My Interview with Woody and Jeremy
Woody Goss and Jeremy Daly are the creatives behind the band, Woody and Jeremy. In 2020 they released their debut album “Strange Satisfaction” and earlier this year their follow-up “Gravy in My Coffee.” Old Man: First let me thank you for agreeing to do this interview. This is a new blog and Woody and Jeremy are our first interview. Could you open by telling everyone a little bit about yourselves where you’re from, and how you met Woody: I’m from Skokie, IL. We met at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Jeremy was an art student; I was a jazz student.
Jeremy: Our friend Christine (whom you may know as Woman Believer) introduced us. Probably more than a decade ago now. We've been making music together ever since. Old Man: For folks who haven’t heard your music, how would you describe it. Jeremy: a bit funky, a bit freaky, a bit funny.
Woody: That sounds about right! Old Man: I really enjoyed the old school/funk vibe of “Strange Satisfaction.” This album felt like an absolute joy ride. I would recommend that folks check out the video to “Too Hot in L.A.” (see link at the end of the interview). First, it’s quite fun in a “Call Me Al” sort of way. Second, it’s a great introduction to Woody and Jeremy. I track I personally enjoyed “Fat Boys in the Gym of Love.” It made me laugh out loud and it brought back so many memories of Bootsy Collins, The Gap Band, and even a little Prince guitar. Who were your influences on this album? Jeremy: For me, the Funkadelic family of artists was the main inspiration for my input into that record. Maggot Brain is an all-timer. For “Fat Boys” I'd say the inspiration for the structure, lyrics and vocal melody was specifically George Clinton's Atomic Dog. My uncle put that song on a mixtape for my dad and I used to listen to it on my drive to high school. The panting on that track, the various call and response voices - you can hear all of that in our tune. Also being a fat guy at the gym was the other influence for that song. Woody: The instrumental for “Fat Boys” was directly influenced by Bernie Worrell with Parliament. Most of the other instrumentals I did were written with no particular influence in mind. Old Man: Wow, "Maggot Brain" was serious psychedelic funk. I love that something that heavy along with something as just crazy fun like "Atomic Dog" could both be an influence.
Okay, I must admit, I was completely surprised by Gravy in my Coffee. I love when an album takes me back. In this case, it took me back to the late seventies and the rise of post-punk and New Wave. You even work in a synth in “He’s Cass McCombs.” Again, I must ask, what were your influences on this album? Woody: Jeremy said it would be cool to have an album of music like the song “Distant Lands.” I said, okay I’ll try that. They mostly didn’t sound like that one song, but they at least fit together instrument-wise. No specific influence in mind.
Jeremy: You’re right on with the influences in a certain way. I think of college radio and the huge mix of types of tunes you get from listening to a far-out college station when I think about Gravy in my Coffee. I made a playlist of things that potentially could have inspired the record. But I think Woody is right in the sense that we just had a specific point of creative entry, which was the specific song we wrote called “Distant Lands”, and then we let the rest flow from there without trying to confine our creativity. It all happened very fast in this case. We also worked with Noam Wallenberg on engineering and mixing the record. He was a huge part of shaping the sound and creative choices of this record. Old Man: I’ve spent a bit of time with the lyrics in Gravy in my Coffee. Is there a theme, or themes, that runs through the album? Jeremy: I think there are a couple of themes running through the record - anything you picked up on?
Old Man: First, I should say that I also love how you litter your lyrics with everyday objects. There were three things that caught my attention in the songs from "Distant lands" to "She's a Stone." The first is the use of dreams, then some religious terminology, and then finding something inside that wasn't evident before. I just couldn’t tie anything together. Am I just overthinking it (which I'm apt to do)?
Jeremy: Interesting to hear your thoughts on the lyrical content. I like what you've pulled out of it. Thank you!
Old Man: Can you tell me about the album’s last song, “She’s a Stone.” Jeremy: Woody sent me the instrumental demo. It made me cry. It was just so emotional. It was a weekend morning and my partner at the time was making breakfast in the other room. I wrote the song and recorded the vocals in probably under an hour. The vocals on the record are the vocals from that demo recording. It brings me joy that folks have connected with that tune. A kind fan even told us they played it at their wedding. It gives the song another life beyond my personal relationship with it. And the response to that song reminds me to be earnest when writing songs. Be There is another example of a very earnest, kind song that folks respond to... but my feeling is you can't really dictate what you write, you just have to write and see what it is. Old Man: That song is a great way to end the album. Thank you for sharing so much about it.
Live concerts are back. I’m curious if you were able to catch any bands this year and if so, can you name a couple of bands you especially enjoyed? Jeremy: I saw John Carroll Kirby and I loved it. Definitely check him out if you don't know him. Old Man: So, what’s next for Woody and Jeremy? Also, what other projects do you have working? Jeremy: We're making a new record! No timeline on finishing but think folks will like it... hopefully!
Woody: Yes, a new album in the works. More recording, more songs.
This interview was conducted via email. I would like to thank Woody and Jeremy for being good sports and sharing their thoughts and experiences with the blog. As an aside, I did check out John Carroll Kirby. I think it’s important to listen to what other people enjoy and expand your perspective. Honestly, I’m just so impressed they made an email interview so fun. Below are great links to better get to know Woody and Jeremy.