When Jeremy Allingham picks up the strings, the result is rock ‘n roll the way it was meant to be played.
But after the loud riffs and gritty powerhouse vocals die down, Allingham hopes his April 6 performance at Doc Willoughby’s in Kelowna and June 9 gig at Record City will spark conversation about the ongoing opioid crisis in B.C.
“It’s something we see so much in Vancouver that sometimes we don’t even know what to do with it,” said Allingham, who plays the role of Vancouver journalist when he isn’t rocking the guitar. “It seems like such a massive problem and it doesn’t seem that a dent is being made.”
So, after covering the costs of his soon to be released album Run Wild, Allingham will donate proceeds from the tour to fight the opioid crisis.
“We know we’re not going to make a huge difference, but we do want to start the conversation,” Allingham said. “Sometimes we kind of ostracize drug users, but this is a big deal. It’s been something that has bothered me. I think that there is a lot of work to do around the stigma of drug use.”
Allingham’s 10 track sophomore album Run Wild, slated for release April 2018, feature’s the Vancouver singer’s raw vocals and guitar-centred jams backed by stomping drums, reminiscent of rock icons Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty with an added modern grit.
“What I do best is rock ‘n roll with a big catchy chorus,” Allingham said, noting his influence from classic rock. “That’s where my heart and soul is.”
Because for Allingham, that’s what it’s all about.
“It’s very interesting because the way music is currently, guitar music doesn’t get as much love as it once did,” Allingham said. “Rock ‘n roll is at the heart of what I look for in music. It’s like a lifeblood. It’s got that energy, that backbone.”
While his allegiance currently lies with the axe, Allingham first picked up the bass at age 11 before rocking punk covers in a Langley garage band.
But, for the past five years, Allingham has been rocking it solo with his EP That One Song and debut full-length album Memory Electric under his belt.
“I aim to be fairly prolific. It’s always very rewarding,” Allingham said.
And on Run Wild, Allingham feels he hit the nail on the head.
Engineered and produced by Jesse Gander (Japandroids, The Pack A.D., White Lung), Allingham’s soon to be dropped album denotes a move towards collaboration.
“That can be very scary as an artist,” Allingham said. “Once you get over that, it only improves your material.”
One partial collaborator on Run Wild is Allingham’s three-year-old daughter, who closes off the final two lines of the album’s middle track, Wasted Too Long.
“It was super fun to have her sing on that track,” Allingham said. “That’s going to be a family heirloom for sure.”
Allingham is set to run wild at Doc Willoughby’s in Kelowna April 6. Cover is $10. Music starts at about 10 p.m. The Record City show is set for June 9.