A Chat with Chicago Genre-Boundless Duo Woody and Jeremy

Meet the rockin’ Chicago duo Woody and Jeremy. Musical buds Woody Goss and Jeremy Daly combine forces to bring you catchy-as-hell tracks and fun tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

Their upcoming album  Gravy In My Coffee is out June 4 (pre-order here) and already has us pumped with several singles and music videos. Their sound is catchy like pop but rocks hard with obvious influences from genres like blues, garage rock, and funk. But these two don’t pigeonhole themselves into one type of sound. Their music is genre-boundless and unafraid to get experimental.

Read the entire interview with Woody and Jeremy below.

Woody and Jeremy, “Distant Lands”

BTRtoday (BTR): How does a song typically get written between the two of you?

Jeremy Daly (JD): From afar. Many demos of varying quality. Pick the best and try to beat new life into them in a studio. Usually, Woody does the music and I do the words but sometimes otherwise.

Woody Goss (WG): I write instrumental demos in my apartment, then send them to Jeremy. They are almost always one-a-day affairs, I don’t edit them or work on them past a day. That way I only focus on what is interesting or inspiring about the song. Jeremy will take things, edit them, sometimes a lot, and write singing lines over them. He has been into writing bass also, and has a lot of experience making his own songs start to finish.

BTR: How’s the pandemic life been on your creativity?

JD: I’ve felt like we’ve made some good demos during this time but there’s a lack of inspiration because there’s a lack of chance encounter that engagement with the outside world brings. Making music has been a bit like squeezing water from a stone. My brain is the stone. When you can get to “the zone” it’s a beautiful gift though.

WG: I don’t think it has had an effect on my creative output, to be honest. Other than whatever emotions are involved, such as isolation and frustration, etc. That is hard to know or put into words.

BTR: Let’s talk about Gravy In My Coffee. First of all, do you really put gravy in your coffee?

JD: Red-eye gravy is a southern gravy made with coffee. I didn’t know about it when we wrote the song. For me, the turn of phrase is more acting as a metaphor a lá Nina Simone’s “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl,” but maybe taken to a place where the meaning of the metaphor is obscured by its absurdity.

WG: No! I don’t drink coffee. But I love gravy.

BTR: If your listeners could walk away with only one line from any of the tracks on the album stuck in their head, which line would you want that to be?

JD: If anything on this record resonates with folks I will feel blessed. The tracks have disparate lyrical approaches but if folks picked up on the themes that tie them together that would be neat.

WG: “She’s that missing word and she’s a migrating bird and she’s the direction that they’re heading.” From She’s a Stone.

BTR: How did you individually get into music writing?

JD: I have the feeling that musical creativity, or any form of creativity, is innate in all of us but becomes constricted, compartmentalized, and commodified as we grow older. In that way, musical creativity has always been a part of my life. I’m very grateful to Woody, everyone involved in this project, and in my life who’ve helped to keep it there.

WG: In high school, I made friends with a kid who would write comical songs for class assignments or our friends’ birthdays. I would spend free periods at the computer lab screwing around on GarageBand. Not much has changed. By the way, that kid and I are still friends, he is Noam Wallenberg and he recorded and mixed this album.

Woody and Jeremy, “He’s Cass McCombs”

BTR: Do you remember the first song you wrote?

WG: Yes, it was called “The Ballade of Sloppy Joe.”

BTR: How has your sound evolved?

WG: In terms of the style of our music, we have gone in quite a few directions genre-wise. I don’t like to feel confined as far as genre. When I write something, I’m just trying to express a feeling or a mood. We have also focused primarily on recording, and I think the biggest change there has come from giving more attention to who we are recording with and what is happening tone-wise with the instruments and voice and then afterward with mixing. When we started out playing together we were just jamming in living rooms and playing live shows, so we just focused on emotional communication. Now, with recording, there are more avenues to be creative, and we have been learning what those are.

BTR: What else should we keep an eye out for in the future of Woody and Jeremy?

JD: Maybe a couple of shows? That would be nice.

WG: Yes! I can’t wait to play this music live.