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Jeremy Lister



Steeped in rich familial music history, Jeremy Lister seems to simply be following his destiny. One of the most prolific songwriters on the circuit, Lister could record non-stop for years with the songs he's already penned. Let's just hope the music industry gives him a chance to do so. Lister sat down with WayCoolMusic while on tour with some of his best friends that made up this year's Ten Out Of Tenn tour.



Way Cool: 

Tell us about your background and how you got involved in music.
Jeremy Lister:


It was part of the package when I was born.  My dad was a preacher and a music minister in a Southern Baptist church. So, I was always singing in the choir. As soon as I was able to, I joined the school band and choir. It’s the only thing that got me through high school.  My mom’s side of the family was really musical too.  Her dad, my grandfather (Bill Shaw), was in a famous gospel group called The Blackwood Brothers. Elvis had them come sing at his mother’s funeral because it was her favorite band. Actually, I was going through my mom’s photo albums when I was 11 or 12, and asked her, “Mom, who’s sitting in Elvis’s lap?” She said it was me!

Photo by: Samatha Shrader


I’m (Kendra) also a preacher’s daughter. Did you get harassed a lot for being a preacher’s kid?

JL: No, not from that. I was a middle-child so I had the middle-child syndrome. I was harassed more for being the artsy, crazy, ADD boy that was tiny. I got in a few fights when I was young.




Were your musical influences determined by your parents?




Yeah, totally. I wasn’t allowed to listen to any secular music at all.  My mom would let me listen to the golden oldies station while I did my homework. That’s when I fell in love with The Beatles. After that, Christmas gifts were always Beatles records and posters and stuff like that.  As I got older, I listened to whatever I wanted.  My brother, Ritchie, and I had bootleg cassette tapes in the attic…”bring out the Whitesnake!”




How long have you been affiliated with Warner Bros?




Since March of ’06, which is crazy.  The first thing I did was a developmental deal for 6 months. They wanted me to write and submit as many songs as I could. I wrote over 100 songs. Last year, I signed a deal to get an album out. Hopefully, we are getting close.




What’s the status of the full-length CD?

It’s not done.  The last few songs I’ve submitted they’ve loved. I’m hoping it will be worked on and recorded this year.  It’s a really fragile, scary time. Hopefully, we’ll get everyone on board soon.  Let’s put it this way…I will have an album out by the end of the year. I think I could release 5 albums with good songs.  It’s a pretty diverse, eclectic mix of songs.  Right now, Warner Bros owns whatever master recordings I’ve done.  If they decide to do an album, I’ll do it with them. If they don’t decide to do it, I will do it somewhere else.



How do you describe your music style?


Sometimes I’ll have a definite motivation for a song. But, most of the time, I keep it open. I prefer more to think of it as a ban. Ritchie, plays with me a lot as well.  I like rock and roll a lot too. It’s ever changing.



What’s the inspiration behind your song ‘Just One Day’?



It’s a song I wrote with Kevin Griffin in LA. It’s a universal theme…sometimes things just come out and you have to follow it. It was more of a free association. It’s got a very universal theme of loss, especially in a time of war.  Last year, we were thinking about doing a blog at Christmastime where people could put up photos of loved ones overseas that we could make into a collage for a video…we may still do that.



Photo by: Mandi Backhaus


What was playing at Sundance like?


It was fast and I was sick, but it was great. I was only there for 30 hours total. It was a lot of fun. I got to meet Josh Groban and Missy Higgins. It was put together really well. The quality of the video and sound was really good. Sundance was fast. The performance was fun and the people were great. I talked about going again next year and staying for a week; do some skiing and see some indie movies.



What’s the deal with the Lister branded hot sauce?

JL: With a name like Lister, you get picked on a little bit…”Lister Blister kissed his sister and gave her a fever blister”…stuff like that.  I turned the name into a brand. There’s a gentleman in D’Lo, Mississippi, which is in the middle of nowhere, who makes it for me. I used to buy it all the time when I toured around there. I’ve been giving a lot of freebies away to have people try it. I eat it on everything, it’s really good.  The 3 flavors are named after songs of mine.


How many hats do you have? How many did you bring on the Ten Out Of Tenn tour?





Oh, a lot. I only brought one on the tour. I brought a bandana too since we were touring on Willie Nelson’s bus.





7 Questions




What's the worst job you've ever had? 


I waited tables at Ruby Tuesday’s at a mall around Christmastime. Another one was equally the best and worst job was working at a movie theatre.  First, I was working the concession stand where my boss was 2 years younger than me. But, then I got promoted to the film room where I got splice films and that was awesome. I got paid nothing, but it was great.


What's your favorite movie quote or song lyric? 


“I did it” (Dave Matthews), best line ever.



Who would you want to star in the movie of your life? 


The Road to Conan O’Brien.



What's your favorite TV theme song? 


Sanford and Son.



If you were a superhero, what would your name be? 

  Threepus Malone. He’s a little saucy, but deep down he’s a good guy.




What do you want to be when you grow up?


I love games. There’s this ridiculously back woods game called Washers. You just throw washers in a hole…and that’s what I want to do.



Finally, why are there so many songs about rainbows? 


Cuz frogs don’t know when to shut up!



To find out more information about Jeremy Lister, visit his website at www.jeremylister.com.