, I felt more like myself.
Is “Crusher” meant to flow from top to bottom like a story or is it a bunch of genres that define who you are?
I would say it leans more to the second one — being a bunch of different genres defining who I am. With “Love Is Not Dying” it was definitely intended to be a top to bottom listen but “Crusher” is more of, here’s everything that’s going on. It was purposefully jumbled around and it’s a pretty collective mix of sounds and emotions. When I put together a project, I really love new things and experimenting.
With Keshi being on the album, how was the whole collaborative process like and how did your musical differences get synchronised?
It was incredible. I had so much fun working with Keshi. I have been working on this album for so long and it really started coming together in the past month — 2 weeks ago. In my collaborations, if I’m bringing out an artist that I’ve never worked with before, I have to finish the song before bringing them in because I do not know how we’re gonna work together. When I finished the album, and included all the features on it, and I sat through, thinking that the only song that needs someone is, “Sociopath”.
I have been talking on and off with Keshi and I texted him if he wanted to do this. He said that he’ll only be in Los Angeles the next week but I wanted it to be done within the next week. So, I decided to send the songs over to him and Keshi sent the vocals back to me with some drums. The song was actually halfway done and I was clueless as to how I was going to end it but Keshi sent over some amazing elements. I proceeded to use those elements to produce the song. After the song was finished, he came over to Los Angeles and we hung out. This collaboration is bound to surprise a lot of people because it’s a really mellow, sombre and at the same time, intense song. It starts with acoustic, eerie and spooky elements, and when Keshi’s verses come into play, the song transforms into a beautiful, uplifting but still moody tone. There’s a lot of different layers to this song actually.
Your music often has themes that Gen-Z audiences can relate to. Is making music a way for you to assure them that they are not alone?
For sure. As selfish as it sounds, I’m actually writing music for myself. The second I try to write music for someone else, or someone that I don’t know, it comes across as something that’s insincere. I was surprised with the fact that other people seek comfort from my songs because all this while, I thought that I was writing about something that’s very specific to me. It goes to show how similar everyone is. It feels good to know that Gen-Z is really comforted by my songs and lyrics. So, I’m writing the songs for myself but I’m releasing it for my listeners.
“Crusher” being the title of the album is quite interesting. With 3 singles released so far, what makes this project different from the previous ones?
Through “Crusher”, I’ve actually put out the most intense album that I’ve ever put together. That was the peak of what I was trying to do. At the beginning, I didn’t really think of fully reinventing myself, but the only thing that I felt like doing was to wait and think. It does sound different due to how much I didn’t want to make the same album again. It’s a way of being myself. I always want to be making new things. There’s nothing exciting about using the same lyrics, phrases and verses again. My music taste was also changing a lot along with various changes to my life.
On a linguistic level, your previous album was all lowercase. It seems like “Crusher” is all about the noise from the uppercase letters. With this increased volume, linking back to your feelings of being crushed, would you say that people should be louder in the music industry to be heard or can introverts still make it happen?
I don’t like the idea of competing for noise or attention. The industry is very saturated and everyone thinks that they should make a lot of noise and I really try not to do that. I think being loud is a self expression right now and I’m not crazy loud on my social media or begging for attention. I’m still myself but I don’t believe in the mentality of the rat race where everyone is trying to scream over each other. To me, when everyone’s screaming, you’ve gotta whisper to make everyone hear you.
Which song from “Crusher” did you enjoy making the most and why?
I loved making so many of these but the first song, i-70 was my favourite because it was different but I also loved making “Don’t come over, I’m an a**hole” and “No one hates you (like I do)”.
Which songs would be your favourite to listen to?
“Don’t come over, I’m an a**hole” is one of the most favourite songs for me to listen to because it’s fun an smooth. It’s very different but it makes a lot of sense. The lyrics of the song definitely does not follow the projection of the title, by the way.
To your new fans, who have never listened to your music before, what song would you recommend them to listen to from, “Crusher”?
For new fans, maybe they should listen to “Deep end” because it’s the perfect mix about the old me and the new me.
It is safe to say that Jeremy Zucker writes beautifully sappy songs. Which would be the toughest song you’ve written in this album and what is the story behind it?
The toughest one was the song called, “Sex & cigarettes”. It was going to be on, “Love Is Not Dying” but I didn’t know how to finish it. So, I rewrote it a bunch of times and had some people help me with it. It was difficult putting it together. Eventually, I figured it out and the lyrics are insanely chill except the fact that it has a really dark undertone. It feels really smooth and vibey.
When figuring out the lyrics of the song, which is your priority, expressing your emotions or finding the lyrics that resonate with your listeners?
They’re sorta the same thing to me because expressing my emotions through lyrics is finding the words that hit me the most. The lyrics that hit me the most would definitely hit the listeners the most. That’s just like an instinct that I have.
What inspired the visuals for the “Crusher” trailer?
I just wanted to strip it all away and make it really simple and minimal looking hence, the monochrome effects. The “Crusher” logo on the truck signifies what the album is all about, visually. The massive speakers show the volume and intensity of the songs.
How do you feel with the album launch just around the corner?
It’s crazy and it has been such a long time. I worked on it, super hard and I have so many other things to work on such as the touring and the album visuals. There’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff and Covid-19 in particular because I want to keep people safe. It’s just been a whirlwind. I’m really excited to share it with everyone.
We look forward to the release of “Crusher” on 1st October.