Chances are you have heard something Jeremy Chatelain has had a hand in - you just may not know it. From his earliest days in the alternative rock outfit Handsome to his most recent offerings as the bass player / vocalist in indie giants Jets to Brazil, the past 5 years has seen Jeremy in his most interesting guise to date as Cub Country.
'Stay Poor / Stay Happy' unveils ten more tales that continue in the incredible tradition of Americana that Jeremy has spoken of his love for in the past years. Set for US release on Future Farmer Records on September 28th, the album was recorded over a two-year span in such diverse locales as Brooklyn, Salt Lake City and Chapel Hill, NC. 'Stay Poor/Stay Happy' showcases Jeremy's undeniable songwriting / musical talent and serves as a solid follow-up to 2002's debut 'High Uinta High'. The album was mixed by Brian Paulson (of prior Wilco & Superchunk projects, to name just two). According to Jeremy, the title 'Stay Poor / Stay Happy' comes from graffiti he encountered in a bathroom in New York City. Explaining his choice, he says, "It's pretty much the reality that I face in my life at the moment. And, I thought it sounded like a great title when I said it back to myself."
Jeremy formed Cub Country in 1999 as a vehicle to feature songs of his own that would otherwise have had no outlet. Because he and everyone else he knew were already in bands, his theory from the beginning was to take each song, perform them with friends and commit it to tape with the urgent energy of a song freshly enjoyed. Though slow to start, the theory panned out. Jeremy and Utah Slim recorded the first Cub Country EP in a Brooklyn apartment that became known as "Castle Coldshins", and released it on Ear To Ground Records in September of 2000.
Next, Jeremy set about to record another, more involved record. 'High Uinta High' was committed to tape in Salt Lake City, Seattle, Brooklyn and Tenafly, NJ. Once again, he'd put his theory to a successful test, having written a multitude of songs and taught them to different people, with excellent results. 'High Uinta High,' named after the Uinta mountain range in Utah, was released by Jade Tree in February 2002. At that point it was crucial to go out and spread the word a little bit. So Jeremey assembled a band of "other folks who didn't have real jobs, namely Jets To Brazil, Spanky Van Dyke, and Scott Schoenbeck" to play three weeks worth of shows. The group kicked off the tour in New York at Joe's Public Theatre on February 25, 2002, continuing through such cities as Kansas City, Houston, Orlando and Raleigh. They returned to a triumphant show at the Mercury Lounge In NYC on March 16th.
"hey - did you even hear High Uinta High? It was that one of a (very) few sparkling gems in the heap of worthless shit back in 2002. Yep - 2002 happened folks, and for the most part is sucked ass. Well - Jeremy Chatelain serving as Cub Country post-Jets to Brazil - delivered one of the best albums of the year." - sctas.com
Cub Country has since evolved into what Jeremy describes as a full-time band, comprised of North Carolina musicians Matt Sumrow, Jeff Clarke and Justin Ansley. As for where Jeremy sees Cub Country going, he states "I'd just like to continue making records and putting them out for a long time to come with people who get it, and want to be involved." Tales of the love for life, love lost ('Be Yer Own Hitman') and the longing for days past ('If We Should Fall') are evident - as is the potential to make Jeremy and his newly gathered band of talented musicians household names... or at least in Urban Outfitters.