Jeramie Kling, perhaps best known as a member of Venom Inc and Massacre, checks in with Roppongi Rocks from his Florida home to talk about being more than a drummer, his great new punk album with FORE, his fruitful relationship with Taylor Nordberg and much more.
You are best known as a drummer, but you also play the guitar, sing, produce, you’re a studio engineer, a live sound engineer and so on. Do you see yourself first and foremost as a drummer? “I suppose this is a great question to lead with! First and foremost, I see myself as a human, driven at times and lazy as hell at other times. I have never liked the idea of identifying with one particular thing, I always felt that was quite limiting… wouldn’t you agree? I remember one Christmas I got drumming-related ornaments for my Christmas tree. I remember thinking ‘I am a fucking snare drum to these people!’ I decided to mix it up right then and there.”
FORE is one of your new projects. It’s a punk band consisting of seasoned metal guys from the US, Canada and Germany. What’s the story of the birth of this terrific punk band? “Thanks so much for the compliment! Well, Taylor Nordberg and I really just play the styles of music that we want to do, period. We were talking last summer about starting a punk band. Taylor went and wrote 13 songs in two days. They sat on shelves until the coronavirus hit. We were just too busy to make it happen. Through the early stages of the pandemic, we did a sweet quarantine project with about 25 other musicians. It was a song a day, written, recorded, mixed, mastered and released. During that project, we found quite capable like-minded musicians. That’s where we first worked with Speesy and Brian Stephenson! I tracked the drums for the punk band and then we asked those fellas if they wanted to rip with us! The rest is magic.”
You have a FORE album coming out now and also a new Venom Inc album in the making. Has the forced stay-at-home situation unexpectedly given you more time to get more recordings done this year? “Yes and no. I had made time for the Venom Inc record already and I already tracked the drums for the new Massacre that is coming out as well! And the new The Absence.”
You’re involved in a ton of bands and projects – The Absence, Venom Inc, FORE, Massacre, Ribspreader, Goregäng, Smoke & Mirrors, etc. How do you prioritise your commitments? “I do it as it comes. The only band that really has priority is Venom Inc, but I manage to make everything happen regardless of those commitments.”
You and Taylor Nordberg do many things together in the music industry. How did that professional relationship start and why has it been so fruitful? “Well that’s a really loooooong answer… but the short is we started working together when we both played in Infernaeon. We gelled very well as musicians. I was able to say things in my infantile drummer’s perspective and he could make it musical. So, he moved back to Florida six years ago and we have been plugging away ever since! It’s fruitful because we respect each other and we are quite kind to one another. In ten years of being that dude’s best friend, we have never once fought. At all, not even close. Be kind and courteous is our motto and no ideas are ‘stupid’ or ‘not worth exploring’.”
What are your thoughts on the future of live music now that most gigs and tours have been halted and seriously impacted musicians’ livelihoods? “Well, what I think and what the reality may be could be completely different. I have hope. Hope saved the rebels in Star Wars.”
What’s coming up next for you? “I am currently mixing the new Ribspreader record. Lots of studio stuff coming up too. I am happy to be working. Many colleagues of mine are fully not working.”