February 16, 2011

Julien-K interview before the European Release of DTA – March 2010

Posted by Vanessa Silva on 2/16/2011 06:45:00 PM

 

JULIEN-KlogoTons of bands try mixing electronica with rock, and end up with shit sounding like, well, shit. But Julien-K doesn’t fall into that category. JK expertly blends surges of synth along with danceably dark drum beats, creating a unique sound entirely unlike anything you‘ve heard prior. Whether it be Ryan Shuck and Amir Derakh’s previous experience in Orgy, or the fact that Death To Analog has been in the works forever (or just what seems like it), these guys definitely got it right. Anyone who thinks otherwise probably listens to Ace of Base while wearing their sunglasses at night.

Why did it take six years to make an album?
Ryan Shuck: Laughs. Well, it didn’t take six. It took about four and a half.
Well then why did it take four and a half? Laughs.
RS: That’s still a long fucking time isn’t it? Laughs. It took us a few years to discover that Orgy was disintegrating a little bit, sort of taking the drugs and partying to a level where we realized that we weren’t gonna be productive for awhile and needed to take a break. That was about a year and a half, two year process. Somewhere after that, Amir was DJ-ing a lot. So, him and I were writing but didn’t really know what we wanted to do with these songs. It just sorta grew into what became Julien-K.
Amir Derakh: The record has actually been done for about two years. We finished a lot of newer stuff that, since then, we added to the record. The whole process is really what took long, not so much making the album.

 

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I have a general idea, but could you briefly explain the difference between Dead By Sunrise, Julien-K, and JKDJS?
RS: We’re basically the same group of people. We’re a bunch of really good friends that hang out all the time and work on all sorts of different projects. Amir and Brandon DJ, A LOT, and they’ve developed a brand that they call JK-DJ’s. From the production end, we do things like the Transformers video game (out this summer), stuff we’ve done for Sega, remixes..and that’s basically Julien-K. Chester [Bennington] can be part of that as well. But when Chester sings, it’s Dead By Sunrise. It’s sort of a different entity, but the same group of guys, with Julien-K being the nucleus of everything.


Since you’re sort of this nucleus-type band, how would recording and touring go? Would everything be simultaneous or would you just finish up one thing and move onto the next?
AD: Well, Dead By Sunrise probably won’t be out until later this year. There will obviously be times when things converge, but we’ll work around that depending on how it works. Like, Julien-K can open for Dead By Sunrise, or maybe we’ll take a month off while that band tours. The DJ-ing stuff is like third down the line. It’s fun and I love doing that, so we’ll plug that in wherever it makes sense.

Orgy said a lot of their lyrics were fictitious. When it came to song-writing for you guys, what were your influences?
RS: Lyrically for me, because of Orgy, because we usually obscured a lot of the truth of the songs with these sort of “other worldly” lyrics, I always wanted to write really, really honest, passionate lyrics. I wanted to write things that were about painful aspects of my childhood, political ideas, theological ideas, and life in general. It was almost a reflex, that after being in Orgy for so long and creating this fantasy world, I really just had this desire to be honest.
AD: As far as the music goes, for me, I don’t typically write lyrics, although “Technical Difficulties” came to me in a dream. I’m more of a composer. I hear music styles, beats, directions, things like that, and I just kind of pull it out of thin air really. I’ll get something in my head and be like, “Hmm, I wanna hear something like that.” And then I just start going from there. Then with Ryan, and Brandon, Elias, it all comes together. 


Has any of your prior band experience shaped the way you created Julien-K?
AD: Definitely. The experience that Ryan and I have - the rock stardom, the highs and the lows, and for me, just being in the business for as long as I have - has a massive effect on everything we do. It makes us a bit smarter about things. And only from having done all the things we’ve done can you have this type of experience.
RS: I think I’ve learned how to curb my natural tendency to be self-destructive and a jerk, and instead be someone who is helpful and useful, someone who can really utilize the resources around them.


How come you guys decided to make two versions of the “Kick The Bass” music video?
Both laugh.
RS: Because the video in its raw format is totally X-rated and we’d get into huge amounts of trouble if we didn’t clean it up.


Okay, I wasn’t sure if you’d made the clean or the dirty version first..
RS: It was the dirty version and then we cut from there. Laughs.
AD: Artistically, the dirty version is the real version. The clean version is just a way that we can get it out to more people. We don’t want to limit ourselves to people who can’t watch it or whatever. But, the dirtier one is the real one. We actually have an even dirtier one

What?! Laughs.
AD: Yeah, She Wants Revenge did a remix of the song. So this triple, maybe quadruple X-rated one was cut and edited by the drummer in Orgy. He’s doing a lot of video stuff now, so he did that edit. We’re not really sure where it’s going yet, or when that’s gonna come out, but that’ll be something that’ll be floating around eventually.

As far as Orgy goes, any kind of possibility for reuniting?
RS: Absolutely! We’ve been hanging out with Jay [Gordon] a lot lately and rekindled our friendship. It’s not that we ever weren’t friends but, like I said, we were unexpectedly successful. And I’ll say for myself, I won’t speak for Jay or anyone else, but I used to think that it was my job to party. I really did. We went to the school of KoRn and Limp Bizkit, and these guys would carry their own coolers behind them on wheels, filled with beer to drink all day. We started off on Family Values and Jay and I, especially, really liked to have fun. That’s how all of us really got together, basically partying in LA, with all of our friends who happened to become really big rock stars. So, it was sort of a perfect storm and we kind of exploded. It’s not that we’re not friends and don’t want to work together, we absolutely do! We’ve been talking about it and it’s really more of a scheduling issue right now. Where there’s a will there’s a way, but right now we’ve got a lot of work in front of us.
AD: At this point, I’m thinking maybe next year. It’s probably not gonna happen this year. We’re just too swamped.
RS: But, the good news is that we’re hanging out, talking, and having a really good time together. And we do really miss each other..
AD: Jay actually came up onstage and played Blue Monday recently at one of our Julien-K shows. It was really fun.

Damn it, why can’t I be in LA?
All laugh.

Anyway, with the release of Death To Analog, I’m guessing there will be a tour. How soon do you think this would happen?
AD: Well, we’re using what’s going on right now and the release of our record to gauge that. There’s so much stuff going on and we wanna see the record’s reaction, and take advantage of that. Everything in the past has been kind of screwy for us. We’ve were touring when we had no record and also because of problems we’d had with our company. So we wanna be a bit cautious about it, especially with the way the economy is. We just wanna be smart about it. We wanna get our stuff out, see what’s going on, and we’ll go from there and see what presents itself over the next month or so.

SOURCE: http://beyondrace.com/reviews/band-of-the-week/1114-julien-k

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