Julia Free
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Julia Free

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see review at http:/www.southboundbeat.com
INTERVIEWED BY BRIAN LUSH
http://www.rockwired.com

You don't hear too many voices like that of JULIA FREE in the current pop/rock landscape. Come to think of it, you don't hear music like hers, period - and that's unfortunate. Her CD 'STRANGE CASE OF EUPHORIA' is an enchanting listen with standout tracks such as the positively chiming GIRL I KNEW, the haunting and relevant TURN THE SOIL with it's chorus 'That was a rainy day in America.' , and the urgent THESE GAMES. Producer, SPIKE MARLIN's sparse production puts JULIA at the forefront with her whimsical lyrics and ethereal coo.

JULIA had some show dates in the Northwest. As soon as she got back into town, ROCKWIRED had an interview with her. Here is how it went.

How did your shows in Seattle go.
They were great. I'm a big fan of Port Town and I had the chance to see a friend of mine for a day too. They are just little places but I played. I sub sometimes for a friend of mine when he can't make his dates.

So this wasn't your music.
No. It's a cover band. They do jazz music. They're a professional band. My music sometimes makes money.

STRANGE CASE OF EUPHORIA is a great CD. How do you feel about it?
I love it. It was lot of work. It took me about a year of off-and-on work. I worked on about 20 songs at home and then I went into a studio. These songs just came out of me for a lot of really powerful reasons.

What were some of those reasons?
Well, are there any songs that you wanted to talk about in particular?

GIRL I KNEW.
That's kind of a song I wrote about losing your identity. I went through an illness right after I came off the road and I had to be out of commission for a couple of years, so it was kind of about that and also maybe in lovelife too.

What illness, if you don't mind me asking?
I had cancer.

You said 'had'. You don't have it any more.
I'm all well , it's been about five years. I'm totally healthy. It was bad and it runs in my family.

You grew up in Manhattan Beach California. Did you grow up in a musical family?
My mom was pretty musical. She used to run the local paper and blast opera out of our window. I grew up around alot of music and arts and crafts.It was a pretty liberal background. Did a lot of skateboarding as my bio says.

Your bio also says that as a child you put your own spin on nursery rhymes. Would you care to explain?
I did. Well I used to put funny lyrics to the FARMER AND THE DELL as well as other nursery rhymes and my parents used to think it was kind of peculiar.

How did songwriting begin for you. When did you realize that you could come up with words and music and turn it all into a song?
I started playing piano when I was eight. My first instrument was actually violin but I wasn't very good at it and then I went on to piano. I took piano lessons and played a lot of classical music. In my early teens I started writing alot of quirky little songs.

You were in a band called FREE ENTERPRIZE. When did that happen?
FREE ENTERPIZE happened when I was about twenty or twenty two and I answered an ad in a local newspaper and they were looking for a singer. We did pretty well with that band actually.

There was no connection between the band's name and your last name. Was there?
Sort of. We had all of these different kinds of names and as we started getting more successful, people started calling us FRREE ENTERPRIZE, so we ended up using that name.

And you recorded some CD's with them.
I did three CD's with them actually. Two of them were released and the other one never made it to the public.

For a while there, you left music and traveled.
I did. I went to Quebec for one year and studied French and Music and then I went to Paris and studied Art and French and played music a little there as well.

So music was never really out of the picture then.
No. I've always liked to play music.

STRANGE CASE OF EUPHORIA is your first CD as a solo artist. are there any tracks that stand out for you as favorites?
Oh that's a tough one!

I know.
Well, I like GIRL I KNEW. Strangely enough, my favorite song on the album is probably the one that people would think is the least commercial of them. It the song SERIOUSLY, which is the last cut on the album.

Personally, my favorite off of this album is TURN THE SOIL.
Oh I love that song. That song's actually getting some airplay on some smaller market FM stations.

Good, then I wasn't just hearing things.
It depends on what crowd that you appeal to. I have certain songs that people like better than others and that particular songs seems to be doing very well. It's about the climate of America, the way it is now.

Yeah, it's a rough climate.
No pun intended (laughs).

Who produced this CD?
I had a very thorough producer. His name is SPIKE MARLIN. Back inthe eighties he produced the PLASMATICS and some other punk bands. Other than that, he was a musician for many years and he - Brian Lush


Discography

"Voo Doo In the City" Free Enterprize
"Cakewalk" Julia Free
(single) U Animal I
"Strange Case Of Euphoria" Julia Free
Buy Me Something Sweet
(single)
"Turn The Soil"
Julia Free
Shattered, Boo Hoo, Turn the Soil (singles)

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Bio

Influenced by some of the best elements of the So-Cal Sound, native California singer, songwriter, and keyboard artist, Julia Free has taken her experiences in traveling the world and created her own seductive style spiced with some lilting rhythms. Raised in the southern California seaside community of Manhattan Beach, Free’s gift for singing was already apparent at age three when she put her own spin on some well-known nursery rhymes. Those nursery rhymes were just a stepping stone into Free’s adolescent years, when she began creating and singing some of her own songs while cruising on her skateboard along the neighborhood boardwalk. By her late teens Free’s Los Angeles band, Free Enterprize, had become a popular local opener for top rock and roll bands like Santana, Taj Mahal, and Bob Welch. While with Free Enterprize, a progressive indie rock group, the band put out two CDs. The CD “Voo Doo in the City,” with its main single by the same name, became a favorite among Los Angeles KROQ listeners and secured the band’s place in the So-Cal music scene. The band also put out another CD “Cake Walk.” Free says her earliest musical influences came from the music her sisters and parents listened to, such as the Mamas and the Papas and Fleetwood Mac. She also loved the songs of Rosemary Clooney and Ella Fitzgerald, which ignited her passionate for good lyric writing. She added to those influences in a major way by moving in another direction. Free took some time away from LA to study art and French, first in Quebec and then in Paris, France, but her love for music followed her no matter where her life took her. In Paris, Free sought out other artists, honing her craft and learning about music and musicians from other cultures and musical styles. She was also inspired by the spirit of Americans like Josephine Baker, who found their “voice” in the Parisian clubs. It was no surprise then that it was in Europe that Free began playing solo on the Paris Café scene in the popular Marais section of the city. After three years in Paris, Free returned to Los Angeles and produced her first solo CD “Strange Case of Euphoria,” drawing from the musical influences she experienced and came to love overseas. Free seamlessly blends a myriad of musical styles into one powerful collection. NEXT ! : TURN THE SOIL. : a wildly diverse collection of songs composed and recorded in the beautiful Mountains of Northern Arizona,Flagstaff and Sedona. have a listen and see what you think of her latest creative journey.