Jeremy Loops, the infamous loop peddler from South Africa, has brought his one-man show to the US. Recording everything from his guitar to backup vocals to a beatbox flow on his loop pedal, Loops layers a complex meld of sounds in real time during his performances. We got the chance to witness it at his recent opening at the Hollywood Palladium. It was magical. The guy does not fuck around.
7DEADLY caught up with Loops over a few pints after his performance at the Hollywood Palladium.
Protip: Keep an eye on this Cape Town native. His folk-hip hop (really) will be hitting your earholes soon.
We know you’ve got insane looping skills, but what else do you bring to the table?
J: We’re from Africa! Haha, I like to think there is an interesting take on the songs and the music. I think looping is apart of my process from a song-writing point of view. I think what else makes us different is that we focus a lot on the live performance and the interactivity with the crowd. Trying to break down that barrier that often exists between bands on stage and the crowd. I suppose it’s been quite organic because I never liked watching bands when I was younger for the very reason that I feel they didn’t connect with me. Or take the time to say hello or whatever it might’ve been. I always really liked the bands that had that interactive flair.
Never let Jeremy Loops DJ on a road trip.
J: I come from a folk background and growing up I listened to a lot of [Bob] Dylan and Neil Young. Later on in life I got into the old greats like Woody Guthrie. My parents would listen to a lot of Paul Simon and Rodriguez around the house. So it was really a mix of things. I’ve also never been one of those people who listen to specific artists and follow their entire career and all their albums as they unfold. I’m one of those annoying people who kind of switches between songs. I make playlists and mix tapes. I consume music in that way. I always found myself kind of drifting around. My influences have been pretty widespread in that regard and I feel like I like to keep it that way. It helps me never really worry about what I produce, I am never really worried about what genre I really am or could be or where I fit it. I just make things that I like and hope people respond well to it
After college, he sailed around the world for 2 years.
J: In the beginning it was mostly just guitar based and then I started looping. I spent a lot of time traveling with my loop petal. I worked on a yacht and sailed around the world for two years. That was after my studies at university. In those two years of traveling, I wrote almost exclusively with my loop petal so I was making a lot of layers and lot of loops and experimenting with making songs like that. So when I got back and I started as Jeremy Loops, it was very loop-based. I suppose lately I have drifted back into song writing just with my guitar. I suspect it’s going to ebb and flow quite naturally.
At the moment I’m obsessed with taking pictures because that’s a different creative outlet. I don’t think it’s confined necessarily to just music. It’s whatever is inspiring me at the time and gets the creative juices flowing; I think that drives innovation in a sense.
What’s the story behind the plastic kid’s toy you play on stage?
J: I figured it had all these noises so it was experimental at first. Just playing with the idea of looping sounds. Yeah, that song “Mission to the Sun” was actually written rather quickly on the back of that drum loop on that kid’s toy. When I started playing that it kind of got it’s own legs and people really liked the song. It became a thing, so I was like, “Oh I guess I have to take this kid’s toy around,” but I’ve had a lot of issues with that thing. We’ve had a lot of girls steal it.
Well, they say karma’s a…
J: Yeah it was like a groupie extravaganza, everyone wants that thing. It has been stolen, I think four times now on separate occasions. And it’s always ladies…
Why just ladies?
J: I mean the first two times it happened, the girls both returned it. The first time it happened it was this lovely girl who returned it on my doorstep like a week later. And it was a week of me freaking out cause I had to figure out how to get this specific toy. Going to all these toy stores and I couldn’t find it. But she returned it with a whole bunch of chocolate saying, “I’m sorry I didn’t know what I was thinking.”
But there was an incident last year where the person didn’t return it. We put out a post on Facebook saying it happened again, someone own up to it or name drop. You know I need this toy; I’m going on tour in a week’s time. We found out who it was but she didn’t want to give it back so we put a call out on Facebook to people who had the same toy. It turns a lot of moms and dads out there had this same toy and we had four sent to us. So, now I have a stockpile.
When can we expect new sounds to drop?
J: The album drops here in the states on the 16th of June. That’s a big deal for us. We’re going to try our very best to get that music out and play more shows over here. I think we’re at the very beginning of what’s a hopefully a long fruitful career with our first album. Having done quite well over the last three months in South Africa and now having our album drop internationally. I’m just going to keep writing music and doing my thing I suppose.
Featured photo by Amy Price