The last time Jeramiah Red performed, singer/guitarist Wes Dickson could barely contain himself. Sure, their show at the Wayfarer last May was good, in fact too good. It was the band’s final show before they called it quits and Dickson had to restrain himself from crying. Jeramiah Red’s nine year run was over, with the split fairly mutual with families and settling down the primary cause, and with the band members deciding to pursue other activities. Of course, there’s the small point that they were getting a little tired of one another as well.
In the following months, each member happily moved forward with their lives and had no regrets about their decision to disband. That was until February.
Out of the blue, the Pacific Amphitheater emailed the band with an offer they wouldn’t have refused before: opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Fair in July. Upon seeing the email, percussionist Travis Ruiz took a photo and sent it to Dickson. It was an offer didn’t refuse again.
“We were twiddling our thumbs for over a year now and it’s finally gotten to the point where we got restless and had to do something with ourselves,” the singer says. “In the back of my mind, I always knew we’d get back together, but I don’t know if everyone felt that way. We didn’t want to pass this up because we didn’t really get opportunities like this — except for the last time we played with Lynyrd Skynyrd. We weren’t going to say no.”
Thus, one of the shortest break-ups in band history was over. All it took was a little push and Jeramiah Red were back at it.
The band teased their return by updating their Facebook avatar to display ‘VI.XV.MMXVII.’ For those of you unfamiliar with Roman numerals, that’s July 15, 2017, which happens to be the date of the Skynyrd show.
During their time away, Dickson says he was the least-ready member to hop back into things and went into “full hibernation and shut down” after the split. Now that they’re back, Dickson says he realizes now how much he missed it.
While Dickson was dormant, his former-now-current bandmates already moved on. Some formed other outfits, including guitarist Ian Cullen playing with Sega Genecide. Cullen’s relationship with that band was a factor for Jeremiah Red enlisting Spencer Askin to handle guitar duties for the upcoming Skynyrd show. Drummer Garrison Giali’s new band is still together even as Jeramiah Red’s return is imminent.
“I don’t know what Gary’s been doing, but he’s insane right now!” Dickson exclaims. “I’ve been too busy being astonished at how he’s on another level right now. It’s real fun to watch.”
Though the band has a razor sharp focus for their comeback show, that doesn’t mean they haven’t internally rattled around tentative plans to soldier on. Before the first split, Dickson said the band recorded some new material and they didn’t discard the tracks when things went south. Those songs could encompass a new EP. There aren’t any tour dates on the calendar yet, but the band has loose plans to play shows every few months.
“Honestly, we were a little sick of each other and that we’re back, it’s been fun,” he says. “The main thing we all agreed on was to do this for fun. If we can get an EP out of it, it’s better for us. Instead of grinding gears and exhausting each other, let’s have some fun this time.”
Jeramiah Red perform with Lynyrd Skynyrd at OC Fair, Saturday, July 15. For tickets and info, click here.