[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Julie's Trip...



Julie's Trip by Megan Mallett (meganlm\!/unixg.ubc.ca)


Not just another swell band from the Maritimes, Moncton, New 
Brunswick's noise-pop rockers Eric's Trip were one of the first 
east coast acts to gain the praise and attention of the all-mighty 
media and are the first Canadian band to sign to Seattle's Sub Pop
 records.  Following a successful tour in support of the band's latest
 album Forever Again, Eric's Trip bass player and soon to be mom 
Julie Dorion spoke to Discorder about the band, the Maritimes 
and why girls don't play lead guitar.




Discorder: Tell me about Moncton.

Julie: It's pretty small, there's probably about 100,000 people. 
There's four high schools - one of them's french - and there's not 
really all that much to do. But it's the same thing as any city, you 
pretty much have to find things for yourself to do. Even when I go 
to big cities I don't find that there's that much more to do, except 
for there's more concerts. You still have to find things to do, just 
kinda entertain yourself. So it's pretty nice. I just found out its the 
fastest growing city commercially in the Maritimes. I don't know 
what that means - if there's going to be more people or just more 
businesses. Its pretty OK.



The media sort of leads us to believe that there's this 
 "Maritime Scene." Is there? Is there a sense of community 
between the Maritime provinces?



Julie: I think it's funny that they said all that because every city or 
every region has a music scene. If there's bands and there's people 
who go to shows, then there's a scene, right? I thought it was kind 
of funny that they made all that big fuss over it. Halifax is about 
three hours away from Moncton and then there's St. Johns and 
Fredericton, which are in New Brunswick, and they're about two 
hours away. But they're in the opposite direction, on the way to 
Quebec. There's bands in all those cities, and in the smaller cities, 
so it's the same as anywhere else: Some bands in some the cities.



Do you have to take a ferry to get to the different parts of the 
Maritimes?

Julie: You have to take a ferry just if you go to P.E.I. But they're 
building a bridge, which I'm totally against.



Why?

Julie: 'Cause it's only like an hour ferry ride and [the bridge] is 
gonna be really long. I'm not drivin' on it. Theres no way. It 
crosses the North Umberland Straight and that's a really strong 
current of water and in the winter they have to have ice breaker 
ferries because the ice is really thick. I just don't want to drive 
across at all.



Are there earthquake problems?

Julie: Well, apparently there's a fault line - I'm just finding out all 
this stuff now. We've had small earthquakes: I remember when I 
was 10 or 12 there was a small earthquake where all the stuff 
rattled on the walls and that was about it. We were like, `Holy, did 
you feel that?' I just found out, though, that they have a nuclear 
power plant at Point Lepreaux, which is kind of close to St. John in 
New Brunswick, and I just found out that it's built on a fault line. 
Our drummer was telling me that, and I was like, `Don't they have 
any brains?' I don't understand who designs those things. And they 
wanted to put another power plant in New Brunswick, so that 
would mean two and it's such a small province. We don't need two 
nuclear power plants; we don't even need one. Anyways, I think 
there is a fault line. I didn't know, I thought it was all just on the 
west coast. I was wrong.



My friend who's in Fredericton said that there was a rumour 
that you're going to leave Eric's Trip.

Julie: Oh no, no, no. No. Never.



So we'll dispell any rumours now.

Julie: Yeah. No, no, never - I'm not quitting. I can't wait to go back 
on tour, but we have to take a little time off because I'm having a 
baby in December.



Oh, wow! That's so exciting.

Julie: Yeah, I'm really excited, but it means we can't tour for a 
little while. We'll wait until next May or June.




Will you bring your baby?

Julie: No, I think I'll leave it at home - I don't think I'll really want 
to have it around all the loud music. The father is definitely gonna 
look after it. I'm sure he'll be really excited cause you know how 
babies usually grow more attatched to their mother because the 
mother's always with them? But I won't go away for more than 
like two weeks at a time. Unless we have to go across Canada, 
which takes at least three weeks. I'm saying this now, like its 
gonna be really easy to leave my baby at home - I think that I 
wanna go on tour next year, but I don't know. I think that when it 
comes time to go it'll be really hard, but I do really like playing.



What is Stereo Mountain? A friend of mine bought a Stereo 
Mountain t-shirt at your show last year and we were trying to 
figure out what it was.

Julie: Stereo Mountain . . . Well, the t-shirt came out before the 
record. The record came out I think in July and its a four song 7" 
with each of us doing our own song; all the instruments on our own 
song. I have one on it, Rick has one, Chris has one and Mark has 
one. We sold out, but I think I'm gonna reprint it. I get a lot of 
letters for them.  Stereo Mountain is also our studio as well.



You guys have your own studio?

Julie: Yeah. We do all our own recording.



Now, you have that "Warm Girl" 7" on Derivative. How does 
that work?

Julie: Sub Pop lets us. I don't think we can do a full album, but we 
can do singles with any label that isn't in strong competition with 
them. And if we ever want to put something out on Sub Pop, we 
just tell them and they say `OK, just record it.'



Was it a hard decision to sign to Sub Pop?

Julie: They gave us an offer first and it wasn't really all that great 
of an offer, so we turned it down. Then we played at the Sub Pop 
festival because they had invited us to play when they gave us their 
first offer and they still let us play after we turned it down. After 
that, I guess they still really liked us a lot so they made us another 
offer and we got to talk to all of them in person at the festival, 
rather than just one of them, and it was a lot better. We got to ask 
them questions and really talk. We weren't trying to get signed or 
anything, we were just gonna put out independant stuff. Then all of 
a sudden a label is willing to distribute our stuff world-wide and it's 
like, `Wow, okay.' They'll pay you to record and they'll distribute 
it for you for free. Well, it's not free, but we don't have to worry 
about it. So that's fine. They're really great. They let us do pretty 
much anything we want and they don't make us tour. As long as we 
do a little bit of touring, I think that satisfies them. I hope. We're 
having a meeting with them in Seattle next week about our album. 
Marketing ideas. Seeing as we can't tour, we're gonna do some 
videos, I guess. 



What about your side projects? You all have side projects, 
right? You have Broken Girl and there's what, Purple Knight 
and Moonsocket?

Julie: Yeah, and Rick does a lot of solo stuff, but he hasn't really 
released anything on a large scale. Ever since Eric's Trip started 
he's put out solo tapes but mainly his friends got them. He's really 
really productive. Chris has Moonsocket and he's put out a 19 song 
tape and he just put out a 7" with about seven songs on it. And I've 
just put out Broken Girl. All I've put out so far is my 7" and I think 
that when I get back to Moncton I'm gonna start working on an 
album.



Do you remember your first show?

Julie: Yeah, it was on Earth Day. It was April 22nd or something. 
We had already put out two demo tapes before we played our first 
show. Our second demo came out the week before. We were 
supposed to play outdoors but it was really raining, so they put it in 
city hall. It was so funny because we were really really loud. We've 
actually turned down quite a bit now cause we realized that its 
really not that comfortable. And all of us wear earplugs now except 
for Rick - he still hasn't started but I'm hoping he will soon. I keep 
trying to talk him into it. Chris has been wearing earplugs for the 
last couple of tours. I only used to wear earplugs when I watched 
other bands and when I'd practice, but in Quebec City I wasn't 
wearing any, and half way through the night it just went 
 `pkhewwww' and I couldn't distinguish any different sounds at all. 
So I said that I'd try earplugs for a while, and actually it's been 
working out really great. I can sing a lot better because I can hear 
everything. My grandmother taught me. She's an amazing singer. 
She said that if you cover your ears, you can hear your voice in 
your head, and that's exactly what's coming out.



Do you ever get nervous on stage?

Julie: Once in a while I'm really not nervous and I feel really 
confident and comfortable, but it depends where I am and what the 
crowd is like. It depends who's watching. I get nervous just being 
around people. I'm being very talkative today, but I used to be 
really really really shy. Chris was really shy, too - when we first 
started playing he had to sing with his back to the audience. He 
didn't start singing till last year, so he didn't have any reason to 
look out or anything.  en Rick last year was playing with his back 
to the audience, he'd put the microphone so he'd face away . . .



Yeah, I remember that.

Julie: Yeah. Actually, when I was in high school I used to like 
doing oral presentations, oddly enough. I was never really well 
prepared, but I could get up there and really talk about what I knew, 
which would never really amount to anything. I kinda wish I could 
do it now, I would really be a lot better. Yeah, I guess I'm not all 
that shy on stage, I'm more shy when I have to talk to people. But 
on stage they have to listen to me, so it's a lot easier. I guess that's 
why. I don't really have to make a whole conversation, I can just 
play.



If you weren't in a band, what would you be doing right now?

Julie: I'd probably be working a lot more on my photos.



You're a photographer?

Julie: Yeah, I do a lot of photography - I did two years in college. I 
take a lot of pictures of people in bands and people we tour with. 
Not live shots, more like band photos of them just outdoors and 
when we're hanging around and stuff. Really editorial. And I like 
portraiture too.  My time is divided between music and 
photography and drawing and stuff.



Do you have a job back home?

Julie: I used to. I used to work at Harvey's Hamburger's . . .



Oh, really?

Julie: I worked there for two years and when I tried to quit they 
were like, `Uh, you don't have to quit you know' 'cause I could 
leave anytime I wanted to if we had to go on tour and stuff. So they 
were really great, but then I went on tour last July for like a month 
and I was gonna be going away in September to England and then 
away again in October-November, so I thought that I'd better quit 
cause, I don't know . . . 



Are you a celebrity back in your town? Like do people stop you 
on the street and ask for your autograph?

Julie: Not really in Moncton. Once in a while...well, actually, I was 
in Ottawa a lot visiting my boyfriend - 'cause he's living there - so I 
wasn't in Moncton very often when we weren't on tour. I guess 
when we go to the mall. There are a couple of malls. There's 
Champlain Mall, which is like the main mall. We used to go there 
once in a while, like on Friday nights, which you don't do 
anymore; you don't go on Friday nights or Saturday nights. You 
can go during the day, or you can go like Wednesday night. When 
we used to go there sometimes junior high kids would come up to 
us and get us to sign stuff. Not very often though. It might have 
happened four times. Everyone else who comes to talk to us, they 
know us now 'cause they've talked to us so many times. They either 
have bands of their own or they've gone to all of our shows, so we 
know them or they're friends of our friends' brothers or sisters. 
Stuff like that. 



What about on tour?

Julie: I guess in different cities. We don't mind when its just people 
talking to us, it's just that when we're in clubs and the people are 
really drunk and they keep talking and talking and you just played 
your set and you're like, `I uh, gotta go sit down' and they're like, 
`Oh, but you guys are so great' and its like, `You're drunk, stop it'. 
But even that doesn't happen all that often. It's not that bad. 
Usually people just talk to us for a minute and ask us where we're 
playing next. We can walk around a lot of places and you can kinda 
tell that maybe someone recognizes us, but...




They don't wanna invade your personal space.

Julie: Yeah.



What are your favourite bands?

Julie: We really like Love a lot. They're an old band from the 
sixties. They're so amazing. And we toured with Cell. We played 
like nine shows with them. Arthur Lee, he's the main guy of Love, 
decided he wanted to tour again so he did a few shows, and the 
bass player of Cell got to play bass for Arthur Lee, like as Love.



Wow.

Julie: Yeah, so everyone was all excited when they found out. 
`Wow, you met Arthur Lee, what was he like?' He was really nice. 
The bass player, he talked about it 'cause he's a really big Love fan 
too,  and that's how he got the gigs. So that was really neat. Mark is 
a big Love fan and he was freaking out. We also like Redd Kross, 
Dinosaur, My Bloody Valentine and those kinds of things.



I read in your press release that you are a cross between 
Sebadoh and My Bloody Valentine. What do you think of that?

Julie: I don't know, some people actually say that we have our own 
sound. Which is really nice. They say you can kinda tell our 
influences but everything together has it's own sound, you know? 
That was really nice, I thought. But yeah, some people say that and 
I guess I can see it, the acoustic stuff is probably kinda like that.



How do you guys write your songs?

Julie: We each write our own and then we bring them to practice, 
or we'll do a demo and then we'll play it for the other person and 
either they can make up their own part or we'll have a part made 
up. Either way, I think we're all pretty flexible. A few times Rick 
and Chris have collaborated.



So does the person who writes the song usually sing it?

Julie: Yeah, except Rick has written some songs that he actually 
wrote for me to sing, like in his mind he had me singing.



Is it true that you're working on something with Lou Barlow?

Julie: Well, when we talked to him last time we asked him to do 
some four track stuff, and maybe not put vocals on all of it; do 
some with music and some with vocals and then send us a tape and 
we'd add stuff to it and release it on Sappy, which is my label. So 
he said he was gonna do it. Someone heard him do an interview 
with a Halifax station and he said he was trying to get around to 
working on it, but he's been recording and doing a lot of side 
projects as well. He told us not to worry. He just sent Chris a big 
package. We're supposed to make a single. He seemed really up for 
it when we mentioned it to him, so now we're just waiting for him 
to get it done. It might never happen, though, 'cause I think they're 
gonna start touring a lot.



What's he like?

Julie: He's really nice. He used a photo I took of him for the back 
cover of one of his singles that came out in January. It was the last 
singles of the month club ever for Sub Pop. So I guess only 
members could get it. But he sent me two copies and a $50 cheque.



Holy.

Julie: Yeah, I was so excited. I wasn't planning on getting paid, I 
was just excited that he was using it, you know? So he was really 
nice about that. He just said that Sub Pop gave him some money, 
and that he wanted to share it.



Wow, that was really nice. How do you know him?



Julie: A long time ago, like three years ago, I wrote him a letter and 
when I wasn't even expecting a reply, I got one.  I said I was in a 
band, blah, blah, and then Chris wrote him and he ended up writing 
back. Then our friend Peter Holt in Halifax, who's "Peter", wrote 
him a letter and it said call me and he put his phone number. So 
Kath, Lou's girlfriend, said, `Let's call him', so they did and they 
started talking on the phone a lot. They got to know each other 
really well and he got to know more about us and then he heard 
Eric's Trip on the radio and he liked it. Anyways, eventually he 
played in Halifax last year and we played together. Then we hung 
out with him all week, sort of off and on 'cause he was there for a 
week. Then when we played in Boston in November he came to 
our show and he looked at my photos and stuff and that's where he 
saw the photo I took of him in September at the festival in Halifax. 
I should probably write him a letter. I have to write a lot of letters 
though.



Do you get a lot of fan mail, so you have to write?

Julie: Yeah, I write all mine back, but anything that goes to Eric's 
Trip doesn't really get answered. Before, when we'd only get a 
little bit of mail, we'd all keep up really good and before every tour 
we always made sure that all the mail got answered, before we left. 
Then we'd go on tour and have more when we got back. But then it 
built up so much when we were away last time and no one could 
find the courage to even start them. Chris already has enough 
regular writers that he has to write to and I get a lot of mail to 
Sappy Records, so I always have to answer that. I answer 
everything that comes to my PO box, sometimes it takes me a long 
time and sometimes my Mom helps. We get mail from England and 
Wales and Spain and Australia.



So, tell me about Sappy records.

Julie: It's my label. Originally we started it to put out music by our 
friends that we knew would never get heard, 'cause a lot of our 
friends do really, really, really great stuff. We started it off by 
putting out Stereo Mountain to make some money to be able to put 
out other stuff. We knew that if we started with something we did, 
we'd probably sell them all on tour. The first release was the Stereo 
Mountain four song, and then the second one was Broken Girl, 
which is mine, and then Chris's [Moonsocket] 19 song tape was the 
third release, and now his 7" single. So we're getting all our 
projects out of the way before we start to put out friends', I guess. 
That's about all that's out right now, so far. I'm gonna start working 
on putting out another 7" by someone, and then I'm gonna reprint 
the first two that were out 'cause people have been ordering them. I 
thought I was gonna do another Sappy single of my own songs, but 
Cinamon Toast from Halifax said I could do one with them, so I 
think I'll do like two songs for them and then maybe I'll work on a 
full length. I have to keep busy for the fall and since we're not 
touring and I really like playing, I gotta do something. Just before 
last Christmas I recorded like six songs, but I didn't put them out or 
anything. I sang - just me and my guitar and Rick mixed it as I was 
playing, so it sounds really nice. I kinda want to do a band thing. I 
want to start a band. I don't know. I have a feeling if I started a 
band it'd still be the same people only we'd all be playing different 
instruments.



Did you start off playing bass?

Julie: No, I played guitar and Chris was on bass for about two years 
until he didn't want to play bass anymore and was gonna quit. He 
wanted to play guitar so I said rather than have to find a new bass 
player, I'd just go to bass.




Do you like it?

Julie: Yeah, I do like playing bass with Eric's Trip 'cause when I do 
my own stuff I play guitar. I get to have a little bit of variety. I'd 
probably be a lot better if I was on guitar, because I'm a better 
guitar player, but thats okay, I play enough at home. I'll play a lot 
more in the fall cause I know that I won't be doing much else, 
which is fine. I really want to take the time to practice and get a lot 
better. At first I didn't want to play bass because of the whole bass 
player girl thing.


Yeah, I've noticed that.

Julie: I was like, `I don't wanna play bass' 'cause at the time there 
was Kim Deal on bass with The Pixies, and Kim Gordon. There 
were quite a few girl bass players, even back then. I switched to 
guitar because I didn't want to be a girl bass player.



Why do you think girls play bass?

Julie: I think it might be because you don't have to play chords and 
chords are kind of harder to learn than to play bass. But I find that 
it's harder to be a really really good bass player than it is to be a 
really good guitar player.



Really?

Julie: That's what I find. But it's easier to be an okay bass player 
than an okay guitar player 'cause you have to learn to change all 
your fingers to do all your chords, and strumming's kinda different. 
All my girl friends think bass is easier. I started a band with two of 
my other friends a couple years ago and I wanted to play guitar and 
the other two both wanted to play bass, so one of them had to pick 
and the one who started playing drums really hated it. She really 
didn't want to be playing drums, so eventually the band just 
stopped because I didn't want to do it anymore 'cause she really 
didn't enjoy it. But she wanted to play bass and the other girl 
wanted to play bass and my other friend wanted to play bass and I 
was like, `Why are you guys all wanting to play bass?', but I guess 
they just like that instrument. The one who was playing drums is 
actually in a band now and they practice all the time and she plays 
bass. I guess that's what she really wanted to do. The rest still 
haven't rally started playing bass. I don't know why it is. Maybe 
it's because they have boyfriends who play guitar. I think that a lot 
of times if a girl starts a band with her boyfriend, he's usually a 
guitar player, so . . .



Oh, right.

Julie: But Rick and I were going out at the beginning and we both 
decided to be on guitar and get a bass player. I didn't want to play 
bass. It's wierd, but it happens a lot. I don't know why it's like that. 
I really like drums. I have a drum kit, I practice in my room with 
my music really loud. My Mom used to say when I'd be out, she'd 
go upstairs and play my drums.