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INTERVIEW: Julia Weldon

Pic by PAYAM

Hi Julia, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey VENTS! I’ve been awesome. Excited to be talking with you guys. 

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Til The Crying Fades”?

Sure. I wrote this song in honor of the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, and teamed up with an amazing director, producer and cinematographer to make the single music video. The song video centers on queer community, our relationship to our bodies and the importance of safe, joyful, and celebratory spaces, especially queer bars. It’s an exploration of queer bodies and the journey we all go through to become comfortable in our own skin.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I wrote “Til the Crying Fades” right after the NYC Pride Parade in 2016. I was on a float and emotions were high because Pulse had just happened. People were so revved up – you could literally feel the solidarity everywhere. And I was inspired by this unique paradox of being so sad as an oppressed and at risk community, but also needing to dance and make noise to get through that reality. And the song came directly out of that feeling. 

How was the film experience?

Pre-production and the filming itself was one of the most rewarding creative collaborations I’ve ever had. It was a queer, trans and POC centered project and everyone involved was so amazing and invested in the cause and what we were creating. There was and still is this very strong sense of solidarity between all of us and I feel so lucky to be connected with everyone involved especially the director Alessandra Lacorazza and producer Justine LaViolette.

The single comes off your new album Comatose Hope – why naming the album after this track?

Naming the album was actually a super difficult decision. It’s really hard to find a title that encapsulates every theme and song on the album. There were a few other top choices that didn’t make the final cut because they weren’t the right vibe. I resisted Comatose Hope at first, but it’s just right – phonetically and the poetry of it. But also, many of the songs came out of the events of my life. I had gender affirming top surgery in the Fall of 2015 and due to some odd circumstances, I ended up in a coma for about 4 days. Even after I came out of the coma, I still had to recover. I’m super lucky to be alive and I used songwriting to process a lot of what happened during that time. Right when I was well enough to feel better, I started to plan how to record.

How was the recording and writing process?

Going to Bristol, UK to record this album with Drew Morgan was the best decision of my career. I found him through his production on the incredible Perfume Genius album “Put Your Back N 2 It” and contacted him while I was still recovering from the coma. Once I finally made it over the Bristol we dug right into the music because we were so excited, but also cause we only had 2 weeks together. We recorded in a really gritty vibed, lo-fi studio called The Cellar Tapes for the first week to get the essence of each song. Then, we tracked drums for 1 day in a studio owned by Portishead’s bassist. And ended our 2 weeks together working on arrangements at Neil Davidge’s studio (Massive Attack producer). The whole experience was intense and beautiful.

What aspect of your life from the medical to personal things did you get to explore on this record?

I’ve been thinking back about all the parts of my life it documents. Because it is about falling into a coma and coming out of it, but there are songs from before that all went down. “Everybody Says” and “Take It All Back” come out of a deeply painful breakup I had a few years back. On the flip side of that there are also songs I wrote about falling back in love and navigating a new relationship – “Kaleidoscope” and “Take Me to the Water.” There’s also songs about loss and family – “Soon ii” and “When You Die.” And then the post-coma songs which I think represent trying to process death or my near death experience. But I hope those songs, and really all the songs, hit on something bigger that people can relate to. I feel like what ties the album together is that the songs represent the moment when we try to move through the hardest feelings. I think I have ended up feeling grateful for all my experiences- the good, bad and terrible. This album is about all those feelings that are too big and overwhelming to comprehend – so we have to feel and sing and move and cry.  

Any plans to hit the road?

YES! That’s the plan. I usually play a bunch of college shows throughout the year and build regional tours around those concerts so I’m psyched to start booking those gigs now that the album is out in the world. Bigger picture: I’m working to link up with other awesome acts to provide tour support for a larger tour and open solo for a rad band’s national run of dates. I feel so proud of my last album Light Is a Ghost and didn’t really think I could make something better, but I feel so amazing about every track on Comatose Hope and Drew Morgan’s production is already blowing people away. So hopefully this album will reach people far and wide, and then I’ll get to play for them live – wherever they may be. 

What else is happening next in Julia Weldon’s world? 

Oh man, so much is happening! I actually do a bit of professional acting as well – you can google me for the full deets but I’ve been in films and TV since I was a kid. Acting recently, the acting has picked up a bit. You might even catch me in a bit part on an HBO series in a few months. Other than that, there’s always plenty of hanging with my dog and boo, trips to Riis beach, biking around Brooklyn. Gearing up for some family vacations to finish off the summer and I can’t wait. 

LISTEN + PURCHASE COMATOSE HOPE ON ITUNES // SOUNDCLOUD

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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