With their debut album Run Fast released last September, 2014 is shaping up to be a busy year for The Julie Ruin with Pitchfork Music Festival, Øyafestivalen, and Primavera Sound ahead of them. After returning home from their tour throughout Australia, the New York-based fivesome’s Carmine Covelli spoke with A Music Blog, Yea? to discuss new releases, who they’ve been listening to, cupcakes, and more.
AMBY: Hello Carmine, thank you for speaking with AMBY today. What have The Julie Ruin been up to lately?
The Julie Ruin: Hello! Well, we just got back from Australia, where we played shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart. It was our first time in Australia as a full band and our first time going to Tasmania, which was amazing.
AMBY: Your rad debut album Run Fast was released back in September. What is the significance behind the record’s title?
The Julie Ruin: No significance other than it being a track name on our album. It seemed most appropriate for a title of this collection of songs. Album titles are difficult to come up with! Nothing seems right so you just have to pick something that you don’t hate.
AMBY: What was the songwriting process like on Run Fast?
The Julie Ruin: It varied from song to song. Mostly we would noodle around in rehearsal until something felt worth pursuing. Then we would develop it and see if it went anywhere. Sometimes it would start with a kernel idea someone would bring in. We would all chime in on various directions it could go and try that. Kathleen would usually start coming up with some kind of melody and then go off and write lyrics later.
AMBY: On the record, what were the band’s biggest influences and inspirations?
The Julie Ruin: I can’t recall influences or inspiration coming from anything outside the band. We were all very excited to be playing together and it was such a varied mix of sounds that each of us brought to each song. I think we inspired each other. I remember that we all made a decision to keep the raw energy of each song intact and to not over produce it. We didn’t want the final sound to be too clean.
AMBY: What’s next as far as releases or recordings go?
The Julie Ruin: We have a few videos we are releasing in the coming weeks (one may come out as this is getting posted) and a 7-inch release, featuring two songs that didn’t make it on the album. We have more unreleased tracks that were recorded in the time leading up to Run Fast but we currently have no plan for them. And we are already starting to write songs for the next album.
AMBY: Who have you been listening to lately?
The Julie Ruin: I always listen to a varied mix of stuff. Depends on what I’m doing. On the subway it’s a mix of Chvrches, Volcano Choir, Blood Orange, Father John Misty, The Holograms, Iceage, Poliça, Solange. The list changes or varies month to month. At home I listen to vinyl of MBV, Brian Eno, ABBA or old comedy albums. In the car (I drive in NYC!) I mostly listen to WNYC news and programs like The Moth or Radiolab, but I’ve been turned on to new bands on SiriusXM radio too. That’s where I first heard Blood Orange.
AMBY: What are some of The Julie Ruin’s favourite things to do outside of music?
The Julie Ruin: We like to talk about and experience anything related to food, music and art. And we like to make each other laugh. Some of us like design and architecture. Some of us really like cupcakes. And we are all animal lovers.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about The Julie Ruin that nobody knows yet?
The Julie Ruin: Yet?? Hmm…I think Rick Rubin doesn’t know he’s producing our next album and Spike Jonze is making a movie we are starring in. Just throwing that out there.
Thank you The Julie Ruin, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout