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Kitty Zine Vol. 2

Interview with Alex Brady, Dillon Lee, and Keyan Zand

Ever since I heard their first track ‘Flutter’, I have only grown more interested in 

Julie’s sound and presence as a band as they continue to grow and push sonic 

boundaries. The melding of shoegaze, grunge, and noise offers audiences with 

something genuinely unique, that has found them at the forefront for modern 

shoegaze. Having been a fan of the band for so long, I was so excited to be able to chat to them and ask some questions.

Ziek: Who are you all, and where are you from?


Dillon: Dillon, Keyan, Alex. Me and Keyan are from Lake Forest and Alex is from Garden Grove in Orange County.

Ziek: I think the most exciting aspect of Julie is the modern approach, and rework of classic genres like shoegaze, post-punk, and grunge. Who were some of the formative artists you listened to that inspired this emergence of genre defying sound?

Was this something you were intentionally looking to create?


Keyan: I think like any band, we combine our interests of our favourite genres; whether it was intentional is a bit hard to say, we just want to make music with the same sort of emotion. Some formative artist’s include, Nirvana, my bloody valentine, Sonic Youth… stuff in that vein .


Ziek: Visually the band has quite a distinct image and presence. Are there any particular visual artists that you’re into that influenced this imagery? 


Dillon: The inspiration for our imagery doesn’t come too much from particular artists; certain visual aesthetics we like give off a feeling that matches the type of music we create. In short, we aspire to portray our aesthetic visually as much as we do sonically.


Ziek: I heard somewhere that the name Julie came from a Super Mario username. Is that true? 


Dillon: Yeah, in the beginning days of the band, we would practice on tiny bedroom amps and electronic drum kits in the kitchen of my condo. For us, it was just a weekend pastime, so when we were tired of playing we would play smash bros together. In the game you can create little usernames and I made one called “ju?ie”. Keyan thought that should be the band name and thankfully we decided to take out the “?”. 

Ziek: I think the pg.4 double single release was one of the best releases of 2022, and I think it really showed a mature evolution of the band's sound. How did y’all go about recording that track, what was the production process like? How was recording with Sonny DiPerri?


Keyan: Thank you! The recording process started with around 3 weeks of rehearsal; we planned on tracking the basis of them live at East West, so it took a bit of time before hand. most of the vocals/guitars were then overdubbed at Secret Hand for a more careful approach. Recording with Sonny has been amazing, prior to working with him, we had always had him on our list. He happened to catch our opening set for diiv last year (thanks colin), and hit us before we could even ask. We’ve been recording music with him ever since. 


Ziek: I’ve seen on social media that you’ve done noise/art sets before. Is that something that’s influential in the music you listen to? Are we ever going to hear a recorded version of any of the noise stuff?


Alex: Watching a noise set for me is a lot different than listening to it or watching a recording, and we really enjoyed the experience of getting to play our instruments and be immersed in sound with a group of people also willing to experience that with us. We definitely have some ideas and intent to create noise tracks in the future, but are struggling to decide how to translate the live feeling into a recorded environment.


Ziek: ‘Flutter’ seems to be the first track of yours out on streaming platforms that got big. What did the success of the track do for you as a band? Was it the track you were expecting to work out for y’all?


Alex: ‘Flutter’ was the first song we had ever released or recorded, and its success was something quite unexpected for us. We were just at least 1,000 plays so it wouldn’t say >1000 on Spotify lol. At the time we just thought it was our best song and we wanted to put something out we all felt proud of. ‘Flutter’ getting as much attention as it did has pretty much changed everything for us and we are very grateful for it.


Ziek: Have y’all been creating much stuff recently? Can we expect to hear some new music this year? What’s been the most exciting part of making music right now for you as a group?


Alex: We are in album writing mode currently and have lots of new music we are excited to share. Unsure as to whether or not we will have new stuff in 2023 but we will try! Most exciting part is feeling how much we have grown together musically, and learning to refine the things we like about our own writing styles; we’ve been creating things we are excited about that we never thought we could have created just a few years ago. 

Birthday Cards: doris | Interview with Ziek
By Ella Avni

Noisy, nostalgic and nestled on the outskirts of Newcastle, doris creates a 

true mixing pot of spoken word, emo-folk and noise within the seven songs in their EP Birthday Cards- front person Ziek pushing themself to be more  vulnerable through the writing, recording and performance of the EP.


The opening track of the EP Teeth is an acoustic conversation about the 

importance and difficulty of being vulnerable and trusting around your partner. Where pulling out your teeth is “a moment of vulnerability, I'm choosing to go through this pain, but I'll put that in your hands and allow myself to be 

vulnerable around you.”.


 “I think ‘Teeth’ stemmed from talking with my partner Maeve, about the both 

of us having pretty crippling anxiety, and working together to be able to cater 

towards each other when we're both having those difficult moments.”


Although ‘Teeth’ is mixed and produced like a single, the Alex G inspired track 

introduces the EP perfectly, setting the foundations of growth and vulnerability 

in queer youth that the rest of the EP is built upon. 


 “But we wanted something like that on the EP where it was an acoustic guitar with the rest of the band still. I think we just went with teeth ‘cause we knew it could be mixed and produced like a single. That song just, took a while for it to come to I guess because of that.”


‘Dogs Can’t Talk’ confronts the idea of being a bystander, following Ziek’s personal experience about their inability to speak up for themselves, and the disappointment which rises when those you trust don’t speak up for you.


“I couldn't translate those specific feelings- The main one I could translate though was the inability to speak for myself in certain moments. Which is what ‘Speak For Me’ is about as well,”


“but I think at some point it lost that meaning because someone pointed out it could be about furries… anyways”


The fourth track on the EP, ‘Speak For Me’ carries this sentiment further, 'Speak For Me’ is a reflection on the people I had around me and then cutting people out that couldn't speak for me.”

‘December (Went For Too Long)’’s incessant build up and then complete breakdown at the end of the track acts as the volta of the EP, setting the tone for the second half of the EP.


'December’ stemmed from the idea that the end of a relationship is a super difficult time when it gets stale with someone and it's just constant fighting or disagreements and you can't find a way to connect anymore. It's supposed to be a triumphant ending of this big 

build-up, all this frustration in three-quarters of the song and then the end of the song is just something completely different to finish it out and act as a final release of everything.”


A stream-of-consciousness approach to lyricism continues into ‘Dirt Pool’, focusing on moving on from your past self and accepting what is to come.


‘Dirt Pool’ was borne from the experience of thinking you’ve seen your best friend die in front of you, seeing him lying face down in a ‘dirt pool’. 


A chilling composition of purely intuitive mind vomit lyrics and a noisy almost dreamlike instrumental forced me to be transported into the passenger seat of the car Ziek speaks of, not sure who, or what, I’m looking at anymore, not knowing who or what I am anymore.


“I sort of treated that song as more of the idea of moving on from your past self and growing as a person.”


Change and stagnancy are key topics Ziek discusses, with the line in the second verse in ‘Dirt Pool’,  “I could cut off my hair and be a boy again, or I could grow out my hair and be your boy again” exploring Ziek’s attachment of physical appearance to identity.


“I had long hair for such a big period of my adolescence, and as cliché as it is, I cut it off and I felt completely different afterwards.”


‘Birthday Cards’ is a complete outburst of emotional release, which was mirrored by Ziek growing their hair out and then cutting it off when the EP was finished.


Then we’re thrown straight into the mayhem of Squarehead Deadbeat, an homage to Ziek’s punk past self, “It's just about my dad, calling him a square head deadbeat was a super 15-year-old punk move for me. I think that line was written in a school book somewhere for years.”


The closing track of the EP, ‘Birthday Cards’ is an explosion of reflection, as Ziek takes an opportunity on this track to tell their story with abandonment through spoken word.


“The spoken word section was my opportunity to say everything that I needed to in one  moment. And if I got it wrong, then it would be wrong forever and I would never get to change it.”


The writing process itself was a journey of reflection, with producer and friend Caleb assisting Ziek in being vulnerable on this track.


“Just because in the same way that Teeth is talking about allowing myself to be vulnerable to people, ‘Birthday Cards’ was the most vulnerable I’ve been.” 


“I think recording it is one thing, but for a while we had to stop playing shows 'cause I just couldn't play it live. It was way too much for me to deal with on stage.”


Despite the difficulty of this performance, Ziek notes the impact that the song’s reception has had on them,  “to an extent, I can deal with the anxiety it causes me, because I’m being given an opportunity to express myself, and other people are digesting it in their own way so it makes me feel okay about it.”


The chilling sax and spoken word on Birthday Cards is a clear display of doris’ inspiration from Title Fight, Black Country New Road and Ovlov,connecting with the genre’s creative process of being inspired by the ‘nothing’ around them.


“Being in the city is good for creativity in the sense that everyone is there and you can go to a studio at any point, collaborate with anyone you want. And it's good for executing that creativity, but to actually sit down and take in a specific moment, where you are and just exist, is difficult in the city 'cause you're always bombarded with just a bunch of stimulants.”


The nostalgic and almost liminal feel of both Maitland and the feelings of abandonment explored in this EP are perfectly encapsulated in the EP’s art and accompaniments, with handwritten text and doodles scattered throughout the related imagery of the EP. 

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