There is a particular vein of artists that have this resounding connection with listeners. It’s not easy to explain why, but this crop of songwriters seem to ooze honesty and authenticity… not just with their lyrics, but through the arrangements, singing, tasteful production. One of those artists is Jeremy Casella. We are so excited about the release of his new, full-length album Spirit (releasing nationwide on 11/22/19). On the next episode of the Green Room Door podcast (coming 11/25), we will talk a bit more about the songs and production of the project. We had a chance to do a pre-release interview for our site to discuss the backstory of Spirit.
UTR: Do you remember when you first started writing your own music?
Jeremy: I was in high school. My parents bought me a four track cassette recorder when I was about 16. I was so excited to record some of the things I was writing which at the time was really just musical ideas and guitar licks. So I started writing songs in order to have something to record. I started playing guitar in the fifth grade but it wasn’t until high school that I started writing anything.
UTR: Are there certain songwriters and artists who have been significant influences?
Jeremy: Rich Mullins, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Beatles… I also love Daniel Lanois and Mark Heard. I’m a fan of U2, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. So most of my influences are singer/songwriters but to tell you the truth I just love great songs, whatever the genre.
UTR: A lot has happened in your life since the release of your last album Death in Reverse (which was recently named one of UTR’s Best Albums of the Decade)- can you share some of the highs and lows?
Jeremy: Spirit is written from the perspective of having walked through a really painful divorce. It was six years ago and the Lord carried me and my family so beautifully through that time. So these songs are rooted in the movement of God in my life and I’m reflecting on His presence, strength and faithfulness to me in most of the lyrics.
UTR: How has the emotional and spiritual journey you’ve been on fed into the creation of your new album Spirit?
Jeremy: Gosh, how long do you have? In some ways it’s impossible to verbalize how grateful I am to God for what He has done for me. But here goes… I have since remarried to a wonderful woman named Brooke. She was widowed 12 years ago and raised her three kids primarily in the city up in my hometown of Pittsburgh. When the Lord brought us together, we got engaged and He called us to make a life here in the Nashville area as a blended family. It’s been a beautiful and challenging journey and I tried to capture some of that beauty and mystery in the new songs such as “Many Waters” and “Autumn in Kingston Springs.”
UTR: As you’ve been writing, recording, and sitting with the songs of Spirit for many months, what is the sense of anticipation you have as you get ready to release the album?
Jeremy: I’m just so excited to see where these songs end up. They already are making a way for themselves in the world and the response from audiences as I have performed them live has been pretty incredible for me. It all feels different, like there’s a unique life-giving essence to what is going in the new music. I’ve never had such a response to an album like I have had on this one so far. I believe that the Lord wants to use these songs to comfort people and to draw them to Himself and that makes me really excited to be a part of that in a small way. I just want everyone to hear it!
UTR: If someone wants to host a church or living room concert next year for the Spirit tour, can they still get in on that?
Jeremy: Absolutely I will be performing a lot of concerts over the next year in support of this album. If anyone wants to book a concert with me they can email me on my website under the contact form. I do all my own booking so feel free to reach out and I will circle back with you!