Hi guys, welcome back to VENTS! How have you been?
Hello, Rafa! We hope you’ve been well. Monica and I have been really busy writing and recording songs and playing shows in our beautiful hometown of San Diego. We’re having lots of fun!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Bright Side Of The Line”?
We spent Christmas 2013 in the ski town of Mammoth, California. The trip was intended to be a change of scenery for us, to get through the first Christmas after the loss of Monica’s son, Andrew. Of course we found ourselves writing songs, several of which, including “Bright Side of the Line”, were either directly or indirectly about what Monica was going through at the time. “Bright Side of the Line” is about perseverance in the face of a profound loss.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Essentially, the song “Bright Side of the Line” is an open letter to Monica’s son, Andrew, who died in 2013.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
We were just talking about that! Alberto Moreno, our new lead guitarist, is a videographer by day and is going to direct the video. It should be out this summer.
Why naming the album after this track in particular?
Like “Bright Side of the Line”, all of the songs on the album are, in one way or another, about making your way through difficult times, either by mining inner strength or seeking comfort in another. The songs are about looking for relief and finding light and hope when times are dark.
How was the recording and writing process?
Monica typically spearheads our writing process. She comes up with melody and lyrics, and then we sit down together to put music to her words and discuss potential arrangements – that was our initial writing process for “Bright Side of the Line”. Something new to the writing process for this album, though, was that we involved our producer Andy Machin of Bigrock Studios as a cowriter. His contribution added clarity while still allowing the songs to be authentically Sometimes Julie
When we first started recording songs for “Bright Side of the Line”, we laid down the basic tracks for 15 songs with the intent of completing a full-length album. In the middle of the process, though, we decided to focus on just six of the songs and release them as an EP, because we wanted to get them out there as quickly as possible. The other nine songs will likely end up on later releases, so stay tuned.
By the title I take it this is a somehow positive album… or isn’t it – where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Being positive is a choice – that is what this work really speaks to. Focusing on perseverance and hope, even the face of tremendous adversity, is how we all push through the worst of things. There is a wide range of emotions driving the songs on “Bright Side of the Line”, including sadness, desperation, fury, and love. I think writing and recording this album provided catharsis for Monica and was her way to connect with and express those feelings.
How has those life struggles have not only affected you as humans but as musicians?
Losing Andrew obviously had a profound impact on Monica, her family and everyone close to her. It continues to inform her entire life, let alone her songwriting. Again, there is a very wide range of deep emotions that result from the death of a child, and I think a lot of those emotions come across not only in the lyrics but also in the music of “Bright Side of the Line”. I think our life struggles have resulted in our being more honest as songwriters and musicians, inviting the listener in to feel and understand what we are feeling.
I remember back when we talked you used to be a duo if not mistaken, how has this new set of musicians have influence your sound?
You are correct! We did start out as a duo, with me playing almost all of the guitars and keyboards on our first CD, “Head First” and employing studio musicians for the rest. After we completed “Head First”, though, we decided to form a full band to play our songs live and to record the next album. Working with a rock band drove us toward a harder-edged sound, which I think that is reflected in “Bright Side of the Line”. There still are traces of our singer-songwriter/Americana roots, though.
Any plans to hit the road?
Nothing is written in stone yet, but we hope to hit nearby cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas this summer and also play some festivals. I guess we’ll see!
What else is happening next in Sometimes Julie’s world?
Right now, playing gigs in San Diego and planning our new music video occupies most of our time. But we can’t wait to get back to the studio to finish the songs we have in progress as well as some new ones we have been writing. We hope to release another EP before the end of the year!