Horoscopes pale in comparison to musical instrument preferences when it comes to providing a little insight into a person’s life. Singers tend to be attention lovers. Bassists are pretty chill individuals willing to share the spotlight. Triangle players are just trying desperately to be included. There’s a special place on the musical zodiac for drummers, though. Forever the bad boys of music, there’s something impossibly fascinating about a person who can wreak havoc with a set of sticks and still make beautiful music out of the mayhem. Meet Jeremy Turowetz, drummer for Montreal-based band Shaking Judy. We caught up with Turowetz to find out more about the band, his tips for aspiring musicians and his current iPod playlist.
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
My name is Jeremy Turowetz and I’m the drummer for Shaking Judy. Shaking Judy is a Montreal-based rock power-trio based formed in 2003. We specialize in creating thunderous sonic atmospheres that will take you to dizzying heights and cavernous lows. We released our first EP in 2006 and VideoFACT music video shortly afterwards. Since then, we’ve been evolving towards increasingly dynamic, radio-friendly hard rock. We’re releasing a new single this month, and, hopefully, a few more in 2014.
Describe Shaking Judy to someone who’s never heard you play.
I hate describing our sound, I like to leave that to the audience to do. Fortunately, The Mirror (RIP) gave me a cheat sheet for this one:
“SHAKING JUDY – Pierrefonds’s second-best-kept secret (the first being Bombay Choupati): a bar band for boys and girls, with muscular riffs and rhythm, quality vocals and melodies with heart and soul.”
– Montreal Mirror, Vol. 22 No. 43
What’s currently on your iPod?
We listen to a lot of music so I’ll try to be faithful to our genre. Some of the albums loaded on my HTC One are Murder the Mountains by Red Fang, Civil Disobedience For Losers by Indian Handcrafts, Smile by Brian Wilson, The Aftermath (both of them) by Coheed and Cambria, Inhaler by TAD, The Bronx IV by, you guessed it, The Bronx, The Smiths self-title and Dogs by The Parlor Mob. AM by the Arctic Monkeys is another fantastic album that Rob and I can’t seem to get enough of at the moment.
What were some of the most influential albums and/or musicians of your own personal “wonder years”?
Growing up, we all listened to a lot of AC/DC, GnR, Aerosmith, Soundgarden, Foo Fighters and Weezer topped with heavy helpings of alt. rock groups like I Mother Earth, Big Wreck, Matthew Good and Limblifter. I’m a little embarrassed by it, but Dream Theatre was a big influence on Mike and myself during our younger years. That band exposed us to writing progressively, important considering we hadn’t yet had much exposure to artists like Jethro Tull or Frank Zappa.
As far as Shaking Judy goes, The Mars Volta, Queens of the Stone Age and The Strokes released albums during our formative years that played major roles in driving us creatively. Although we don’t really mirror any of those styles, those bands were an important source of inspiration and fresh approaches.
What’s your best touring advice to other bands?
There are three things I don’t hear often enough:
Ask for help, this stuff is hard to figure out so don’t try and go it alone. Although they may not pick up the bill, smaller labels can help bands apply for grants, book gigs and contact press outlets. Asking similar bands to help plug your releases and gigs (and doing the same for them) can help bridge communities across cities and benefit your audiences.
Learn to do your taxes. Seriously, get on this. The amount of money a band can save if you’re keeping records of their finances and income is pretty significant. Evernote is awesome for this (and free).
Be kind. Whether targeting small or large markets, more often than not, the artists I’ve seen succeed are the better behaved ones. They thank the venue and sound technician, develop rapport with the other bands and are generally friendly. You don’t need to be very good to start out with either. Hard working acts attentive to their fans and open to criticism will evolve faster, inspire the other bands in their community and engage their audience more effectively.
Shaking Judy has had a pretty good attitude from day one and, although we’ve never been a huge act, we sure can fill a room. The quality and energy of the people I see at our shows is extraordinary. I’m constantly floored when I peer up in the middle of a big chorus and I see that half the audience singing along. It’s pretty humbling.
How do we stay up-to-date with you, social media-wise?
We’re all over the internet. Our most active profiles are the Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, and SoundCloud. We’re also on YouTube, last.fm, MySpace, Tumblr, BandCamp, Google+ and various other services. Check out ShakingJudy.com for all the links and band specific news. We’re also releasing our new single “The Rising Tide” this month, follow us wherever to get access to free advanced downloads.