Jeremy Thomas
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Jeremy Thomas

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Music

The best kept secret in music

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Discography

Miraculous Rock & Roll Revolution
Thank you for the Pain

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Commercial radio-rock is right in Jeremy Thomas’ wheelhouse. He’s got some of that Matchbox Twenty vibe (he’s no relation to Rob), but with a more energetic feel that skews a bit toward power-pop. He’s a terrific vocalist, as well.

So proclaimed Tampa Bay’s Weekly Planet when naming Jeremy Thomas “Best Local Artist Who Should be on the Radio” in its 2003 Best of the Bay issue.

His dues have been paid in full. This is Jeremy Thomas’ time. The singer/songwriter/guitarist with the immaculate sense of melody and voice of pure gold counts among his fans ace producers Matt Wallace, Ben Gross as well as industry heavyweights John Kalodner and Don Ienner. These luminaries join Thomas’ ardent fan base in Central Florida, where he has fronted a number of top bands and scored as a solo artist. His music has been called “Train with balls” and “Oasis with substance.”

With the release of his new CD Thank You for the Pain, Thomas is back full-throttle, gigging solo-acoustic and with his band around Tampa Bay and elsewhere in Florida. Believe the press: This guy belongs on radio, be it on rock, alternative or Hot AC formats. “I think radio could use some more heart and soul,” Thomas says, “songs that have real meaning with inescapable hooks.”

Thomas lives up to those words on Thank You for the Pain. While staying well within his wheelhouse of guitar pop, the artist exhibits impressive range, from the driving rocker “Alive” to the broodingly mid-tempo “Lyin’ to Myself” to percolating ballad “Flowers & Champagne,” with its sublime ascent to crescendo. Thomas’ singing masterfully brings the best out in each song, be it his airy falsetto on “Next Door” or full-throated belting (with just the right dash of rasp) on the title track and other up-tempo numbers.

From beginning to end, Thank Your for the Pain delivers music that is at once modern and classic. Simply put, Thomas’ sound will never go out of fashion.

Jeremy Thomas grew up in Clearwater, a half-hour’s drive from Tampa. A gifted singer as a youngster, he started playing guitar at age 14, and was performing in front of crowds two years later. That’s when he started writing. “Those songs were horrible,” he says with a laugh.

It wasn’t too long before he was spinning out pearls. Early on, Thomas was drawn to his father’s old records by the Beatles, Eagles and Jackson Browne, exquisitely crafted pop music with serious emotional heft. He absorbed punk and ‘90s alternative, but never strayed from his commitment to hooks and heart.

Thomas was a key member of Men From Earth, a supremely talented amalgam of singers and songwriters that came within a hair’s breadth of signing to a major label. The band shared bills with Rob Thomas’ pre-Matchbox 20 group Tabitha’s Secret (Jeremy later opened on MB20’s debut tour) and Hootie & the Blowfish. They also played three times at Livestock, one of the Southeast’s largest rock festivals. Men From Earth joined the cartel that produced Collective Soul and spent significant time in an Atlanta recording studio. As has can happen in the music biz, though, the deal fell through at the last minute.

Thomas retrenched and continued to write. After fronting and penning all the songs for his Basic Rock Outfit band, he decided last year that it was time to bill himself as, simply, Jeremy Thomas. He’d always been the main man, anyway.

While building his career in the pop-rock arena, Thomas works tirelessly as a songwriter, even moonlighting as a country tunesmith. He also collaborates with producer/multi-instrumentalist Steve Connelly (named the Weekly Planet’s Best Instrumentalist last year) at St. Petersburg’s Zen Den studios, where Thank You for the Pain was recorded and mixed. It’s Connelly’s pedal steel that adds such exotic (but not overtly twangy) textures to the disc.

Believe it: It’s Jeremy Thomas’ time. “I want to touch people through rock ‘n’ roll,” he says. “I want them to use my music to help them get through the rough times and celebrate the good times. This is truly why I do this.”