Having just concluded the band’s first independent North American tour and with yet another record breaking crowdfunding campaign under its belt, Julien-K prepares to take listeners through a future retrospective with an upcoming four CD set.
An InterView with Ryan Shuck, Amir Derakh, and Anthony “Fu” Valcic of Julien-K
By Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
Beginning life as a side project for guitarists Ryan Shuck and Amir Derakh, Julien-K has over the course of more than a decade become one of today’s most prolific and productive musical entities. Encompassing elements of industrial and alternative rock with a decidedly melodic electronic approach, Julien-K’s sound bridges the gap between pop accessibility and underground aesthetics, all driven by the band’s determinedly independent mindset that puts artistic quality and the demands of the fan base above all else. The band has released four full-length albums, several single and remix EP releases, has composed music for movie and video game soundtracks, toured with groups as diverse as Mindless Self Indulgence, The Birthday Massacre, Combichrist, Evanescence, and most recently PIG and Ghostfeeder on the Prey & Obey Tour, and has conducted record breaking crowdfunding campaigns, with the latest being the “future retrospective” four disc Time Capsule. ReGen Magazine spoke with the core lineup of Ryan Shuck, Amir Derakh, and Anthony “Fu” Valcic on the band’s current activities with the Time Capsule release, along with some recollections from the Prey & Obey Tour, touching on the current musical landscape in the band’s home of Los Angeles, some insights into the upcoming new album Harmonic Disruptor, and the lasting inspiration of their departed friend and collaborator Chester Bennington.
Julien-K completed a tour with PIG and Ghostfeeder; are there any thoughts or memories you’d like to share?
: I think the tour was a really, really good move for us. It was a huge lingering question as to whether or not Julien-K could tour and whether or not people would come see us. And then, the fact that we were able to go out with PIG, which is kind of a core act for the industrial genre, I think that gave us the foundation to go out safely and see if people would come and see us too. We had a very, very good turnout at every single show and that was everything that we needed to know that we could actually go out and play, so our fans came out and supported us. They didn’t just support us; we actually had people come up to the merch booth – I mean, Amir did a lot of the merch – and they’d say, ‘We’ll buy everything!’ It was incredible! I had a really cool person literally walk up and give me $100 and said, ‘Hey, buy the band breakfast.’
That is awesome!
: That level of support… every one of our fans was geared up to support us and we had people coming to multiple shows in a row. It was a great success; of course, tempered by the fact that the worst thing in our lives happened while we were out there. It was the absolute worst thing we could’ve imagined, and it’s hard to judge the tour with something like that happening. What would it have been like if that hadn’t happened? I don’t know, but we’d probably have a really, really positive outlook, and even though it was a tough tour that was physically hard and demanding, but having that happen even before the middle was just devastating. We did what we thought our friend would want us to do, so we finished every show and we took care of every fan and we played our hearts out and we flew home in between… that was tough. Overall, if you separate that from the tour, I think the tour was a great success and I think that we’re all kind of heartened that people will actually come see us. That’s fucking cool! And we do have a booking agent and a manger, but it was really just us and our fans.
Derakh: If you were to ask what a highlight of the tour was, actually I think that Montreal was…
Derakh: Yeah, Montreal was really fun, and the crowd was super into it. It wasn’t like the biggest crowd of the tour or anything, but the people were super into it, and it was really fun and kind of surprising. I’d say that for us, the whole northeast was really great for us overall.
Shuck: Yeah, I agree. And of course, the west coast where we’re from.
Julien-K has held yet another record breaking crowdfunding campaign for the four-disc ‘future retrospective.’ What can you tell us about this collection and how it came together?
Derakh: It’s actually 64 songs; that’s the final count. Fu and I have a couple of songs each left to mix, and once they’re done and Ryan’s starting on the liner notes, but once we all that’s done, we’re going to get that thing out as soon as we can. It was a pretty daunting project and it took a couple of years to kind of start finding all of this stuff. Fu and I had to scour every hard drive we could find.
Valcic: It’s exponential! When you think about the level of complexity of just putting together 12 songs for a regular release, but multiply that by almost six, then it goes into every dimension – mixing, mastering, finding the right versions, and things like that and not losing it or keeping it organized…
: It’s been quite a project just to keep it all in one place and organized, and I had to go through recently and try to figure out, because there was so much stuff, how the hell this is all going to fit on four CDs. So much had to be kind of moved around just to make it all fit, and there are just so many things that you’re not going to think about all the time. My whole idea was to get as much stuff on there as possible, and there’s so much more even… it’s madness, it just turns into madness!
Valcic: Why don’t you describe it, what each CD is? CD1 is all demos, right?
Derakh: No, so basically, CD1 is all of the unreleased studio stuff, and what was really interesting about it was that a lot of these songs were ones that didn’t make it on the albums. Some of them were nearly finished or almost finished, and then others were maybe… maybe we didn’t like the chorus, or we still needed to work on the bridge…
Valcic: The lyrics for the second verse weren’t done…
: Yeah, or Ryan never got to finish the vocals, and things like that. And now looking back and listening to them, I’d go, ‘Yeah, I totally see why this didn’t work on the first record or the second record or the third or the fourth,’ but the funny thing was that once we focused on them with this new idea of what we were doing with all of these songs, all of a sudden, they came together really quickly, which was weird. Some of these songs we had been trying to finish for years, and we’d write another chorus or another verse, and we’d think, ‘Oh God, this song’s never
going to work!’ But once we had a project for all of this stuff, everything came together so fast and once we focused on it and decided what it was…
Valcic: It came together in the same way that a real album comes together.
Derakh: It’s literally another album, and it’s actually more cohesive than I think we would’ve imagined. There isn’t a feeling of, ‘Oh, this song is so far that way, or this way,’ because these songs have been written and made over many years, all the way back to the first album. We have a sound now, so everything kind of works. I’m sure there will be some songs that people will like a lot more than others, as usual, but it’s like a whole new record, and that’s the first CD.
The next CD was what we determined would be all of the demos, so it goes from the extreme of one end to the other, which is all of these raw demos. It’s literally material from even before
the first record, like songs that never got used. And some of these demos are full songs that nobody’s ever heard and never got past the demo phase. There are some that people have heard, and people are always asking us about the MySpace demos, which was the first Julien-K page with me and Ryan putting up three or four songs… those versions are on here, and they’re full songs, and most of them all have different parts or things that nobody’s ever heard. I think the original version of ‘Kick the Bass’…
Shuck: Do you mean the Ryan Shuck initial crappy programming version?
Derakh: No, no, not that far, but like I said, it turns into madness at some point that this could’ve been a 16 CD set. We’ve all listened to this stuff, and I’ve made some cuts and last minute changes to the new versions, because we’d discovered something like, ‘Oh my god, I just found this other version, and it’s so cool and way better, so let’s use this one!’ Stuff like that, and I don’t even know how many versions are on there, but it’s a lot!
The third disc is live stuff. One of the highlights of that is that when we were on tour with Evanescence for the first album, we were recording every night. We ended up playing this show in… where was it, Montana?
Shuck: Was it Boise?
: Boise, Idaho? I don’t know. Yeah, I think so. It was some random place, but it was like the best show. Seriously, the crowd was insane, and we literally have that whole concert on this disc, which nobody’s heard. It’s got the original lineup from the Death to Analog
tour, and there are some other in-studio recordings, like the SDS Sessions
we did in Hamburg, which we’d only released on vinyl before, so now people will have that on CD. There are also some acoustic tracks, and there are actually two songs that we did with Chester at a memorial. We got permission to use those from him just this year, so there are a couple of songs where Chester is singing Julien-K songs.
Shuck: It was probably the best performance of me and Chester together ever… the best vocal execution we’ve ever done. We’d already done a lot of Dead by Sunrise, and he’d performed with Julien-K many, many times, and I just watched and listened to it, and holy shit! It was our finest performance that we’ve ever done together vocally. It actually made me cry for the rest of the night after seeing and hearing that again.
: So we’ve got that and it’s a mixture of acoustic, in-studio, and actual live material making up the third disc. The last disc is kind of a hodgepodge of stuff, and there are actually some rough mixes, and you’ll be able to hear some of the original demos of the songs and how they transformed. I know that ‘Strange Invisible’ was one of the songs where we have maybe three or four different versions, like you can actually hear the original idea, which is totally
different – this jam instrumental thing. And then it turned into another song called ‘All This from the Sky,’ which had a completely different chorus, and then you’ll hear the next version… so there are a few songs where you’ll be able to hear the whole progression from beginning to end, and I included these rough mixes because I thought it would be fun for people to hear where we left the song when we finally decided to mix, which is kind of interesting. And then there are some other bonus remixes and things like that. It’s a lot of stuff!
You had talked a moment ago about the Julien-K sound, even though every album has its own character. One could hear We’re Here With You and think it was very different from Death to Analog, or the same thing with California Noir being different. But when I saw the band live and heard those songs from across those albums, there is that sense of a cohesive sound and that each album is not so different and that Julien-K has that identifiable sound.
: We actually spend some time, like if you weren’t here, we’d be sitting on this couch and actually discuss our arc, our story, our trajectory. Right now with Harmonic Disruptor
kind of being in the foreground, we are looking at our entire body of work, at all of our fans and what they love, and what we love, and we are looking at the band as one big book, one big body of work and how we can flesh the whole thing out. We don’t ever want to let our fans down, and we always want to push the boundaries, but we always want to go back and make sure that we hit the tones and the sounds that are fans love. We use that as our guide. We want to be authentic and make music that our fans love and that we love, and that guides everything we do, and the more music we put out, we realize that we really do want to think about our entire story. That’s why you heard some kind of weird continuity in the live set, because it’s all slowly been evolving from Orgy to Dead by Sunrise, and we’ve been able to stick with Julien-K the longest and we’ve been able to look at this as a long term project. That’s forced us to think what’s the story going to be? How is Game of Thrones
going to end? (Laughter) I think that the interesting thing with Harmonic Disruptor
is that we just had a new element added; we just went through something crazy, and maybe using it lyrically – and maybe even sonically – to express some of that, and I think that’s yet another way we can be authentic and talk to our fans and I think that that’s another way that Harmonic Disruptor
will work with all of the other albums we’ve done while still pushing the limits.
: One of the things with We’re Here With You
is that it was a little bit of a curveball after the first record, and I’m sure a lot of fans were like, ‘What? This is super dancey.’ I think we really just wanted to make sure that people understood that we are going to do that. We are
going to throw curveballs. ‘Okay, we know you really love the first record, and we get it, but we’re probably not just going to make that first record forever. We are going to try other stuff, and some of it may not work, and some of it you may not like, but maybe you will.’ Surprisingly, the second record still sells really well, and I actually thought that it would’ve thrown people more. But it still sells very consistently and it’s a very big seller for us, so a lot of people liked it. The darker people, of course they like ‘Nights of Future Past’ and things like that, but it definitely was a brighter record, more electro, a little less of an industrial record, but I’m glad that we tried it and all of that still is there even going into bother chapters of California Noir
. I think you can still hear the electro sound of We’re Here With You
, but we thought, ‘Maybe we need to merge it a little more and make it a little darker while still having that element.’ I think California Noir
‘s two chapters came out really well because we had a lot more to work with after doing the first two records, and there was a little palette to pick from and allowed us to work on something that we probably never would’ve done had we not done those records the way that we did. Harmonic Disruptor
will be another chapter in that and it’s definitely going to be interesting. It’s going to be different, but it will retain those elements of things from the past.
Shuck: I think of We’re Here With You as a postcard from the first time that we really toured the world together; it’s sort of the result of that, and it’s also our first attempt to reach out worldwide with our music. We chose topics and subjects that reflected world travel and even the name of the album is reflective of the fact that we were going international.
, after leaving the States and going all over the world, was when we sort of came back and claimed where and who we are – we’re the fucking California goth band, the darksiders of southern California. I think with Harmonic Disruptor
, we’re already toying with different means and I don’t want to give too much away, but trying to take the concepts even with the abbreviated name and turn it into Julien-K 2.0 or 10.0. We just want to magnify
all of the things that we’ve come up with and smash people with it, really disrupt with what people think about us, our music, and everything! We’ve learned from a lot of the bands that we love, like Nine Inch Nails – if you don’t love Nine Inch Nails, then I don’t like you. (Laughter) That being said, I don’t think I ever want to do anything like what they’re doing right now, like where you get like one fantastic song that they just came out with, but two albums of like Twin Peaks
music. Dude, I don’t want to walk in the desert. I want to give people our fans solid pieces of work that they’ll love
. I want to give them 10 songs that are fucking songs. We aren’t really interested in self-absorbed ‘finding yourself’ kind of experimentation. We like to experiment and take the aspects that we know people love and we want to make it even better. Hopefully, that will delight our fans because that’s what we want to do.
Derakh: And Time Capsule is sort of a closer before we move on. We’ve had all of this stuff that has been building up for so long, and I think now’s the time to do this project, and it will be a cool tie-in to the next record. It was really made just for our fans; I mean, not that all the records aren’t, but this was really being made specifically for them. We’ve been asked for so many years about so many different things – we used to have a whiteboard up here in the studio with the song titles and things we were working on, and in the early days, there were a lot of songs that never went anywhere. And people just won’t let it go! ‘Hey, whatever happened to that one song that I heard you play that one time?’ They won’t let it go!
Fans can be persistent.
Valcic: Yeah, it’s pretty funny to think they’ll see the whiteboard in a video and zoom in on it, and ask us, ‘Hey, what about that song?’
: How long can you ignore that? At some point, we wanted to give them what they want, and this was a perfect way to do all that. The other thing is the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
game score that we did and people asking us if we were ever going to release that. So we came up with the idea of getting a stretch goal that was suggested to us by a bunch of fans, and they’d say, ‘Well, why don’t you offer this if you get this much,’ and I thought, ‘Wow, you guys are doing our job for us! That is a great idea!’ So we all talked about it, and we agreed that it was a good idea. Everybody who has contributed to the campaign will get this game score for free as an included bonus CD. We really do listen, and we obviously can’t do everything that everybody asks, but a lot of times, things come along and it’s a great idea or suggestion and it really helps us with all of these campaigns when they help us to give them what it is that they want to have.
Julien-K hails from Los Angeles, and while the city’s always been a cultural and musical hotspot, it does seem like there’s been a surge of bands like 3TEETH, Youth Code, Health, Battle Tapes, 9Electric, The Black Queen, and others. What is going on in L.A. right not that seems to be energizing these edgy electronic and alternative bands?
Derakh: That’s a good question because there are a couple of other bands like Drab Majesty, High Functioning Flesh, and the bands on the Dais label are putting that out, and they’re based in L.A., and I think they even have Psychic TV on the roster. But you’re right, there is a lot of stuff happening right now and it’s pretty cool. I don’t have an explanation for why it’s happening, but I’m happy that it is.
While the three of you have been the core of Julien-K, you’ve had a regular contingent of collaborators and band members, and Bidi Cobra from Grey Saints joined you in Fu’s place on the tour.
: We actually chose Bidi because he can actually write; he’s a talented writer as you’ve heard in Grey Saints. He really can do some significant creative output, and I think for us to stay relevant, cool, and modern, we always want to add elements to our foundation that help to push us and bring in some new ideas, and maybe even some new songs to the table. Another collaborator has been Eric Stoffel from Decode Radio; he’s kind of been like a shadow writer in this band for quite awhile. He’s honestly come up with some songs and ideas that have really helped us. He also annoys the living fuck out of us because he takes stuff out of the studio without our permission, and does all of this shit that you’d expect a nine-year-old to do. (Laughter) But yeah, he sent Amir and I something like six song ideas yesterday that we have to go through, and we may end up using only a couple of pieces here or there, but I think for about three or four years, he’s been a shadow conspirator. He’s got a real job, so I don’t think that he’d ever go on tour with us, but he’s at that level where if he were free-balling like us out in the wilderness, he could actually come out and play with us. He’s a very talented writer, and he’s very prolific.
: What’s cool though, and this is the most important thing, is that there is a stylistic thing with Eric and with Bidi, and I’m working with Bidi helping him to finish up his stuff. He likes the same kind of stuff that we like, and that makes it really easy to work with him. Eric likes a lot of different and eclectic things, and while we have a lot in common as well, it’s more modern music with him; Bidi likes more of the classic EBM, goth, new wave, and we like all of it, so it just gives us other outlets with people to share common ground stylistically. I think we’re probably going to write some cool stuff with Bidi because we’re definitely on the same page, and he’s very talented, plays a lot of instruments and can sing too. It’s useful and we’re fortunate to have so many talented people that we’ve become friends with and can associate with. We’ve always been open to that from the very beginning – collaborating – it just makes what we do better. If it was just me and Ryan all the time, or just the three of us… I mean, we write good songs together, and every so often, we’ll knock one out of the park. ‘Okay, we did good, guys. High five!’ That’s every once in awhile, but we don’t knock it out of the park every time, so it’s nice to have these other avenues to really explore things and find songs that we probably wouldn’t have come up with on our own, and to have someone else there to put there input in either vocally or whatever.
Shuck: I think in another day and age, if the economics of music were different or if things were different in general, we’d probably be a six or seven member band. We want to be in the same room with a bunch of guys playing and getting a lot of influence and stuff, but unfortunately, modern times demand that we really are kind of three producers/songwriters and we run a creative collective.
Derakh: Trent Reznor is lucky in that way, obviously. He’s at a level that he can bring in these extremely talented guys that each guy on his own…
Shuck: Yeah, each guy could have a band or even does.
Derakh: It’s kind of the same thing for us, except that we can’t really tour it… yet. It’d be awesome if we could – have Bidi, Fu, and I’d actually like to have two drummers! And we could even have Eric or whoever. It would be amazing!
One of the most amazing parts of the tour was Galen Waling, your drummer. I honestly don’t know how he was able to drum for both you and PIG every night on that tour.
Shuck: Yeah, he’s a monster! Our joke is that he’s the LED light bulb of the tour – high output, and he just fucking crushes it every night. Not only that, but he’s got a great attitude. I mean, no complaints ever came from that guy.
You’ve had several different drummers over the years, but has there ever been a consideration to have Galen or Eli (James) or Frank (Zummo) play on any recordings?
: Well, the thing is that we don’t record drums. We’ve programmed them, so everything that you hear on the album has been programmed by Fu and Amir. We do have Eli in and if Galen’s around, we have him come over – and right behind the computer is a little drum pad. We might have them play parts, but it really just gets programmed in. So, it’ll have their flavor and flair, but at the end of the day, we’re not big time rich rock stars. We’re producers, songwriters, and live performers and we have a big group of creative people. We’re lucky that we’ve been doing this for over 20 years and performing live at the highest level, and when we get together in a room with live instruments, we actually sometimes sound better than then album. We’re really lucky for that. That’s just fucking cool, man!
Derakh: Yeah, I think we’ve been doing it long enough that it’s not even a question anymore. We just kind of know that when we can get stuff working here, it’s going to work and it’s going to be exciting live. It’s very rare that we get a song where we’re like…
Shuck: ‘Wow! That sucks live!’
Derakh: On the first record, it was a little bit tricky because we were still figuring stuff out.
Shuck: Yeah, we didn’t know what we were doing.
Derakh: There were a few songs like ‘Stranded’ that we tried and it was too early in the game, but most of it worked really well, and we’d never played it live before the record. That’s pretty much how it goes. Occasionally, there are songs that we fine tune live, like ‘Strange Invisible’ or ‘California Noir.’ We played those in their early incarnations and realized that they needed work, and then we went back and rewrote the chorus or whatever. But usually, we kind of know, which is interesting. It would be kind of fun, honestly, once some of the songs are written, if we had the ability to go in and record some live drums, but most of the time if someone’s around and wants to participate, they’re welcome. If someone’s around and they’ve got ideas, then we’re always open to try stuff. It may or may not work, but we’re always open to see what happens. It’s fun!
What sort of routine do you go through to stay in shape, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally for a tour like the one you just did?
: That was really hard because that tour didn’t allow for any kind of personal time. Many, many days of the tour, there was no prep time, and there was no time to get your throat working or have hot tea. Sometimes I just had to gargle warm throat coat for awhile, and it takes like an hour sometimes. We were pulling up to these venues for 3:00pm load-ins or 2:00pm load-ins, and I had no fucking
idea why we’re loading our gear in at 2:00pm! I have no fucking clue! I investigated later and I found out that there is no reason. (Laughter) But there really was just no time. On a bigger tour, we really do have a routine, and I definitely have a routine. Before a show, I really try to not talk. I try to get away from people, do vocal exercises, and I drink warm tea, and keep it in the back of my throat, put my head up, stretch, and all of these things that are the bare minimum. But I’m sure the reason that I couldn’t talk on this tour was I had not one day of recovery. I didn’t have a day off, we didn’t have time to sleep or anything, and that was the toughest part.
Derakh: We knew that this tour would be hard going into it, but it ended up being way harder than we could’ve expected. There really was nothing we could do except beast it out and get fucking through it. That was it!
Shuck: There were a few days when I literally could not talk or make words come out of my mouth, and then I had to find an octave in the song that I could sing, somewhere where my voice wasn’t torn up. I don’t really like doing it, but fuck, we that’s what I did.
Derakh: Yeah, talking really wears your voice out, and my voice gets worn out very easily. So, I don’t talk that much. He talks a lot, but he can actually talk quite a bit and not wear out his voice. I would never be able to do what he does – my voice would be shot. I really don’t know how he was singing some of that stuff because I certainly couldn’t have done it. But I’m not a singer.
Shuck: Honestly, Chester was a massive influence on me and that guy literally pulled the plane out of a nosedive so many times onstage, so many times feeling like shit… I’ve been to Europe with Chester on a press tour, and we did like 13 interviews a day and we were both jetlagged as fuck. We were both so miserable that we’d literally both run to the other room and start crying because we were so tired. Then he’d get up, pat me on the shoulder, and say, ‘All right, let’s get back into this. This time, you talk and I’ll chill, and then I’ll talk and you chill.’ He had been an inspiration when he was alive, and he’s even more of an inspiration now that he’s gone. I channel that and I thought about that and just thought, ‘Well, we’re not going to cancel the show, and I can’t talk, but I’m going to fucking figure out a way to sing!’ I learned that from him. He fucking sang every night. He just did it. He just fucking did it. Sometimes I think that’s the key, to just fucking do it. Believe me, there were some nights on this tour that I was like, ‘Uh, guys, I don’t know if this is going to happen.’ I mean, you heard me. I was like, ‘I don’t need a day off. I need to go to the ER or to the hospital.’ But we did it; we pulled it off.
Derakh: You sang even with a cold!
Shuck: Oh yeah, I sang with fluid behind my eardrum, and I couldn’t hear – my ear was swollen, almost closed. But again, I give credit to Chester. That was all his influence. I think in the Death to Analog days, I would’ve said, ‘Guys, guess what? We’re not fucking playing today!’ But I think that one of Chester’s lessons has resonated with me and will for the rest of my life, and that is that you play the fucking show.
: I have to give credit to everybody on that tour too. That was a rough tour, and not because of the band’s not getting along or anything like that. Physically, that was brutal, and some of the guys definitely pulled a lot more weight than we did and had to put up with a bunch of stuff. Z.Marr’s van got broken into twice, I don’t know how many flat tires we had, but we had multiple flats and blowouts – from what I understand, that might happen once or twice, but we had like seven or something. It was rough, and even the road dogs were like, ‘Man, I’ve been on a lot of tours, but this has been pretty rough.’ So, hats off to everybody on the tour for doing such a great job and making it happen because, honestly, I wasn’t even sure sometimes if we were even going to make some of those gigs; there were a couple that we almost didn’t make.
Obviously, with so much hardship and as loaded a question as this might be, will you do it again? Will we see another Julien-K tour?
Shuck: Yes! We’re going to do it differently. One thing we had to prove was do we have a market? We proved it with IndieGoGo and our fundraising – we are close to $50,000 on our latest campaign. But the thing that we didn’t know was if there really fans in every city that will come out for us? Now we have a really, really good sample of what it’s like out there for us. We’re a small band, but we really do have some fucking diehard fans that will come out and see us, and if we go out there and do a good job, they’ll be there. There are some business, routing, and logistical things that I want to do differently, but we are definitely going to be back out on the road again.
Is there anything you’d like to say to close out?
Derakh: We’re starting to get some of the perks out right now and doing a little bit of business.
Shuck: It gets a little repetitive, but we always have to say how grateful we are to the fans and the people like you who actually care.
Valcic: It’s incredible because I’m going through all these lists and organizing the perks and stuff, and seeing the same names buying every perk and they’ve been there for every campaign, and I can almost list these names by memory of 50-100 people that have supported us and keeping coming back. It’s pretty amazing!
Derakh: And we have a lot of new fans too!
Shuck: Oh yeah, the PIG tour brought us a lot of new fans. It worked out brilliantly, and we had over $8,000 of new fans – that’s including what they bought on tour. When I say buy or talk dollars or financial stuff, all that means is that they’re supporting music that they love. We’re not splitting the money to buy a Mercedes each or anything like that. We’re keeping this thing alive, and the thing that struck us was that these people are investing in us, and because of that, the investment paid off with an actual tour where we got to come meet them and they got to hear the music live. I feel like there’s a really cool, positive, synergistic cycle going on right now – our fans know that when they invest in us, that investment is going pay off. We’re going to come out and see you, we’re going to put out products that you love, and we’re thinking of you the whole time. It’s turned into a really virtuous cycle, and we’re really grateful and super happy to have been able to pull off our first independent tour in the United States with their support.
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Photography courtesy of Julien-K
Live photography by Tabetha Patton (MizTabby)