The Jerrys – Ready or Not

The Jerrys play British-influenced guitar pop written by Jerry Schwartz, who also plays, sings, and produces their music.

Sweet Sweet Music talked to Jerry about a wild stop-start ending, The Shadows, and a raga and a country song.

Love Me Now and Leave Me Never is such a classy song.  That must have become clear to you somewhere during the writing process or does it not work that way?

Thank you for that! I wish I could take more credit, but after deciding to write a Bond theme song, it nearly wrote itself. I wanted large crashes of sound, a sitar reminiscent of the (Beatles’) Help! soundtrack, a guitar solo that sounded like Johnny Rivers, and a wild stop-start ending. There are also certain musical elements that make a song a Bond song, and those needed to be there as well. It was like putting a large puzzle together after first creating all the pieces.

U.S. 41 Groove is an instrumental, so nice, you will compared to The Shadows, I suppose. What’s the story behind that song?

Thanks again–I love The Shadows! There’s a section of U.S. 41 between Chicago IL and Evansville IN that I’ve driven hundreds of times, and that’s after my parents used to drive us on the same route when I was a kid. That stretch of several hundred miles gives you a lot of time to think, and I wanted to write a song that shared that feeling of cruising along thinking about life. There are no words to describe that feeling, so I didn’t write any.

Does that ‘60 ‘fuzzy/psych Pop- sound come naturally when you start writing and recording?

I don’t think about it much when I’m writing, as I’m focused on the music and maybe the words at that point. I get more into actual sound when I start recording. I try to create music that I’d like to hear on the radio, and by default those sounds are influenced by the bands I grew up with. On a related note, I wrote a raga and a country song for Ready or Not, and neither of those songs came naturally!

How did Ready or Not come about?

A couple of months before the pandemic, I gave up my career and started recording another album. I’d barely started when I had to put my studio in storage between moves. My wife and I had sold our house but hadn’t found another yet, so we lived with my father-in-law for a few months. By the time we found a place of our own and settled in, I joked the album would have to be released “ready or not,” which is where the title came from.

The meaning of success has changed over the years. What would success look like for the new record?

Success for the new album would be finding more people who dig what we do. I love the feeling I get when I hear a new sound I like, and I hope there are people out there who get that feeling from listening to a song by The Jerrys. Future success involves bringing Robert Porche’ (drummer) back into the mix with me and Jim (Jim Losby plays all the bass guitar on Ready or Not). Robert does not appear on the new album, but he’ll be rejoining us shortly. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s