For some bands nothing is ever simple. That’s certainly the case for Maine-famous act Jeremiah Freed. After more than a decade off, the band reconnected and released an EP in 2017 called Companion Pt. I. Assumptions were made that Companion Pt. II wouldn’t be that far off, but that wasn’t the case. Three years later (and a couple of months ago), the band finally dropped that EP. Alternative Addiction caught up with Jeremiah Freed’s vocalist Joseph Smith, guitarist Jake Roche, and the band’s bassist Matt Cosby to talk about the second part of their two-part EP series.
“The holdup was with personnel,” explained Jeremiah Freed bassist Matt Cosby. “Nick [Goodale – guitars] was between stuff. He was living in Nashville, then he ended up selling his house there and moving to Washington. Then, he moved from Washington back to Maine and that’s when we ended up doing Pt. II. Now, he’s moved back to Washington state. Between all that we also ended up scrapping a lot of the stuff we were working on that we thought was going to be on Pt. II. We wrote some new songs that we thought were better and that’s what’s on Pt. II now.”
“When we went down to record the first EP, we actually had ten songs ready to go and five of those ended up being on part one,” added Jeremiah Freed vocalist Joe Smith. “We were going to finish part two with the remaining songs that we had already started. Then, we scrapped all those songs except for one and the rest of them were new and recorded recently. It was the new stuff that was the big delay.”
The bad news is the record took too long to make, the good news is that the timing of the recording worked out well for a couple of reasons - first the band got to work with producer Jonathan Wyman again because of it. Wyman worked on the band’s old records and their best work has been done recording with him.
“Jon tracked all our albums before Companion Pt. I,” said guitarist Jake Roche. “He did everything back in the day, he's basically the sixth member of the band. He found time to record us in between time recording with The Pretty Reckless. We came up with Jon and he knows how to record us. He mixed companion Pt. I, he's a master and he know how to make us sound are best.”
The other big upside with recording is the band got to really get back into the swing of things with writing and recording again. With the first part of the EP, the band was just dipping their toes in. With the second part of Companion, they got to dive in.
“With Pt. 1 a lot of the music was unfinished business from various eras,” noted Cosby. “Then, we started writing music and sending things back and forth and getting excited about that.
Added Smith, “The Wind was tracked in Nashville, that was part of the original ten then we started writing new tunes, the new stuff was what we wanted to do.”
The results speak for themselves. So far Companion Pt. II is the band’s most streamed release to date and the second song on the record, “No Time Wasted” is the band’s most streamed song to date.
“No Time Wasted came together in more of a full-band rehearsal style,” said Roche. “Nick had the part and the melody for the verses. I came up with the electric/noodly part that's over the verses. Then, the band wrote the crazy bridge part that's kind of like a crazy Jethro Tull type of thing.”
“What stuck out to me watching the rest of the band recording that song, and just the record in general, stuff that usually takes days was taking minutes,” said Smith gushing about the rest of the band’s musical talent. “There aren't a ton of overdubs on this record. Most of it was done live. Bass and drums were live. Most of the guitars are live throughout the entire thing and then there are some lead overdubs and vocal overdubs. That's different from anything we've done before. That's a testament to the musicianship by these guys in the band.”
The band had planned on playing a release show close to when the EP dropped, but then COVID-19 hit hard in the U.S. and virtually all of the recreation activities of 2020 were off, that show was obviously cancelled too. Now, Jeremiah Freed is happy and reconnected. They’ll keep working on new music when they get the chance and they’ll keep working together too.
“It definitely gives us something to look forward to. It’s nice to call these guys to figure out what we should do next,” said Cosby. “It’s fun to have this up and going. The reaction we’ve had from this EP has been great.”
“I like the new stuff we’re doing better,” added Roche. “Twenty years since releasing the Universal record and we’re still putting out music that I still get the feels from, that’s awesome. I think. Revisiting those records is like visiting an old friend and now the new projects give us old friends a reason to hang out and talk to each other.” - aa