Interview with Jeremy Zucker on his first studio album, Love Is Not Dying
Read our interview.
These are strange times we live in, and it’s safe to say that a lot of the grand plans that we have for 2020 have been shelved or put on hold indefinitely. But what happens when you’re an artiste who had just finished recording your first studio album, just in time for its launch in 2020? Buro. speaks to Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Jeremy Zucker about the release of his first studio album, Love Is Not Dying.
Album art for Love Is Not Dying
How are you coping with life in isolation?
It's a little difficult. I've been spending most of my time so far at home in Brooklyn but I actually just went back to New Jersey to hang out with my parents for the next week or two.
Obviously, you wrote ‘we're f*cked, it's fine' before the pandemic happened. But how do you feel about this song being such a mood for this year?
I mean, I didn't know this would happen when I was writing it, but the sentiment is true. You know, we're all kinda f*cked but we'll be okay. I don't know how bad the lockdown is over there but obviously it's pretty intense over here. It's a time that we're all going to have to get through. But yeah, it's really interesting that some of the meanings of the songs have now changed because the world is in such a different place than it was when I wrote it.
How did you settle on the title, Love Is Not Dying?
It was just this phrase that I kept seeing in my head. The focus of it, for me, is really on the phrase "not dying". When people hear "love is not dying" they initially think "love is still alive" or "love still exists", and to some extent that is what some of the songs are about; but on an even greater level, throughout a lot of the songs, I sort of highlight this relationship between love and death. That's sort of the central theme of the album. It's almost like the feeling of how the world is ending, but there's so much beauty in that feeling.
Why I chose this title is because I really didn't know that I was open to a lot of feelings — I thought that a lot of feelings were closed off to me at this point in my life and then things happened and it sort of opened me up to the idea of love again. And then on a more literal note, I was just involved in these crazy situations where it felt like the ultimate expression of love from somebody to me would be not dying — it would be staying alive for me.
How does releasing your debut album in such unprecedented times feel like?
It is weird. Well, it's my debut album so I don't really know what to expect; I've never done any of the promo surrounding an album. So nothing about it feels that different to me because this is my first time experiencing it. I didn't want to wait until the pandemic was over to release it because I wanted to get the music off my chest and it's been so long since I've released music, and I know that it would be helping some people who are feeling stuck in their own heads and homes during the outbreak.
The album, for me, is this introspective project that sort of just gets your head out of your body and it felt like a different world to me when I was making it. So I like to hope that other people have the same feeling. It's an unfortunate circumstance and I'm praying for a speedy recovery for all countries and areas, but I think it was really good that the album came out during this time, because music is especially important to people now.
What did you want to achieve when you first set out to record your album, especially since it's your first?
I try not to think about numbers, or statistics, or anything like that because you can just get really obsessive with checking them everyday and making comparisons. That doesn't really feel good, so I try not to have any of those sorts of expectations going into it. I just wanted to make a beautiful album that I was proud of and that I knew people would enjoy, but I also wanted to challenge myself and not give people what they expected from me. So yeah, I set these expectations for myself, knowing that I wouldn't release the album until I felt that way and there's no room for negative feelings in that because they are my own expectations about how I felt about it and it wasn't hinged on other people's reactions. That's why when it came out, it made me really happy just seeing all the kind words that people were saying about it and how I was helping them. So yeah, I try not to look at the numbers because it freaks me out.
Listen to Love Is Not Dying here.