Tuesday, November 01, 2005

In Julia's Mind Scene - an interview

Samhain has passed & November is upon us. Already I am considering writing a "best releases of 2005" list for the Seldom Heard Radio blog and guaranteed to be included is In Julia's Mind Scene.

Their music blends folk rock with psychedelic and progressive florishes to create a timeless recording that feels right at home in 1970 or 2005.

In Julia's Mind Scene is comprised of: Mark Versteegen on acoustic guitar and vocals; Gijs van der Heijden (piano and electric guitar); Niels van Heuman (trumpet and flugelhorn); Pitrik Koeerts (bass) and Martijn Buser playing drums, percussion and vocals.

This old indie radio DJ recently flew his private pirate station in the sky lear jet to the Netherlands for an exclusive interview with Martijn. Oh, alright - it was via e-mail.

DJ Frederick: What was the inspiration / history behind forming In Julia's Mind-Scene?

Martijn: The first version of the band came together in 2000, then named The Colossal Heads of Magican County. This group was leaded by Mark Versteegen, Niels van Heumen and Martijn Buser. We wanted to form an ensemble with musicians moving in and out, and with a big ‘hello’ to Godspeed You Black Emperor! Unfortunately the idea didn’t work out well, so the nine members split up. Mark and Niels stayed in contact playing acoustic guitars and trumpet. In 2001 Martijn rejoined the group which was then named In Julia’s Mind-Scene.

With fingerpickin’ acoustic guitar, trumpet and drums we were searching for a double bass-player, the right instrument for the intimate songs which were mostly written by Mark and some from Niels. At first we wanted to make beautiful songs just to please ourselves, but in the end we wanted to let them hear to others. And we’re glad we did! We wanted to record the songs and did so in September 2004. The double bass-player is not with us anymore, but since October 2004 we have a piano-player (Gijs van der Heijden) and a new bass-player (Pitrik Koerts). Now we want to make music which we can play live. We want to touch ourselves with our music, we want to be inventive, not making music which is already recorded. Not that we are an experimental band (we still want to touch other people) but the groups individuals create something which is more that the sum of our influences. Now we’re very ambitious. We want to play more live, record more material and want to be a household name in the Netherlands. And we hope we can play outside the Netherlands as well!

DJ Frederick: Where does your wonderful band name come from?

Martijn: The name In Julia’s Mind-Scene was made up by me. The name was in my head one day. I have all of these crazy names (The Colossal Heads of Magican County was also made up by me). We know it doesn’t actually mean something in English, but is sounds beautiful when pronounced. Maybe Julia is a beautiful girl, I hope we’ll meet her once.

DJ Frederick: Who are some of your musical influences?

Martijn: The debut-record was produced by Mark, Niels, Daniël (the double bass- player) and Martijn. As we were only with four people, our inspiration for this record ranged from Nick Drake and John Fahey to Talk Talk and Chet Baker. With the new band we have a great classical pianist/arranger (Gijs) and a fusion-minded bass-player (Pitrik), which makes our music more diverse then before. Fingerpickin’ folk, postrock, jazz, krauthop, hiphop, minimal music, Belgian-styled popmusic, country and singer/songwriter are some of our influences right now.

DJ Frederick: What have your live gigs been like?

Martijn: Live the band is expanded with violin and tenor sax, which means we play with seven people. Our live-performances are getting better every time we play, and the audience is really listening to our songs. But that depends on what kind of stage or venue be perform of course. From May on we’ve played seven times and in January we’ll be doing four acoustic sessions in the Netherlands and Belgium. I hope the audience will like that too. You can listen online to three tracks which were recorded live on September the 15th and which will be recorded for the second album: http://antenne.zomp.nl/platenspeler.php?type=2.

DJ Frederick: What plans does the band have for gigging and recording over the next few months?

Martijn: Well, it’s going to be a hell of a time. We’ll record our second album this December, and we hope we can release it somewhere in April or May. We hope we can promote our album in April, May and June in the Netherlands and Belgium and play lots of gigs. We will also release two EP’s with collaborations with two Dutch acts, Machinefabriek and qrter. The first one will be something like Krauthop, the second one with more The Books-minded electronics. We also have an impro-session recorded and hope we can release that as well. In July and August the band will travel to Spain and we hope we have enough material to record the third longplayer and release that in October or November. And when you think that’s enough there’ll also be an EP with a singer/songwriter called Alexis Vos. This record with 5 songs was recorded last August and will be released sometime in the new year.

DJ Frederick: Have you found that there is an audience for indie music in the Netherlands? Do you get any radio airplay or support?

Martijn: There ís an audience for independent music. Last May and September we played for about 150 people and we get lots of attention in Utrecht. We know the music-scene in Utrecht is supporting us. They play us regularly on the local radio-station. This support in Utrecht makes us more aware that we have chances outside of Utrecht! But then again, you have to do it yourself all the way. But like we said earlier: we are ambitious!

DJ Frederick: There's no question that In Julia's Mind Scene is ambitious and this DJ looks forward to the forementioned recordings.

Check out www.injuliasmindscene.nl for more information!