When life gives you lemons

Jeremy Fisher releases new album; performs in Surrey.

By Yaunna Sommersby

Canada’s independent music scene has always demonstrated its ability to be special, and Jeremy Fisher is no exception. To promote his first album, Back Porch Spirituals, Fisher demonstrated that he wasn’t afraid to do things a little differently—he did a bicycle tour from Seattle, WA up and across Canada to Halifax, N.S.

“I just loved it. I had a bike and I wanted to tour and it was something that I had done a couple of times. I rode my bike across Canada a couple of times before I did the bike music tour so it was just something I wanted to do, something I was in to.”

There were highs and lows, both physically and terrain-wise, during this tour and he appreciates the fact that this journey was metaphorical for life itself. Even though hills were not his favourite part, he remains optimistic about the feeling he gets at the top.

“I love the feeling when I get to the top and [go] down the other side. And for that I do appreciate the tough parts and the physical challenges, but, you know, I still don’t like it.” Nevertheless, has a very positive and realistic outlook on life.

The Ontario-based Fisher has been nominated for two Juno awards and has gained national attention with his music. He’ll be in Surrey on April 26 for the city’s Earth Day celebrations, Party for the Planet. He’s joined by other Canadian favourites like Said the Whale and Andrew Allen. When approached to perform at Party for the Planet, Fisher knew it “was an easy decision to make,” because he’s looking forward to playing with Said the Whale, and feels it will be an exciting event.

Starting piano lessons when he was just six years old, he has “never stopped learning instruments, and singing, and making up songs.” He has released several albums over the years and one of his songs, “High School Friend”, was widely played on national radio stations after it debuted in 2004. He’ll be releasing his latest album, The Lemon Squeeze, next month.

Music has always been a big part of Fisher’s life. “It is just kind of something I have always done, and in high school I started teaching guitar lessons and started writing songs for the theatre program,” he says, “And that just kind of parlayed into me always working in music in some way.” Even though Fisher is confident in his piano playing, he is more comfortable in playing the guitar. Bands such as AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and Rush were early sources of inspiration for Fisher and he states that these bands are “the backbone of what inspires me in music.” However, he also feels The Lemon Squeeze, was influenced by artists such as Randy Newman, Billy Joel, and Stevie Wonder.

The quirky title for his new album came about as he was thinking of names for a new band. He feels it relates to the album because, “some things that come up more than once are mortality and … making the best of what you’ve got and trying to find happiness despite the curveballs that might come your way.”

For The Lemon Squeeze he also collaborated with another Canadian artist, Serena Ryder. When asked about the collaboration, Fisher revealed that they never actually worked in a studio together because “she was on vacation in California and I just asked the producers to send out the tracks and she went into a friend’s studio and cut a whole bunch of vocals and then we took it back in the studio on the other side of the country and out it all together.” However, that did not make things more difficult as they “had a pretty in-depth kind of conversation about what we were going to do and it was pretty straightforward.”

The Lemon Squeeze is now available for pre-order on iTunes and will be officially released on May 13. 

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