Jeremiah Freed go Universal
By Josh Rogers
If you’ve already purchased Jeremiah Freed’s eponymous debut album you may want to store it safely away – it could be worth something someday. Just 10 weeks after its local release (see http://www.portlandphoenix.com/archive/music/01/10/05/beat_freed.html), Jeremiah Freed has been picked up by a major label. Back in the studio now, the Freed will deliver a reworked product to Universal (also the label of another New England rock band, Godsmack) by Christmas, with the single, “Again,” going to radio in January (at which point the original version of the record will be out of print).
Universal recognizes the value of what the band has already accomplished on their own, granting them free reign to polish up the record as they see fit. That means working with the same people right here at home. T. J. McNaboe, the Freed’s manager says, “the entire record to be put out on Universal will be recorded here in Maine.” The new version will feature at least three brand-new songs, and at least three retracked songs from the original release, with the remainder being taken straight from the original. For the new work and retracking, Beau Hill (producer for Alice Cooper, Ratt, and Warrant) was back in Maine last week working with the boys. And Michael Barbiero, who mixed GNR’s Appetite for Destruction and Metallica’s . . .And Justice for All will handle the same duties on the new release of Jeremiah Freed.
How did all this happen so fast? “When we had it on the radio, it reacted, you know, and it got the attention of a lot of labels — not just Universal,” says McNaboe. “Several labels got very fired up about it and the whole deal got put together very quickly.” McNaboe points out that not only is Jeremiah Freed a strong album, but it had strong support from the local community. In fact, local support was key in getting it noticed by Universal. “Having ’CYY play local music and having Bull Moose have local music on their shelves is at the core of drawing attention to what we’re doing up here in Maine,” McNaboe enthuses.
The chance for a home-grown effort like this to repeat its success on a national level is a testament to the rich music scene in the Greater Portland area. “We’re overwhelmingly happy about it,” says McNaboe. Look for Jeremiah Freed to be released on Universal at the end of February.