I wanna say the first CD I ever bought with my own money was probably Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt. But then a year later I stopped buying CDs because my first car was a 1978 Chevette with only a cassette tape player, so I went old school for a few years. My first cassette tape was Willie Nelson.
Julie Nolen is a Rubicon GOLD artist and will start recording her latest full length album with Daniel Barrett at the production helm this summer. Check out her current release, Live at the Saxon Pub, and head over to her website for some more great blog reading.
Julie was gracious enough to give us a little insight into her process.
What was the first record you bought with your own money?
You play electric and acoustic. Do you approach the two differently?I play both and yes, you have to approach the two differently. They are completely different animals. Either way, I'm a hard player so I have to have a guitar that can withstand my beatings, but you do have to be a little gentler with the electric, depending on what effect or sound you're going for. I have just really started getting into playing the electric for the last year or two because I like the grittier sound. But I've spent the last decade plus as an acoustic player and I still find a lot of joy in just playing acoustic. I beat the sh*t out of my acoustic when I'm really into it. To me, the acoustic is a much more physical playing style. And mine in particular SMELLS like wood, wire and sweat. I fucking love that.
Which artist (living or dead...music or other arts) would you like to collaborate with?Banksy - that motherfucker has balls. And he so eloquently and beautifully makes statements with his art that immediately grab people. I mean to make art on the street that SAYS something, you have to be able to immediately grab their attention away from their cell phones. I don't know exactly what we would collaborate on but just following that guy on one of his art projects would be inspiring.
What’s your latest project about?In June I start recording on my "first" full length studio album. I've done a couple of full length studio albums with my old band and I just released an acoustic EP in February so it's not really my "first". But it's my first full length studio album as just Julie (jazz hands). These songs are 100% me, written by me for the most part. It's a new sound for me and I'm excited to experiment a lot in the studio.
What is your creative process like?Sometimes it's someone saying something that sounds like a good phrase or idea for a song when I'm out and about, then letting that percolate in my brain for a few days, then sitting down and writing it out. Sometimes it's staring up into the ceiling thinking about what rhymes with orange. Sometimes it's just sitting down on a Sunday afternoon and saying I'm going to write a song. And then somedays, when you're really lucky, it's HOLY SHIT GIVE ME A PEN NOW THIS SONG IS COMING OUT OF ME NOW!
How has working with Rubicon affected your musical focus?It's been great for focusing me on music full time. Being able to focus completely on this has allowed me to let all the crazy ideas in and just go for it. I mean, I'm releasing two albums in one year. That's a lot of focus.
What are your fans like?Flannel. Lots of plaids. Mostly women, some men. Mostly grew up on country music. Around my age probably. They love to yell out "Julie Fucking Nolen". They love to drink and socialize. They mostly wanna have a good time but they occasionally like a sad song or two. They want to help.
What is a typical day/week like for you?
How would you describe and rate the music scene of the city you are currently living in and how important is it in terms of what you're accomplishing as an artist?
For most musicians, finding their own “thing” is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. Did you go through this? How would you describe your own growth as a musician and the transition towards your own voice?
What were some of your main artistic challenges when starting out as a musician and in what ways have they changed over the years?
Don't miss the latest on Julie on her Facebook page here, and check out Rubicon Artist Development's page too!