JULIEN-K was originally formed in 2003 by Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck from ORGY. Later on Brandon Belsky (bass), Elias Andra (drums), and Anthony ‘Fu’ Valcic (sampling, programming) joined. The band’s first album, « Death To Analog », was released on March 2010 and was followed by a European tour. We used the opportunity of their coming to Paris to interview Amir Derakh.
JK’s debut album, « Death To Analog », was released in 2009 in the US and early 2010 in Europe. How has it been received so far by the public ? Do you ever check the critics ?
Amir : It is nice when the « critics » like our work but honestly we don’t care about that. We DO care what our fans, friends and peers think but mostly we try to make albums that we like and believe in. Or there is no point. People who like us usually love us.
The album was mixed by Tim Palmer who worked with THE CURE, HIM and U2 among others. How was working with him ?
Amir : Tim is a good friend and very talented producer, mixer and writer. We always have a lot of fun with him ! He is very open to ideas and easy to work with but isn’t a pushover. He always makes our songs sound better.
Can you describe your music-making process ?
Amir : For me the song ideas and direction usually start with a concept or idea no music usually. Then the music comes to me as it unfolds in my head. Ryan on the other hand is more of a singer / songwriter type of writer and Fu just jumps in and makes both of our ideas better by writing parts and programming. Elias, our drummer has also been helping on this new album with the drum programming.
You just finished your first European tour. How was it ? Do you have any funny stories to share ?
Amir : We loved touring in EU ! It was a great experience and we can’t wait to come back. As far as stories, well, let’s not talk about the port at Calais, haha !
Come on, tell me more.
Amir : Calais story would have to be told in person.
Hum… I was quite surprised to see JK play in a tiny club in Paris, France the other day. I heard you can play in medium-sized venues to arenas in the US.
Amir : Well, we just started touring in EU as JULIEN-K so I’m not surprised we did a small club in Paris. Honestly, that club was the smallest place I’ve EVER played in my life, haha ! But we had a great time and we really wanted to play in Paris. So we did what we could.
I think it’s good for bands to have the opportunity to play in a variety of different sized venues.
What is the major difference between playing big venues and small ones in terms of performance ?
Amir : They both have good and bad things. Small clubs are well, small so you don’t have enough room on stage and the sound usually isn’t as good. But you get real close to the fans and that’s always fun. Big clubs are usually very easy to play.
Now that the album is out and the tour’s over. What are you up to ? I know you’re quite busy. 😉
Amir : Mainly working on getting the new JK album done so we can get it out early next year. Plus cranking out more Circuit Freq club tunes before the end of the year. I’m also DJing (as Circuit Freq) all weekend and probably throughout the next few months.
Any last words ?
Amir : Thanks for the support on our EU tour and we’ll see you as soon as the new album is done. Please buy our music !