Orange Pop: Jeramiah Red ups its game
Snuggled into old movie theater seats that line a back wall inside ArtiSans label, a recording studio in Fullerton, local rock band Jeramiah Red chats excitedly back and forth about its six OC Music Awards nominations.
The quintet is still somewhat in shock that they're tied with Irvine's breakout band Young the Giant for the most nods at this year's ceremony, March 3 at City National Grove of Anaheim. “We definitely weren’t expecting all of those nominations, so that was a big surprise,” vocalist Wes Dickson says.
“To be nominated for six," adds guitarist Ian Cullen, "at first I was like, this is a different Jeramiah Red. It was a huge honor because we worked really hard on the album, so to be nominated with Young the Giant and Social Distortion and everybody like that was really exciting and a totally cool thing.”
Jeramiah Red’s five-song EP -- Ghost Songs from the Getty, released in December and produced by Barrett Slagle at ArtiSans -- is nominated for best album alongside the Aquabats’ Hi-Five Soup!, Thrice’s Major/Minor, Young the Giant’s self-titled release and Social Distortion’s Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes.
“It would be cool to beat Young the Giant and Social Distortion in best album,” harmonica player and percussionist Travis Ruiz says with a laugh. “That would be the biggest surprise.”
The band is also nominated for best song (for “Can’t Help Myself)”, best new artist, best blues, best country/Americana and best rock.
“All the different genres, from Americana to blues to rock, we got in all of those,” Cullen says, scratching his head. “Maybe we really are all three of those? From now on when people ask us what we sound like, we’re going to say ‘blues, rock, Americana.’”
Of all the nominations, however, Jeramiah Red is most excited about the best new artist category: “It’s definitely something I looked at,” Dickson says. “I looked at the bands we were nominated with, and I know we’ve been around for a little more than a year, but finally it was like, ‘OK, this is an established artist that we can categorize in this category.’”
“In all of the other categories, we’re nominated with such established bands (and) it’s kind of intimidating,” bassist Tim Miller adds. “With six awards, there will be a lot of times we’re not going to hear our name called.”
Jeramiah Red was the first band to perform at the kickoff of the 2012 OC Music Awards live showcases at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa earlier this month. The group is competing in the best live band category for a chance to play at the awards ceremony, but they admit going first definitely brought extra pressure.
“(It was like) we’re going to be the first guys breaking the barrier, here we go, let’s see what we can pull off -- and we’re holding our breath, seeing if we can put on a good set,” Dickson recounts. “But once you start that first song, you just dive into it and it’s a blast.”
“We had nothing to compare it to, really, so we could just do what we do and then rock from there and everybody else had to follow,” drummer Matt Pleskacz says.
Jeramiah Red is currently working on a single at ArtiSans, so the band is laying low for a bit, rather than working the local club circuit. But Dickson says he’s “feeling” either a new EP or full-length disc by the end of the year.
Photo by Austin Ruiz.
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