Orange County band Julie combines rock art and grunge

By Simone Goldstone | Columnist NB Indy Soundcheck

Three dark haired heads point to the bright screen. The humble children of Orange County, barely out of their teens, form the burgeoning group called Julie.

On Zoom, Keyan Zand, Dillon Lee and Alex Brady discuss their success with signature sardonic humor and a melancholy conviction to bring their ambitious plans to fruition.

Julie is an artistic mix of shoegaze, rock art and grunge. The band uses complex song structures and layered guitars for a full sound that goes up and down.

Shrouded in the mystery of an Instagram account that contains art collages and experimental songs, their elusive image fuels their ambiguous and intriguing music that challenges genres and the limits of typical musical structure.

Surprisingly adept at their instruments and unafraid to play with timing and rhythm, Alex (20, bass, vocals), Keyan (19, guitar, vocals) and Dillon (20, drums) create a space of music and unexplored visuals in an aesthetic and collective of inventive art.

Their enigmatic image and alluring DIY tunes make this Orange County band a treat to be discovered. True to their cryptic image, while it’s a pleasure to talk, you’ll have to listen to their music yourself to find out more.

NB Indy: How did each of you get started in music?

Alex: I have been singing all my life and my dad taught me the guitar. I had a bass for fun, but never played it seriously until I joined Julie.

Keyan: I didn’t start playing guitar until halfway through high school to relieve stress. I did it to make myself feel better, then I started to write riffs.

Dillon: In high school I learned bass and learned songs, then out of nowhere I learned drums myself. We are all fairly new to our instruments.

NB Indy: What’s your songwriting process like?

Alex: We write all the songs. One person will bring a melody or a riff, and we structure it collectively together.

Keyan: We’re very picky, like, let’s sit in a circle and work on the bassline, sort of thing. We all do it together, in some way.

NB Indy: I ​​love the aesthetic of your band’s Instagram posts. Who collects these art collages?

Dillon: I proposed visual collages and a somewhat poetic, random and obscure aesthetic. I’m going to take a line from a book I found, or something from Tumblr and pick these things out and then put them together.

NB Indy: What are your songs “Flutter” and “Kit” about? And the theme of your Pushing Daisies EP?

Keyan: For “Flutter” we started with a little riff and then we were like “what if we turn it into a three part song? It was kind of a study of measures and it was meant to be a musical study. It doesn’t have a precise meaning. Sometimes the vocals don’t have specific lyrics, just cool words. Everything is subjective, so it doesn’t always have a clear meaning. With “Kit” the song just started as an experiment. Rather, they are musical explorations. When we listen to a new musical influence, like (the band) Mad Planet, it influences our sound. With the new EP we took the best songs and kind of found a new direction. We are now more experienced, where as before, our songs reflected our youth and our inexperience. The songs go together, even though we haven’t written them in order. It was a bit like our teenage beginnings. So with our new EP, the first two songs sound angry, then the next two are more lonely, and the EP has two transitional tracks that are more meaningful than we wanted. Our new work focuses more specifically on what makes our sound satisfactory to us, such as complicated structures. The little things that we do in our song structures are what make it a niche and our thing. I want to master more complex song structures as we go along.

NB Indy: What has been your experience with the Orange County music scene?

Dillon: When I was in high school, I was in the music scene and I went to all the punk concerts, like the group Make Out Reef. We’ve been to shows at the Locker Room, Constellation Room, Malone’s, Max Bloom’s, those places.

Alex: In high school my friends were in Make Out Reef

Keyan: I didn’t know the scene until I met Dillon, maybe I went to one or two shows. It was crazy and inspiring to see so many people making fun of bands that weren’t tall.

NB Indy: What are your future projects?

Dillon: We’re going on a tour or two. And work on the development of the brand in its own right, not just music, but a collective of design and art. If we can’t make music, we’ll make art and design. Of course, we’ll continue to write new music, but the design can be with the music as a work of art as a whole and hopefully with our merch it creates community.

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