Deeper in the back of his mind is a DM received not 10 minutes before we sit down, about which his emotions are less straightforward: the latest in an apparently endless stream of correspondence with bereaved followers reaching out for connection.
“It’s always been a thing,” he half-shrugs, accepting the inevitable dialogue with a fervent fanbase. “I don’t think I’m unique in any sort of way in being an artist who writes about personal feelings and having people say, ‘Your song helped me through depression,’ or, ‘Your band saved my life.’ I appreciate that, but I don’t always necessarily buy it. You’re the reason you’re still here. It was you.”
Still, astonishing 2016 LP Stage Four was a watershed. Drawn from the pain, numbness and guilt thrown up in death’s immediate aftermath, it was arguably the finest post-hardcore release of the 2010s: a searingly cathartic, unprecedentedly frank chronicle so openly wounded that many listeners couldn’t help reciprocate.
“Stage Four was a necessity,” Jeremy reflects. “It was my way of coping and grieving. When the record came out, there was such a [strong] mixed reaction to it. There were people who found solace in it, connected to it, had a deep personal relationship with it. But, even in my friend group, there were people who found it too much to even listen to. The reaction it got was a lot. It’s still a lot…
“It’s hard having to stomach tragic story after tragic story while sometimes being asked advice when I absolutely don’t have the answers. I live in such jealousy of the other guys who can walk through a crowd at a show who will get a high five or a, ‘Good show!’ – while I walk through and get, ‘My sister died of brain cancer last week…’”