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Interview with The Juliana Theory

jt_interview01After a long stretch of listening to several Emo bands that seem to have exploded onto the scene; many may begin to blend into one other, or even disappear. This seems to be the case with any genre of music, but not as much as that of so many of these soft rock or borderline punk artists. The Juliana Theory have managed to somehow set themselves apart from the rest, and many would say the band have been quite successful at doing so.

With their energetic live performances, and boy-band charms, The Juliana Theory have developed a following that has brought them to the forefront of the Emo push for recognition. The band not only captured themselves a solid win in the form of a People’s Choice Award, but they’ve captured the hearts and the attention of many loyal listeners.

Here’s what Brett Detar’s modest replies were to a recent email interview.

I realize that doing industry shows is a necessary evil that can’t really be avoided, but isn’t that the anti-thesis, per se, of an indie/emo band?
We wouldn’t know. Why don’t you ask one?

How do you feel about industry shows vs. shows you perform for your fans?
I think that our fans come out to any show that we play. If we do any type of industry show (perhaps CMJ), our fans are always there.

Who would you like to play for if you could hand-pick 5 people to be a part of your audience?
I would say, the 5 people who would enjoy the show the most, would be our pick. I don’t really see the need for “important” people to come and see us. People who love and enjoy what we are doing, those are the people we would like to see us. If we could pick 5 people to come see us, these five people would be the fans who love our music more than any other people in the world. We would want to play for the people who would truely enjoy the music.

What do you know how to do that would surprise people who think they know you?
I can play ice hockey.

Were you a good student in school?
Yes i was.

What were the subjects you were best and worst at?
My best subjects were more of the creative types of classes: english, psychology, and things of that nature. My overall worst subject was probably math.

Did you ever get sent to the principals office or get detention for anything?
Of course.

What did you get in trouble for?
Well on one occasion, I strangled a journalism student. Just kidding.

Were you a popular kid?
I was not popular throughout my highschool years. Of course i had my group of friends, but i was not into the “cool” things to do like high shool football games and dances and whatnot.

What “clique” would you have been in?
Most of my friends were musicians or hockey players. I am not sure what “clique” that would have put me in.

What would your Mom say about you?
She would say that she loves me. My mom is great.

Have you heard what the buddyhead website has been saying about your band, and what are your thoughts about this type of thing?
We don’t think of buddyhead.

What do you think happens inside someone that finally achieves fame, but then cannot handle it (eg; Kurt Cobain), or is wealthy and famous because of the entertainment industry, yet despises Hollywood (eg; Sean Penn)?
I think, if ultimately, a person’s goal is fame and stardom, sometimes they get that fame and they realize what they always hoped for is not what it was supposedly cracked up to be. Everyone is unique and responds to what life gives them in different ways. Some people can handle things that other people can not and vice versa. I think though, that people like Kurt Cobain were not setting out for fame and popularity.

Look at Roger Waters for instance. Pink Floyd was not setting out for absolute stardom, but they achieved it and Roger was never happy with the lack of intimacy in stadium rock shows. I think a lot of the situations that you are speaking of are more like that situation. I don’t think a lot of these people were really aiming to reach a level of fame where their personal lives would be invaded on a daily basis and where many of the qualities of normal life would be destroyed. Maybe sometimes this situation is as simple as “the grass is always greener on the other side” statement. Many other times, it could be far more complicated than that.

jt_interview02What does your bedroom look like?
Well, it has a bed, and a few desks, a stereo, a computer, closets full of things, and most of the other things normal bedrooms have. It is really rather plain and simple. It also has its fair share of musical equipment, assorted cables and guitars, empty CD cases, magazines, and other such things.

The following are questions that were posed by several fans of The Juliana Theory that post on a well-known message board for another popular “emo” artist.

Do u eat meat?

How many times have u been in love? – Lora
a few

Ask about the inspiration for the song “august in bethany”? I kind of always wanted to know about that.
Simply enough, that song is about a lost love.

Do you consider yourselves rock stars?

Do you consider yourselves “artists”?

Do you work out?

Have you ever worked at the GAP?

I would definitely confront the JT about why their album, in spite of the songs actually being pretty good, has been received so poorly by so many and how they feel about that?
Honestly, we don’t really concern ourselves with things like that. We can’t. We are getting better reactions right now than we ever have in the past. Our shows are all going much better than they used to, so why look at negative things. That is a waste of time.

I’d also ask them about the whole stage persona/big rock act thing, whether its an issue of them just fucking around and having fun, or whether its sort of gone to their heads (at least the vocalist’s). -seb
We have put on the same type of stage show since very early on in our history. We are enjoying ourselves. People who can not see that need to lighten up. Everyone is way too concerned with “doing something different,” but as soon as we put on the show that we put on, those same kids wants us to be like everyone else. We are ourselves on stage. We are not catering to what anyone else would like to see or would like us to do. We have a good time, and quite a few of our fans do as well and that is what matters to us. Stuffy attitudes about what is cool and whatis not cool to do are also a waste of time. Where would music be at today if everyone worried about what everyone else thought?

Ask them why almost every indie band sounds the same. -Jason V
I would not say that is the case. I think a lot of independant bands sound completely different.

Ask them what’s up with their stage show? Why do they look/act like a boy band? – anonymous
Well, last time i checked we are all boys and we are a band.

Lesa Pence


jt_emotion_is_deadSpecial thanks to Teresa at Tooth & Nail. For more information and tour dates, please check out www.thejulianatheory.com

Pictures in the interview are courtesy of The Official Juliana Theory Fan site, at www.julianatheory.net

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