Jeremiah McKinley – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD: What type of artist are you?

JM: Long hair, Blue jeans, vans, bandanas and a hat. But if you mean musically I would call us Dirty Folk. We incorporate a lot of different influences and genres from folk and Americana to rock and even a bit of country. We each listen to wide varieties of music. I listen to The Black Keys, Tyler Childers, the Bones of JR Jones, Shakey Graves, The Movement and Noah listens to a lot of Hendrix, John Mayer, Caamp, and Hippo Campus. But, we also hare a lot of the same influences and want to make music people can dance to and that can make people feel. I think we are mostly categorized as americana/folk rock. We chose folk music as our jumping off point because those are the songs that have always spoken to us. Real life experience, good and bad, stories that really get into your soul. And that is what we hope to accomplish with our music. Songs that speak to you and help you cope with the things in your own lives.


PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.

JM: Karate legend, and master of destruction.

We are two brothers Jeremiah and Noah Smith. I (Jeremiah) am seven years older than Noah. Growing up we would sing in church but never really considered making music. We come from a sports family, and both of us played football in high school and I played in college. My younger brother Noah started guitar lessons in fifth grade, but eventually sports took over and we lost interest. I was off at college when I started to realize how much music meant to me. Most days I won’t pull out of the driveway until I find the perfect song to start my day. I am quite often late, and our family eventually turned to telling us events were Thirty minutes earlier than they were just so we’d be on time. I majored in painting and drawing in college and have always been interested in creating things, but it wasn’t until I left school that I found a new outlet in writing songs. My brother Noah had by this point started college at UNC Chapel Hill and picked the guitar back up. He helped me start learning some chords and we were hooked with the idea of making music. Since then, we continue writing together and sending new song ideas back and forth, Usually helping each other if we get stuck on an idea.


PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

JM: God first and foremost we grew up very religious Moravians in North Carolina. Musically I would say The Black Keys, The White Stripes, Rooney, John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Tyler Childers, Caamp, Shakey Graves, Amy Winehouse, The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers, Hippo Campus, Mt. Joy, Ray LaMontagne, Eric Church, Bob Marley, Greta Van Fleet, Led Zeppelin, The Killers, Kings Of Leon, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Taj Mahal in no specific order.


PD: What are your dreams and goals?

JM: One of my dreams is to play Red Rocks. But our real goal is to be able to sustain and enjoy life making music full time. We would like to be touring and recording music as often as possible. We don’t worry too much about money, we would just like to make enough to get by and wake up every morning doing what we love to do. I think a lot of people forget that you are supposed to enjoy your life, so make sure to do things you love, and follow your passions if you are able. But whatever you’re doing, try to have some fun doing it.


PD: How do you promote your band and shows?

JM: We haven’t booked a lot with the pandemic rolling through but we are working to remedy that right now.  you can check us out on instagram or our website for future dates as we set more of them up. As of right now we hold a monthly neighborhood show around our hometown of Kernersville, North Carolina. Bring a chair and some beers and we’ll bring the party.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online?

JM: I like being able to always have music on me. There are a lot of cool playlist that have helped us as well as help me discover some hidden gems and new bands. But I also enjoy a nice vinyl record or cd, there is something very cool about owning a physical copy of your favorite album. Online is great for finding new things but I like to have a physical copy of my favorite bands and albums.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

JM: Burn or God Willing and The Creek Don’t Rise by Ray LaMontagne. Those two songs are one of the reasons why I started making music. The lyrics really transport you to the feelings of those two stories, and those two songs along with countless others have inspired us to try and move people with some chords and words.


PD: What are some of your pet peeves?

JM: I just got one. When people stand in a doorway or entrance and chat like they aren’t blocking up everyone from walking to another room or outside. Those jive turkeys better bust a move out of there.


PD: What is your proudest moment in music?

JM: Releasing our first song, Hanging On/ Creekside. Up to that point I guess we were waiting on the world to give us the okay to put out music, but when we realized we didn’t need any permission to put it out we hit the ground running. While we are still very proud of those first releases, at some point we would like to re record them. We have progressed a ton in a short time and would like to master them and put on all the bells and whistles.


PD: So what are you working on at the moment?

JM: Right now we are trying to book shows with the world seeming to have finally opened back up to live music. We also have a new album in the works with a lot of songs we are excited to share with the world.


PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?

JM: So far we have released an ep of stomp and holler tunes called the Jeremiah McKinley Ep , an Album The Basement Tapes and some singles,

(A rocking riff based tune) Sing For My Supper, Hanging on/ Creekside ( an acoustic ballad) , and our newest Same Old Heart. Same Old Heart is the story of a man. The woman he loves starts heading down a dangerous path, and while he loves her, it is a path he cannot follow. She spirals into addiction, and his heart breaks as there’s nothing he can do to stop or save her. Our music is on all of the major streaming platforms.

Jeremiah McKinley Band links:
Band/Artist location – Kernersville, NC
Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Merch – Reverbnation –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer –
Check our page for Jeremiah McKinley Band