The folklore is genuine. Heed true to the recent whispers of Brisbane tales. City troubadour Jeremy Neale has a new single. Bringing the right amount of cheese, romanticism and class in one new, compact, radio-friendly jaunt, Jeremy’s latest Hold on Together is as sexy as it is catchy. And that’s a big compliment. Not shy to have a powerful chat or two, Jake Wilton called Jeremy the day before he jetted off to Singapore.
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Your new single, Hold on Together, is classic Jeremy Neale. Walk us through it.
I get very stuck in whatever I want to do at that exact time and do it until its conclusion. There’s an element of me that’s torn between loving guitar music and that ‘80s Euro-mantic thing that I grew up on. It’s a big part of me and as I get a better understanding of how to make that music I just want to make more.
There’s a sneaky saxophone solo in this track?
I actually used it on the second single I ever did as a solo artist called Darlin’. I think this is the only time it’s going to appear on the new EP, though, so it had to be in bombastic form. With the element of the duet [featuring Phoebe Imhoff of the long lost, but not forgotten, Go Violets] it just seemed like a natural accompaniment. So it goes duet and the two most romantic instruments in the solo – the flamenco guitar and the sax weaving in-and-out of each other. It seemed ridiculous and over-the-top but after I listened to it many times I got addicted to it and it just worked.
The video for the track is nothing short of a masterpiece and overtly compliments the song.
We were going to take it somewhere further but that was all we could muster at the time. I actually dislocated my knee the day before the shoot playing indoor soccer! We were supposed to do a few awkward-looking dancing cuts as well but I couldn’t even move – I was standing on one leg the entire time! The awkwardness could have gone up another notch but I’m glad it was awkward enough.
Are you a karaoke person, Jeremy?
Big time, man. My go to song would have to be Gold by Spandau Ballet. It’s very epic and it’s got the saxophone solo where you can air-sax. Because you need a break sometimes while delivering that killer karaoke performance, you’ve got to take some time to bask in the glory.
Hold on Together is going to feature on your upcoming EP. Tell us a little more about this release?
Well, it’s pretty hectically ‘80s. It moves around a bit with elements of Joe Jackson with that more serious and sombre ‘80s vibe. Then there’s probably my biggest foray into pop music yet which is a song that’s basically my response to Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross’ The Best Things in Life Are Free. I really do enjoy the humours moments of my music – I do believe that humour should be a big part of music – but classically I do things without a comic edge and I think this might be one of them.
Is it tougher for you to perform without that humour backing you up?
I think it’s really hard for me to let go of things. I look at things of how I want to see them. I always like to be entertained like my favourite artist or band are entertainers as well – somehow you have to be entertaining on a whole new level with humour. I guess I have trouble letting go of that because I think, “What would I want to see?” But I think maybe sometimes what I want to see isn’t what everyone else wants to see.
Velociraptor, your other group, seems to be on the back burner now. What’s the news with them?
Well on the down-low, we’re back in the studio. We’ve booked some shows – to be announced soon – for the end of July and we have a new single that we’re going to finish at the beginning of June. Confidently, I can say, “It’s our best material yet!” I mean, there was no need for us to put anything out but we’ve got some stuff that’s really quite exciting and just get it out there. As well do, at least, an annual tour, in the meantime.
Hold on Together is available now via Dot Dash / Remote Control Records and you can catch Jeremy at Brisbane’s Black Bear Lodge Friday 19 June, 2015.