Jeramiah Ferrari, ‘We don’t think writing music should be forced’

courtesy of
courtesy of

UK reggae band Jeramiah Ferrari started out playing in pub around their hometown Manchester before taking off and joining reggae icons UB40 on their revival tour this year, to spread their raucous blend of reggae, ska, punk round the country. FDRMX caught up with them to hear about their journey from four mates jamming to national touring.

The four band members knew each other long before they started a band together. They’d all been in different bands as a part of their local live music scene “but were all mates and knew each other pretty well, and had a common interest in reggae music. We talked about jamming, met up, played together, and started to write original music, and Jeramiah Ferrari was formed!”

They have drawn from the inspiration of reggae and ska artists like Bob Marley and the Wailers and Sublime, as well as a range of other genres, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Steel Pulse and Boddy McFerrin to name just a few. The band have developed their own style that stays true to the heart of reggae music. “Everything we do is reggae at the core,” says the band, “We often get called a reggae-rock band, which is a fair label I guess, because we mix a rootys reggae style with distorted guitar and a more rock orientated performance. We also bring influences of funk, RnB and ska to our music.”

“Obviously we have all been fans of reggae music growing up, and being mates for a long times we’ve often introduced each other to artists we like…. but not everything we listen to is reggae based, we’re all just massive music fans and have a pretty eclectic taste I guess.”

When asked what it takes to be in a band, the guys decide that the main thing to do is to “stay committed to the music… don’t stop doing it if you love it.” After all, as they put it – “once you stop, the dream stops.” And this from a band who’ve just started to see that dream be achieved. They say they’re “honoured” to be getting to meet and play with bands like UB40 and The Wailers, who they’ve always aspired to be like. “If it all ends tomorrow at least we can say that we shared the same stage as them…”

“We’re also massively proud of our first album”, a self-titled full length LP that the band are officially releasing on the 8th of December, “any band knows how much time, commitment and money it takes to create an album, and you cant help but feeling at a sense of pride when it’s out there and people are listening to it.” Writing the album may have been a lot of work, but writing songs is a “really organic process” for the band. “We basically jam. Just start playing and don’t stop, and we just feed off each other and a track starts to write itself basically. Every now and then we’ll stop to talk about structure… and then just start playing again and really try and feel where the track wants you to go.”

“We don’t really think writing music should be forced,” says lead singer Ryan Paul Mario Barton, “it should just be like a wave which you ride. Lyrically, I don’t ever go into a song knowing what I’m going to sing about… eventually key words will start coming out, and I generally find I naturally start to sing about things that have been on my mind recently, such as money problems, relationships, drugs, friends, a book I read or my love for music. This is why I love writing, because you never know where its gonna take you.”

For Jeramiah Ferrari writing music is all about time spent with friends, so it’s fair enough that their name is a reminder of the same thing. Many years before they were even playing together, the four mates “had a creative friend who fancied himself a sculptor and his put his talents to use to make, what can only be described as, a massive bong. Someone, we’re not sure who, named this masterpiece Jeramiah Ferrari. This was long before we started the band, but it stuck with us…” Plus they like having a name that, by their own account, “sounds super ridiculous.”

So what’s next now for the suer-ridiculously named group of friends? “Gigging relentlessly across the UK – get down to a gig and come have a drink afterwards!”