Whats Your Favorite...
A chat with 417-land music-maker Jeremy Larson.
Photo by Kevin O'Riley
Musician Jeremy Larson doesn’t just write his own music. He also writes string arrangements for other bands.
I don’t have any other talents at all. I don’t have a single other talent other than making music,” says the self-effacing musician, Jeremy Larson. It may be true, but he seems to be doing all right for himself with a solo career and tour dates with a nationally touring band, as well as playing strings and getting producing credits for other band’s albums. Yet, Larson insists, “I don’t have a backup plan. I don’t have anything else going for me. It’s just music, that’s it.”
Maybe the unassuming Larson has a hard time recognizing the uniqueness of his abilities. When he started high school at a small private school in Kansas there were five boys in his class, and three of them were named Jeremy. But he has certainly set himself apart now. Larson makes his living solely on his music. From his studio on Commercial Street, Larson says he “hasn’t worked a normal job in seven years.”
Even though Larson claims he’s still just playing music, it has been a journey. He began by playing in someone else’s band, then released his own album, got picked up by a record company and left when that company went under. He is now working on his latest album independently, as well as being widely sought after for his string arrangements. “Most of my job, in terms of income, is from me writing and recording string arrangements for other bands, or producing records,” says Larson.
He played strings and did arrangements for the band Mute Math, on their most recent album, Armistice, which got his name out. The changing landscape of the music industry plays a part in his ability to be successful nationally while remaining in Springfield. “Most people buy their music from iTunes,” explains Larson. “Anyone like me can have their own music in the biggest music store in the world, right next to Metallica and Coldplay.”
What's Your Favorite...
“‘God Only Knows’ by the Beach Boys. It has one of the most beautiful melodies I’ve ever heard in modern music.”
“There Will Be Blood soundtrack. Jonny Greenwood did the music for this. This music should be studied, and understood. It’s simply amazing.”
Type of tree to climb?
“Walnut. A small one.”
Bone in the body?
Song you’ve written?
“‘Self Esteem.’ I wrote it at a time when I had just discovered the ukulele. I’m still quite fond of the ukulele lead in the song.”
Animal to have as a pet?
“Pug or French bulldog, or possibly a muntjac deer. I looked into this once. I believe Audrey Hepburn had one.”
Place you’ve gone on tour?
Board game as a kid?
“Operation. But I don’t believe we ever actually owned this game. I had to go over to my rich friend’s house to play.”
“Does Missouri have one?”
“Any John Mayer song as a ring tone is pretty awesome.”
“Instrument to play?
“Viola. I’m still a beginner, but I’m pretty obsessed with it right now.”
’80s music video?
“I don’t remember many, but I think Motley Crue’s ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ was very forward-thinking.”
Ingredient of granola?
Word from another language?
“Usted? Is that a Spanish word? Three years of Spanish and I almost remember one word.”
Guy named Mike?
“Tyson. There’s a documentary out now on him. Pretty amazing.
Way to cool off in the summer?
“Stay indoors. I drove a car without AC for three years. It’s better just to stay inside.”