But I keep drivin’ deeper into the night
There are solid doses of both nostalgia and forward momentum in Jeremy & the Harlequins’ latest offering. “Into the Night,” the lead single from the self-described “rock n’ roll revivalist” band’s forthcoming sophomore album, is an authentic ‘Americana’ tale capturing the drive, passion, uncertainty, and heart of the never-ending search. What that search is for, exactly, changes person to person – but there’s a reason it’s called “never-ending.”
It’s 4 in the morning but I feel alive
Like I could take on Goliath and still be with you by 5
I would survive
Cause the feelin’ you give me makes me strong
It’s supernatural baby, and that can’t be wrong
Yeah, that can’t be wrong
Yearning and longing leap forth from frontman Jeremy Hurts’ vocals as he retreads a familiar American dream. Layers of takeaway meaning lurk beneath the surface of a song about returning home to one’s love. Evoking the likes of Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley, Jeremy & the Harlequins are a link to the United States’ cherished musical heritage and a powerful sign that great music never dies. Although the band echoes the past, their music feels fresh and free-spirited: The charisma of the wanderer is timeless.
The ‘Hero’s Journey’ is one of a small number of story arcs in the Western canon, and the individual’s internal/external search is an intrinsic part of that plot. Expanding that concept into a modern context, the idea of a constant ‘search’ is a fundamental principle by which we live. It is our roots – our core – and it feeds into an indescribably enticing, provocative element that sets “Into the Night” apart from so much else.
Jeremy Fury agrees. “On the surface, the song for me is about driving through the night back to your girl,” he explains, knowing there’s so much more to it than that. “…If you really care about something, at some point you’ll be tested, and you may have to go deep into the darkness to get it.” We learn, typically at a young age, about death. Our stories, just like the stories of our heroes, fairy tales, and everyone around us, must eventually close. So, we make the most of what we’ve got, and we try to find meaning in what, on the surface, might seem meaningless.
That’s what makes life a journey, and it’s the big and the small moments we share along the way that make it so goddamn fun and worthwhile. This stands out in full on the “Into the Night” music video, released just this week. Directed by actor John Magaro (The Big Short, Orange is the New Black), “Into the Night” embodies all the spirit, the emotion, and the movement lying at the heart of Jeremy & the Harlequins’ music. Featuring a beautiful 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner, the video follows Fury’s journey from a motel room in Atlantic City, NJ to a rooftop in Brooklyn, NY. To get there, he passes through the beaches, boardwalks, faces and venues of Asbury Park, stopping and sharing moments with others along the way. Looking back as it goes forward, “Into the Night” ignites a thirst for adventure.
Atwood Magazine interviewed Jeremy Fury to dig deeper into his band and their captivating new music video. Join us and go “Into the Night” with Jeremy & the Harlequins: You may learn something new about yourself in the process.
A CONVERSATION WITH JEREMY & THE HARLEQUINS
Jeremy, you've said “Into the Night” is about wanting something so bad and finding the strength to go deeper in to the darkness - into the night - to get it. What sort of things do you believe are worth that endeavor?
Jeremy Fury: I think that’s up to the listener to decide. On the surface, the song for me is about driving through the night back to your girl. Love. I think at some point everyone will have something in their life they’ll have to fight for, whether it’s a girlfriend/boyfriend, a dream, a family, a personal struggle. If you really care about something, at some point you’ll be tested, and you may have to go deep into the darkness to get it.
The “Into the Night” music video has a lot of facets to it - the “constant search,” East Coast boardwalk/beach culture, interpersonal interactions (the female bartender, the man outside). What did you have in mind going into the production?
Jeremy: John [Magaro], the director, really had the creative vision for the video and wanted to push the rugged, Americana aspect of the song. We wanted to show the grittiness of America. The video begins in Atlantic City and ends on a rooftop in Brooklyn overlooking the Manhattan skyline. The song starts kind of sparse and builds to an almost grandiose finale. That’s the journey we were trying to capture in the video.
We wanted to show the grittiness of America.
There's a very “real life” feeling to this video too - it doesn't present anything in a fanciful manner, but I think captures a slice of real life.
Jeremy: Yeah, we were hoping that would come across. Besides us in the band, 95% of the people in the video were people we met on the journey. The other 5% were friends who were kind enough to help out. We were most fortunate in that we ran into some great people who wanted to be a part of the video.
What is the significance of travel - of moving from place to place - for you? How does that concept evoke emotion in song?
Jeremy: The song is constantly building so we wanted the video to also build and move with it. Both the song and the video start simple and end in a completely different place, a completely different emotional chord, than where it began.
What's your favorite part of this music video, and why?
Jeremy: I like all the characters in it – all the people. Everyone is so different and colorful. You could make a coffee table book of photos of the people in the video.
Was the main character in this video based off anyone or any stories in particular?
Jeremy: Honestly, it’s just me.
“Rock n’ roll revivalists” is sort of a funny term, but I suppose it captures a truism about your sound. What inspired that opening, driving guitar strum?
Jeremy: The guitar rhythm is probably most inspired by Johnny Cash. It’s that steady rhythmic steam train thing. And yes, we think the term ‘rock n’ roll revivalist’ is funny as well. I didn’t even know it was gone.
It carries with it a bit of nostalgia, which I think is echoed toward the end of your video when it switches between the band's performance against the Manhattan backdrop, and various scenes from New Jersey. Was that conscious?
Jeremy: Yeah. It’s interesting because Manhattan and New Jersey are neighbors, but they feel dramatically different. It’s amazing the distance you travel during that short bridge or tunnel ride. Again, we deliberately wanted to capture the movement of the music so the viewer feels they ended at a different place from where they started.
Have Jeremy and the Harlequins had to make sacrifices in pursuit of their music - whether it be leaving folks behind or carrying the memories of the communities you grew up in close to your heart?
Jeremy: Yeah, and I’m sure we’ll have to make more. Personally, I’ve moved from Ohio to LA to New York. My brother Stevie moved from Paris to live with me in a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan to do this. Relationships have ended. Some of us have to take time away from our families to tour. We aren’t complaining. Everyone makes sacrifices to do anything. And that’s life. If it’s something worth doing, you have to make sacrifices.
If it’s something worth doing, you have to make sacrifices.
And yet, you keep going - keep pursuing that something. What is that thing that you would pursue to the end of the earth and beyond?
Jeremy: Anything worth caring about. I don’t want to settle for anything. I don’t think that’s why we’re here on this planet. I think we are here to keep going until we aren’t here anymore. Then we’ll go to another place.
How is “Into the Night” reflective of your upcoming sophomore album?
Jeremy: Good question. This wasn’t the first song I wrote for the record, but it was the first song I wrote that after I said, ‘I know what this record is going to be about and sound like.’ Also, it’s a statement of where we are going as a band and what we are willing to do as band to get where we are going.
Where do you as a band take your musical inspiration?
Jeremy: Lots of places. Musically, mainly rock n’ roll from the 50’s, 60’s, and some of the early 70’s. But to be honest, sometimes I’ll go weeks without listening to music except the stuff I’m writing or working on. Sometimes the inspiration comes from people I meet, stories I hear, or the situations I’m in. I don’t want to regurgitate the past, I want to say something, and sometimes my most vital inspiration comes from the life I’m living.