Julie Christmas (Front Woman of Made out of Babies) Interview is up ...
1. Julie you have been making music under Made out of Babies, Battle of Mice for years now. What made a solo release come about in 2010?
When we started working on the album, I was involved in a few different projects that were rough, angry and involved a lot of screaming. The project started as a way to show the importance of other feelings that are as powerful and overwhelming, like love. Once the heavier projects ended, though, I noticed that the songs on The Bad Wife started to get heavier. I don’t think I will ever be able to totally give up screaming. It scratches my itches in a special way.
2. You have worked with Neurot, The End and other. Rising Pulse seem to be a new label tell us how you came to work with them?
John LaMacchia (Candiria) played on the album and, though Rising Pulse is his fledgling label, I knew he would work hard to do right by the record and treat it respectably. At the time, someone who would just tell the fucking truth seemed like an amazing chance. I also knew he would give me a chance to see what it was like to release a record from the perspective of the label. I have learned a great deal from the whole process. I am happy to have done it. It was an invaluable experience. I did have other offers, though, and there are labels I would love to work with and have respect for. Rising Pulse was the right choice for this project.
3. The video for Bow is a very cool twisted tale of Riding Hood... Are you happy with the outcome?
Making the video was a totally new experience. Except that I fell down about fifty times…nothing new about that…But I AM happy with the outcome. I was lucky enough to work with James O’Brien and his very talented crew. He is a graphic designer and relatively new to making videos for release. He showed me a short he’d made for himself – just for fun - and I knew he would be perfect. I was right. …We went to his friends’ house to film. The couple had two amazing children that they’d gotten early because of the Earthquake in Haiti. The little boy put on the Yeti head and ran around. A giant yeti head and little boy feet. It’s something everyone should see.
Anyway, about the video, we had to cut corners because we’re all poor, but it came out way better than it should have because that’s what happens when people are truly talented. I feeling like I’m rambling and making no sense…blah, blah, blah…
4. As the Creator of " The Bad Wife" .. what do you feel are the major differences between this release and Made out of Babies? I hear a much more experimetal and metal side to you on Solo release...
You wrote “experimetal” in the question. Genre Genius.
In this project, I got to pick people because of what I thought they would bring to the song they worked on. Most people had total freedom, but I always had final say. When you work in a band you compromise more. Also, this project is a bit more atmospheric, which I am looking forward to playing with in the stage show.
5. Will you be performing live for Solo material live or do you want this to be a recorded out put only??
I’m going to tour on this. Everyone should see it. You do not want to miss this one.
6. Julie you seem to have the members of your other projects and bands guest on the album is this just one big musical adventure for you and your friends?
I worked on every song with John LaMacchia and Andrew Schneider. Then, we found other musicians that would be able to play instruments and add their own perspective to the music. Some of the people we worked with we knew, and some we knew through friends. There were total strangers on the album as well, though. There are a hundred more people I would love to work with. Some of them I already know and some of them I haven’t met yet.
7. My favorite track off the CD is "Headless Hawks" this is so much power and expression in that track.... Julie what is your favorite song and how it came out on the album?
That song was played with all members of Made Out of Babies! I couldn’t make this record without asking them to do something. My favorite track? I think I have a love/hate relationship with all of them. Some of them mean more to me because of the messages in them. “secrets all men keep” is very personal.
8. Is it still a trying issue to be female in extreme music . I feel you waving the banner for the next gen of powerful women. Like Karyn Crisis, Jarboe, Kat (Babes in toyland) did a well...
There are lots of ladies in music now, and there are men who rightfully don’t give a shit either way. But I definitely can tell at times that men in heavy music just don’t respect me. Maybe they honestly think I suck…or maybe it’s because I’m harder than they are. I read audience and press responses to my music that you NEVER see in response to male singers. Vicious nastiness that they would never say to my face..some things about rape, even. I carry a knife now and I didn’t used to. If someone wants to hurt me, they are going to feel it too. But I can’t worry about gender politics. I just want to put my head down and do the work.
9. Is your Solo release just a one off or will there be more??? Something artist just want to get it out of there system and prefer the full band experience?
I was trying to find my way with the first album. The next one will be even closer to what I want. There will be more. I feel very deeply for these songs and the ones that haven’t been made yet.
10. Do you feel the digital age (Mp3's, Myspace, Facebook, Webzines, Internet Radio) is helping or hurting the indie scene??? Really looking for feedback on this?
I like the idea of people freely sharing music – in a perfect world, that’s how it should be. It hurts musicians though, for sure – especially small ones like myself. You literally cannot eat sometimes in order to pay for it all. But I understand why people download music for free, and I am grateful for people who support the music and musicians they want to hear from. If you like what I do, go buy one of my records right now so I can make more of it. www.risingpulse.com or itunes. If you don’t want to hear me, support someone you do.
11. Is there a theme or story line on " The Bad Wife"?
The Bad Wife was an imaginary friend that my sister and I blamed our mischievous behavior on when we were little. We would get caught doing something wrong and blame it on her… “The Bad Wife did it, the Bad Wife did it”..we would say. Sometimes we would even spank ourselves after we said it so our parents would laugh instead of punishing us. I became obsessed with this character. She was the right person to name the album after. She’s in the music.
12. Julie is there a style of music you have not done that you would like to try and create?
I’m not sure… I hear Country, Blues, Bluegrass and Opera singers that make me shiver. There is a limit to what I can do though, even though I forget that sometimes. I will just go ahead. If it seems right to try something new – it will come to me naturally.
13. The Album cover is awesome as it's twisted.. Tell use who did it and how it came about.. Is it a wedding cake??? because thats what it looks like to me?
I came across the image by Scott Hove - the Cake Vault photo on the CD- and I could relate to it instantly. A room made of icing that has taxidermy teeth and eyes in it! I can’t quite explain, but to me it is the perfect pictorial representation of the overall sentiment of the album. A cake that eats YOU first. I begged him to use it and he was amazingly cool about it even though we didn’t know each other at all.
Nix Turner’s illustrations for the Vinyl worked in a different way. I love that her work exhibits menace and grace with equal force. She is very talented. For me, the girl on the cover of the Vinyl captures one of the faces of The Bad Wife. I am going to sound like a pompous ass if I keep explaining, so I’ll leave it at that.
14. Julie? what are the bands that are currently your listening to and is there anything new impressing you?
I’ve heard some soundtracks lately that I thought were amazing. I thought the movie Black Swan was a beautiful but laughable buffoon romp, but it reminded me what a great piece of music “Swan Lake” is. The movie Tom Ford made had an amazing soundtrack. I am always inspired by people who can elicit an emotional response from their audience through music – whatever “genre” they fit into.
15. Thanks for the time any closing thought's here?
Thank you so much for letting me do the interview! Please support the arts – even if it’s just by making some yourself. Go online to Risingpulse.com, bandcamp or itunes to buy the album in vinyl, CD or digital format… I apologize for the sales pitch, but I think everyone should hear this album – so much so, that people can hear all songs for free on bandcamp. We know people leak the album and trade it, but we wanted to make that unnecessary. Also, Juliechristmas.org is coming soon, but for now people can check the interweb (facebook, etc..) for upcoming shows and updates.