The thing about classic rock is that it is inherently 'classic'. Julius C takes the classic parts, rocking hard, sweet guitar licks and belting vocals and adds nuevo indie spin with pop keys, gorilla suits and extra volume. Jay Stolar spoke with Joonbug to discuss how the band has built an adoring local following and what his band’s music means to him. They are scheduled to rock the Rockwood stage 2 on Friday December 10th at 11:00 p.m. In the mean time you can get to know the band by checking out their video or visiting their website.
Joonbug: What does it feel like to be on stage?
Jay: It feels electric. That is the word I’d use. Especially playing music live on stage. We have so many different energies working at the same time. My relationship with the audience and how that plays off, and then the relationship with the other people in your band on stage, and our relationship with the music itself. And even the space.
If it’s a small space or a big space, everything sends off a different energy and if you’re really in the moment, and it’s definitely one of the things I struggle with the most. But when I’m really present there it really feels like everything is moving through me, and I am just kind of following any energy that comes up as far as it goes.
JB: How do you describe Julius C’s music?
Jay: I describe it as a real combination of music that is inspired from classic rock, classic soul, indie rock and then lyrically, really a story about love and growing up, becoming yourself and really getting to know who you are through all of those experiences... So it’s a story of heartbreak and pain, self-destruction, and then building yourself back up again and becoming alive again... You could say it is a modern version of The Who and Queen and Sly and the Family Stone all mixed together… It’s very high energy and also very emotional.
JB: How would you describe your fan base?
Jay: I would describe our fans as people who like to have a visceral live music experience and want to be part of something that they can interact with and be involved in. Not just something that they can watch, but something that they are literally apart of.
JB: What is next for Julius C? What are your goals for the band?
Jay: We have a few new things. We are working on new music. We are going to be recording a new EP or new album with a few producers who we are talking to. So that will happen within the next 3-6 months… We are doing some east coast touring starting in January. From January to June we are going to be touring in 10 or 15 places in the east coast that we are going to start going to regularly. We are recording new music, and really our goal is to get our music to as many people as we can right now. .
JB: Do you write all the songs for Julius C?
Jay: The last album was written primarily by me and the bass player Mike. Mike and I wrote the majority of the songs and then wrote some on our own like as a group and then we produced the record on our own. Mike led the production team.
JB: Would you say your songs are mostly autobiographical?
Jay: Ya, I would say that the album we have now is absolutely autobiographical. It is just where we were in our lives. We were in a rough place and we played a lot of different kinds of music… We took this whole world of music and a lot of it was about frustration about where we were and the things we were experiencing, and that became the album OK OK. Even now if there is a song that doesn’t necessarily seem like it is in the first person, of course the story is based on something in reality. It is all from real experience.
JB: How did you come up with the idea for the music video?
Jay: That actually wasn’t our idea. We had a director, a really good friend of ours, Jared Lapidus. We gave him a few words. We were like we want it to be interesting and a lot of different layers and fun and exciting and a little crazy. He came up with the whole concept and he called us a few days before and was like ‘forget everything I said this is what I want to do, gorilla suits, Central Park, some other crazy stuff.’ We were like all right. It was a lot of fun. It was hot, but a lot of fun.
JB: Merry/Bury/Screw: Stevie Nicks, Pat Benatar and Janis Joplin?
Jay: So I get to marry one, sleep with one and kill one? Tough one… I think I would marry Stevie Nicks, fuck Janis Joplin and kill Pat Benatar [laughs]. I don’t know to be honest. Janis Joplin was totally insane. I think I would have to be completely inebriated and intoxicated out of my mind and that would be kind of fun, but I don’t think I could be married to that person. Stevie Nicks seems kind of crazy, but she seems super interesting, and then there was only one other option so there we go.
JB: Do you have a favorite song to play on stage?
Jay: I really like playing our song “I Hope You Know”. There are just a lot of different parts. It’s exciting. It rocks pretty hard. I like the song.