Last time we caught up with Gold Coast singer / bassist / songwriter Julia Rose, she’d finished up a massive tour and was in the studio working on a new album for 2016 release. Never one to disappoint, she has delivered in spades, with her crowd funded EP Romeo now available. A meditation on all things love, Julia’s third album takes her operatic gypsy stylings to a new level of complexity. We checked in with the hardworking songstress to get her thoughts on this latest endeavour.
Last time we spoke you’d had a big 2014 and were looking forward to a rest in 2015. It seems silly to ask with the album coming out, but did you get a break?
I’d have to say 2015 was the biggest year of my life, both personally and musically. We spent a lot of time in the studio trying out new sounds, doing different versions of vocal takes and most exciting is the re-entry of the electric guitar which has featured in a couple of tracks. My guitarist of 14 years (Gold Coast muso legend Felicity Lawless) and I, used to play in a hard funk/soul/ska band together (Anarchist Duck & Bertha Control) and it was then that I really fell in love with her electric guitar. So we mucked around with that sound and together with my old mate and fellow Duckie Anders Cassidy on drums, we really sealed the deal. My producer Guy kept the ball rolling and was on quality control. His favourite thing to do was throw in a suggestion for a new vocal line, he’d ‘sing’ it to me then well… I’d interpret it… after asking him to repeat it a few times for my personal entertainment, especially the high As.
I love the EP. It’s chilled, heartfelt and gorgeously produced. Tell me about the inspiration behind the single Romeo…
Thanks for the praise. The inspiration for the track is Love. Love is the answer to everything. I was inspired when I met my partner who I fell in love with 4 years ago, and am still hooked. Love is love, love is beautiful, love is everywhere, if we look for it.
Can you introduce us to some of the musicians on the album? The violinist stood out for me particularly.
The violinist is my little sister Louise Cottone, she used to play for the Queensland Orchestra and I stole her, what an angel! My guitarist is none other than Felicity Lawless and the drums were played by Anders Cassidy and Dan Hitzke. The choir was sung by my old band mates Bertha Control including my other sister CC the Cat (Claire Cottone).
I’m guessing a decent chunk of this year will be taken up with touring the album. Any ideas where you’re headed and for how long?
We launched the EP at Brisbane Powerhouse which was totally excellent, we had live art by Rebecca Cunningham, and launched the film clip for Romeo by Damian Lang. It was such a huge success and the band was amazing. We have a string of release shows throughout Brisbane, Gold Coast (NightQuarter 23/4) and NSW. Then Human Records label are heading back to Japan mid-year. It’s not every year you launch an EP, we are so pumped!!
What do you like to do in your spare time (if you get any!)?
In my spare time I grow vegies and spend time in the garden, take my dogs for a walk and swim in the creek, travel (I love the beach), and I love getting addicted to shows with strong female leads that totally kick butt. Very occasionally, I practice.
Anything else about the EP you’d like readers to know about?
I meant what I said about love, and not just the love you have for your partner, your folks, your sibling or child, but love for all people in all walks of life. I believe no child belongs in a detention centre and real Australians welcome refugees. Most of us came here generations ago as refugees/migrants from distant lands and my family, 100 years on, are still grateful for the freedom we have and the space Australia offers. I give thanks to the Traditional Owners of this land both past and present for welcoming us all here. We are One Mob, we are Love, we are Music.
Check out juliarosemusic.com for music and clips