The new project from Orgy and Dead By Sunrise’s Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck (along with Anthony ‘Fu’ Valcic and Frank Zummo), Julien-K seamlessly infuses rock with electronic elements. Breaking away from the member’s major label past, Julien-K has garnered a strong fanbase while remaining fully independent and with little marketing.
Jessica Reed (Social Media) was given the opportunity to chat with the band’s creators, Amir and Ryan. Learn more about the band’s past, the jam-packed deluxe version of their latest album We’re Here With You (out TODAY!), their thoughts on the current state of EDM, and more…
Jessica Reed: How does Julien-K differ from previous projects?
Amir Derakh: Julien-K is our new hybrid of dance and rock that we like to call “indietronic.” Orgy and Dead by Sunrise were more rock bands with some electronica.
JR: There have been a few member changes over the years. How has this impacted the band and what’s the dynamic between the current lineup?
AD: People change and so does our music. We always enjoyed playing with the former members but we really think the band is better than ever now.
Ryan Shuck: I sort of feel as if we have the best line up possible right now. It all happened in a very organic fashion. We are playing now with people that we have been friends with and/or worked with for years. They were always part of what we were doing, only now they’re playing with us live as well. Right now, Julien-K is in its most natural form.
JR: Despite the mainstream success of Orgy, Julien-K has taken more of an independent route. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of this?
AD: Orgy enjoyed the use of a major label push to help promote the band. Unfortunately, they spent boat-loads of our money doing it! We think it’s so much better to be in control of every aspect creatively and financially of what we do. Of course, its way more work though…
RS: It’s much, much harder to do it on our own, but we have been able to do some amazing things because we don’t have to deal with a political machine to try out new ideas, experiment, etc. The music and the marketing is more “pure” now. There is no filter. As messy as that can be, I think it’s actually more fun. Another great thing about doing it on your own: you feel AMAZING when you win. You own it. All of it. The small wins feel great. You also own the failures, but when its YOURS, you never get tired of trying. It’s the try that’s the most fun.
JR: Is it true that the release of your debut album, Death to Analog, was planned for February 17, 2009, the date the US switched from analog to digital television? Were you bummed when the release date was moved since the album was so aptly titled?
AD: No we weren’t… the title means more than just that interesting coincidence.
It means more about being different and breaking the mold.
Not being a “copy”.
JR: Can you tell us about the deluxe version of We’re Here With You?
AD: I always love it when bands release remixes and bonus songs. So in that sense, this isn’t any different…
We always end up with songs that didn’t fit the album concept, but fit in this type of collection. So, we included 3 unreleased bonus tracks: “Dregs of the World”, “Whore”, and “1000 Years of Destruction.”
We also included 7 musical remixes/reinterpretations.
We really wanted to give the fans a lot for their money, so it also includes ALL our new videos for We’re Here With You, plus a bonus video for “Flashpoint Riot” that’s not available anywhere else. And a digital booklet.
JR: Your music has been used in several movies and video games. How did that come about?
AD: We are lucky to have fans in the movie and gaming world. I also think our music lends itself to these types of placements very well…
JR: You’ve worked closely with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington? How has that been and are there any other collaborations in the future?
AD: Chester is family to us. We met while Linkin Park was on tour with Orgy and have always wanted to work together.
That’s how Dead By Sunrise came about. Expect more Dead By Sunrise if the future.
Currently we are collaborating with the Russian band Mumiy Troll for a forthcoming album.
JR: How do you think the electronic music scene has changed over the years and where do you see it going?
AD: Well, in my opinion the EDM scene has peaked. It’s so over saturated with DJ’s, it’s become a caricature of itself. I’m actually not really sure where it will go at the moment, but trust me, I’m looking for the signs of change.
RS: I think what we’re doing is badly needed in the electronic world. We are essentially an independent electronic band that rocks as hard as Muse. We can play with rock and electro bands. I think that’s the way right now. We draw from EDM, rock, alternative in a really credible and cool way.
JR: Do you prefer recording in a studio or performing live?
AD: I really like both equally. Ryan prefers performing live.
RS: I’m going to have to re-address the way we work in the studio on the next record. Things need to move quickly for me to be interested. I can’t sit there for hours and hours waiting on “process” anymore. I am too experienced, and frankly too successful at this point in my life, to have to sit and wait for things to happen. We’re going to re-work our workflow to create more quickly. Quality and speed will be the focus – and fun. I am actually blessed that Amir totally agrees with me, and pushes me to work harder and faster, and follows his own advice by pushing himself and our crew.
I love performing. More than ANYTHING. My issue nowadays is that I have been performing in a highly physical way for over 15 years now, and I need to take it seriously, even when I’m not onstage. I’m still a young guy, but I am not 21. I can, and have, really hurt myself onstage (recently broke both my heels). That’s going to happen more and more if I don’t stick to regular hard physical training and exercise. Probably has been that I am so busy that I often let the training fall to the way side. That’s my personal battle now. I have to balance everything correctly.
JR: Any crazy tour stories or favorite memories?
AD: Traveling is our thing, we love it! Exploring new places is our favorite thing.
JR: Anything thing else you want your fans to know?
AD: As long as you keep listening we’ll keep cranking out the tunes! Thank you!
RS: Your support means EVERYTHING to us. Thank you.
– Submitted by Jessica Reed, Social Media