Musicians usually hate when their work is categorized. But record companies do just that for marketing and promotional purposes.
Jeremy Enigk, best known for his work with the bands Sunny Day Real Estate and Fire Theft, might have to change his thinking now that he’s running his own label, Lewis Hollow Records.
“As a musician, I’ve always just considered myself a singer/songwriter,” says Enigk. “I’ve never tried to put labels on [what I do]. If I were to use what everybody has been saying all these years, everybody has connected me to this emo thing, and I’ve never wanted anything to do with that. If I were the greedy record owner guy, I’d probably want to say [I was an emo musician], but no way — I really don’t want to say that.”
After giving it some thought, Enigk came up with the phrase “experimental pop” to describe what he does. And although he followed his own description with a laugh, it aptly describes World Waits, his new solo album. He surrounds his youthful, earnest voice with orchestration and spacious arrangements.
Enigk caused a stir in the indie-rock community in the mid-1990s when he went public about his Christian faith, but he doesn’t overtly sing about God, nor would it be fair to say he plays Christian rock.
“I try to write for everybody, and I try to leave it open so that anybody can get wisdom or inspiration out of it,” he says. “It’s never a shoved-down-your-throat type of thing. I think it’s pretty easy to listen to it and not feel like they’re being pressured into becoming a Christian or something. But there’s probably an overtone, a spiritual concept, because it comes from a spiritual place, but it doesn’t tag a religion on it.
“Religion is a subject just loaded with friction, and sometimes people just want to listen to music and they really don’t want to think about religion.”
Looking back, Enigk says he wouldn’t have done anything differently about the way he shared the news of his religious convictions.
“At the time that I did it, I was so inspired and so passionate that I did what I felt I had to do,” he says. “I did it from the heart, and I can’t go back and ever take away what I’ve done from the heart.
“I might have regrets when I make a mistake, but that wasn’t a mistake.”
— By Chris M. Junior
Jeremy Enigk on tour (schedule subject to change):
* Nov. 21: J. Wayne Reitz Union Ballroom — Gainesville, Fla.
* Nov. 22: The Club at Firestone — Orlando, Fla.
* Nov. 24: Warehouse Live — Houston
* Nov. 25: Emo’s — Austin, Texas
* Nov. 26: Gypsy Tea Room — Dallas
* Dec. 2: North Star — Philadelphia
* Dec. 3: Rock N Roll Hotel — Washington, D.C.
* Dec. 4: International Church — Allston, Mass.
* Dec. 6: The Chameleon — Lancaster, Pa.
* Dec. 7: Bowery Ballroom — New York
* Dec. 8: Beachland Ballroom and Tavern — Cleveland
* Dec. 9: The Shelter at St. Andrews Hall — Detroit
* Dec. 11: Varsity Theatre — Minneapolis
* Dec. 12: Shank Hall — Milwaukee
* Dec. 13: Double Door – Chicago
* Dec. 15: Creepy Crawl — St. Louis
* Dec. 16: Opolis — Norman, Okla.
* Dec. 19: Launchpad — Albuquerque, N.M.
* Dec. 21: The Casbah — San Diego
* Dec. 22: The Troubadour — West Hollywood, Calif.
* Dec. 23: Slim’s — San Francisco
* Dec. 28: Dante’s — Portland, Ore.
* Dec. 29: Hell’s Kitchen — Tacoma, Wash.
* Dec. 30, 31: Chop Suey — Seattle