There’s a lot to be said about the sound and style of TreeHouse! whose energy exudes the familiar, feel-good vibes of the reggae genre. Performing together for eight years, the band of four takes reggae and rock to create music that celebrates gratitude, unity and overcoming adversity. Singer/guitarist Jeremy Anderson, drummer Trey Moody, keyboardist Joe Harley and bassist Chris Hat make up the group that love being on the road. The band’s latest music video for the song “Natural High (ft. Dan Kelly)” has the mellow rhythms we all look to find for a perfect summer day and features a variety of beautiful scenes during the California sunset with a little cannabis consumption thrown in the mix. Lead singer, Jeremy Anderson, kindly took the time to discuss with CULTURE the making of the band’s new music video and provided a commentary on the status of cannabis in his home state.
Could you tell us a little bit about your backstory and how the band formed?
TreeHouse! began much like the Big Bang, a unified force expanding into space and becoming a representation of the universe. The band’s story is like this: Jeremy Anderson always loved music. He was on one instrument or another, in one band or another since the age of 13, only pausing to pursue an education in Philosophy. After attending college in the bustling cultural center of Charleston, South Carolina, he returned to his hometown of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His mind was enlightened with new ideas, and all he wanted to do was apply them to his musical aspirations, firmly holding the belief that his music was the best platform for expressing his thoughts and hopefully affecting positive change. Jeremy started slowly, performing solo acoustic cover gigs locally. In the tourist town of Myrtle Beach, he was able to rack up six shows a week and soon was able to invite friends to jam with him. Together, this band of friends jamming would slowly form the original act coined after Jeremy’s nickname, “TreeHouse!” The roots thereafter would grow organically.
Which artists would you say the band looks to for inspiration?
I would say the band collectively has varying influences. We try to stay updated on new releases from our peers in the genre, lately listening to Iya Terra, Jesse Royal, Stick Figure, Chronnix, Fortunate Youth, Rebelution, and The Movement. Our brother bands – Roots of a Rebellion, Tropidelic, Of Good Nature, and The Elovaters, to name a few, are always keeping us on our toes musically. My personal influences have ranged across Slightly Stoopid, Sizzla, John Brown’s Body, Stephen Marley, Passafire, Tribal Seeds, Mike Love, Keller Williams, and Wookiefoot, with dashes of The Doors, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and System of a Down. Our keyboardist, Joe, takes influence from Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, classical music, Atlanta hip-hop and who knows what else! Our drummer, Trey, and our bassist, Chris, both listen to a myriad of music and bring it into a uniquely blended style.
“I love consuming cannabis in every way, from flower, dabs, edibles, tinctures, topicals and more!”
How was shooting the video for “Natural High”? The video has an overall relaxed atmosphere, where everyone seems to be really enjoying themselves. Did filming the video have that same kind of energy?
Filming “Natural High” was indeed a casual flow. Dan Kelly is an awesome, easy-going, and kind individual, so he was great to work with. That day consisted mostly of chilling and cruising the different Cali beaches’ boardwalks. Dan was down to chill and cruise! I’m very grateful that he was willing to take time out of his life and his busy schedule to do this video with us. After the shoot, Dan even treated us all to tacos! I’m from the East Coast, born and raised, so flying to California and soaking in the chill vibes was an inspiring experience, and I think that vibe was definitely captured in the video.
Tell us about the decision to collaborate with Dan Kelly and featuring his vocals in “Natural High.”
When I listen to an artist for long enough, I naturally tend to pick up their style and influence. There are certain moments when I look back at a song I just wrote and feel like it was written with the specific vibe of another person or band. We already knew we wanted to collaborate with Dan and Fortunate Youth. When I looked back at “Natural High,” I knew it was the perfect sound for Dan to do his thing! Dan created that verse in the studio right before he laid it down, and the essence of his vocal tones brought the song to life. He gave it exactly what it needed!
Your home state is South Carolina, which has restrictive laws on cannabis. Do you see that changing anytime soon?
I am avidly hoping for this change and should admittedly work more towards this movement. South Carolina has finally legalized CBD, but has no restrictions on the quality or source of CBD, so that’s causing a few issues already with head shops selling bad product. I believe right now, medical cannabis applications in South Carolina are limited to Marinol and only to extreme, virtually terminal cases. The Bible Belt’s cultural stigma, along with years of anti-cannabis propaganda doesn’t help SC’s movement either. I would’ve thought the “good old boys” at the very least would go for legalization for the mere $$$ in increased revenue. Florida is more on the forefront, and I’ve heard that Georgia and North Carolina are submitting bills for some type of legalization efforts, so hopefully that will spur South Carolina to follow suit.
What would you like to see happen in South Carolina regarding cannabis legislation?
I have mixed feelings about this, as I’ve seen “legalization” play out in several different ways in different states. I don’t want to see it legalized just to be monopolized, like where there are limited grower permits allotted and they’re already claimed before the law even passes. That’s not the kind of “Free the Weed” I want to see. There’s also the argument that legalizing recreational cannabis is just taking business away from my friends and giving it all to the government and subjecting it to government (and ultimately corporate) regulation. I think that could play out in many ways, as well. I personally love being able to walk into a store and choose from a selection, but I do ideally just want the freedom to grow my own cannabis for personal use without being harassed.
Whatever kind of legislation may pass, I want to see its benefits go toward my fellow South Carolinians, and I don’t want it to be motivated by ulterior motives or corporate interests. I want SC to figure it out before the rest of the country’s cannabis industry is fully established and all the big dogs move in from other states and take up all that potential new business opportunity from locals and natives before we can even establish our own area in the industry.
Do you guys consume cannabis recreationally? If so, what are your favorite strains?
I love consuming cannabis in every way, from flower, dabs, edibles, tinctures, topicals and more! My favorite strain of cannabis is Dutch Treat Haze. I found it while touring Colorado, and I’ve been seeking it out ever since! It’s a more rare find, bearing a complex pungent aroma, beautiful multi-color buds and a great smoke aesthetic. Joe’s favorite strain is Bubbleberry. Trey’s favorite is Golden Goat. The best cannabis to us are the buds that are gifted from friends and fans!
TreeHouse! is currently on a nationwide tour, what are your favorite parts about being on the road to perform?
The sense of adventure is what always calls me back. Thanks to TreeHouse!, my band of brothers, I’ve been granted the ability to explore hundreds of cities and all the wilderness in between. I’ve had the opportunity to meet anyone in the world or come across one random experience that could potentially change my life in a myriad of ways. I like winging it to the other side of the country for the first time, and there’s a stranger who already knows us, waiting there to invite us into their lives as if we were old friends. Every region, every city, every vibe is uniquely different yet the same. It feels good to feel familiar with the unknown.
Do you guys have any upcoming projects or newly released projects you’d like to share with us?
TreeHouse! just released two singles and music videos over the last few months, “Prayer for the Day” & “Natural High (ft. Dan Kelly).” Both of these singles are part of our upcoming studio album, Full Immersion, due out in 2019. We’re also currently working on remixes and acoustic recordings. We have a good wave of new content set for 2019, and we’re excited!
Band name: TreeHouse!
Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Latest albums: Lifted (2015), Growth (2013)
Upcoming album: Full Immersion (2019)