In a minimal set up reminiscent of Marc Bolan’s Tyrannosaurus Rex acoustic project, Detroit-based Jeremy Waun and his drummer, Johnny Weeks are currently touring the Midwest and East coast. Waun is performing an intimate Brooklyn show at Kave Espresso Bar in Bushwick this Wednesday, October 10th at 6pm. Waun is also a member of the band Reverend, self-described as, “freak soul, pysch rock.”
He might be producing music out of the Capitol Park loft [in the heart of downtown Detroit] that techno music was arguably born out of– but when you hear and see him perform, you can sense as much country soul as you do of the city. Growing up in northern Michigan, his interests lay in mysticism and psychedelia. Still, fascinated with the seeker-shaman figure, his music remains quintessentially rooted in Detroit’s varied music scene—like so many others who find themselves there, the lure was a sense that its over-looked vastness is teeming with creative possibility.
Ashley Hennen, PLAYGROUND DETROIT”s newest contributor, interviews Waun.
Hennen: There’s a lot of musical history in your building—particularly with electronic music. How does that inspire you?
Waun: We live in the loft because of the sheer space there. I feel also that we’re holding onto it because something like that might not last that much longer, especially in the price range. With the buildings musical history, past and present—people throwing shows and parties, [PD attended a party there during The Movement weekend] there’s great energy there and it’s great to play music. It’s right downtown–with everyone living there, all of these different bands and such, it restores culture and creativity where it’s not totally revamped yet. There’s a band called The Guys, they are cool people.
I’m also really inspired by Scott Berels who lives upstairs. He’s a sculpture artist, and he’s in the process of making the downstairs into an art studio. It’s going pretty well, depending on when you go down there, there are wood-working tools, they have a kiln down there. Right now, he basically uses it to work on his larger sculpture pieces but I know he opens it up for smaller art shows there. I’m hoping that’ll be going down by the end of the year.
What initially drew you to living in downtown Detroit?
I was living in Ann Arbor, [about 45 minutes from Detroit] enjoying it, but when we found this loft we couldn’t pass that chance up.
We actually weren’t really aware of the kind of culture or music scene in the city at the time, it was more being able to create what we wanted to.”
Aside from your amazing spot you live and work in, what else inspires or influences your music?
I’d say obvious things like love and other, you know, emotional experiences. But, also trying to express the importance of communication with one another, forming community with everyone around you, and not doing things for superficial reasons. Pretty much trying to let out actual feelings rather than a staged product-type music.
Have you been to Brooklyn before?
I haven’t been to New York since I was a child, so I’m calling it my first time. I’m looking forward to checking out a thriving city. I wanna get out there and really talk to people. I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard from some people who live in New York, saying it’s not easy to get involved in different socials sects. We wanna be cool with everyone, and experience NYC with no walls up.
Has anything interesting or bizarre happened during your tour travels?
We were talking in Chicago about feminine energy, and right now we feel like mainstream culture is a very masculine thing, but on this whole trip we’ve been finding the divine feminine: some books that are different mantras and salutations for the mother goddess, the funny coincidence was that we found a drawing in there that we used on our posters for most of the trip. Then meeting a lot of people that we just talked to and everyone’s talking about this possible consciousness shift, but we’re taking about how we hope it’s just a shift to allowing more feminine aspects to be embraced: simple things like hospitality, even caring. We’ve had really awesome experiences in Fairfield, Iowa- we got to stay in a restored old Catholic school that now has recording studios and massage therapy studios. We played out in the forest with traditional folk musicians walking under the moon.
What should Brooklyn expect at your show coming up at Kave?
It’ll definitely be acoustic, definitely low-key.
This whole trip feels like a more honest pilgrimage, you know? We’re making enough to get by. It’s almost like a shamanic experience, musically. My goal [with the tour] is to spread the message of the importance of just… creation in general, creating art, and trying to inspire people by traveling with such a minimal set-up, to maybe go out and spread positive vibes to the world themselves.
DON’T MISS JEREMY WAUN PERFORM LIVE AT KAVE EXPRESSO CAFE ON WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 10TH AT 6PM!
1087 Flushing Avenue #121
Brooklyn, NY 11237
Ashley Hennen is a multimedia artist and writer with an abiding interest in web publication and new media. Spending her time between Brooklyn and Detroit, she serves as Editorial Producer for the Detroit Regional News Hub and writes music under the name Wire Eyes. She studied abroad in Italy at the Università degli Studi di Macerata, and graduated from Alma College with a Bachelor Degree in English Literature in 2010.
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