Ten years ago, Jeremy & The Harlequins lead vocalist Jeremy Lublin — also known as Jeremy Fury — moved to New York, and a little over six years after that, Greenpoint. Ahead of the rock outfit’s fourth studio album, ABRA CaDaBRA — a deliberately crafted musical journey brought to life in pandemic-era Brooklyn — on May 20 and subsequent live show at Union Pool on May 21, Greenpointers caught up with Fury to talk about the local influence on the group’s music and more.
Greenpointers: What inspired your “It Won’t Be Love” music video and made you want to shoot it in the neighborhood?
Fury: Not only do I live in Greenpoint, but also the director [Samantha Dagnino] is in Greenpoint and wanted to do a very narrative kind of story. And I think with a lot of videos now with technology being more available and less expensive to use, us being in Greenpoint was like, “Alright, why don’t we just shoot it here?” I think it’s pretty cool now that you can go outside and just make a video.
Greenpointers: When did you start working on your upcoming album (which features the aforementioned single)?
Fury: I started writing the songs for it right after our last album came out, which was in 2017, but we didn’t start pre-production, rehearsals and everything, for this album until the summer of 2020. I just kept writing through early January, February of 2020, then COVID happened. So we were kind of like, “Well, we can’t play shows. We don’t have a record label right now. So I’ll just keep writing in my bedroom in Greenpoint.”
A lot of the songs we were just demoing, like, maybe I’d write ’em here, but me and our guitar player would go to Transmitter Park and play in the park, sitting at the water because there were no rehearsal studios open at the time. So we were kind of using the streets to rehearse.
Greenpointers: What can people expect to hear on this record that might be different from your other LPs?
Fury: I think this is the most produced and most fully realized vision that I’ve ever done. We have full string arrangements, we have lots of vintage keyboards and organs and sounds like that. All we could do is sit home and write and work on music, so I think we took that as a positive way to spend the time. The way I looked at it was like, “If this was our last record we were ever gonna make, what would that sound like? And if there was ever something that we wanted to do on an album that we hadn’t done before, such as string arrangements or pulling certain ideas or saying something lyrically, now is the chance.”
Greenpointers: Have you noticed if living in Brooklyn and New York has impacted your creative process?
Fury: Definitely. I grew up in Ohio, my first band was based in Ohio, and I noticed there’s a lot more space and you can be a lot louder. So the way that we used to write was that kind of very garage or basement rock, where you turn up your amplifiers, you all write together because you have that luxury of time and space.
I think in New York, everyone lives in a small apartment, even if you had all the money in the world, you’re still kind of confined to a smaller space. So I found myself writing more on acoustic and kind of having to envision the final song.
A lot of the stuff I like is like, let’s say from the early-to-mid ’70s. And I can see the difference from the Stooges or the MC5 to someone like Lou Reed. It sounds a little bit more concise, maybe it’s like a musical influencing, but maybe it’s also just the lack of space and the amount of time everyone has. Like the Ramones, for example, everything’s a three-minute song and everything sounds deliberate. And I think that’s a product of being in New York.