February 25th, 2014
supper clubs and jump ropes, tips from musician Jeremy Messersmith on doing the KIND thing
By KIND Editor
On the heels of the release of his fourth album, Heart Murmurs, the singer and songwriter Jeremy Messersmith stopped by the KIND offices for a special in-house performance. Jeremy charmed us with his stories and shared some of the love songs from his brand new album. We had the opportunity to talk to Jeremy and get some insight on love, learn why he brought a jump rope on tour and share sage advice for aspiring musicians.
KIND: What were some of the biggest challenges of putting together Heart Murmurs? How did you overcome these challenges?
Jeremy Messersmith: Heart Murmurs was harder to make than I initially anticipated. I’d been toying around with the idea of writing a record of love songs, but I had no idea how hard it was to write a real, genuine love song. It forced me to reflect on how I’ve loved and how I’ve been loved over the years. The only way to make it real was to be as personal as I could; I didn’t make up much on this record. All the other parts of making a record—recording, mixing, arranging—was much easier than the initial conceptual wrestling and songwriting.
As someone who tours extensively, how do you stay healthy while you’re on the road?
Staying healthy on the road can be a real challenge, but there are a few rules I try to stick to. First, avoid processed food and fast food. I keep healthy snacks in the van—nuts, fruits, no soda. I try to have at least one nice, sit down meal a day. Thanks to smartphones, it’s much easier to find healthy restaurants than it used to be.
Second, be physically active whenever possible. Even if you are driving all day, you have to stop sometime. I’ll do jumping jacks or burpees (a full-body strength training exercise) while I’m pumping gas. During the Supper Club Tour, I brought a jump rope. This tour, I brought a kettle bell that we toss around after shows.
Third, sleep whenever and wherever possible. Don’t get sleep deprived! Hotel floors, green room couches and van benches can be a life saver when one of your bandmates has been snoring all night.
Can you share an example of how you or someone you’ve witnessed has shared some kindness while touring? How did that affect the people around you?
I got a little burned out on club tours a few years ago, so I planned the Supper Club Tour, a tour based solely on human kindness! I toured for three months, playing for people who opened up their home to me and a bunch of strangers. It was a house show with a potluck, so everyone brought a dish to share. The simple act of sharing food with each other was a powerful bonding experience.
When you’re not touring or making music, how do you relax and enjoy your time?
I’m an avid mushroom hunter, so in summer and fall I spend time traipsing through forests in my home state of Minnesota. I also enjoy yoga, biking and plenty of video games.
Any tips for aspiring songwriters and musicians?
The only advice I have is to simply keep making art. Improvement only comes from work and practice.