Hi, this is Randy from Metal On Loud Magazine!
Julie: This is Julie from My Own Ghost, hi!
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, how are things in your world?
Julie: Things are very good at the moment! We are preparing for the tour with Tarja, and for the cd release, so there’s quite a lot to do.
I bet. With a cd release there’s always a lot to do!
Julie: Yes, it is.
For the readers that have not yet heard of you, can you introduce yourselves, and tell us who does what in the band?
David: Hi, I’m david and I play guitar
Julie: So, I’m Julie and I’m the singer
Frederick: Hi, I’m Frederick, I play guitar
Joe: Hello, I’m Joe and I play the bass
Julie: And then there’s Michael left who plays the drums, who is not here at the moment.
So, the whole band is here on call, that’s a surprise!
Julie: Yes, yes it is. Actually we have a rehearsal this evening, and we thought that would be a great moment, so that most of us could be here.
Oh, yeah, that’s awesome. I think this is the most people I’ve ever had on Skype, simultaneously. *laughs*
*laughs* That’s great.
So, when you are recording an album, who does your writing? Is that a team effort?
Julie: Yes, actually it’s a team effort. I think mostly one of us comes with the idea, the initial idea of the song, and then each of us gives his little something to the song. I think that in the end that’s what makes our sound, or what makes our songs.
So anybody in the band can come with an idea.
That’s the best way to do it!
Julie: Yes *laughs*
And usually, what comes first, the lyrics or the melodies?
Julie: Always the melodies.
Always the melodies. It can always be both ways, it depends on the kind of band and writers you are.
Julie: Yes, I know, but I kind of prefer having the melody, and then I get the idea for the lyrics. It’s easier!
That is easier, absolutely. And where it comes to your melodies, which comes first, the guitars or the keyboards?
Julie: As we don’t have keyboards, guitars I guess! *laughs*
Sorry? I thought I heard keyboards! *laughs*
David: oh, we have keyboards, but it depends on the idea. Sometimes the idea needs to have more guitars, sometimes it’s an idea that comes on the keyboard, so it depends really on the idea.
That makes sense. Alright! And what does your creative process usually look like? How do you record a song?
Julie: We are very lucky that we can record in our rehearsal room, and we have Fred who puts a lot of hours into it, and who has to listen to everything we do. David puts a lot of hours into it too, so actually we tour and we record at the same time. It’s never that we stop touring for recording sessions actually. That’s a big advantage we have.
I bet. That makes it easier to record a little bit every day then?
Julie: Absolutely, yes. So when a new idea is there, we can immediately work on it.
That sounds perfect. I just spent the whole day listening to your upcoming album “Life On Standby”. Even though it’s a bit of change of pace for me personally, I still really enjoyed it. What can you tell our readers about the new record?
Julie: I think, it’s our second record that we’ve released now, and the biggest difference with our first record I guess is that we had the chance to work with someone like Hiili in the whole producing process, and I think that the songs, the whole album is maybe more like a whole thing. On the first album there were many different songs, maybe because we needed some time to find ourselves as a band.
Do you feel you did find yourself with this record?
Julie: Yes I think so *laughs*. Luckily we found ourselves!
It’s always good to know that you’re able to find yourself. You mentioned HIili. He’s known for his work with HIM, Apocalyptica, Amorphis… How was it to work with him?
David: Actually, quite easy. He’s an easy guy. We sent him our demo tapes and actually he gave us some advice, to streamline the songs so that they sound more compact, and more homogenous. That’s actually one of the biggest differences compared to the first record. On the first record, there were always elements in the songs that were maybe, well not useless, but we could have cut down. He really, really helped us with cutting down the songs to the really essential, so it was quite easy working with him.
So in a way he helped you get back to the core of what you are?
David: yeah, to find ourselves *laughs*
*laughs* Yeah, exactly. I bet that brought a bit of an extra edge to the recording as well.
Julie: Yes, I think there’s a big difference in the sound as well, a big improvement, because the first album was more learning by doing for us as well.
How would you describe your own style? To me it sounded very pop-rock-ish, it would even fit on a regular radio station I think.
Julie: Yes, absolutely. That was our goal with this album. We hope to be played on a lot of radio stations. We always say we do Pop-Rock with some tweaks in it, and sometimes the songs are more with electronic elements maybe, sometimes there’s even a little Metal influence. It really depends on the song and the mood of the song.
Would you consider yourself more a Pop-, a Rock- or a Metal band?
Julie: We consider ourselves as a Rock band.
A Rock band, alright. Well, we’re a Rock, Metal and Punk magazine, so it still fits *laughs*
Julie: *laughs* Yeah.
I found the artwork on the new record quite intriguing as well. Who made that, and what does it symbolize?
David: The artwork was made by an Irish artist called Nina <inaudible>. We stumbled upon her on the internet and we contacted her, because we also felt very attracted to the artwork. It really symbolizes the title of the artwork, LIfe On Standby. It is really a person that is not really alive and not really dead. We thought that a mannequin would really fit the album title. It really says Life On Standby.
I was wondering what the apple was doing in that picture!
David: The apple is, as far as we consider, it’s the sign of life. That’s actually the connection between the real life, and the life of a mannequin, actually.
I didn’t know that it’s the symbol of life. I was already thinking in the snow white direction *laughs*
Julie: *laughs* Yeah, maybe, why not.
David: Maybe the next album!
Yeah, why not. A bit of a fairytale.You’re still quite a young band. You were founded in 2013, yet you already did some tour with some established names like Delain and Loudness, you got signed, you work with talented producers and such. Was that all hard work, or do you have a great network and/or a lot of luck?
Julie: I guess to start with, it’s a lot of work. Hard work, and one has to be focussed, and don’t give up. Even if there are some negative critics, or negative feedback, or no feedback at all. Then little by little you start building up kind of a network I guess, which helps you, yes. But in the beginning it’s just a lot of hard work, yes.
Did you have a lot of negative feedback?
Julie: I think we have positive and negative actually.
David: For the first album we actually got a lot of feedback, because our man at Secret Entertainment did a great job. We got a lot of interviews, a lot of reviews and a lot of mentions in magazines. So we got a lot of feedback on that album, and we hope we get the same for the second one.
I bet! And on April 23rd, you will take part in the FemME battles!
That’s a festival of which we are official Media Partner, so I was wondering, are you looking forward to the event?
Julie: Absolutely, yes! We absolutely wanted to enter this battle, and we can’t wait for it. We are pretty excited to play there, and to get to know the other bands. To try our chance! See how it goes.
I hope for you that you come far in the competition. It’s a great festival!
David: We hope that as well *laughs*
Speaking of festivals and such, what does a typical show look like for you? How well does your music translate to the stage?
Julie: Actually, mostly people say that we are quite a good live band. They are always surprised, because off-stage we do not look like crazy performers, and when we’re on stage we just Rock that stage, and we love to do that. It’s great fun.
Rocking the stage, a very important thing, yeah.
Julie: It is. Yes.
You just mentioned that you don’t have keyboards, so how do you bring your electronics into your liveset?
David: We use sampling. We have discussed the idea of having a keyboard in the band, but we had some negative experiences with other keyboardists in other bands, so this time we chose to replace the keyboard player by a machine. It makes work a lot easier.
Well, it does fit the album theme *laughs*
David: Yeah, indeed. Yes. *laughs*
Have a robot on the band, that’s cool. Will you be on tour this year? Can we see you play anywhere other than at the FemMe battles?
Julie: Yes, absolutely. In under two weeks, we will go on tour as support for Tarja in the UK, in The Netherlands, even in Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland. After that we have a few days break, and then we will be on tour in the east of Europe, where we have never been before. That will be quite exciting as well. Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic.
That’s a nice area.
Julie: Yeah. So we have never been there before, so yeah, we will see!
I think you’ll have fun there. Hey have some good beer there as well.
Julie: Ah, that’s very important *laughs*
*laughs* Exactly! So, where it comes to the band, what’s on your bucket list, what are your goals? Are there things you want to accomplish in the near future?
Julie: We want the opportunity to support other great bands, and naturally we want to come to different festivals, to be booked for the bigger ones. We want to record albums, to never lose our passion for music…
David: To have a song on the radio..
Julie: Yes. A song on the radio, that would be a big goal.
Those are good goals, absolutely! I hope us exposing you a bit may help you with those as well.
Julie: Thank you very much!
That leads me to my last question and that’s do you have any last words for our readers?
Julie: Support small bands, help them, because listeners and concert goers are the people that bands need. Thank you very much for listening, and enjoy our music!
I know I will, and I’ll keep an eye on your careers from here on out!
Julie: Thank you very much!
Enjoy your night and thank you for your time!