INTERVIEW: Julie Haven

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

Hello! Thank you for having me! I’m doing well! Life has been crazy these last few months as I’ve been working pretty hard to get this music out into the world. I’m ready to exhale a bit lol.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “See Me Cry”?

So this is the first single I am releasing. It’s going to be part of a 4 song EP which is essentially a prelude to my full length album: “Dramatic Departures”, which I plan to release down the road maybe later in the year. I would consider this to be one of my more “poppy” songs, so it felt like the perfect way to introduce my music to people who haven’t heard of me yet.

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

Something in my life always inspires to me to write lol. This particular song I wrote when I was in an on and off relationship with someone who really just played a lot of mind games. All that “I love you – I don’t love you” kind of thing. At the time when I wrote this I was really frustrated because there was so much inconsistency. I never knew where I stood. He would text or call me out of the blue after not talking to me for weeks and tell me he loved me. Then he would breakup with me out of the blue or not want to see me. But even though he was breaking my heart he would always say he didn’t want to see me cry, so that’s kind of where the song came from.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I would definitely love to make a music video. It’s possible that something may happen, but I don’t have any plans set for this song just yet.

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording process was fun for this song. It was my first time recording in Nashville and I worked with producer, Stephen Leiweke, at Yackland Studio.  We hired some incredible musicians to play throughout the whole album. Stephen had some ideas of where to take this song which was a little different for me and actually a different sound and vibe than I originally intended.  I wrote this song itself however within a matter of minutes. Sometimes it just all comes pouring out and I can’t control it, almost like someone else is writing it. That was the case with this song.

How has Tori Amos and Fiona Apple influenced your writing?

I have quite a few influences but Tori and Fiona are definitely a couple of my major influences in writing. It’s hard to pinpoint where it comes from. I have been listening to them since I was about 13. Sometimes I will just sit and listen to their music and it lights a spark in me. Tori’s music alone is emotional and inspiring. She just has a way of conveying emotion without words where Fiona has such a way with lyrics. I aspire to be like them both, but still can’t hold a candle to them. I will forever try though.

What role does Florida play in your music?

I will let you know when I start writing again. I honestly haven’t written anything lately. I’ve been so focused on getting this music out there that I haven’t had a chance to really be inspired by the sunshine. Maybe something a little happier will come out. Who knows?

What is it about the 80s that you find so fascinating and try to tackle on your music?

Well the interesting thing is I have always loved the 80’s, and while we are on the subject, the 90’s as well. Most of my favorite artists are from the 90’s. But I grew up listening to bands like Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, Til Tuesday and Michael Jackson. I have always loved that synth pop sound, but I never really thought any of my songs sounded like that or had been influenced in that way. That was one of the things Stephen brought out in some of these songs. I mentioned how he took them in a different direction. We added synth while tracking, which is something I had never thought of, and I heard my songs in a whole new way. It has this 80’s and 90’s vibe while still sounding modern.  It’s all of my favorite things rolled into one. That’s what’s fun about having a producer.

How’s your new EP coming along?

It’s ready! I just have a few more strings to tie and it will be released! Very exciting!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Well we have another single coming out called “Love and War’” on July 12th. Then the EP will be released on August 16th.  The title came to me as sort of an epiphany, like most things do. I knew these songs were going to be on the full length album and was struggling with a name to sum it all up. Then I was at an art show and I found this beautiful pyrite stone in the shape of a heart. If you don’t know, pyrite is also known as fool’s gold. But the really cool thing about this heart is that it looked like it had been shot with a bullet. It had holes and pieces of it missing. It really resonated with me. I had to buy it and I still carry it with me everywhere.  It is actually part of the artwork for the second single and also part of the artwork for the EP which in turn I named “Fool’s Gold”.

What made you want to touch on the themes of love and loss?

I don’t think I have ever written about anything else lol. I write from my own experiences. It’s something that I have to do in order to process emotions. So all of these songs on the EP and the full length album reflect that.

How did you go on balancing both the darkest themes with the much brighter topics?

In general I have always considered my music to be pretty dark. It’s emotionally heavy for sure. I’ve never been one to write happy songs. Because I don’t feel the need to write when I’m happy. It’s always a more therapeutic thing. So with these 4 songs, but in particular “See Me Cry” they have a little bit of an uplifting sound musically even though the lyrics are angry and sad. When I listen to “See Me Cry” I wanna jam out like it’s a girl anthem in a way, but really I was so sad and angry when I wrote it. I think a lot of music is that way. There are so many songs that sound happy and upbeat but when you really listen to the words it’s dark.

How would this EP serve as a sort of sneak peek into your new album?

Since all my songs are about heartbreak and breakups in some way, these 4 songs are in my opinion the poppier sounding to the overall dark record that is coming out. All of the songs on the album are about some sort of goodbye.  It’s going to be interesting putting all of the songs on one album though I think because almost half of the songs have this synth vibe going on while the rest of the songs are darker and more natural sounding with the piano and strings. That was my initial intention for the whole record, but sometimes you get in the studio and things just change and you go with it. I’m actually excited to piece it all together.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! I recently moved down to Fort Lauderdale from Detroit. So during the summer I like to travel back up to Michigan to see my family and friends and play lots of shows up there. I plan on doing a little summer tour at the end of June on my way up to Michigan as well as when I come back down to Florida in September.

What else is happening next in Julie Haven’s world?

Other than working, working and working some more, I am actually looking forward to a little bit of down time. I just want to take a breath and enjoy the summer, kind of like when I was a kid lol. I am really excited to release this music, but it’s been a lot of hard work. I am really hoping that people like what they hear and will be excited to hear the rest of the album when it comes out. And then hopefully I will write some more music after that!

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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