The Juliana Theory
'Reimagining A New Heartbeat!'
The Juliana Theory's Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat is more than just an upbeat album filled with smart lyrics and stellar songwriting. Like in the past, TJT is ever evolving. And in doing it their way, they have reaped impressive results. It’s ballsy, charismatic rock ‘n’ roll – The Juliana Theory wouldn’t have it any other way.
From its inception, Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat is the TJT album: its sound is a culmination of the best of the group’s past, updated by taking a new path. The future, they know, rests on their shoulders, and they are truly taking things into their own hands with this effort. It will be the first album they release on their newly formed label, Paper Fist.
Comprising of singer Brett Detar, bassist Chad Alan, guitarists Josh Fiedler and Josh Kosker, and drummer Josh “Chip” Walters, The Juliana Theory have bid adieu not only in a breakup/relationship sense, but also to their old way of recording, where overdubs and studio experimentation once ruled. The band recorded at least 70-percent of the album live, all together in one room, which resulted in organic, urgent, and incredibly addictive rock ‘n’ roll.
Chatting recently with lead singer Brett Detar, I first wondered who the bloody hell is Juliana ... and what is her damn theory after all this time?! "Juliana, hmmm, we’re still trying to figure that out. There’s a girl on our new album artwork with no eyes. We’ve been saying that’s her, but your guess is as good as mine. When we started the band, we had this elaborate story we told about where the name came from. It involved sociological experiments and college students and a secret group of researchers. After a while, we got really tired of explaining it all because it took a minimum of ten minutes to tell. Now we tell the truth. It’s a stupid name we came up with when we were 19 year-old kids."
What else could the band have so easily have been called back then? "Well, we had a big long list of awful band names that were all in the running. I’m pretty sure we chose the worst of them though, but I can’t really remember the other choices."
With the album entitled Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat, I'm wondering how much alcohol and such was in the album-naming-stage at this point?! "Good question. We must have been on something to think that people could actually pronounce the name right. To us, it looked pretty simple at the time, but I think we might have been mistaken. I might have rethought it and put a space after “sweet” then it would have made better sense. People keep leaving off the last syllable and calling the album “Deadbeat Sweetheart.” It’s like one of those old psychedelic pictures that after you stare at it long enough, you see a cat, except with this, if you stare at it long enough, you see our correct album title!"
Tell me more about your newly formed label, Paper Fist and the freedom that it will now be able to afford you? "It’s pretty nice running our own label. We get to call the shots more with how the money is spent on promotion and things like that. You figure, it’s easier now to know who to call and scream at when nothing goes right."
Being an independent artist always has its risks, so what has been the biggest risk that you as a band have undertaken thus far? "The biggest risk we take on a regular basis is letting our crew drive our minibus while we are all soundly sleeping in the back. Honestly, you figure, our agent gets a kick out of seeing how far apart she can humanly make our shows from each other. The last tour we just did, we were forced to do some ridiculously long drives right in a row for a week. Our tour manager and our merch guy do all of the driving (they are saints) and they did three nights in a row without sleep while working super hard each day. There we are, all sleeping in the back behind a closed door. Who knows what those guys do to keep awake. I certainly woke up a few times to tires squealing and swerving. Scary."
This new album seems to have been recorded a little differently sound wise to your others ... was this a purposeful gear change, perhaps? "Absolutely. We wanted to make a record that sounds like we do when we play live. We recorded our first three albums pretty much one instrument at a time and on this one we actually all played in a room together like a real band. Imagine that right? A band actually playing together at the same time on an album! Who woulda’ thought? We finally sound like a band on record. The album has energy. There is a push and a pull, a real pulse to it. We didn’t set out to record something that was perfect. We went for vibe and energy."
What cheesy '80s song would you love to cover if asked ... and why?! "We are children of the 80’s but we’ve not taken the plunge yet. We get asked to be on those tribute CD’s all of the time, but we’ve always said no. At our first few practices as a band, we learned a Cure song, but we never played it live. Now, we joke around about a lot of different cover songs, but we never seem to settle on anything. We can’t ever get on the same page about it. I’d probably vote for some New Order or Depeche Mode, but I wouldn’t really call either of those cheesy!"
If there were just 3 words that described The Juliana Theory, what would they be? "Oh man, I can never do these ones. It’s impossible!"
If you were asked to record a single for charity, and had to choose 3 other KNOWN musicians to aid you in the project (but no one from your own band!), who would they be, what instruments would they play, and what would the name of the NEW song be?! "Hmmm, you’re really asking some good questions. Being in a band and doing interviews normally feels like eating the same pizza for 7 weeks straight. It’s always exactly the same and it gets worse as you go along, but not this one. Thank you. For my band, let me think. First, I would pick DJ Shadow. He’d do the beats. Then, on vocals, I would raise Johnny Cash from the dead ‘cause there is no one cooler alive or dead. I’d play bass and sing some back-ups because I’ve always wanted to play bass in a band. And I’d get Pete Townsend on guitar, mainly so he could tell me all kinds of crazy stories about Keith Moon and the like. As far as the name is concerned, I’d leave it up to Cash because I’m sure he’d come up with a better name that I would."
Finally, I like Penguins, ... do you? "I love Penguins, especially the NHL team from Pittsburgh. Lemieux, Malone, Crosby, Recchi, Ziggy, even the alumni like Coffey, Francis, and Naslund! I love almost all of them except for Jagr, but that’s alright because he’s a NY Ranger now and everyone hates the Rangers!"
Thank you for doing this for us today, and we wish you all the best for the future "Thank YOU!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of TJT's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: Brett Detar, along with some other band members, chose to leave which band back in 1997 to form TJT?
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before October 31st with your answer and the subject title 'TJT SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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