Music, // November 15, 2015
Jeri Sapronetti — MUSICIAN
Interview with musician Jeri Sapronetti —
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jeri Sapronetti and I am a fool for rock n’ roll. I play the guitar and sing for the Akron, Ohio based band Time Cat.
2. Why music?
I always loved to write but also always loved performance. Music allows me to do all of the things I enjoy doing all at the same time. Travel and adventure is a big, big thing in my life and playing music has been my main vehicle.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be involved in music?
When I was a kid, my best friend and I were always scheming. We wanted to start a band called Gone Rancid when we were 9 or 10. Aware of the fact that instruments cost a lot of money that our little kid selves were unable to come up with, we decided that we needed to steal a classmates’ gear. Tracy and I would sneak around his house, looking in his basement and taking note of the stuff he had. Sounds pretty messed up, but obviously we never had the heart to pull off that scheme. So I inevitably had to re-form my 60s pop cover band with my stuffed animals.
4. What are your favorite subject(s) and style(s)?
Like I said before, I am a fool for all things rock n’ roll. When I was really little I have distinct memories of loving Tom Petty and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Some one told me the other day that true rock transcends genre. I believe that whole heartedly. You can play jazzy or folky or roots tunes and still have the essence of rock remain. It is so much more than music; rock is a way of life. It is rebellious and anti- “the man.”
5. How do you work and approach a new piece that you are working on?
Some times songs come to you like magic. Love when that happens! Most of the time, though, I’ll have little bits and pieces of melody and words that take a while to form into a complete thought and end up as a song. A lot of the time is takes a few years for a song to be completed. I’ll have the basic skeleton of the song together and I will let it breathe for a while and put it aside. Then life happens and I become aware of what the song should be about. If I am really into working on some songs I will just sit down and say, “Ok. This just needs to be done. Now”. I get caught up at times thinking that I can only write when inspiration strikes. Ultimately I believe that you have to strike inspiration and not wait around for it to just “happen.”
6. Who are your favorite musician(s), singer(s)?
My all time favorite song writer is David Bowie. He allows his music to evolve through time but more often then not is able to create very original pieces of work. He creates surrealistic landscapes with his lyrics and instrumentation with incredible musicians at his side. He inspired me to really begin to play guitar with his song “Rebel Rebel.“ That riff really resonated with me. I had instruments growing up but never felt compelled to take it anywhere or truly learn how to play. That song changed my life forever.
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
When Time Cat released two songs on October 9th and played a release show in our hometown. We had three post-show reviews which really surprised me. One of the reviews called our band “perfect”. That blew my mind. Another review commented:
“Anyone who defines her with references to gender or genre really misses the mark, because Sapronetti’s talent is in a class of its own. She is not an imitation of anyone or anything. She is a true original who is willing to leave every bit of herself on the stage.” — Connie Williams, The Akronist
When you work on your craft for many years and see it pay off is a great feeling. People have told me lately that they not only love our music, but they believe in us too. Words like these inspire us and drive us to work on our music even more than before.
8. What do you like about your work?
Well…it’s hard to say exactly. I create the music that I want to hear. The drummer in my band, Sam Caler, is my favorite drummer. The bassist, Colten Huffman, completes our group and is helping us get to the next level with our sound. I like the work that I do ultimately because I feel completely genuine about what I am writing. It is therapy; it is an escape. My mom always told me to take everything in my life and “put it into the music”. I take that piece of advice right to my heart.
9. What advice would you give to other musicians?
People always say this but it is because it is true: don’t give up. If this is what you want to do and you believe that thoroughly then don’t listen to nay-sayers. In a world like this one, if you don’t do what you love than what are you doing? When you believe in yourself, others will too. It’s a very powerful thing.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Ach, I’ve always had a hard time with this question. Especially in high school. I want our band to have great success. I see us continuing on our path and getting where we want to be. On big stages, playing in front of massive audiences.