Interview – Julien May

Interview By: Amanda Hather
Photo Credit: Jesse Milns

If you think you’ve heard the name Julien May before, you would be correct. He is the bassist and background vocalist for Montreal based band, The New Cities. On top of being in the successful band with such hits as “Dead End Countdown”, “Heat Wave”, and “Leaders of the Mislead”, May has also branched off on his own as a solo singer/songwriter. His EP ‘Morning Sunshine’ is available on iTunes here https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/morning-sunshine-ep/id655381430.

His music has a more folk/acoustic feel to it instead of the more electro rock sound of The New Cities. You can watch the lyric video to May’s single “Morning Sunshine”, the title track off of his EP, here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpn531rk_K8. If you wish to learn more about Julien May, follow his websites:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulienMayMusic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julienmaymusic
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/JulienMayMusic?feature=watch
Website: http://www.julienmay.com/#!home/mainPage

What made you decide to pursue a solo career outside of The New Cities?

JM: I had written a number of songs on the road over the past few years. Close friends, family and even members of my band encouraged me to release something on my own and I felt this was the right timing.

Who is your biggest musical influence?

JM: Many many things but if I have to pic one, Rivers Cuomo from Weezer

What kinds of things inspire you to write new songs?

JM: Many things triggers a melody or lyrics. Sometimes it can be just a word, sometimes a personal experience. I like to write about very simple things that make me happy.

If you could work with any band or artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

JM: Brian Wilson from the beach boys. Because I have so much admiration for his brilliant sense of  simple and enchanting melody.

A lot of bands and artists are connecting with fans through social media. Do you think this is an important tool for musicians?

JM: Definitely. It makes it easy for artists to keep in touch with the fanbase and see the immediate reaction to new content. Although Iʼm not very great at

If someone hadn’t heard your music before, how would you describe it to them? What song would you suggest they listen to first?

JM: I usually tell people I play acoustic/chill/summery music. Although itʼs always tricky to label yourself to a specific genre. I think Morning sunshine sums up the kind of vibe I want to communicate but thereʼs so many songs that I haven’t released yet that I cant wait to show the public.

Where is one place in the world where you would like to tour most?

JM: I would love to play in Brazil. I also would love to do a tour of the Caribbean. Maybe on a cruise ship.

Do you prefer working with artists or by yourself when writing songs?

JM: I usually enjoy working with other people for other projects but when it comes to my solo thing I feel it is very introspective and personal so I prefer doing the writing on my own.

When you write songs, what comes first, the lyrics or the melody?

JM: Usually the melody. but I visualize lyrics very quickly in the process.

Have you had a crazy fan experience yet?

JM: Not really that I can think of. But surprise me!

Do you have anything you’d like to say to your fans?

JM: Simply that I appreciate the support and the attention I get from them. I feel very blessed to be doing what I love and having people responding positively to it.

Now for some quick answer questions:

What is the first song you remember listening to?

JM: Hey Jude

What was the first CD that you bought?

JM: I think it was a Nirvana tape

Any guilty pleasures?

JM: Whole bucket of ben and jerry ice cream

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

JM: Probably, South America

What is your favourite childhood memory?

JM: I have weird amnesia when it comes to my childhood. From what I can recall Christmases  and Halloweens were pretty euphoric

Favourite flavour of ice cream?

JM: New York Fudge (I think itʼs called..?)

Favourite TV show/movie?

JM: The Simpsons / Terminator 2

Favourite book?

JM: Empire of illlusion by Chris Hedges

Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook?

JM: Twitter

Do you prefer dogs or cats?

JM: Dogs

I’m a Toronto girl born and raised but have been living in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick since 2010. Music and writing are my two passions, so what better place for me to be than a writer with Canadian Beats? I have been writing for the blog since May of 2013 and have had so many great experiences because of it. I listen to almost every kind of music but my favourites are pop rock, rock, indie, folk, and any other combinations of them. Concerts are definitely my favourite place to be, especially when you’re right against the barricade and can feel the energy from the band and the crowd, everyone singing the same lyrics and moving to the music. I also have a college degree in Business Administration and hope to one day be able to publish a novel.

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