READY TO MEET THE ‘NEW’ COLORADO BAND? WE HAD A CHAT WITH JEREMIAH FREIGHTS OF THE LUMINEERS. HE PLAYS DRUMS LIVE AND IS THE CO SONGWRITER WITH THE SINGER WESLEY (WEZ). TOGETHER WITH NEYLA PEKAREK THEY FORMED THE LUMINEERS, TALENTS THAT ARE ABOUT SIMPLE SONGS AND TASTEFUL ARRANGEMENT. DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THEM AND THEIR NEW ALBUM THROUGH OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Ciao Jeremiah, pleasure having you for RedMilk! Looks like it’s time to abandon the Lumineers signature neo folk, and go into folk pop with this new album. What has changed from the old addictive Ho-hey?
Well, when me and Wez were writing songs, I think one thing that has changed is that this album feels a little bit more electric and a lit bit more “plugged in”. I think with our debut album, it felt a little bit more like the end of a night at the a pub or the bar when its closing, and everybody’s around an old piano and singing. Whereas this one feels a little bit more like, I guess, a deeper, more mature album; I’m not really quite sure how to describe it, but we wanted to change our sound but not drastically. I think as artists it’s exciting to change and do something different, but you also don’t want to alienate your fans, so I think we did want to use a little bit more electric sounds and more drum set stuff, and stay away from the “folky “ kind of neo-folk vibe of the band. But the story telling is still there, the lyrics are still there, and I think that the song writing is still short and sweet and brief; that’s how we like to write songs.
Cleopatra has a desire to tell the stories of the members of the band and those that have encountered the Lumineers.
Well it’s interesting, I mean, there’s five band members and every band member went through something different. I think Wez and me have been in the band together for almost eleven years, and me, Wez and Neyla have been together the longest, probably five or six years. I think we all experienced success in different ways. I think that failure can sometimes be hard to deal with. But success can also be hard to deal with. I think that we are very thankful and appreciative of the success that we have encountered and just try and remind ourselves not too lose sight that we are a very lucky band and that its pretty crazy all this succuss. But we still care a lot about the music; we still care about our fans and we still love to write music even after all of these years, so it’s pretty amazing.
Cleopatra’s dominant by its characters, especially the women, who are they?
Wez writes all of the lyrics and I know that he’s said to me before that he really loves characters. I’ve seen him work on lyrics and he’s kind of a psycho when he works on lyrics, not a psycho that’s the wrong word. He’s very obsessed about the lyrics and its very interesting to watch. He’s extremely talented and I think that he takes so much care and time and effort with the lyrics. The characters he creates are people that feel real; you know its not just using words like he, she, it, they, you it’s giving them names. So words likes Angela, Ophelia, Cleopatra; they’re beautiful kind of classic names. I think something like Ophelia, I’ve heard him say it was a beautiful name, and yes it was used in a Shakespeare play, but even the word is musical – “O-O-phe-l-ia” if you did “Je-Je-Jess-ica”, it wouldn’t have been the same song. Sometimes things just sound good musically and other times there are specific reasons to use particular names. I think something like Cleo-Patra is an archetype for a very strong, classic, timeless female woman character. You know, within the song, she wasn’t literally Cleopatra, but she had hoped to be and was like her in a way. It was kind of like this amazing metaphor in that sometimes you want life to give you everything you want, but sometimes it doesn’t, and for a lot of people it doesn’t, and its how you deal with that afterwards.
The album ends with ‘Patience’ of sweet old timing, was this written for someone in particular?
I wrote that song. I don’t know, I guess it always makes me think of my wife. My wife is actually Italian; she’s from the city of Turin. Whenever I think of that song “patience” I always picture myself at our piano in Denver with my wife next to me and our dog (we have a golden retriever named Spaghetti). Whenever I play that song I think of her and our dog Spaghetti. I thought it was a cool way artistically to end the album; Wez and me thought that it was cool risk to take. People think that the Lumineers are this one band like ‘Ho hey’ and ‘Stubborn Love’ and this type of music, well lets give something instrumental and something different to chew on so I think it was a cool way to take a risk but also end the album in a beautiful way.
And lastly, yes I’m extremely excited to play in Italy. Like I said my wife is from Turin so all of her family and friends are coming to the shows. I think it will be really great. Especially me as an American, a kid from New Jersey that never thought I’d be successful at music. I try not to take it for granted and its pretty crazy to think that a band now from Denver Colorado is going to Italy to play shows that people actually want to see us in another country. Its pretty crazy and we are very excited to go there, and I hope that our fan case continues to blossom in Italy.
Gratzi Mille, ciao ciao and thank you so much, and once again this is Jeremiah Freights from the Lumineers.
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