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- Subject: Julie's Trip...
- From: CiTR <citr\!/unixg.ubc.ca>
- Date: Sat, 03 Dec 1994 01:33:38 -0800 (PST)
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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 . . .
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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 . . .
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.