It’s been a very busy and productive year for the band Jule Vera. Members Ansley Newman on vocals, Jake Roland on guitar, William Stacey on bass and “Hogarth” Horvath on drums have just finished up a busy summer performing 43 shows with Van’s Warped Tour in support of their recent “Friendly Enemies” EP on Pure Noise Records. Last year, Jule Vera won the title of Best Emerging Artist of the day at Summerfest 2014 in Milwaukee and gave the crowd that day a headliner-worthy afternoon performance. One year later, Jule Vera, now working on new material, came back to Milwaukee as a noteworthy band on the rise.
It was just quarter past 11am when Jule Vera took the stage in Milwaukee last July 28 at Van’s Warped Tour, a little early for rock n’ roll, but you wouldn’t have known it by the electricity that the band was generating in the airwaves. As droves of fans entered the temporary tent and stage city that Warped Tour had built on the Summerfest grounds, many people found their way to the Kevin Says Stage, where Jule Vera called home this summer. Jule Vera was kind enough to talk to me recently about tour life, their new video for “Light The Night” and what’s next for the band.
John Schulze: As Warped Tour 2015 is wrapping up, can you each reflect back a bit on your experience this summer and tell me some of the highlights you each had ?
Ansley Newman: Playing the Chicago show was a highlight for me. It was our biggest crowd of the summer and I had a lot of fun.
Hogarth Horvath: Just getting to play every day was the best part about the tour for me.
William Stacey: In Albuquerque, Stephen Christian, from the band Anberlin, came out and performed a song with us. He’s one of my musical heroes, so it was a really cool experience.
Jake Roland: One of the highlights for me was looking back on all I’ve learned over the summer. Every day was a completely new challenge that we had to face and we learned something different every time.
JS: Let’s talk about your recently released EP on Pure Noise Records, “Friendly Enemies.” What was it like recording your first EP and would you talk a bit about the colored vinyl editions that you had pressed ? What do you think is really driving the current revival of vinyl?
Jake: It was interesting because we did it over a period of three years. We would write a song together then we’d edit it and try to make it perfect. It might have been a couple months before we got to record the drums for it, and a couple more weeks after that we got to do the guitars, etc. During the whole process we were learning how to record and how to play our instruments in the studio, and it helped us in every way in music. There’s limited amounts of our colored vinyl, so the point was so the fans who have been with us for the beginning would be able to get something special that no one else will ever have. Vinyl are now collectible, and some of the greatest artists of all time printed on it 50 years ago. It’s cool that new bands like us are able to print and sell our records in the same way that they did.
JS: Alternative Press recently declared that Jule Vera’s video for “Light The Night” was one of the best six videos of the year so far. Talk to me about going to the AP awards show recently, who you met and what it feels like to get such high praise. Also, talk to me about the creative and artistic lighting that was set up in the video. It looked like you spent a lot of time getting things just right.
William: Being able to go to that show was surreal. I mean we walked in and here we are on the floor of the cavaliers arena and there is Weezer sound checking. Weezer! They are one of the most legendary bands of the last two decades. So, needless to say, we had a lot of fun. Ansley got to meet Haley Williams, who is one of her long time influences.
That video was extremely fun and stressful to make. We had one weekend, really two days, to finish two videos. Everything in the video we did ourselves, so we just brainstormed and figured out what we wanted. Then, for months in advance, trying to find the best ways to do it. All the mirrors we got from the closet doors of Jake’s house then built frames and stood them up in a dance studio. Then we bought tons of different lights and set up different scenes. Since we were in such a rush we made a system to change scenes quick. We would take fishing line and hang paper clips on it then tie more fishing line on the lights and put another paper clip on it. That way we could just slide the paper clips on and off to changeover fast. They turned out great and the director killed the shots they look amazing.
JS: What’s next for Jule Vera?
William: Well we have two more music video coming out, one for “Scarlet Letter,” which is the one we shot in the same weekend as light the night, and then one for “Die Trying.” Be on the lookout for those. Also, we will be on a U.S. and Canada tour this fall with Against The Current and Vinyl Theater. We are super stoked for that. Make sure you get your tickets because they will sell out.
You can get tickets for the upcoming Against The Current, Vinyl Theater and Jule Vera tour at the Fueled By Ramen website. You can buy a copy of “Friendly Enemies” from MerchNOW and you can watch the video for “Light The Night” on YouTube. You can like Jule Vera on Facebook and you can also follow Jule Vera on Twitter. Limited quantities of “Friendly Enemies” EP vinyl records were made, so be sure to grab one before they’re gone.