1. Have you ever tried learning French?
Julie Christmas: No, but I would love to learn. When I’m in France, I embarrass myself by trying to speak a few words. Most people are pretty nice about it. My mother speaks French and I am sure I will too someday. For now, I just know how to say the important things: “Please”, “Thank you”, “Is there a bar in this hospital?”… things like that.
2. As far as you're concerned, It's difficult to tell you that some of your listeners don't understand your words? I mean.. "instantly"? As a singer, what do you perceive as difference when you're listening to a full-length that you can't understand the words?
I know my lyrics are not so great – I’ve always been a clumsy writer. But for me, the words are not as important as what is behind them. I need to say things to the listener, but I can’t always do it with words. So I have to use my voice in other ways to get my point across. I know people can’t tell what I’m saying, so I hope they can listen to the sounds I make and understand anyway.
3. What is your earliest memory of you wanting to make music?
I have a very big, Irish-American family where drinking, playing instruments and being loud is normal. I don’t have any “first” memory. I have always been making music.
4. How was this european tour in April? You have played along with some major names... in small clubs, in festivals. Any experiences from lives shows or from the backstage you would like to share?
Backstage stuff? Hmmm…..There were delicious cupcakes from a lovely French girl, messy sex, someone puked during Electric Wizard, and crazy blueberry liquor in Poland. The rest I can’t tell you about. The tour in April was WAY better than I thought it would be. My album was released on Rising Pulse Records – which is run by John LaMacchia from Candiria. We put it out because we liked it, but we had no idea that so many people would listen and give it a chance. When I got to Europe – people knew the words and were singing along at shows. It was aMaziNg. We also got to see so many incredible bands, like Earth..
5. When you are performing live, can you describe the feelings that come over you? Do you do any kind of vocal preparations before performing, or do you just scream your guts out?
The worst part of playing live is waiting to go on. I know that I’m about to go through something violent and emotional. I have tried to hold back, but then I think it would be dishonest to do that to people who come to shows to hear something original. So I wreck myself. I always warm up, but I don’t wear ear plugs and I came away from shows with scratches and bruises. It’s the only way I know how to do it.
6. What is your opinion on Katie Jane Garside?
I know people think I sound like her and I take it as a compliment. I was never a huge fan of her music, but I love small things that make BIG noise. She does that.
7. Currently, you live in Brooklyn.. what are good and bad aspects of living in NY? I read in an interview you would like to live in Paris.. an other big city. You wouldn't like to live in the countryside or the mountains? In an environment quieter, with less stress and greater connection with nature?
I grew up in Brooklyn without much money, but my mother and father always took us into the country for the Summer. I have lived in the mountains in Colorado surrounded by no people and deep snow. Now, I live next to the apartment I grew up in Brooklyn. I have a small garden that I love. I’m close to a big park. I go there almost every day with my dog. I think I need both. Big cities have great museums, food and music. The country has quiet and clean air and big trees and animals running free. I loved Paris because it has all of the great things that NYC does, but also something more. Older, more relaxed, and less constrictive. The buildings make your heart ache.
8. You recorded a new album with Made Out Of Babies this summer, can you tell us more about the recording conditions? About the musical evolution of these news tracks?
Made Out of Babies is over.
9. You also recorded/composed this new song "Scalps" for our new compilation: it was not a little bit difficult to separate what you can do with MOOB and what you want to do with your solo project? I guess many people would say that your vocals are the key element in these songs..
We have shifted all of our focus to writing new material that we will record this Summer and Fall. The solo project has my name on it, but it would be a failure without the guys I play with. They are so talented and unusual that they are bringing a creativity out of me I haven’t felt since I started working with bands when I was fifteen. I need to do this and nothing else, but we were very excited to make something new for Falling Down. We just played that song live and the audience went crazy. I hope to come play it in France!
10. What are your thoughts on the current state/relation between music and the new technologies?
Technology is great, but it doesn’t make up for talent. It is the person behind the machine that puts the heart into music.
11. Anything else to add? Thanks for your trust.
Thank you to everyone who gives new music a chance. Our new record is better than the last one. Hope I didn’t bore anyone, it’s early and I need coffee. Support local music. Tip your bartenders. Punch people that deserve it. Fall in love and fuck hard.