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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Jeremy Enigk takes up some ink

    Sunny Day Real Estates former vocalist Jeremy Enigk is touring on his solo debut album Return of the Frog Queen. We hope thats not a reference to him.
    Sunny Day Real Estate’s former vocalist Jeremy Enigk is touring on his solo debut album Return of the Frog Queen. We hope that’s not a reference to him.

    Jeremy Enigk, the 32-year-old Seattle-based ex-frontman of emo-rock pioneers Sunny Day Real Estate and current member of The Fire Theft, released his second solo record, World Waits, on Oct. 17. World Waits is an ambitious, gorgeously orchestrated pop album that sweeps the listener into a cocoon of bliss, coagulated by Enigk’s otherworldly, helium-infused vocals. The Wildcat recently spoke to the notoriously shy musician (he did a grand total of one interview when he was with Sunny Day Real Estate) over the phone.

    Wildcat: Where does the album title come from?

    Enigk: From a song called “”World Waits.”” It just seemed appropriate to title the record. It’s about how there is so much negative energy in the world, and how we all as human beings are aware of this and no one really comes together to change it, including myself. It breaks my heart that people are so blind.

    W: Does it have an overarching theme?

    E: I’m not sure. Yeah, every song is about the same thing. In a way, soul-searching, trying to find happiness, hope, staying positive. It’s really like a spiritual journey, trying to find hope in life and trying to keep your head above water. Growing and learning and changing.

    W: What is your favorite song on the album?

    E: “”Canons.”” I just love the way it sounds; it was a complete surprise. It had gone through so many different versions, and I finally found the right element to make it sound good, the piano. It’s a direction that I’ve never gone before.

    W: Where did you learn how to sing? Did you ever take lessons?

    E: I’ve been singing since I was a kid. My dad used to sing around the house. I liked a lot of the stuff he was playing, like Huey Lewis and the News and the Police. I had a natural attachment to (singing). I have taken lessons. I took lessons from a woman named Susan Carr here in Seattle. I was in a band when I was 13 as a singer.

    W: What is the songwriting process like for you? Who do you write your songs for?

    E: The process starts with either acoustic guitar or piano. I’ll write the basic song on either of those instruments and after that I’ll start writing the vocal melody. Then I’ll start throwing the other instruments in there. I write the lyrics last. I write mainly for myself. When I sit down and write, it’s really a meditation. It really helps me relax. In a sense, it’s also for other people because I want to put a positive spin on it. Music that makes you think. Music that moves you.

    W: How has converting to Christianity changed your fan base at all? Did you lose some fans and gain others? How does being a Christian affect your songwriting process?

    E: I have no idea. I imagine it really had no impact on it. People have never had a problem with it. When I write, I don’t force it down people’s throats. I imagine a Buddhist, a Muslim, an atheist or a Catholic would like it. Although it really created more of a buzz. I do want there to be a genuine wisdom within my lyrics. I want what I’m saying to actually be true. I want it to actually have a point. Wisdom.

    W: Who or what inspires you?

    E: One band that has always inspired me is U2. Bono. He calls himself a hairy rock star, and he goes and meets politicians, like George Bush and American politicians. That’s very inspiring to me. Everyday life. My friends inspire me. They help me change my mind on certain viewpoints, whatever that might be.

    W: Is the Fire Theft still together?

    E: We’re still a band. After touring, we’re going to work on our next album. I hope to be more consistent, ’cause it’s been 10 years since my last one. I want to keep the momentum going.

    W: Do you have a day job?

    E: Music is what I do. But most of the time I really need a day job. I try to make a living off what I do. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I work hard. It’s difficult; it has its pros and cons.

    Enigk will be performing in Tucson Wednesday at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Enigk is part of a triple bill that includes Cursive and Eastern Youth. Tickets are $15 in advance and $16 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the event is open to all ages.

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