Having grown up in the unusually sheltered environment of a church-turned-cult, Brooklyn-based musician Jeremy Snyder has always found himself drawn to the harsh, dissonant music that was off-limits during his formative years. Today, Pure Adult, the experimental punk band he formed in 2017 with contemporary dancer and visual artist Bianca Abarca, has released new single 'The Power of Incredible Violence Pt. III' via FatCat Records. The single, a visceral explosion of angst that calls to mind post-punk greats This Heat, addresses two questions; What does a hyper-violent oppressor perceive as violence against itself? What threatens the fundamental structure that upholds its violence?
"My parents and the church were very aggressive about expelling any non-christian music, films, and friends from one's life," says Jeremy, on his evangelical upbringing. "It was imperative to only make friends with heathens to convert them, otherwise you were exposing yourself to the evil they're enjoying,".
In spite of this, in the mid-90s, Jeremy taught himself to play multiple instruments as well as learned how to make multitrack recordings using a karaoke machine. By high school, Jeremy was secretly listening to non-christian bands like Swans and Sonic Youth whilst recording his own songs and trying to recruit people to play live with him. "I was truly a believer back then and when the leadership told me I wasn't supposed to play music, this caused a massive internal conflict. I was truly, fully idolising music as they had feared, but I couldn't help it. So I just felt shame," he explains.
After leaving the church, Jeremy began studying religion, philosophy and politics whilst working as a sound engineer. "I ended up touring with some small pop rock bands, while my studies brought me through an array of beliefs and a far-left political worldview. While I've identified as a communist for almost 20 years now, I didn't fully give up on religious belief until around 2010. A fundamental element of our belief system was this sort of unverifiable feeling that must be something and, because I've experienced that feeling, virtually nothing can make me deny it. And it's comforting, in a world of quantifiable uncertainty, a guise of certainty," he says.
At the centre of Pure Adult's music is the far-left political ethos and DIY attitude Jeremy and Bianca share. In 2017, in their apartment, Jeremy began recording what would become their debut EP. In his words, it was "the most accurate representation of my musical interests and a way for sharing more radical ideas".
"Whilst working on one of the tracks on the EP, Bianca had gotten the melody stuck in her head and was idly singing it out loud and it occurred to me that it might sound better with her voice on it. She crushed it in a single take and we then proceeded to add her into other songs on that recording. Similarly, I found her messing around with some synthesisers and it was so cool, we developed several pieces from her experimentation," explains Jeremy.
Foregoing the clean polish of professional studios for various bedrooms, basements and empty venues around Brooklyn, Pure Adult's dedication to creating challenging yet captivating punk songs has earnt them an ever-expanding following. And with a debut album in the can, they are showing no signs of slowing down.