April 1, 2015

Show Us Yours #25: Julius Earthling

We had reason to be a little down as the credits rolled on 2014, as a number of our favorite local acts had called it a day. But 2015 has already been marked by a number of exciting new discoveries -- which will be a subject of a forthcoming feature from Staff Writer Dillon Riley in coming days -- as well as welcome returns from... uh... somewhere? This latter designation is almost entirely set aside for rising Boston noise-pop trio Julius Earthling. As we said here a couple months ago, the act kind of dropped of the map after the release of an initial EP titled For: a couple years back. But its very ambitious follow-up, titled NFL Bliss and a real blinder, is so worth the wait. The new EP's six songs show an exponential degree of development both in terms of songwriting and production; perhaps most notable from a rock consumer's standpoint are the collection's bounty of Weezer-grade hooks, Algernon Cadwallader-level vim (particularly on the euphoric strummer "Motorcycle Tricks" and the frantic "575"), and scads of skewed smarts in evidence at every turn. What is responsible for the major step forward for the band, whose roots stretch back to 2009, whose rhythm section has played together since they were young teens, and which almost -- impossibly -- called itself Fetal Castro? We took our questions straight to the act, couching them within the context of our long-suffering Show Us Yours feature, which takes a look at the practice spaces of the hitmakers of the day with an eye toward learning both what makes the band tick, and what their next moves will be. The Earthling's Anthony DeRosa (bass guitar), Cam McClusky (guitar, voice) and Sam Nickerson (drums) were all super gracious with their time, and we think you will agree that this 25th episode of Show Us Yours is among the very best we've ever published.
Clicky Clicky: So why do you use this practice space? What makes it the best space for Julius Earthling right now?

Sam Nickerson: We used to practice at Brighton Sound Museum in a space we shared with some old friends and some fashion punx.

Cam McClusky: Then some of Sam's gear went missing and we got "the boot."

SN: The Roots, The Radicals...

Anthony Derosa: So Brad -- who recorded us and put out our first record -- invited us to Hanging Horse in Norwood.

CM: Which is also a full recording studio and where we recorded NFL Bliss, and our first EP. So it is a hike and hard to schedule sometimes, but there's a triangle window and I'd live [t]here if I could.

CC: Triangle window aside, is there an idiosyncrasy or quirk to the space that has affected the sound of one of your songs, or even the overall sound?

AD: It's a huge room and definitely has a signature sound. You can always tell when someone recorded there. We rolled a Harley Davidson in through the garage doors and recorded it for the intro of "Motorcycle Tricks."

CC: You walk into your space. What's the first thing that you smell?

CM: The control room always smells like Crizz.

AD: Aged trinkets everywhere. Thrift Store Rejects.

CM: That's our next band...

SN: It's in an old industrial area, so maybe poison?

CC: The new EP blows us away, as it is more than just a substantial step forward from the For: EP. It's more like two or three steps forward. NFL Bliss shows so much development, in a number of different areas: more ambitious compositions, more technically proficient, bigger hooks. I guess Clicky Clicky is just interested in how that happened? Is it just a question of having a greater skill set and different influences feeding into the two EPs? Did you sell one or more of your souls?

SN: It all depends on your gait and the size of your steps, really.

CM: I can personally say that I had no idea what I was doing while writing the music music for For:. I did build a massive pedal board between releases, which sucks to carry around, but now there's more cartoon sounds. And I do think For: was more of a feeling-out process, and now, with every song we write, we just try to out-do the one before.

AD: I don't know.

CC: NFL Bliss was originally supposed to be eight songs -- what happened? Holding something back for a possible full-length (we hope)?

AD: We sold the other two to ESPN. I mean HGTV.

CM: "MTV Cribs." But really, we're looking to do maybe two songs on a 7" later in the year.

CC: Had it survived, do you think the level of bliss in the XFL would be higher than in the NFL?

CM: Short Answer: YES. Long Answer: Things just didn't go as planned. If it had managed to survive and prosper the way Vince McMahon intended, we'd be looking at a level of bliss never seen before. Imagine the combination of Wrestlemania and a perpetual, season-long Super Bowl. On a more serious note, The XFL's one and only season was in 2001. I'm not saying all of the blame lies with 9/11, but that definitely didn't help. We let the terrorists win.

SN: The bliss levels in Slam Ball, however: THAT'S another story.

AD: Wrestlemania is on my birthday this year.

CC: All that aside, what do the next six months look like for Julius Earthling? Any plans to get out and tour the EP?

CM: I'm hoping that Natalie Portman will be 6 months pregnant with my child. I can't speak for anyone else in the band on this issue. But yes. More shows in New England for the time being, and hopefully getting on the road late this summer.

SN: Just hoping we don’t end up in court. A great man did say once: "This copyrighted broadcast is the property of the National Football League. Any rebroadcast or reproduction without the consent of the NFL is strictly prohibited."
NFL Bliss was released to the wilds of the Interzizzles March 18, and you can purchase the short set as a digital download or CD and pin combo dealy via the act's Bandcamp right here. The band is slated to play this gig in Allston Rock City Saturday, but thereafter presently has no live dates booked, or at least none that we are aware of, but as you saw above, more shows and perhaps a tour are in the cards for later in the year. We can't imagine this EP won't be enough to net The Earthling a deal to put out that 7" they're pondering, and we will certainly keep you abreast of all developments. Not fully caught up on the long, stuttering history of Show Us Yours? Surf the links below the embed of the EP, which is also a thing you should be hitting "play" on right now, yes?

Previous Show Us Yours episodes:
Shapes And Sizes | Dirty On Purpose | Relay | Mobius Band | Frightened Rabbit | Assembly Now | Meneguar | Okay Paddy | Charmparticles | Calories | Sun Airway | It Hugs Back | Lubec | A Giant Dog | Bent Shapes | Krill | Golden Gurls | Earthquake Party! | Hallelujah The Hills | Seeds Of Doubt | The Cherry Wave | Coaches | Night Mechanic | Kindling

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