I first met my dude Jeremy Flax stompin’ away at the Open Mic at Triskel Tavern beating out some dope sounding electric guitar blues tune on a Thursday night at 1:30 AM. Jeremy is from Virginia and lived in Madrid from 2011-2013 and is now back in the United States working with his group J Flax and The Heart Attacks. Below, Jeremy discusses the self-reflective nature of Reflection and Response, and how conclusions drawn from this practice can help us better ourselves. Jeremy also presents his dope practice of listening to his old groups and selecting elements that he is currently using with his group today. Be on the lookout for shows throughout the Virginia and Washington DC area from this powerful performer, composer, and vocalist!
Reflection means really looking back at the actions you’ve taken and the things you’ve said and thinking about how they have affected others…Response entails what you decide to do with the conclusions you’ve drawn.
– Jeremy Flax
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
JF: I’m from Virginia Beach, Virginia originally. I’ve lived in Virginia my whole life except for two years that I spent in Madrid from 2011 to 2013. Right now I’m actually back living in Virginia Beach for the first time in several years, but I’m hoping to relocate to Washington, DC in the near future.
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?
JF: To me reflection means really looking back at the actions you’ve taken and the things you’ve said and thinking about how they have affected others. Did they have a positive impact or a negative impact? Did they help me to better myself or am I the same person now as I was then? Response to me entails what you decide to do with the conclusions you’ve drawn. What have I learned about myself and how can I justify the actions I’ve taken? Response is picking a road to go down after having examined the road you’ve already taken.
How does your band J.Flax & The Heart Attacks fit in with that definition?
JF: The music that I’m making now is in a way a response to conclusions I’ve reached having analyzed the music I was making with my former band, The Vermilions. Listening to both you can hear that the influences come from the same place but I feel like having gone back and listened to my previous record several years after making it I can pick out elements of those songs that I still enjoy and phase out the elements that looking back I find didn’t work. The result is a collection of songs that are far more streamlined and are a lot of fun to listen to as well as perform.
What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?
JF: I’m still working on an album’s worth of material for J.Flax & The Heart Attacks. I’ve assembled a new group in Virginia (I started the Heart Attacks last year while living in Madrid) and we’re gearing up to play our first shows.
Who or what inspires you?
JF: I’ve always been really heavily inspired by the early rock and roll greats like Elvis, Buddy Holly, etc as well as the early players in punk like the MC5 and the Stooges. For a while anything that mixed punk and blues I was into — Jack White was a massive influence. Lately, however, I’ve been really into surfy stuff like Dick Dale and the Tielman Brothers as well as the yé-yé movement of French female singers from the 1960s. Serge Gainsbourg wrote a lot of awesome pop tunes for singers like France Gall (we play one of her songs) and those grooves are definitely working their way into my songs.
Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?
JF: I’m doing some shows with J.Flax & The Heart Attacks around Virginia and Washington, DC in the next couple of months. Check out our facebook page and please come if you can!
Shout out to…?
JF: All the Virginia bands making it happen. VA doesn’t get much credit but there are a lot of folks doing really great stuff.
Reflection and Response.