The Juliana Theory released two full length albums so far, and along with Jimmy Eat World, the Get up Kids, Knapsack / The Jealous Sound they are one of my faves playing this kind of music. So when I finally found out Tooth and Nailís (their label) e-mail address (believe me, this was not that easy ;-) ), I decided to do an interview with them. So hereís what Chad, bass player in the Juliana Theory, had to sayÖ
First off, I really love both of your albums (especially "Don't push love away", "If I told you this was killing me would you stop", ďAt the top of the world" and "August in Bethany" are wonderful!), so I was very happy when I read that a new six song EP is on the way. Please tell me everything about this EP, where did you record it, who produced it and when will it finally come out?
The EP is called " Music from another room." We are currently finishing it up at the moment. We are in Little Rock, Arkansas where we did the two previous long play albums. Barry Poynter and Jason Magnason will be engineering and producing along with the band. Iím told it will be released by the end of this year.
What about the sound of the songs on this EP, would you say there are any major changes compared to your earlier work or do you see these new songs kind of as an evolution or development?
Most of the songs on the EP were written around the time of "Emotion is Dead." But we could not put them all on the record. There are two new songs on it. One we perform live called " This is the end of your life" and another one called "Breathing by wires." We like to think our music is evolving and that itís a good thing. We also like to think we are writing new and interesting material that the listener will enjoy. I think this will be some of our most aggressive music to date. And some of our most beautiful.
Will these songs or some of them be on a future full length album or will you do them exclusively for this EP?
Most are exclusively for this EP, no more than two would appear on the full length.
I also read on your website that you are planning to release a live record. I was pretty surprised, because you released only two full length records until now. So what is the reason for this, is it because you have to do one final album for Tooth and Nail until you can change labels?
Even though we only have two long play albums, we often find it hard to play all the songs we would like to in an hour setting. So this album will feature a few live songs that we no longer play for whatever reason. Also it will kind of signal the end of a certain time period for us and the beginning of a new one.
We will talk about this new era of the Juliana Theory in just a moment, but letís stick to the live record for a while: How many songs will be on that record? I am always wondering why live records are always pretty short when the shows are twice as long. What do you think is the reason for this? I mean there's plenty of space on a CD...
I think a lot of bands like to leave the folks wanting more so maybe thatís the reason for a shorter live record. Iím not sure at this point how many songs it will include. We are still trying to plan the dates.
Did you record shows in the past for this live record or will you have to do so in the future?
We will be recording the live album some time in September. It will most likely be two separate shows recording in Pittsburgh.
So will you do any overdubs for this live record or leave the live recording the way it is, with any possible mistakes?
Itís hard to say. This is a new process to us. I can only say that we are a band that tries to reproduce the sounds we achieve on record live the best of our ability. So I think it will be pretty much what you see is what you get. Or in this case what you hear, right?
The next big news is the new record label. While the upcoming EP will be released again on Tooth and Nail, your third full length will come out on Epic, a major label. Why did you change labels and how did this deal come into reality? Did the Epic guys see you live or how did it happen?
I think our heads are still spinning from how fast it all happened. A lot of different labels came out to many different shows on this tour to check us out. We met with a lot of interesting people and it was definitely an experience we will always remember. In the end Epic was the best choice for us. They seem to understand the vision we have better than anyone we talked with and we are excited to make the new record.
What do think will be better on Epic compared to Tooth and Nail, what can a major label in general do better than an independent label in your opinion?
Well the most important thing to us is getting our music out to as many people as possible and that means releasing our music internationally. We are a very hard working touring band and we want to perform overseas. We have a great relationship with a lot of people at Tooth and Nail and we hope that it continues to grow. We will continue to progress and grow as much as we can without compromising are music.
Do you think that some "fans" could dislike the whole major label thing and turn their backs on the Juliana Theory? I think this would be pretty stupid, because the music should be the most important thing on the first hand, but I experienced that a lot of people in the "scene" don't like "their" band being on a major. I have the impression they fear that they have to share their heroes with more people. What would you say?
I wish more people had the attitude you have concerning this issue, but unfortunately there are those who donít share your opinions. I think the response we have received from our fans has been good. We have received many congratulations and encouragement. We appreciate all those who have stuck it out right along with us and all our fans that have remained loyal and true. We will never going to compromise the integrity or destroy the vision we have for our music. I think the music we will be making in the future will speak for itself.
When I asked Tooth and Nail about doing an interview with you, they responded very fast and were very cooperative. Do you think this is also possible when you're on Epic? I could imagine that bigger labels are mostly interested in having their bands promoted in bigger zines to reach a wider audience. Sometimes they don't seem to care about smaller zines and the underground. Would you agree? What would you do to avoid this, because there's this statement on your website that without your fans you would be nowhere?
We have never been the press darlings of any magazine be it small or large, cool or whatever. We appreciate the press we do get and would never want to snub a magazine an interview because they werenít Spin or Rolling Stone or whatever. I think itís important to remain in touch with everyone. We are going to gain a lot of fans that wouldnít normally read a smaller zine, and at the same time we would never want to lose touch with kids that get these zines out to the underground kids at shows. Itís hard work to put out a descent zine Iím sure.
Is it still possible for you to do (split) 7"s on smaller labels when you are on Epic?
Iím not sure. I do know we will be releasing vinyl versions of our two LPs soon on smaller labels but Iím not sure about the split thing. (The first two records were released on CD only Ė Stefan)
Your split CD with Dawson High was released twice, both times with a different cover. Was that a decision of the record label or did you have any influence on this?
We decided that it would be interesting to do different artwork simply just because it would make the first one something interesting to have. These songs are the early works of the band when we were together about five months. The original version of ďDuane JosephĒ is on this CD and appears again on ďEmotion is deadĒ. The band has gained a lot more depth along the way and have gotten a bit more aggressive than when we first started out. But the one thing that remains the same is that the music we make has always gone in different directions. And thatís the one thing that remains true through most of our recordings.
How did you get to do the Three Way Split with One Line Drawing and Grey AM? Are these bands friends of yours?
We would often play shows with the Grey Am back in the day, and Jonah we met in Long Island at a gig we had together. The original idea was just to have Grey Am but we weíre so floored by listening to One Line Drawing that we asked Jonah if he would like to do it too. Since then we have played many times together, Jonah was even nice enough to fly out to Pittsburgh to perform for the CD release of ďEmotion is DeadĒ. One of my favourite shows.
Brett Detar, your singer, was in Zao, right (I guess he no longer is?)? Well, this band plays a totally different sound than the Juliana Theory, so is he the guy in the Juliana Theory who likes the metal stuff? I grew up with metal and hardcore, so I think this is great! I read on your website that a metal band you like is Carcass! I really loved their sound, and "Symphonies of Sickness" was their best record in my eyes. Which is your favourite metal album and which is your favourite Carcass record?
Well, I canít say which one is Brettís favourite. I can tell you he loves Iron Maiden is up there as one of his faves. Iím more of a Neurosis or Cradle of Filth fan myself. (Booooh, old school death metal is way better, haha. And what about ZAO?!?!? Ė Stefan)
What are you doing besides playing in the Juliana Theory or is the band a full time thing? Can you make a living from playing music?
We have the best job in the world. We get to create music and perform in front of people. Itís one of the greatest feelings in the world. We do a lot of writing when weíre home and hanging out with friends and family. We donít have any other jobs and it allows us to focus more on what we want to do.
I guess we're at the end of the interview. Anything to add?
Thanks for listening. Good luck.