Welcome to the No Tracers podcast, all about urban exploration. This week I am so stoked to share with you my very third No Tracers guest episode with Jeremy of Abandoned Nashville! You may have seen some of his content on Instagram under @AbandonedNashville. Jeremy is a musician as well and we talk a bit about his work as a freelancer. This is such a good episode and I hope you enjoy every second of it!
Check out Abandoned Southeast's content:
Welcome to the No Tracers podcast. What's up guys? How's it going? My name is Kay. I am your host here on No Tracers. This podcast is all about urban exploring. If you are new to this podcast, please go back to the beginning on whatever streaming platform you're listening to this on. Check out the first nine episodes. They are all tips and tricks for you to get into urban exploring. If you're interested. And This week on the podcast, I'm very, very excited to talk to Jeremy Abbott, a K a abandoned Nashville. I came across this guys on Instagram page after he followed me one day, I actually on my account, No Tracers on Instagram.
And I just immediately was like, oh man, this guy stuff is sick. I need to get them on the podcast. And I hit him up and he was kind enough to agree to come on and share, share his insight, share his stories with you guys. And I'm extremely excited to get into this episode. But before we start, I need to let you know, I have a book out called No Tracers, an urban explorers diary. It is full of high-rise photography and stories from my urban explorations all over the world. Mostly the United States, a couple in Canada and a, this place in Portugal, which was really sick, abandoned 360 degree restaurant. If you guys want to check more of that stuff out, definitely had to just the letter k.com/ No Tracers.
0 (1m 24s):
I'll put a link down on the description. There's also several links down there. If you need to gear for exploring like a light, a backpack gloves, a respirator, which is the most important thing, protect those lungs, protect those lungs people. But yeah, definitely check out the links in the description. If you guys are looking for gear, if you want to check out the social media and if you want to support me further, you can actually do so via Patrion, where you get early access to all of my content, whether it be the podcast, my blogs, my music, or anything else that I work on that I feel is, you know, exciting for the Patrion supporters. So if you guys want to head down there, it's patrion.com/just the letter K again, a link will be in the description for you.
0 (2m 7s):
And if you're new to this podcast, please hit that subscribe button and turn your notifications on. So, you know, whenever I post, if you would like to be on the podcast, my email is down in the description. Please email me. I would love to talk to you. If you're an Explorer. If you take photos at abandoned places, I would love to talk to you. So please hit me up. My email is in the description below. And if you have questions, if you've got questions about urban exploring that you want answered, you can head to anchor dot F M slash No Tracers. You can actually leave me a voice memo over there, like a little voicemail, and I will incorporate it into the episode of the podcast. And I will answer that question. So if you guys do have questions had to anchor FM slash No Tracers and you can leave me a voicemail.
0 (2m 54s):
I think that's a super cool perk of being on anchor. So yeah, if you guys are interested in that, if you have any, let me know over there or on Instagram at No Tracers. Cool. And the last little piece of housekeeping that I want to let you guys know about his. If you leave a rating and feedback on this content on this podcast, I will send you a signed photo print from an abandoned place that I've explored. So if you guys are interested in getting assigned photo print, all you've got to do is take 30 seconds, leave a rating, leave some feedback, and then take a screenshot and send that to me at No Tracers on Instagram. And I will get you to assign photo print to you as soon as possible. All right. So with me today, I have abandoned Nashville on the podcast.
0 (3m 36s):
Can you introduce yourself to the audience and what you do?
1 (3m 40s):
Yeah. Jeremy Abbott, I'm abandon Nashville. Most of my explorations take place around Nashville, but not limited to. And yeah, that's what I do. Explore abandoned buildings, take photographs.
0 (3m 58s):
What made you catch the bug?
1 (4m 2s):
Probably when I was a kid, my mom more than likely is probably the best answer for that. When I was a kid, we, I grew up in Kentucky and like very rural Backwoods, Kentucky, and my mom and I would drive down like these, these old, like, I don't know. I guess you would call them hollers. You ever heard of that term
0 (4m 25s):
Hollers? No, I have not.
1 (4m 28s):
Oh, so they're like these they're like these dirt roads and I guess all the Hicks called them, I guess it got named holler, but anyway, yeah. So I would drive down on these old holler roads with my mom and we would find all these like old abandoned houses and my mom was super into this stuff and we would go on these houses and I remember my mom would like, she'd walk in and she'd be all quiet even though no one's there. And it was like a very sacred thing. And I guess, I guess that's when it started. I, I had like a reverence for abandoned buildings even, even then.
1 (5m 9s):
So yeah. I don't know. That's probably the best answer. My mom.
0 (5m 13s):
Amazing. It's so cool that like, you know, my brothers got me into exploring when I was like 13 or 14, we went out into the woods and we would explore the abandoned, like houses and stuff in the woods. And that was always so fascinating to me. And that's where I got caught my bug, you know? So it's, it's so cool to hear how these different explorers started. So can you tell me, I assume that one of these houses was your first exploration, is that accurate?
1 (5m 38s):
Yeah. So there's a house behind my house. I don't know, maybe a few miles and crazy. So there used to be a family that lived there and the husband killed his entire family and it was a cold case. Yeah, it's fucking crazy. So it was a cold case. Still didn't find the guy and this has happened like back in the eighties. And I remember when I went to, my mom took me there and then I, I went back like probably when I was like 18 or 19 when I had my license. And I remember I found this Levi Jean jacket, and I wore that shit for like years.
1 (6m 21s):
Cause I thought it was so cool that I had to Levi Jean jacket from this place and the story behind it and everything, but yeah, crazy, crazy. A crazy story. And so I guess that's probably also how I also got into like the whole story behind, everywhere that I went. I always wanted to learn about, you know, what, what, what happened there? Like who lived there, you know? Yeah. So I think that's probably my first exploration is that I love
0 (6m 59s):
That you took a little token, you know, like I I'm obsessed with Dr. Pepper, the soda myself. I've been drinking it since I was like 14 years old and I went, I got hired actually. So what I do in abandoned buildings, I usually try to take my freelancing work and set them, set that project in an abandoned building, whether it's a product too, or if it's a band photo shoot or music video, I always try to use the aesthetic of an abandoned building as my backdrop. And so this guy flew me out to West Virginia and we went in and explored this abandoned elementary school. It was like three stories, high, giant brick and concrete building. That's been there since the 1920s and in the gymnasium, there was this massive Dr.
0 (7m 40s):
Pepper sign up above the scoreboard. And I was like, bro, I don't care how, but we have got to get this thing. So now it's in my kitchen.
1 (7m 51s):
No, how'd you get it back to California.
0 (7m 54s):
We just mailed it. We just paid to mail it. And it was, it's like a, like on one of those 10 signs, you know what I'm talking about? Like the it's like hard, hard metal. So yeah. We just need to nail it backwards from money to
2 (8m 7s):
Write, but I'm never selling it.
1 (8m 10s):
Yeah, totally. Yeah. That's, that's super cool.
0 (8m 15s):
Let's talk about this quarantine real quick. We, we briefly talked before the podcast, but have you been exploring during this time during, during quarantine, I know that abandoned places are sparse with people. So for those listening that are like you guys should be at home by yourself, abandoned places are the next best thing. So tell me, have you been exploring during this quarantine?
1 (8m 38s):
Yes, absolutely. In fact, I feel safer in an abandoned building than I do in my own house. Cause I have a roommate, so, and he, I mean, he's not going anywhere, but I dunno, you know what I mean? Still around people. So in an abandoned building, you get to go not be around people and yes, I've been exploring. So
0 (9m 3s):
Let's talk about content creation. So social media, how has that impacted you as a content creator?
1 (9m 11s):
How has social media impacted me as a content creator? Social media is a really powerful tool. So I guess, I guess I should give you a backstory on what I do. So I'm actually a freelance professional drummer and oh wow. Yeah. As far as, yeah, as far as Instagram goes, it's been the number one tool that I use because I'm pretty introverted. I'm not that guy to like go out and, you know, have a business card and be like, let me to accommodate you and play drums for you. Like I get to do that from my couch and be in people's faces and reach a lot more people than I would by mouth.
1 (9m 53s):
So as far as Instagram goes, it's like the it's the most powerful tool I could have ever had. And same thing goes with abandoned buildings. It's urban and Nashville. It's I it's crazy because I started this page because I didn't want my personal page to be overrun with abandoned photos. And so I was like, well, I should just call this page abandoned Nashville. And, and next thing you know, this, ironically enough, this page exploded and got much bigger than my drumming page such as life. But yeah, it's, it's really cool. It's a powerful tool.
1 (10m 34s):
I think for the first time in human history, we have the ability to like sit on our couches and market ourselves and that's, that's pretty fucking amazing. I totally agree with you.
0 (10m 47s):
So when did photography come into the picture? When did you start taking photos of these places?
1 (10m 56s):
I've always been interested in photography, but so my dad was a photographer in the army and I thought, I always thought that was so cool, but like music also, he's a guitar player and I'm a drummer and I always felt intimidated by my dad. Like I always wanted to play guitar and I was like, well, I'll never be as good as my dad at guitar. So there's no point in trying. And so I like chose drums. I know it's, it's this weird thing. And I'm sorry to be talking about my daddy issues on your podcast, but so yeah, so photography was kind of the same thing.
1 (11m 37s):
I was like, man, I want to be a photographer, but I'll never be as good as my dad. I'll never know as much as my dad, but so I always like took iPhone photos of my little explorations that I did. And I think it's probably around, I hit about 10,000 followers on Instagram when I was like, oh, well maybe I could do this. Maybe I can, I am good enough to be a photographer. Like maybe I do have what it takes to do this. Perhaps I should take this seriously and get like a, you know, an actual camera. And so that's what I did. Photography always came second to export exploring, I think as of recently photography, his first and exploring, I guess I'm an extremist.
1 (12m 24s):
Like I think when, when, when I discover a new thing, I become obsessed with it and I fall in love with it and that's all I think about. And that's what I spend all of my money on. And I, by all this shit and all this gear, and I think I'm in that stage right now of like having this new found love with photography. And so like right now, its like this, an explosion of what would you call it? Like creativity or just, I don't know, I'm looking for the right word for it, but yeah, photography, it's pretty bad ass and it is a newfound love for me
0 (13m 7s):
And your photos are absolutely incredible. It's been amazing to get to scroll through your Instagram and see these places that you've explored. And so I want to know what gear would you recommend for, for new explorers? Somebody that's never explored anything before. What, what would you recommend that they get like a backpack lights, camera? Like what, what, what kind of gear do you use or that you recommend
1 (13m 33s):
All the above? I'm a good respirator. I know that's cliche. I know that's what everyone says, but like, man, it's so true. There's a reason why everyone recommends that pretty much first. My dad has a lung disease and I guess it's more real to me than it is for most people. It's, it's just, man, you've got to take care of your lungs. Like you've got to like not breathe, be breathing and all of that shit, all that, his Bestos and lead paint and whatever other chemicals they use back in the day when they were making concrete or paint or whatever. So yeah, I would recommend that first. Secondly, everyone wants a flashlight.
1 (14m 14s):
Everyone recommends one, but I personally favor just a damn good headlamp. Like you got it. I don't know. I, I I'm, I'm a headlamp guy, so I like to have my hands free so I can climb into a building or just like walk around and keep my balance with my hands. I don't want things in my hand. And especially if I have a camera, I'm not, I'm going to want one hand at least free. So a headlamps really great. And also you're guaranteed wherever you look, that's where the lights going to go. So a good headlamp gloves, a good backpack, a good camera, a good lens.
1 (14m 56s):
That's good for low light and verbally like a wide angle lens. I personally use a Sony Zeiss 16 to 35 millimeter and it does everything that I need for it to do. And it's not too expensive. I think it's around 1200 bucks, but you can get them used for like, I don't know, 700, 800 bucks on eBay or something. But yeah, that's what I recommend as far as gear goes.
0 (15m 24s):
Perfect. And what has been your scariest exploration
1 (15m 31s):
Man? What is one of my scariest exploration? I mean, there are all scary. I'm a pretty paranoid person, I guess. That's why I've never been arrested. And I like I'm I am that guy. Who's just like, I take it very seriously when I'm in an abandoned building, I'm like, oh, did you hear that noise? And like other people usually don't hear that. I don't know. I I'm just paranoid, but they're all scary. I think I don't want to give you a cop-out answer like that. So I would say I explored a Freemason school here in Nashville.
1 (16m 16s):
Yeah. It's so dope. This place was built in the 18 hundreds and it's like art deco, Zoe, the classrooms are all still there. There's a, there's a gym with like a stage and like curtains where they would have plays. Like it's fucking creepy. I'd say probably that place because man, I'm not like a, I'm not like a paranormal type person when it comes to these places. And I usually don't let my mind wander there, but man, this place was just creepy. Like, you know, when you just you're in a place and you're like, man, I'm not supposed to be here. That was that
0 (16m 57s):
All that I called that the darkness,
1 (17m 1s):
The darkness. I like that.
0 (17m 3s):
Yeah. I wrote like a, I wrote a little blog about it and it's a, it's that feeling you get when you like to turn a corner and there's like darkness there, but it's not just darkness. It's like the darkest darkness you could ever imagine. Seeing ever. And at that exact instant you're like, we should probably get the fuck outta here.
1 (17m 21s):
Yeah, I think and yeah. And it's not like me, our nature of like survival. I think it's like something else. Like I think its like this it's the darkness. I like that.
3 (17m 34s):
Yeah. That's exactly what
1 (17m 36s):
It is. Yeah. It's it actually. Yeah it is. And I like to be that person. That's like, no fuck that. I'm going to walk into that portal. Like I'm going to do that. No. And cause I don't know. I like taking risks and I dunno, I like collecting experiences, but like as far as this place went, man, I was like, I'm getting the fuck outta here. And also it didn't help that I was by myself. So there was this moment. So I'm getting to the story, sorry. I'm like rambling a lot. But so I'm in the basement of this place. You have to crawl through this little tunnel to drop down into the basement.
1 (18m 17s):
It was like a laundry shoot. You dropped down to the basement or this building. And it's like probably ankle deep of water. And so it's really loud when you're walking and I explored the place getting really creepy feelings, really creepy vibes. So I was like, well I think it's time for me to leave and you have to leave back through the basement. And so I went back down into the basement and as I was walking through the basement trudging through the water, there was a swear to God. I sound crazy. But there was also another set of footsteps trudging through the water behind me.
2 (18m 57s):
Oh my God.
1 (18m 59s):
I swear to fucking God. I know. I sound and I don't like, I don't know. I don't know. I don't even know why I'm telling this story on this podcast. I sound like an idiot, but no, it's amazing. So I'm walking and like I'm speeding up cause I'm scared to fucking death and I'm walking faster toward the tunnel and I can see the light of the tunnel. I couldn't get there fast enough. And as I was speeding up, this thing was also speeding up behind me. It was like, as if I'm kind of getting chased out of this place and I like hurry up, jumped into the tunnel and I'm crawling and I'm like, I'm imagining the worst.
1 (19m 40s):
Like something grabbed me by the feet and pulling me back into the tunnel, like a heart. But yeah, I got the fuck out of there and I haven't been back to that place since, well, I just, I don't know. Every time I drive, I drive it, pass it like almost every day. And when I drive past that, I'm just like, I just like look over. I'm like, man, that's, that's the location that got me. Like that's the location that like, it's just like, I don't know. I don't know. But if you ever come to Nashville, I'll totally take you there. Okay.
0 (20m 14s):
Oh for sure. Let's go get chased. Chased around in the basement. Yeah,
1 (20m 18s):
Yeah, exactly. Just to be worn. We will encounter the darkness. The darkness.
0 (20m 23s):
Yeah. For me, that, that place that, you know, I'll I'll I might never go back to is called the Downy insane asylum. And that's an insane asylum here in California. That's super well known, which is why I feel comfortable saying the name of it. And that place, the darkness, the darkness is very prominent and you know, people say it's haunted. People say that there's like a crazy cat lady that lives there. So either she's going to get you or the ghosts are going to get you.
1 (20m 51s):
Oh, I, I think I've heard of this. I think I've heard of the crazy cat lady story. I think I know what you're talking me like snitch
0 (20m 58s):
On you. It's crazy. That's crazy man. But yeah, it's super, super well-known spot. So what about history? You mentioned that you were super into like the past of these places you explore what's what's one of the places you've explored that has like your favorite history story,
1 (21m 15s):
Man, probably this recent insane asylum that I explored. I went without knowing anything about it. All I knew it was built and I knew the year it was built. It's built in the 18 hundreds, but went and explore this place, found all this old medical equipment like found like the electroshock treatment, the chair, like I found a morgue, like I found all this shit that just was just left and there's no graffiti, like it's untouched. It's like a museum. And that's when I was like, damn, I need to read about this play. Holy shit. So I'd say this place, man.
1 (21m 58s):
Like I just started uncovering all this dirt on this place. Like all this like corruption, like black market ties, like baby, like, like they, they were selling babies throughout from this place in the thirties and forties to the black market and child labor. And there's like Hollywood stars that were, that were buying babies from this location. Like it was it's insane. Yeah. And like they're admitting people to this hospital for things that today it's just like, man, I probably would have been admitted to this place for fucking crying out loud. But yeah, there's also this story of this girl who was a lesbian and 9, 18 98, who was admitted because her community thought that she was evil because she was a lesbian and she wound up going and dying in this hospital like 14 years later.
1 (22m 54s):
Cause she committed suicide and the water treatment facility, she like just drowned in it. It's fucking terrible. Like, I mean I'm talking horror story type shit, all took place in this, in his building. So then going back, I went back a second time because I was like, man, I can't get enough of this location. I went back a second time knowing all of this, knowing the stories and just like having the reverence of like I had like the utmost respect for this place. It was like a Memorial. It was like when you go to a cemetery and you just like, you know, not to walk on the graves, like, you know, not to like touch things that you just, I don't know.
1 (23m 37s):
I was, I don't know. I think it's a very sacred location for me. And it's to answer your question, that's, that's my favorite history of this place. I don't want to give too much history on it though, because it'll totally give away the location. Oh, for sure. Yeah. It on an amazing spot. Yeah. It's an amazing spot.
0 (23m 58s):
And I love like I'm the same way. I love learning the history of these places. I think it gives it character in it. It kind of brings it back to life for you. And I think what you're talking about is you, you almost have like a new found respect for the place.
1 (24m 13s):
Yeah. A hundred percent.
0 (24m 16s):
So my next question is, do you explore alone always or do you go with people like what's your, do you have a preference?
1 (24m 24s):
A solid mixture of both. I know it's probably not the safest thing to go. Well, it's not safe at all to go by yourself. I think just depending on the building, like if it's like an old, like a industrial, like concrete building, I'm, I'm fine. Like I'm going to go in there by myself. I don't know. Like when I'm in a city that I'm not, I don't know very well. I don't go by myself ever because I just don't know the, that area. If there's like much crime or if there's like, what's the homeless population. Like not that homeless people are scary whatsoever. All my experiences have been pretty great. But you know, like you just don't want to go in there and get mugged or like, you know, killed or whatever.
1 (25m 10s):
But I like to take people it's just hard. I think in Nashville, there's not much of a community here as far as advantage exploration goes. So it's hard to, it's hard to find people who really understand the respect and the kind of abide by the, the, the, the code system that we kind of naturally know. It can people on their like, well, damn this door is locked. Let's just kick it in. And I'm like, no, we're not gonna kick that fucking door on, dude. Like leave it, just come on. Let's let's go, come on.
1 (25m 51s):
And so it's hard to find people who get it, but they're, they are here. I think there's like five or six people that I can name off offhand that, that do get it. But for the most part, I don't know. And it's also nice going by yourself because you see a lot of things, I guess you could say the same thing for going with people to do, but you see a lot of things you wouldn't have seen because you're not thinking about that other person. You're not thinking about what they're doing or like, and like, if you hear a noise, like you're not, you know, it's not someone else. And so like, I don't know, you just, you hear a lot more noises, you hear a lot more things.
1 (26m 33s):
There's not another, another set of foot footsteps that's happening. So you hear a lot more things and like, you really get to soak up the experience even more. What I really like about his, it appeals all your senses. Like I love stimulation. And so abandoned buildings, like the smell, like what you see, what you hear, like what, what it feels like, like, it, it, you can even taste it. Like when you walk into a room, you're just like, man, it just, ah, I don't know. And I think with when you have other people, you, you don't get to experience fully all of that. So I don't know a solid mixture of both.
1 (27m 13s):
I go by myself and to explore with other people.
0 (27m 16s):
Yeah. I think the, the isolation of being by yourself really adds like another dynamic to it. I did a whole episode on like at the beginning of the podcast, episode three, where I talk about, should you explore alone versus with people. And mostly I just talked about like their safety in numbers. If you explore by yourself, let people know where you're going, that kind of thing. But I, I forgot. I lost my train of thought. It's gone now. There goes my thought, just fluttered away, like a butterfly. Oh, but yeah, it adds,
1 (27m 49s):
0 (27m 50s):
It adds another element. Like another dynamic, if you're by yourself, I feel like you can feel the energy more because you are isolated. And like you said, there's not another person there to like distract you from that. So you're, you're totally in tune with this, this abandoned place that you're exploring. So I totally get what you're saying when you, when you, you know, go by yourself and you know, you can taste it in the air, you can smell it. You can hear everything. Like even your eyes like adapt to the darkness that you're in a little bit, which I think is super fascinating. So do you have any goal, places that you'd like to explore? Whether it's in Nashville, outside of, outside of Tennessee? Completely. For me, like, obviously I want to go to Chernobyl Fukushima, all these like places that I think every Explorer wants to go, you know,
1 (28m 36s):
A hundred percent Chernobyl. Like I would say that's probably number 100%. I don't, I don't know. It's, it's tough. Like I don't sit. And what do you say? Like, I don't sit around and think about places I want to explore. I think, I think I'm not very goal. I should probably be more goal oriented when it comes to abandon exploration. I just find a good spot. I'll just like, come across it on the internet or I'll just see it on my GPS. And I'm like, oh shit, that's my next goal.
1 (29m 16s):
Like, that's it. So I think gold places, it's probably the very next place I'm about to explore. But I mean, obviously, I mean, fucking Chernobyl. I mean, that'd be insane. I've seen a lot of videos on it and it's just, it's, it's fucking ridiculous. So yeah, I mean, obviously that, yeah,
0 (29m 41s):
I a there's this guy I watched on YouTube named shy and he's from Ukraine and he recently did a, a week long exploration through the exclusion zone all through Chernobyl went and climbed on the big satellite, the, you know, the giant like satellite thing they have over there. Yeah. So he, yeah, he did that like one, one full week with like to other friends and they like camped out in the woods. Like it was insane and it was all just filmed on his GoPro, you know, like a super simple POV video, but I mean, it was just so fascinating and I've actually had a guy on my other podcast Project Freelance, where I talk about freelancing with, with different people about how they built their careers.
0 (30m 21s):
He actually spent a week making a documentary about Chernobyl and he got to stay there, like sleep in the, like the houses, you know, like the big apartments. And so his story was absolutely insane. It was so cool to hear that. And it just kind of floored me to get over there and do that. So that's definitely a goal place of mine maybe over the next year or two years to get over there. And I definitely want to bring some other explorers. So I'll put you on the list.
1 (30m 49s):
Oh man, that would be fucking insane. Yes. I would love to go and do that.
0 (30m 55s):
If you could live in one place that you've explored for a week, which place would it be?