Musikalisch bleibt er seinem Namen treu und nimmt immer wieder neue Loops auf und flickt sie nacheinander auch wieder zusammen, sodass ein unglaublicher Soundteppich entsteht.
Konzert und Interview am 04.11.16 im Docks in Hamburg
Text: Jennifer Gottstein | Fotocredits: Ben Brown
Jeremy Loops in Hamburg – Umweltschutz und Loopmaschine
Relativ spontan kommt an diesem Abend noch ein Interview mit Jeremy zustande, obwohl sich der Zeitplan schon seit einiger Zeit nach hinten verschoben hatte. Der ziemlich entspannte Jeremy Loops war eine willkommene Abwechslung zu seinem – verständlicherweise – sehr gestressten Tourmanager, also empfing mich der Südafrikaner in seinem Backstageraum, während er noch für seine Show die Outfits bügelte und Aufwärmübungen machte. Für ihn sei das aber kein Problem, meinte er. Also rein ins Vergnügen!
Interview mit Jeremy Loops
Welcome to Hamburg! It is not your first time here, right?
No, we played here in February the first and last year we were here with the twentyone pilots, when the shows got cancelled. This is the first place we can and then everything got cancelled. It was very sad.
That is a sad situation. Not only because you have to travel so far from your home to Germany.
Yeah, it is not close at all! (lacht)
And I think not a lot of our readers have been to South Africa and maybe do not know much about livin there. What would you recommend to see there or to do here if visiting?
Ah, Cape Town for sure! My home city. I mean there a lot of German tourists and traveler in South Africa, I meet a lot of Germans which is cool! It is definitely a place that German people go and visit, but Cape Town is a beautiful city. It is the perfect mix of quite a European modern city, like there is wifi everywhere and coffee shops and beer gardens and trendy stuff just like any normal city but then the difference is like 10 minutes outside the city you’ve got beautiful nature and wildlife.
My Problem always about cities is that I love cities, but at some point I just need to be in nature and even if there is a nice park or some forests in the outskirts, for me it is not the same if you cannot see wild animals or go surfing in crazy waves or go sailing on the sea. You know, the ocean and the mountains are really important and some of my favorite cities, places like New York or San Francisco and also Berlin, I do appreciate so many things about cities, but the lack of nature is not one of them. I think that is why people are interested in Cape Town or South Africa as well.
Speaking of that, you worked on a boat for a while. What did you learn in that time? What did you bring back home after the boat trip?
I was alone a lot, I had a lot of time to learn how to be on my own I think. I was away from the age of 24 to 26 and travelled to 40 different countries and I had a lot of dangerous adventures in big seas. I did a trip down to the Moldives which took us through the Red Sea and we passed Somalia. We had run into pirates and we had a security team on board, we got arrested, we were held in Dubai for 8 weeks, I had some of the scariest and most beautiful adventures in my life on those two years. I was taking away from my social life in my mid twenties when I would probably be out all night with my friends. I missed my friends but I learned a lot about myself and about music and things I am interested in, I could read a lot and make lots of music. So when I came back home I had loads of songs and the next chapter of my life was starting the music.
So do you think you missed a part of a usual mid-twenties-life while on the boat?
No… Well, maybe. Whenever I am home and get to hang out with my friends and drink and party it feels like the same thing. Anyone who goes raveling and don’t get to hang out with their friends gets a feeling like “Oh man I missed so much while I was away”. But I think it’s more like “oh yeah this is the same as when I left it.”
You came back and after a while you released your new album and it was super successful in South Africa. Did you expect that or where you rather surprised?
I wasn’t so surprised because I released my album after we were already playing life for a couple of years, so we had a good fan base and lots of followers. I was surprised it did as well as it did, but I knew that it was gonna do okay. We had so many people asking and waiting or the music. I just didn’t know that I had songs like “Down South” that would do so well. See and do and write those songs and see them travel around the world. That really made me happy to see the songs travel around the world and let the songs do some work. People like them and spread them. That is a nice feeling.
Sounds great after a long time of writing, recording and touring. Would you describe yourself as a positive person though?
I am a positive person, I think. I am not exactly sure how positive I am in comparison to other people, but I feel that some of my friends who are musicians who often write quite melancholy music are often the furthest thing from melancholy. Sometimes in wonder in my days of darkness or depression or fighting off depression and darkness to try and find my light whether or not I am writing positive songs because it is my way of self healing. I am not walking around and feeling blissful and happy all the time. I create my music and that’s the way I grew up using music. I think people use music for different reasons and in different ways. I was always the guy who didn’t listen to a lot of music when I was happy, but more when I was sad to give me a release or to use it for inspiration. And to do that I often listened to up-tempo, reggae, folk music, revolution and political music. So I think that is why I just started music like that.
Did you just recently discover a new favorite artist or some new music you want to share?
Well….I don’t know… I am the guy that listens to a lot o stuff I already know and the more I know it the more I love it. Generally I am more fixated on learning more about the artists I already know, so for example there is a guy who is called Andrew Bird and his music is just like the most beautiful singer musician for me in the world. And he’s got a huge catalogue.- He is not huge, I guess he has a similar profile as me, but I am following him for long time now and I’ve still never been to one of his shows but I listen to him on spotify a lot.
Do you listen to your own music sometimes?
So you listen to the music during the process of recording and then never again?
Exactly (lacht). Well, it is not that I never listen to it again. Every now and then I put on songs but in general I think you put so much time and energy and love in writing songs and then you go on the road and perform them, so for me there is no need to listen to them in between. I am happy to listen to new or different music. But performing my songs, see, I willplay them all tonight and I will sing them with hopefully other people like fans and that is good enough for me.
It my worst if someone puts on my music when I am at a party at home or something. It makes me crinch.
I think I can see what you mean. Do you enjoy touring in general?
I love touring!
What is the best part about it for you?
Meeting lots of new people I think for me is abeatuul thing. I am very inspired to have a positive impact on the world and I also recognize that is quite difficult to do that sometimes. One of the best ways to have a positive impact on people is to understand people. And the only way to understand people is to talk to people from different countries, from everywhere to get a broader understanding of everything. It is the narrow understand of each other that is mostly limited. And I also aware that I won’t be touring forever. The touring live can only go on if you are young, fit, emotionally stable human being. At some point of a artist’s life they say “Fuck it, I am done!”.
For good reasons probably.
Yeah, totally! For good reasons, exactly. Maybe it is family, maybe they just don’t get hired. For me I just know I am very fortunate, that people all over the world listen to my music. The last time we played here in Hamburg we sold out in a venue with 300 people, tonight it is sold out and there are about 1500 people out there. More than three times the crowd and that means something is going right. I am just happy to be able to tour.
Are you actively trying to get into situations to meet new people when on tour? Or do you just let it happen?
No, I normally go after the show to the merchandise and say hello to a lot of fans. Just the community I meet lots of people like that, but also the people in the industry like other bands. Every city you go to a venue like this and there is a whole sound team who have been working here for years and they have worked with every band coming here. They are always interesting people. You have the promoters, the manager, everything. There are loads of new people, there is no shortage of it.
So you just run into situations to meet new people anyways.
Yeah, totally. Meeting new people anytime.
Sounds fantastic! Last question before you actually have to go on stage: You are putting a lot of effort into saving the environment. How did that become such an issue in your life? And what exactly do you do?
When I got back from working on the superyachts I had my eyes open, you know. As much as it was a beautiful experience to travel around the world and just see everything, it still was a superyacht that belonged to a billionaire who was probably one of the worst human beings I have ever met. He was just a really sad, hollow man with too much money. He was the epiphany of the corruption of money and power. My eyes were open, because in South Africa we have a lot of inequality, like lots of very wealthy people and lots of very poor people. So I’ve seen it, but I haven’t seen this level of wealth and waste. When you are in Europe in the super-yachting scene and see all the yachts of the rich and famous you see all sorts of horrible things that you didn’t even realize were just normal.
One of these person’s Carbon Footprint is equal to probably 10.000 people in a third world country because they have a 50 meter super-yacht and a helicopter and a Boeing 777 and every night they are throwing parties and there are prostitutes and then there are broken families and all sorts of stuff. And I thought it was terrible. I don’t think I’ve seen something like that until then, so when I came back to South Africa at the age of 26 it really opened my eyes to see what’s going on in South Africa. All of the sudden I saw what happens although I grew up with it. I saw how difficult the majority of our countries people are struggling, just economic, poverty, racism, infrastructure and anything. It really affected me so I decided to do something that makes me feel better and contribute to a better world. And so I got involved with some friends of mine, a group of people and we all started a tree planting organization it is called Greenpop.
In the beginning it was just fun, we went to orphanages, underprivileged schools and just planted trees. Just as a way of bringing people out of the suburbs to the townships to see what is going on and get their hands dirty in the soil. Giving back proper trees and in these schools they do no have any green at all, just sand and no shades. By the end of the month there was so much support in what we were doing, we already planted more than 1000 trees in more than 10 schools, so we decided to keep doing this and see how far we can take it. So 3 of us cofounded the organization, so I studied Business and Finance at University, so I was the CFO in the beginning and on the weekends I was the fun officer making all the music, we used to have parties to raise money for trees. That was six years ago, now we are an organization based in Cape Town, we are still going strong we have 13 staff, we planted more than 70000 trees in more than 350 schools and orphanages around South Africa. We’ve also done reforest stations. It’s been a really interesting journey so far and we are just trying to give something back to mother nature.
Is there an opportunity to support you by volunteering or donating?
Yeah, sure, I will write you down the address. You can basically donate a tree and you will get the GPS coordinate so you can see where the tree was planted. And you can track them on Google Earth. But yeah, people also come and volunteer for us, you know. We have a big project every year and volunteers come from all over the world to plant trees.
Konzertbericht: Jeremy Loops live in Hamburg
Wer mehr über die Organisation wissen möchte, schaut unter diesem Link bei Greenpop vorbei.
Nun aber zum Konzert. Nach dem sehr netten Gespräch blieb nicht mal mehr viel Zeit, wir wollten noch ein wenig plaudern, aber da wurde Jeremy schon auf die Bühne geschickt. Dass sein Zeitplan so nach hinten gerrückt wurde und alles ein wenig stressiger war, ließ er sich auf der Bühne jedoch nicht anmerken. Musikalisch bleibt er seinem Namen treu und nimmt immer wieder neue Loops auf und flickt sie nacheinander auch wieder zusammen, sodass ein unglaublicher Soundteppich entsteht. Aber nicht nur das, er nutzt auch diverse verschiedene Gegenstände dazu: klassische Gitarre, Ukulele, alltägliche Gegenstände.
Lauscht man der Musik, kommt man sich nicht allzuweit von paradiesischen Stränden entfernt, vergisst das Hamburger Wetter draußen und möchte einen Roadtrip an die (weit entfernten) Küsten dieser Welt machen und die Füße in weißem Sand vergraben. Da muss man auch mal zugeben, dass die meisten Songs live einfach besser rüberkommen als von der Platte. Ein seltener, aber angenehmer Fall. Dazu kommt sein Charme, wenn er Anekdoten aus seinem Tourleben erzählt und danach wieder die Frauenherzen höher schlagen lässt. Besonders „Not Made For The City“ ist ein Song, den ich nach unserem Gespräch besser nachvollziehen kann. Ein wirklich liebenswerter, wenn auch ein wenig kauziger Künstler mit guter Musik! Mehr kann man sich an einem Freitagabend nicht wünschen!