Julian Velard

28 Mar

“Really ask yourself what it is you want in life and proceed accordingly. Only a fortunate few get to have their cake and eat it too, and odds are you’re not one of them. Sounds dark, but it’s definitely one of the few maxims I’ve found in the music industry.”

Julian Velard, a skilled musician who started music at an early age, is one of the most unique artists I’ve ever come across. His music differs than anything that’s available right now, he’s got a ton of charm and even more wit, and in my personal opinion, his latest music has been some of his best. His new album, “Mr. Saturday Night”, will be released on April 4 and it’s nothing short of genius. With summer approaching, Julian is gearing up to play shows on both the East and West Coast and If you’re a fan of his music (and why wouldn’t you be?), you can only imagine how great it is to see him live. If you aren’t that lucky, he is offering a treat to his deserving fans. On March 29 and April 5, head over to JVTV and watch as he performs his hits via webcam. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Julian and with his humorous answers, you can only conclude that his lyrics are just as clever.

Q. You have been studying music for quite some time now. I read that you attended a music & performing arts high school as well. What were some of the things that you loved about music from early on?

A. I actually got into music from learning theory. I only started playing piano at age 15 for my music theory class. It was around the same time that I got into The Beatles. I was fascinated with figuring out their songs, seeing how the chords worked. I think it was them and one other band that gave me the bug. I’ll admit it: Steely Dan.

Q. Touring the world has played a huge part in your music career. What are some of your fondest memories from the road?

A. There’s always a moment when a tour finishes that’s pretty special. No matter how the shows have gone (good or bad), I feel a massive relief come over me, like I’ve somehow survived. Then I get wistful and cry. Usually in private.

Q. You started your own record label, Planeteer Records, based in London where you are also living. What was your inspiration behind the decision of starting your own label?

A. Getting dropped after being signed to a major label for 2 years and never releasing an album changed me. After that I made a vow to never need someone’s permission to put my music out there. I may however break this vow if someone gives me boatloads of cash. Or perhaps next time I’ll just… TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN!

Q. You’re releasing a brand new record, Mr. Saturday Night; first off, what is the idea behind the title of the album?

A. I stole it from the great, great Billy Crystal movie. The film is about a comedian who should have been the greatest ever, but kept felling short. At the time when I was writing this album (I wrote the whole thing with 2 guys, Jerry Abbott and Grant Black, the first time I’d ever co-written my own songs) I was pretty jaded. I had just been dropped by EMI and this was my way of smiling through the pain. All the songs on the album are sung in the character of a down and out, been there, done that musician who’s heart is so broken he can’t bear to show anyone. As a result the songs are very bright on the surface, but if you listen to the lyrics, there’s a real darkness, a sarcasm and cynicism. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love me some Randy Newman.

Q. If you had to sum up this album in one sentence, what would it be?

A. Fun. Fun. Fun. Fun. Wait that’s four isn’t it?

Q. On the brink of your new album releasing to the public, you have some tour dates planned for the US. Are there any cities in particular you are looking forward to being in?

A. All of them. Especially Doylestown, PA. Big love to Julie Hischmann!

Q. Over on your website you release new B-sides every Monday for your fans. Its amazing hearing songs that didn’t make the cut on previous albums. What song do you wish you could go back and re-record?

A. There are definitely a few gems that got away. I love this new track I just finished called When You’re Not Around. We couldn’t get the lyrics done in time when we were finishing the album, so we left it off. Just the other day I picked it up, dusted it off and re-wrote the words. I gotta say there’s nothing like it my “canon” (fancy word there huh?). When you’re writing songs for a living, there are so many that don’t fit, having a place to show off the strays is great. Kind of like a musical ASPCA.

Q. A lot of musicians are always writing new songs. Do you find yourself already writing songs for your next record and why?

A. I’m done with Pop albums, moving up is the next medium: I’m writing a musical. No I’m not joking.

Q. If there was one piece of advice you could share with fellow musicians, what would it be and why?

A. Really ask yourself what it is you want in life and proceed accordingly. Only a fortunate few get to have their cake and eat it too, and odds are you’re not one of them. Sounds dark, but it’s definitely one of the few maxims I’ve found in the music industry.

Q. A question I ask all of the artists I interview is; If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which one would it be and why?

A. I’m probably proudest of A Dream. It’s the purest song I’ve ever written. Start to finish in an hour, no editing. That never happens. Plus it would make all the ladies cry. Wait I’m on this island alone with only one of my songs and nothing else? I’m in hell right?

The first single to be released off of the new album will be “Love Again For The First Time.” Listen and enjoy here. Support music and purchase the CD when it’s available.

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