I can’t say that I have the answer for humanity. I just focus on gratitude. I believe in the power of our energies. I believe that gratitude projects unique energy into the universe that improves the world in this dimension, at the very least in one’s perspective. I believe that if everyone actively practiced gratitude, it would lead to awareness and ultimately compassion, the realization that we all are one. This rooted realization could create a paradigm shift that would benefit all humanitarian and philanthropic causes. At the very least, it helps me do my best to get through the day in a positive way, and I think it would help others, too. The Gratitude Movement.
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jeremy Anderson of TreeHouse. TreeHouse! has seen all four corners of the country in its almost 10 years as a band. The group’s fired-up blend adds island flavors with rootsy jams and a modern twist that often finds appeal across the board. “You have 60 year-olds dancing with 4 year-olds. That’s something special!” says frontman, Jeremy Anderson, aka “Positive J”. TreeHouse! projects a vibrant hope for positive impact and awareness of the importance to overcome adversity and the obstacles that can hold us back. The group connects with our primal ancestry of music and dance with a fresh approach that takes it even further.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Igrew up with two older sisters in North Myrtle Beach, SC, in the same house my dad was raised in, that his father built on a dirt road, next to a wild blackberry patch. This town has developed a lot since I was a kid, and even more, since my dad was a kid. I used to roam around on the beach, build little tree houses in the woods with friends, go to the batting range, arcade, or skate park, and get into trouble. I was raised with music playing in the living room or kitchen, with a piano in the main room. I took trumpet lessons and performed a concert band throughout the school. I always felt like music was my second language like it could flow in ways that speech could never reach. I was always inquisitive and wound up pursuing an education in philosophy. I learned a great deal that blew open my mind, and I turned around and implanted that enlightening vibe in the approach to our music. Our drummer, Trey Moody, and I have played music together since we were kids, so the process of telepathic jamming came naturally.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started performing solo cover gigs in Myrtle Beach and racked up a lot of bookings one Summer, so I invited my friends, Trey Moody and Matt Link to jam with me. We started a little cover band and kept jamming, started writing originals, then started booking original showcases, independently expanded to regional touring, then national touring, and we haven’t stopped since!
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Lol, that’s tough! Honestly, a lot of amazing and mind blowing moments have happened along with beautiful, unexplainable, serendipitously trivial coincidences. Off the top of my head:
– Our show became the afterparty for Afroman, and he came in halfway through our set, so we played a song as his backing band while he jumped on the mic.
– We met Carrot Top in a bar we played in Orlando.
– Dave Chappell popped in briefly at one of our shows!
– We performed a festival that was wrongly raided by the DEA during our set, but our vibes repelled them away, and they set us up for an epic encore.
– We became a member of the Spirit Airlines #Music4Miles program, allowing us to fly all over the place, like one of our favorite spots, the US Virgin Islands.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
One time starting out, we got to open for a sold-out SOJA show in Charleston SC, and we were about to hit the last big note of our set. This girl on the rail in front of me started yelling at me about something that seemed important. I had already locked eyes and then was just politely trying to understand what she was saying to me, while my whole band was waiting on me to hit the last note until it all fizzled into an anti-climactic nothing and we walked off stage. She was just trying to get backstage and couldn’t wait for the obvious last note. Lesson Learned — perform your show against all distractions, even if your sound gets cut or someone’s trying to throw you off! And fans, don’t try to talk to a musician while they’re in the middle of a song. It’s tough to do 2 things at once…
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
We’re about to release our new album “Full Immersion” and we’re currently brainstorming remix ideas for that album. After our album release tour, we’re jumping right back into the studio and writing new songs. We’re really happy with this album, and we’re even more excited to start on this fresh vibe!
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I believe the beauty of culture is when it is shared and embraced. If we expand through enough time, there are very few cultures that haven’t been influenced by each other and by those before. It’s important to represent diversity because that is a more accurate representation of reality. There are billions of beings, and any time any of us get stuck in a narrow conception of what it is to be human, we need that exposure to the rest of the world to break us out of that delusion.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
– If you want to play music as a living, you have to be strategic from the beginning and use each opportunity to build the next opportunity. We started touring just to visit new places and try them out, so we hopped all over the country without much of a plan to followup and build those markets. It was fun, but ultimately the objective is attaining sustainable fun!
– Use everything in your resources holistically together. Any time you go on the road, everything you do should be work toward your further goals. We’ve traveled far just to play a show, when we should have been hitting every promo opportunity around that show — networking, radio interviews, sponsorships, etc., and promoting that show in every way.
– Content is king. Before you start using resources to tour, build your content and your song repertoire. Putting your songs online makes them work for you to spread your music while not costing nearly as much as touring. Once your songs are well received online, you’ll have a better idea of where to tour and a better reception at shows from people who have been listening to your music. We got into touring so much, that it took time away from putting out new music. Gotta keep that engine rolling.
– Build your surrounding markets within 6 hours to where you’re drawing 100 people or more. Trade shows with other acts at the same level in other markets. Pitch to support national acts. Do all the other side stuff for social media and engage your fans with videos. We still work on all these things today.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Some parties are worth experiencing, but not every party every night. At some point, if you care about your performance, endurance, well-being, and longevity, you have to choose a good night’s sleep, plenty of water, and a little exercise, because they don’t come as easily or as often on the road. Water, vitamins, supplements, rest, stretching, smiling, practicing gratitude and proactive positivity will keep you feeling youthful and spry, and that in turn will reflect well with your bandmates. No one wants to deal with a hungover you trying to work. Also, this issue is another importance of approaching this business strategically so that you don’t end up playing 1,000 shows before you even get your big break and really start the pro-level grind. Don’t stress yourself too much, let it be what it will be. Fighting against the flow of the universe is tiring, and the stress-induced cortisol levels will age you quicker.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Well, thank you! I can’t say that I have the answer for humanity. I just focus on gratitude. I believe in the power of our energies. I believe that gratitude projects unique energy into the universe that improves the world in this dimension, at the very least in one’s perspective. I believe that if everyone actively practiced gratitude, it would lead to awareness and ultimately compassion, the realization that we all are one. This rooted realization could create a paradigm shift that would benefit all humanitarian and philanthropic causes. At the very least, it helps me do my best to get through the day in a positive way, and I think it would help others, too.
The Gratitude Movement
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My sister, Jenny, is the reason that “TreeHouse!” exists. She has helped us along the way, in so many ways, like registering our business, band name trademark, songs, royalties, and licensing. She’s helped set up the press, photos, opportunities, sponsorships, marketing, social media, group pages, and all the little things in between the message and the music. She recently started her own business, Blue Avenue Music Group, and has been helping a lot of our fellow musicians in the same way.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Closed mouths don’t get fed” — I like this quote because it goes against my initial nature and provides a balance. It basically means, if you want to see your goals fulfilled, you must express your intentions. I would’ve originally seen this quote as arrogant, like that of someone who talks too much. I try to be modest, and I went with an intention to try not to speak without a meaningful purpose and somewhat ended up not speaking much until someone told me that saying. It reminds me of my favorite band, Wookiefoot’s song, “Shangri-La” which says “a mind tied in knots can never believe, a hand with a fist clenched can never receive.” Now, I take it as the idea that I should express my desires that I would like to see come to fruition.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would like to be on that show, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Jerry Seinfeld, mainly for the coffee. I also love cheese, so maybe a cheese plate with President Trump.
How can our readers follow you on social media?