14 Dec Artist Spotlight: Jeremy Thomas
On Sunday, December 27th, 2015, Jeremy Thomas will be performing for the three year anniversary of the Coexist through Music Series at Ruby’s Elixir to benefit Operation Coexist.
How old were you when you started playing music and how long have you been a musician?
I started playing guitar around 13. I’ve always loved music. My dad would play for my sister and I and we would sing along. Until I saw MTV and had to learn electric guitar. I played my first gig at 16 with Az-Iz at club Detroit. I’ve been playing ever since let just put it that way as to how long I’ve been playing.
How would you describe your music? What projects are you currently working on with your music?
I’ve always played rock and roll. I grew up as a radio kid listening to everything from old school rap to Billy Idol. I’ve lived through the greatest years of rock music. I recently joined the new version of Blackfoot and it’s a heavy southern rock band which gives me a chance to spread my wings in the live shows. I actually love being in many different projects. The interaction between band members and working with different songwriters and even different genres. I feel a good song is a good song and you can experiment over genre with the best way to create that song. More importantly it’s a frickin blast to always wear different hats so to speak.
How has music changed your life?
Ahhh in so many ways! First it’s given my heart a voice. A way to communicate my pain and joy to others. The freedom of self-expression in songwriting is astounding when you think of it. Some of the most powerful changes in people come from songs. Also, I gave music therapy to the V.A. Guys and the miracles I saw happen were amazing! Seeing with my own eyes guys coming out of comas and then going through every emotion as I’m playing them a song they remember. It was very intense and when you see the way the songs were literally connecting their brains back together from just the memory of the song. That changed me forever. Nothing quite compares to that experience. I thank God every day for putting me in that place with that group of people.
Why do you believe it is important for all kids to have access to music education?
First and foremost for self-expression. A safe environment for kids to express and also learn the discipline to learn an instrument is essential to growth and finding their place in the world. It always amazes me how pure and perfect kids are. They are honest about their feeling and open about what they want when they are in a safe environment to express themselves. Music is a universal language and that is enough of a reason to have it in our educational systems.
How many Operation Coexist events have you performed in throughout the past three years? What is your favorite part about being a part of these shows?
I believe I’ve done about 3 or 4 of them. I love the cause and also the family of musicians and friends that support it. We have so much great talent here in St. Pete and OCE is right at the heart of it! It’s truly one of the few places that really recognizes the talent in our town. I look forward to many years of playing shows for it and I can’t wait to see it grow bigger than we could all imagine!