20 years ago, screamo / emoviolence act JEROMES DREAM established themselves as one of the most influential fierce hardcore songwriters ever. Now their successors are getting their due in a big way, with the massive compilation “It’s More Like An Homage To You”, a Zegema Beach Records / Coniine Records project featuring 29 modern screamo bands worth a solid check. IDIOTEQ is honored to debut the compilation today, which finds most of the artists testing out their own interpretations of the respected predecessor and honoring their memory. The undoubtedly engaging, voluminous, and mind shattering record can be streamed in its entirety below. Additionaly, we’ve collected some insights and thoughts from 10 of the bands involved. Scroll down to read up!
JEROMES DREAM formed in September 1997 and consisted of bassist Jeff Smith, guitarist Nick Antonopulous, and drummer Erik Ratensperger. The band put out a number of split recordings, including a Withing Hour classic co-release with screamo legends ORCHID and USURP SYNAPSE, and 2 full lengths, Seeing Means More Than Safety (2000) more experimental follow-up Presents (2001). “It’s More Like An Homage To You” tribute compilation is being released through David Norman’s Zegema Beach Records and Jon Riley’s Coniine Records in the USA, but most of 29 bands involved are taking copies as well, making this truly a joint effort. All proceeds from the sales are going to the Flint Rising charity*. The official release date for the cassette version is May 30th, 2017. Some of the bands involved will be a part of Zegema Beach Fest that will take place in the first days of June (details below, tickets here).
* Dave from Zegema Beach commented on the importance of the donation element (see our full interview below and go here to check out our previous mega-post on the label):
For over two years the people of Flint, Michigan have been living and dying with poisoned water. The governments, both municipal and federal, have done nothing but lie, ignore and even profit from the residents’ nightmare. Like most things in this world, if corporate and government interests are at risk, then fuck the people.
No. Fuck you, governments. Fuck you and your slavery to corporate interests led by greedy, selfish and evil pits of waste that masquerade as human beings. Flint has been abused for so long it’s routine now. It’s fucking shameful. Please donate the measly $3 on May 16th (and afterwards) to the labels involved and Senza so we can put our money toward making the world a better place instead of continually bowing to self interest, conformity and apathy. The labels and bands would bviously appreciate the support so they can keep making music and releasing stuff, but please donate to people who are in real need, first and foremost. Donations can be made now as well as over and above the $3 on bandcamp at the Flint Rising page, which I’ve linked here.
Here’s the full track listing:
1) KOMAROV – “My Most Recent Right Left Brain Argument”
2) COMMUOVERE – “What Other Adjective Would You Have Me Use For The Word Good?”
3) MASSA NERA – “The Monologue Of The Century”
4) THISISMENOTTHINKINGOFYOU – “A Second Grade Art Project”
5) UNDER GLASS – “Unreleased #1”
6) Мятеж – “Exit 29 Collapsed As I Drove By”
7) WOLF TEETH – “His Life Is My Denim Paradise All Day, Every Day”
8) APT SUT EIC OCO – “The Last Time We Talked”
9) SLEEPER WAVE – “A Present For Those Who Are Present”
10) COME IN, ACTION TWO. CAN YOU COMPLETE THE MISSION? – “And Just Like That The Year Is Gone”
11) MONOCHROME NAUSEA – “The Teacher Says To His Pupil”
12) YEARS PASS LIKE SECONDS – “Untitled #2”
13) SENZA – “How Staggering Is This Realization”
14) мища – “It’s More Like A Message To You”
15) AN ANT AND AN ATOM “What I Learned At This Years Regional Optometry Convention”
16) ALGAE BLOOM – “Just Down The Hall From Room 526”
17) EAGLEHASLANDED – “No Matter What You’re Always There”
18) PIG LATIN – “It’s Right Where You Said It Would Be”
19) SENKETSU – “Rock Song”
20) APOSTLES OF ERIS – “Double Who? Double You!”
21) FARSEEK – “I Won’t Stop Wondering Until You Stop Breathing”
22) OUR WITS MAKE US MEN – “Remember The Sea Of Tranquility”
23) LACKLUSTER – “Do We Write To Write Right”
24) MASALLE – “Life Is What You Make Of It”
25) LESSENER “A Well Documented Case Of Severe Autism”
26) GLITCHGIRL – “Thirty Dollar Bill”
27) COMA REGALIA – “True Thinkers Will Stop Time To Think”
28) BLACK KNIGHT SATELLITE – “Everyday At 3:06”
29) MONOGAMY – “The Big Fuck You”
Dave Norman of Zegema Beach Records (Canada):
Photo by Joshua Stonewall
Hey Dave! What was it that struck a chord with you in getting involved with this amazing tribute compilation project? Why did you decide to choose JEROMES DREAM?
This compilation was not my idea. During its infancy Jon Riley from Youth Novel, Vampires and Coniine Records was the catalyst for the tribute when he posted in a facebook community. I was initially just a member of one of the bands contributing called мятеж. I’ve loved Jeromes Dream for more than a decade now as I bought the double discography cd nearing the end of my university career and have been taken with most of the recorded output since.
What draws you to JEROMES DREAM the most?
The intensity, the violence and their uncanny ability to find melody and a groove within that chaos. Tracks such as “The Monologue of the Century”, “Exit 29 Collapsed as I Drove By”, “And Just Like That the Year is Gone” and “Life is What You Make It” are prime examples. Мятеж was lucky enough to nab “Exit 29 Collapsed as I Drove By”, which I’ve always been fond of due to that crushing, whirlwind of a breakdown 41 seconds in. That section in particular sounds like the audio equivalent of a bridge collapsing and I’ve never heard a band pull off that kind of energy with only three people.
Do you know the guys? Have you been in touch with Jeff, Nick and Erik? What bands have they been involved in since 2001?
I have not. I’m also not very aware of their post-JD bands, and wouldn’t be able to name one off the top of my head.
How did you connect with all these bands? Tell us about the creative process behind compiling pieces for this release.
The literal connection was facebook, as Jon created a community where we shared ideas and posted our songs. In terms of figurative connections, I noticed some bands were more active and interested in the outcome of the comp than others were, so I think the excited members drove the vision of the tape in a collective fashion. Cameron from Farseek came up with the art and I think the title, as well. We chose Flint Rising as the digital sale charity for this compilation and figured out the release strategy, blog premieres, etc. within the online community Jon created.
Apart from tapes and digital version, do you plan on releasing a vinyl version? Why did you decide to skip it this time?
Upon initial agreements in the community, we, or perhaps even Jon, decided tapes were best as they are very inexpensive compared to vinyl. They also can be produced with much faster turnaround and can house more recorded material, as the compilation came to nearly 60 minutes, we would have had to do a 2×12” and that would have bumped costs up substantially. Honestly, I don’t foresee a vinyl version in the future.
What are your thoughts on digital vs analog, the change that still seems to dominate the music business? Where do you see this going in the future?
It’s awesome and terrible. We have access to every band but nearly every band can’t afford to record, release and tour with their music. I go to my fair share of shows and watch people buy beer after beer and then say they can’t afford the door, or say it’s too expensive, or don’t support the touring bands by buying merch. I see people download every release by every band they like on the internet and never donate money to the bands or the labels…so how exactly do we expect them to continue without any kind of financial support? Before starting a label I still downloaded albums for free, but I’d say in a month I’d donate and buy at least $20 worth of digital music. I see things continuing to go digital in the future with less and less room for physical copies due to oversaturation and people simply choosing to spend their money elsewhere. I have considered doing digital-only releases but I still feel the need to hold a copy in my hands.
Dave, you’re located in Canada at this point, but you recently decided to reside in a whole new area. Tell us about your moving to New Zealand.
That’s a long-ass answer, so I’ll make it short. My wife and I wanted to live in a place that excited us. We also wanted the safest place for our son. And lastly the housing market here where we currently reside in Hamilton, Ontario boomed like crazy so we decided to take advantage of our good luck. We fly out July 31st and there’s no fucking way I’m moving back to North America.
How does this change affect the label?
It affects it and it doesn’t. I will still be running the label. The label will still distribute in Canada. The differences are I’ll be running it from New Zealand and will also start distributing and releasing stuff there, as well as focusing on local bands. Obviously I can’t be in two places at once so my friend and fellow music lover Nate Downey will be taking care of everything in Canada. I’ve also been in talks with Jake from Ancient Injury Records and it looks like he will likely start distributing all Zegema Beach releases in the USA.
What is your mindset towards continuing your amazing work with Zegema Beach?
Don’t get burnt out. Stay positive. Being involved with an amazing release and selling zero copies is normal. Stay social. Listen to everything everyone sends me. Go to shows. Book shows. Support artists. Create safe spaces. Speak out against hate, racism, homophobia, transphobia, police, my/your horrible governments and the slave owners who are the rich, corporate elite.
What does the rest of the year hold for the label?
Hmmmmm…I think those Protest The Hero tapes will be coming out before 2017 is finished, although they won’t be in a box set anymore, as we’ve scrapped that and will release all of the albums as single cassettes. The Jeromes Dream comp is being shipped to me tomorrow from Quebec. The 2×12” 8-band/4-country split is in my possession and looks incredible. It will be released June 1st. There is a 3-day festival called ZBR Fest June 1st, 2nd and 3rd at D-Beatstro in Toronto, Ontario and includes bands from both Canada and the USA, such as Foxmoulder, Respire, Coma Regalia, What Of Us, People’s Temple Project, Crowning, Massa Nera, Commuovere, The Ultimate Screamo Band…the list goes on. There are five or six releases in production including: .gif from god/Vein split 7”, мятеж/Synodus Horrenda split tape, мятеж/Kelut (ex-Yusuke) split 12”LP, Terry Green 12”LP, Sarin 12”LP and the new one-sided Улыбайся Ветру will be in production this summer. Oh shit there’s also the Lessener 12”EP and the SeeYouSpaceCowboy 7”…it’s crazy busy!
Ok, so finally, what other tribute compilations do you see yourself engaged in in the future months and years?
Bands that always come to mind first are Neil Perry, Off Minor and Botch, but they all played pretty technical music so to properly pull off a tribute like that would be very difficult. I think inherently we all have bands that we would like to see covered regardless of the outcome, and other bands that if covered, must be done extremely well or we feel a hint of resentment toward the covering band, and possibly even the original band, as well. I will say that after wracking my brain trying to think of an amazing band to cover, I found one. I have contacted the band and they have given their consent. Songs aren’t required from the bands until April 2018 so the 2×12” cover tribute album should come out late 2018 on Zegema Beach Records. The tribute details are a secret, including the covered band as well as the contributing bands.
AN ANT AND AN ATOM, experimental noisy ambient from Canada:
Photo by Jayme Javier Photography
A number of different wires connect at different times to bring Jeromes Dream to my present day life:
A) The original Napster at 56kb/s, downloading obscure hardcore mp3s. Among them, Orchid, Usurp Synapse, and Jeromes Dream’s split with each. Infrequently drove an hour and a half to the underground music shops, but would never see Jeromes Dream releases.
B) After stepping back from hardcore, I became fixated on ambient and drone music, including The Wind-Up Bird’s album, Whips. I remember being pleased after seeing some connection online between that album and Jeromes Dream members.
C) Moved to Korea. Made some ebay purchases from the personal collection of Dave (Zegema Beach Records). Hung out with Dave in person when he moved there too.
D) Years passed, until Dave’s invitation to cover a Jeromes Dream song. Immediately jumped at it, happily reworking a track from the band.
SENKETSU, female fronted, progressive mathcore from Tampa, Florida:
I (Mark, guitar) was kind of between bands when I met notable Tampa scenester, Tristan Jennings (ex-Recreant/Kaya, current SPIT drummer). We bounced some music we were into off of each other until we had a pretty good idea of where our tastes overlapped. He turned me on to some late 90’s Screamo which I had apparently slept on. I spent the weekend catching up on Neil Perry, Hot Cross and Jeromes Dream. After ingesting these missing ingredients, new songs started coming out of me which were the motivation to get Senketsu off the ground.
OUR WITS THAT MAKE US MEN from NJ – an interview that originally appeared on the Snuff Film Collective:
How were you first introduced to Jeromes Dream?
I believe I was introduced to Jeromes Dream when I was about 15 years old. I was a huge fan of Thursday, to put it mildly (still am), and through them, I became aware of this genre called “screamo.” At the time, screamo was a term that had some mainstream cachet, in the sense that any sort of music with screaming was labelled screamo (i.e.: A Day to Remember, Avenged Sevenfold, etc.). I knew there had to be more to this genre than music like that, so I started reading. Through this, I learned about bands like You and I, Saetia, Orchid, Off Minor, and Jeromes Dream more-or-less simultaneously. This was at a time when I was discovering new types of music quite rapidly. It was extremely exciting. Because of the rate at which I was finding new music, it actually took a couple years before I gave Jeromes Dream a listen. I immediately dug them, though I won’t pretend that they ever became one of my all-time favorites within the genre. I appreciated them more for their aesthetic and the way they approached vocals. My other band (Massa Nera) still refers to screaming without a mic as “Jeromes Dream-ing” it.
The song Our Wits That Make Us Men chose was, “Remember the Sea of Tranquility”. Was there a reason y’all chose this to be your song for the comp?
Yeah! So, I had neglected to involve Our Wits in the comp due to a) our relative lack of skramziness, and b) my bandmates’ unfamiliarity with JD. Dave Norman (owner of Zegema Beach Records) mentioned around March 19th or so that four songs were still available, with the catch being that the files had to be submitted by either the 29th or 31st (I forget which). Our Wits was scheduled to practice on the 22nd, so I figured what the hell, I might as well see if one of the tracks could work with us. “Remember the Sea of Tranquility” immediately stood out, largely because of its incorporation of spoken word (spoken word being a huge component of Our Wits’ sound). When I heard that, I knew we could do something…well, maybe not interesting (that’s not for me to determine), but I knew we could at least do something different with it. I hope people find it interesting.
The original version, in typical Jeromes Dream fashion, is a short one minute and thirty seconds. Our Wits extended that to over six minutes. How did you approach this song and what was your thought process behind extending the track?
Hahaha well, we knew we had to be pretentious, hence the decision to extend it to 4x its original length!
In all seriousness, we knew that this song gave us the opportunity to use some of my favorite field recordings, ones that, for one reason or another, didn’t make it onto our full-length (mostly because they were too dark). Before practice, I worked on a collage of sorts, using field recordings that fit the vibe we were going for (funereal, I guess), doing my best impression of the Eraserhead soundtrack. I sent that to the band. They dug it and figured it would be interesting if we used those recordings as the backdrop to a drone. At that point, I had already recorded my best friend and I performing the spoken word part. We knew that we wanted our contribution to mirror the structure of the original (spoken word followed by chaos), and that we wanted the actual heavy part to be faithful to the original.
That’s about as much planning as we put into it. Come the 22nd, we spent 40 minutes learning the song, followed by another 15 or so recording it. After that, we (along with our guitarist’s brother) spent a few minutes improvising a drone until we found something that we liked, the only certainty being that we would use chords from the song when constructing it. Honestly, the length was incidental. I knew the song would be extended because, well, we’re long-winded (look at these answers!), but the actual length was determined by chance and feeling. We prefer leaving a lot of things to spontaneity and intuition. The meticulous arranging came once my guitarist and I mixed my Lynchian soundscape with the drone and the spoken word performances we had recorded, during which we added a couple more recordings, chopped up the spoken word, added some effects to it, etc. By we, I mean mostly him haha.
For those that don’t know, you play drums in both Massa Nera and Our Wits. How does it feel to be on the comp with so many other great bands? Who are you most excited to be on there with?
It feels amazing!! Honestly, it’s difficult to put into words how wonderful it is to be part of a scene filled to the brim with such amazing, talented people. It’s become an extremely important part of my life over the last year. The lineup for this comp makes me excited every time I read it. I hope the people who decide to check it out are similarly floored.
Being on a comp with Coma Regalia is extremely special. I’ve been listening to them for a while now, so to say both my bands are on a release with Shawn is fucking surreal. I absolutely adore Commuovere, Thisismenotthinkingofyou, and Lessener. Their contributions are sick. More people need to check them out. I’m really into Senza as well. They’re doing a lot of things that most people wouldn’t even attempt. In terms of their approach, they aren’t too dissimilar from Our Wits, actually (even though we don’t sound alike). I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Mrtek (Dave Norman’s band); there’s another artist that my Massa Nera bandmates and I have been fond of for quite a while. I’m sure I’m forgetting some bands, which is a testament to how exciting this comp is. I’m very lucky to be a part of it.
MONOGAMY, lo-fi shoegazin’ noise-pop from Ludington, MI / Chicago, IL, USA:
How I got into Jeromes Dream: I first heard Jeromes Dream on a four hour car ride across the great state of Michigan. My buddy Sam had the two CD discography and put it in. We listened all the way through in one sitting.
My view on the band: Jeromes Dream is the rare sort of band that manages to mix such utter chaos with such precise organization. As a jazz buff, I really dig the diabolical aspect of it — sort of a Mingus sensibility, the idea of going all over the place but never leaving the pocket and never losing track of the head. For sheer artful recklessness, few other bands compare except for say, Harry Pussy or something.
Their legacy: I’m not really super connected to a lot of screamo music, but I try to catch some sets here and there. But the best thing about Jeromes Dream is that they manage to be, via being such a weird and fucked up sounding back, pretty universal in that you can have a pretty solid conversation with kids across regional/genre/scene lines about how great they are.
The track I covered: “The Big Fuck You” comes from an obscure, instantly-losable split 5″ record. It’s paired with “I Won’t Stop Wondering Until I Stop Breathing”, which is a fairly fucking hefty one-two punch for a tiny wax disc, no? For this cover I wanted to throw everything about the song into a blender and build it back up into something super abstract but recognizable. I used a casiotone, a drum machine, some pedals and gadgets, as well as a guitar and ukulele. No software!!! I think if you listen to the song and then really squint at my cover, you can see how things map onto each other. I’m very pleased it’s been chosen as the final song for the comp, as I think it leaves things on a comparatively peaceful and mediative note.
LESSENER (Boston, MA, USA), emotive screamo band with a new EP recently premiered right here on IDIOTEQ:
I think I originally heard the name Jerome’s Dream from a girl I was seeing about ten years ago. I said I listened to emo and screamo and she mentioned their name. Me trying to act suave, I checked them out and tried educating myself on everything JD. I thought it was total garbage when I first heard it so I put away and didn’t listen to them for a few years. At some point I discovered a used copy of their discography 2xCD and bought it on a whim. I was floored, and couldn’t believe how I had slept on them for so long. The more I listened the more and more it warmed up to me and I fell in love. The rest is history.
MASALLE, screamo duo from Oregon, USA, featuring Mason from SENZA:
I’m Salle and I’m one half of Masalle. Jeromes Dream is one of the first screamo bands I discovered, along with Circle Takes The Square and Orchid. All these years later JD is still something I listen to weekly, and it has had an enormous impact on both my musicality and tastes in general. In my opinion, JD is among the top 5 most important bands in the genre, as you can still hear the influence in newer bands. They went out with a bang by releasing Presents, and rightfully so.
The other half of Masalle, Mason, plays drums in Senza as well. He hit me up and told me about this comp, and that several bands had dropped out. I said “Hey, let’s do one then”. Since I live in Sweden and he’s in the US, we had to do it online, but it was an easy process. I picked “Life is what you make of it” because it’s probably my favorite song off of that record. The same day I recorded the guitars and bass in 30 mins, sent him the stems, and he recorded drums and vocals in a couple hours. Sampled the radio noise and did some stuff, mixed it, and sent it away. I’m terribly excited about our contribution, as we went for being faithful to the original, and I’d say we hit the mark quite well.
мища, emoviolence/screamo from Baltimore, Maryland:
How did we get into JD: Jeromes Dream was one of the first screamo bands that we all got into. I don’t remember how we first heard about them, probably the orchid split or something. when we all got into that stuff we were just downloading any and every band we could find, and JD was one of the first that really stuck out as something we all were into, probably because the songs were fast and pretty short.
What’s our view on the band now: they are still one of my / our favorite screamo bands. I listen to them pretty regularly still, after all these years
On their legacy: They are one of the most popular old school screamo bands. if they werent, there wouldnt be a cover record being made
On the track we covered: We covered Its More Like A Message To You, which has been my favorite JD song from the get go. we kept it pretty similar to the original, except we changed up the ending a little bit.
ALGAE BLOOM, emotive screamo from Norwich, UK (originally appeared on Punktastic):
Jeromes Dream are one of our absolute favourite bands, getting to cover them for charity is a real honour,” explains the band. “We recorded this track with Alfie from Maths in our practise space. It was fun trying to squeeze this onto our tiny stand-up drumkit and recording about a million tracks of guitar and screeching.
SENZA, screamo trio from Eugene, Oregon, USA (originally appeared on Screamo Tapes):
Screamotapes: “The first I had ever heard of Senza was from a facebook livestream of your set and I immediately noticed the Jeromes Dream influence, what made you want to emulate that style?”
Mason: “Well, Tim and I met at the music school back in 2013 and we immediately bonded over our love of early screamo. Our first set ever included a Jeromes Dream Cover (It’s More Like A Message To You) and an Orchid cover (Weekend At The Fire Academy) as well. Ever since I first heard JD I was infatuated with everything they had released. We wanted to make something that had a similar style to bands like Jeromes Dream and Orchid, but also do something that was unique and allowed us to express ourselves. We also don’t use mics, in true Jeromes Dream fashion”
Screamotapes: “That’s awesome, using no PA really pushes you to go all out”
Mason: “Yeah definitely.”
Screamotapes: “The Jeromes Dream sound is pretty unique, though Tipping Canoe were an influence on JD, are you afraid of being seen as an imitator?”
Mason: “I think that while we definitely take heavy influence from bands who have come before, we also draw sounds from original music we made prior, which makes Senza unique enough to where we can draw a fine line between bands we love and are inspired by, and us. Our guitarist’s favorite band is Heaven in Her Arms and Tim and I are both orchestral percussionists, so we have a lot to pull from, James, our guitarist, was also classically trained in Piano growing up”
Screamotapes: “It’s really cool to see classically trained musicians playing emo, what drew you to the genre?”
Mason: “I think what really drew me to the genre was how raw it is emotionally. Sadness is one of the most powerful emotions, this music and the people who play it have such a way of expressing themselves, it’s really incredible. Also, almost everyone involved in the DIY screamo scene are the sweetest people, and being a part of that has been one of the greatest parts of my life.”
Screamotapes: “Well put, I can definitely attest to that, did you all elect to cover “How Staggering Is This Realization?” If not, what was your first choice?”
Mason: “Before the songs were assigned, every band was to submit their top 3 choices. We ended up not getting to cover any of what we picked (It’s More Like a Message to You, I’m Reminded of a Kid Who Used to Stomp Bugs, Just Down the Hall from Room 526) mostly because there were a lot of bands attempting to be on the comp, and a lot of people wanted the popular songs more. We’re actually happy we ended up with a lesser known song because it gave us the chance to showcase how good some of their other material is!”
Screamotapes: “Right on, I backed down from the comp because I was so intimidated by every great band playing, what cover have you heard that has you the most stoked for this comp?”
Mason: “I still haven’t heard every one of them, but so far Massa Nera’s track has me the most excited. Honestly, this whole thing is gonna be incredible, we’re honored to be a part of something so big!”
Screamotapes: “I’ve heard Massa Nera’s track, (shown in the trailer above) it’s fucking good. Mark’s other band Our Wits That Make Us Men are covering “Remember the Sea of Tranquility” and theirs is just as good.”
Mason: “When some of the other bands dropped, I hit up my buddy Salle from Sweden and he and I did another track together. I feel pretty lucky to have been a part of two tracks on here. I don’t think I’ve heard theirs yet! More to look forward to!”
Screamotapes: “Thanks for talking with me, glad to be premiering the track!”
Mason: “Thank you, glad to be a part of it!”
Screamo duo YEARS PASS LIKE SECONDS:
‘Jeromes Dream’ was a name I saw pretty frequently when I was first getting into this kind of music- I’d be lying if I said I was a fan almost immediately upon hearing of them, as there is a lot to take in when first taking interest in a while genre, but man, am I glad that they ended up sticking with me after a while.
For me, Jeromes Dream’s discography is a perfect example of how chaos can be harnessed and controlled to a band’s advantage. These people knew exactly what they were doing, and whether or not one found it overly abrasive or earnest didn’t matter. These songs represent unabashed catharsis to a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons, and I’m honored to be on the same album as these musicians and dear friends of mine.