Many musicians only dream of bursting onto their city’s music scene like Jeremy Moore burst into Birmingham. It didn’t take long for the city to fall for Moore’s melodic charms when he took the Moonlight on the Mountain stage early in his musical career.
Moore and his guitarist won Moonlight’s open mic competition shortly after Moore began writing songs two years ago.
“That was really my first introduction to Birmingham’s music scene and the open mic circuit. It was a new experience playing in a listening room because you’re performing, but there’s not really any audience participation, so you can’t gauge how you’re doing,”Moore explained. “We couldn’t believe we won, and we’re just now getting to use the prize.”
The prize, recording time at Higher Ground Studio, will help The Jeremy Moore Band produce its newest EP, set to release mid-April of this year.
The open mic win at Moonlight set Moore on a musical whirlwind. The band was featured on Southbound, the local music segment of Birmingham Mountain Radio, and shortly thereafter released their first EP, The Perfect Mold.
“I just got some friends together and made it. It was my first time in the studio with all of these guys. I realized that’s not the way to do it,” laughed Moore. “I learned so much in retrospect. This year, we know more about what we’re doing and there’ll be one acoustic EP and a full length album.”
Moore notes that his style has changed in the few short years he’s been performing. The Perfect Mold EP is mostly singer/songwriter rock and represents several types of music because at that time, Moore hadn’t found his distinct sound.
“I had to find what I thrive at, and that’s more minimalist, toned back. Lay down the songs, add drums and bass, pile stuff on, add and add, then strip away—simplify things. I had to listen to others to find my strengths and weaknesses,”Moore explained. “That was where I learned that I do better highlighting the vocals. Music is a means to the words; it expresses the words. Words are not additives.”
Moore began writing songs his sophomore year at Samford University, where he studied worship music.
“I grew up in church and my dad was a worship pastor, so we were there every time the doors were open, so the church has influenced my music,”said Moore. “Now, Christians listen to a lot of different music, like Chris Tomlin and Beyonce back to back, so we’re breaking barriers. I’ve been asking myself the hard questions, like ‘Can art as a whole be worship?’, ‘Can you use art as a means to inspire?’, and ‘Does a song have to be about God to be Christian?’ I’m still navigating, so we’ll see where it goes.”
Moore started playing classical piano at a young age, and his musical training at Samford was classical, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“If you don’t know where you’ve been, you don’t know where you’re going. In college, it was hard to break down my classical training into what I create now.” said Moore. “I had to unlearn some things to have a more listenable sound. My music lives by that saying ‘learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.’”
Samford left Moore well-prepared for a career in music. In addition to making rounds in Birmingham’s music venue circuit, Moore has a full time job leading worship music at Briarwood Presbyterian Church.
“My favorite songs of mine haven’t been released yet, like ‘The Hardest Part is Learning,’ which is about a friend who went off to college and coping with that change. The centerpiece of the new EP is about the realization that change is good. I’m also really excited about ‘My Love’s Ghost,’ ‘Cheap Derivative,’ and ‘Lullaby.‘ ‘Lullaby’ was actually written in Guitar Center,” Moore laughed.
If you’ve seen The Jeremy Moore Band live before, you’ll notice a few new faces. In addition to Moore, the band members are Taylor Hardy on electric guitar, Michael Sutherland on drums, Russell Blackburn on keys, and a bass player who has yet to be announced. Other than Moore, Blackburn is the only remaining member of the original band.
Moore expects the new band members to positively influence his music. “A lot of us like the same things, but Taylor has eccentric tastes across the board, which is good because it’ll add a new dimension to the band. Plus, Russell is classically trained in voice, so he’ll bring theory to the mix,”explained Moore.
For more information on The Jeremy Moore Band, check out his YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Twitter.
Cover photo by Eleanor Stenner.
Feature photo by by Taylor Hardy.