Welcome back my friends in 311 nation! A new week is upon us and so is a new fan spotlight. Time to meet Mr. Jeremy Freed!
Spring 1996 is where Jeremy’s love for 311 begins. A friend from his neighborhood went to a private school and had a separate group of friends aside from Jeremy. They were all surfers and into bands like Phish while Jeremy was more into the punk scene. One day while at this friends house he put on a CD he’d gotten from his other friends, a little album known as Grassroots. “It was like nothing I’d ever heard before, and I was instantly hooked. We spent the end of our senior year of high school cruising up and down Jones Beach blasting Grassroots, and we then discovered the blue album just before “Down” blew up, while scouring the local record stores in search of Music (which we acquired and played out as well). My friend and I grew apart in college and he has since moved to Florida (I’m in New York). We don’t keep in touch very much anymore, but I always think of him when listening to Grassroots, and I melt every time 311 plays “Nutsymptom” at the Jones Beach Amphitheater.”
The first live show Jeremy recalls seeing was in summer of 1997 at Jones Beach when 311 played with De La Soul. Show total since then is around 34 based on his ticket stub collection, but he says there may be a few missing. While it’s a tough question to answer, Jeremy chose 311 Day 2004 as his favorite so far. “A dozen of us flew down from New York for the show, not knowing what to expect. My friends are mostly fans of general admission venues, so we waited on line at the UNO Arena from about noon on, to get our GA bracelets. Several hours later, we were already in full party mode, having consumed many beers during the wait. I was banking on a great show, but five friggin’ hours?! Unreal. That show also resonates with me because it gave me the opportunity to fall in love with New Orleans.” Jeremy fell in love with Nola so much that he booked a trip for the following March, just on the off chance 311 might play again. They obviously didn’t, but he had something epic happen that trip regardless. Jeremy got engaged to his girlfriend (now wife) in Jackson Square. His wedding ring is even inspired by 311!
While Jeremy says he doesn’t really use 311’s lyrics as inspiration or a crutch during the tough times like others may, he says that if he had to pick a song that really resonates with him it’d be “Rub A Dub.” “It takes me back to a really fun time in my life, the end of college before things got a little more serious. Much like Grassroots, “Rub a Dub” also reminds me of an old friend, so I appreciate that.” One of his favorite lyrics comes from “Feels So Good” – “Just take a moment to have a fit once in a while, I do it daily and like it, but that’s my style.” The reason for this? “I’m known for being a bit of a grump, and while lots of people see 311 for their positivity, I can absolutely relate to this line in “Feels So Good.” I know I could be a bit calmer and level-headed, but hey, that’s my style.”
Jeremy was born and raised in Wantagh, New York, also known as the “Gateway to Jones Beach.” He also said it’s the most commonly misspelled location on every bands tour t-shirt! While he was a smart student, he says he was also lazy and didn’t really have interest in academics. “Art school was in the cards for me, following in my moms footsteps. My classmates even voted me “Most Artistic” in our yearbook superlatives, so it was pretty inevitable.” Jeremy attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and he has a BFA in Advertising Design. As soon as he graduated he obtained a job where he interned, a company called Deutsch, Inc. “I actually met my wife there so it’s funny how my first job will always be my most rewarding job.” He is now a graphic artist at Coach and has been there for eight years. “I’ve come to terms with being stuck in the hustle and bustle of New York City. I still live on Long Island, about 15 minutes north of the beach, so I always have a quieter place to retreat to.”
Jeremy has a four year old son named Lucas, after George Lucas and Luke Skywalker. He says his sons musical interests seem to lean towards Rancid, The Ramones, and a little bit of ska, but he’s slowly working on getting him into 311. When he isn’t chasing his son around or working, he’s “hopelessly rooting for the Mets,” going to shows and maintaining his growing collection of Star Wars and baseball memorabilia.
How many people can say they’ve secretly sabotaged a team on a reality show? Jeremy can! He was on the reality show The Apprentice and worked with a team to create a promotional campaign. “They were a real pain in the ass to work with. After an aggravating day (a Saturday, no less), they had to head back to the studio while I finished their work and it was going to be sent over. The team leader gave me cash for a messenger service, as well as a bit of nudge-nudge wink-wink bribe money to make sure I get it done quickly and well. The show producer came over later and asked for all of the money back, including my bribe. I had had it at that point so we’ll just say I didn’t do what was asked of me, and the team was rather surprised at their presentation.”
Something else you may not know – he was a huge fan of the show Beverly Hills 90210 and cried during the series finale! “Granted, I was tripping balls at the time, but still, I loved that show!” He also has a talent for the game Tetris. “I’ve been jokingly referred to as a communist due to my Tetris skills. I’ve crushed every version of the game I’ve encountered. I even managed to effectively play two games simultaneously, holding two controllers at once. The longest game I ever played lasted for well over an hour; my eyes were so locked in, I think I traveled to another dimension and saw the future–so I forced myself to end it on purpose and went to bed.” While he doesn’t consider his guilty pleasure all that guilty because it won a ton of awards, he loves the movie Titanic. “ I think it’s generally seen as a chick-flick and I surely take heat for how much I love this movie, and that’s OK because it truly is one of Hollywood’s great epics.”
Other musical interests are a little all over the place. Most of what he listens to is punk and hardcore such as Hatebreed, NOFX and Pennywise. However he also likes ska, oldies, Motown, and he’s amassed a huge collection of the best rock from the fifties and sixties. The most unexpected genre he enjoys? Movie soundtracks. “By that I mean orchestral scores. Behind 311 and The Beatles, I think I have more John Williams music than any other artist in my collection.” If he had to name his top five favorite artists, it would be 311, Rancid, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Sick of it All, and The Beatles.
To the band that ranks as his number one favorite artist, he has this message:
“Thank you for composing the soundtrack to my life.”
To the awesome fans out there sharing his love for 311:
“I used to view 311 as a band I love and one I would see every chance I got. It wasn’t until a few years ago when a member of the Familia added myself and my friends to the group that I saw what an obsessed, rabid, hardcore fan base this band had. It’s both impressive and a little scary, but I admire the dedication so many people have to a band many consider to be a flash-in-the-pan novelty act from the 90s (clearly those people are wrong). The effect of that dedication is obvious, as we see 311 return all that love to the fans. 311 has enabled me to remember old times, get reacquainted with old friends, as well as meet new ones. This fan base is one of a kind and I look forward to meeting more and more and more of you and sharing the love that is 311–in New Orleans, perhaps? ;)”
There you have the tale of Jeremy Freed ladies & gents! I hope you enjoyed reading about another fellow fan and thank you for doing so! Keep on rocking and being the best person you can be. Until next time!
Much love – The Runt