Today we are talking to a multi-talented performer who has performed on Broadway in everything from BROOKLYN to WICKED, making her most recent Broadway bows standing by in ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER and appearing as Marion in PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT - the dynamic and compelling Julie Reiber. Talking all about her new solo album, LOVE TRAVELS, and its various inspirations as well as casting a look back at her many Broadway, touring and regional roles thus far in her eclectic career - ALL SHOOK UP, SWEENEY TODD and many more included - Reiber and I attempt to illustrate her unique place on Broadway and what she would like to pursue in the future, both on the stage and in the recording studio. Additionally, Reiber opens up about her exhaustive song selection process for LOVE TRAVELS and shares candid stories of the recording process of her solo debut, including providing some background on the songs that did not make the cut, how the sterling arrangements arose out of the material and the process of becoming a singer-songwriter in her own right over the project's three-year-long creation period. Also, Reiber outlines her experiences performing in the out-of-town tryout of the new musical adaptation of Armistead Maupin's TALES OF THE CITY penned by rock super group Scissor Sisters and expresses her desire to continue with future iterations of the 70s-set Broadway-bound tuner as she looks ahead to her new roles of recording artist, and, also, she is particularly pleased to announce, mother. Plus, Julie offers details on her role in the heretofore little-known Meat Loaf-inspired movie musical ECLIPSE OF THE HEART (hopefully released some red moon soon), expresses her thoughts on GLEE and SMASH, compares Broadway now versus a decade ago - and much, much more!
Julie Reiber's LOVE TRAVELS is available now. More information can be found at her official site here.
There's A Way
PC: BROOKLYN was your Broadway debut and you performed in the tour, as well. How did that all come together for you?
JR: Well, basically, we closed the Broadway show and then they called and they wanted to know if I would play the role of Faith - I was expecting that they were going to ask me to play Brooklyn on the tour, though, because on Broadway I was the main cover for Eden [Espinosa]. But, they felt that they needed a star to play that part and so they had gotten Diana DeGarmo - the AMERICAN IDOL - to do it; I think she was like 18 or 19 at the time. So, they asked me to play Faith because I had covered for that role when Karen [Olivo] did it and for Brooklyn when Eden did it, so they asked me to play Faith and be there to back Diana up if she happened to ever be out; but, she was never out! [Laughs.]
PC: Was the tour a worthwhile experience for you?
JR: Oh, yeah - and, on the tour, some of the original cast went along as well; Cleavant Derricks was in it. Melba Moore was in it; she was new. There were some great people in that show - both in the original cast and on the tour.
PC: Without a doubt - a lot of up-and-comers, too; you, Karen Olivo, Manoel Felciano.
JR: Right. I think that Will Swenson took over for Mano [Manoel Felciano] for a while, too, actually - they had to have both been in there because I remember Will doing it. I think that Mano was one of the first people to leave and then Will came in. I remember playing opposite Will once in it and it was hysterical because he played my dad in it, too, and it was just awkward! [Laughs.]
PC: I bet!
JR: He was so young - it was so bizarre to see him playing a dad. Of course, Will's career has just blown up since then - especially since he did HAIR.
PC: And you two just did PRISCILLA together.
JR: Oh, yes - I have been lucky enough to share the stage with Will again on PRISCILLA.
PC: Was he influential in your casting in PRISCILLA or was it just a coincidence?
JR: I think that I fell into PRISCILLA because Jessica Philips was leaving and she is repped by the same agency as I am. Jessica was leaving PRISCILLA to do LEAP OF FAITH and she wanted to get out a little early than she had planned, so, my agent said, "What about Julie?"
PC: You were somehow available then even though you were in ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER?
JR: Well, CLEAR DAY was closing, so I knew I could take over for Jessica by that point, I think. The team of PRISCILLA already knew me because I was up for the role of a Diva for a long time throughout the year of auditions they had - I mean, I went in a zillion times for a Diva!
PC: Persistence paid off.
JR: It did! It did. You know, I never had even gone in for Marion, so my agent suggested me for it and then Craig over at Bernie Telsey's office was like, "Great idea!" And, so, he pushed me to do it with the producers and said, you know, "We should just have Julie come over and do it; no problem."
PC: So it was that easy?
JR: It was - they literally had me come over and try on the costumes during intermission of CLEAR DAY's closing show.
PC: How bittersweet that must have been.
JR: It was - especially because they called me during the second act of CLEAR DAY's final show and said, "OK, everything fits! Can you come tomorrow to do the show?" [Laughs.]
PC: How fortuitous for you!
JR: Yeah, it was really, really great - it worked out well.
PC: Such a showbiz story.
JR: Totally! Totally. [Laughs.]
PC: As a standby in CLEAR DAY, did you ever actually go on? It was a very short run.
JR: No. I never went on. You know, the role didn't necessarily really need a standby because it wasn't that vocally challenging of a role, but I think they needed to have one because of requirements or whatever - I never expected really to ever have to go on, though. I had been up for the role and I knew that they really liked me, so they offered for me to be the understudy for her and I passed on that opportunity when they cast it, but, then, they called me again right before they were starting and said, "We are thinking of creating a standby position for you, would you think about it?" And, I said, [Sighs.] "Oh, OK." [Laughs.]
JR: Well, you know, I was really trying at that point to not standby anymore - I had already been a standby a lot by that point and it seems like it's always like I standby for a long time and never go on and then when they get to the end, suddenly they want me to go on and cover all the time. So, I really try to say no to covering at this point when I can.
PC: Were you in another show at the same time as that?
JR: I had just come back from San Francisco where we had been doing TALES OF THE CITY - I had been away for five months. So, you know, to be able to come back and just jump right into a new Broadway show and be standing by - which, to be honest, is easy-squeezy - and get to be with my husband? C'mon!
PC: Too good of a deal to pass up.
JR: Yeah, it was. I couldn't pass that up. So, then, I said "Sure!" and it was all a lot of fun, but I didn't work very much - I had maybe three rehearsals and that's all I really did. It was a fun role and I would have liked to play it, though.
PC: Was there a pallor cast over the production after opening or was that more painted by the press that there were some problems backstage on A CLEAR DAY?
JR: I don't know that there were necessarily problems, but the team was continuing to develop everything and there were a lot of changes going on and I think that everyone was trying to find their way through the process. [Pause.] So, where the show ended up when they opened? I'm not sure if it's where they wanted the show to really be or not. You know, I hadn't been a part of the process until tech - I got to skip rehearsals because I was getting married at the time, right after TALES OF THE CITY, so, when they asked me if I was interested in being the standby, I said, "I can do it, but I am not going to be back in the city until such-and-such a date," so they didn't bring me in until tech.
PC: You breezed right through the process.
JR: Yeah, I skipped all the rehearsals and everything, so I didn't really have the experience of seeing the development of the show and where it started and where it ended up from there. Obviously, Michael Riedel didn't like us from day one and he was always trying to get us to close, but whatever. [Laughs]
PC: Whatever, indeed.
JR: I mean, I felt like there were some really great things about the production and then there were some things that maybe needed to be worked on a little more, too. It was such a talented cast and there were some great things about the production that I really liked.
PC: How did you end up in ALL SHOOK UP so quickly after BROOKLYN way back when?
JR: I got a call about ALL SHOOK UP to jump over and do it ten days after BROOKLYN closed - I guess I just have a tendency to do that! [Laughs.] They were already up and running by that point, of course, so I got to go into an already running show, which was a great new experience for me at the time. Cheyenne was so great in it.
PC: He just did this column to discuss his new pop singles, as well, actually - he's becoming quite a prolific songwriter.
JR: Oh, really?! I didn't know that! Good for him! That's so awesome - I'm so happy he is doing that.
PC: You penned some of the songs on your new album yourself - have you always been a songwriter on the side?
JR: Not really - I started writing songs back when I was doing WICKED. One day I was just like, "Come on, Jules! You're a musician, you're a singer - write a song! You can do it." So, I started writing songs and I found that I really enjoyed doing it. Then, when this album came up, I was a little afraid to put my songs out there - I mean, I've only written like thirteen songs. I felt like I didn't have a lot of experience writing songs yet and I wasn't sure if I was ready for them to be shared, but when I ended up sharing them with other people and friends of mine they all reacted really positively and said, you know, "You should really put those songs on there!" So, it was mostly about coming up with a compromise with myself to put a few songs on and sort of take that risk and be brave, but, at the same time, still do what I wanted to do with the covers and stuff.
PC: The best of both worlds.
JR: Exactly. So, the original tunes fit right into the love theme of the album, I think - all of the songs are about relationships and stuff that I have been through.
PC: What was the inspiration for "There's A Way"?
JR: "There's A Way" I wrote after I saw the film SICKO.
PC: The Michael Moore documentary.
JR: Yeah. It's all about health care and all the problems with how it is dealt with in this country - I was just infuriated with how humans are treating each other in regards to the whole health care system and the way that it is run. I could really not understand how we cannot care for each other and from out of all of that came "There's A Way".
PC: What about "Be My Love"?
JR: I wrote "Be My Love" a few months after meeting my now-husband - that one was sort of about my fears of whether or not the relationship would all work out and whether he was really the right, final guy for me.
PC: And "When You're Around"?
JR: "When You're Around" was written earlier in my life when I was dating someone that I really connected with and was having a great time with - that's really the inspiration for that. I felt like all of them fit into the set-list and James really helped me to help them evolve a little bit more and make them more layered and to give them much better arrangements. I am really proud of them and the way that they work on the album - and, I have to say, I was really nervous about putting them on there; I just had to be brave! [Laughs.]
PC: Have you gotten positive reactions about them from those who have heard the album? They fit in seamlessly, I personally think.
JR: Oh, thank you - and, yes, people have really been responding positively to the original songs; some people have even told me that they are their favorite songs on the album!
PC: A sure case for their success.
JR: Yeah, it really encourages me to keep writing and keep exploring that side of my talent - it's very new to me. You know, when you are learning a new instrument or you are trying to become a songwriter there are lots of trust issues there - you have to believe in yourself to take those risks. So, I am beginning to explore it and I am really happy I am, but I was nervous at first.
PC: Where was the album art shot?
JR: The picture was shot in Queens, actually. I am from Washington State and I have always been a little bit of a hippie girl - I'm not too crunchy granola, but a little bit - so I wanted to express the nature side of me and show a little bit of that and I think that it all went well and it is a good representation of me. We just went outside and took some shots. That tree that is in the photos on the inside is in a park and I made all of those hearts - I actually had a friend at CLEAR DAY who helped me and we made all of those hearts in our off time. [Laughs.]
PC: It was worth the effort - it's a really striking image.
JR: We hung all of those hearts ourselves, too, to take the picture.
PC: Who shot the photos?
JR: Well, my husband is actually a professional photographer, so I had him and his friends to help - they did all of the photos. My friend, Brie, who is a designer, helped me with all of the artwork - all of the swirlies and the whole design. I was so happy with how it all came out and I think the album is a really accurate representation of me; I really do.
PC: What do you think of the current performing arts renaissance thanks to properties like GLEE and SMASH?
JR: Oh, I think it's amazing and completely awesome! I mean, it's so exciting to turn on the TV and see your friends on there - like, I did WICKED with Megan Hilty and she is just blowing up now, with SMASH!
PC: You can say that again.
JR: She's so talented and so sweet - I am so happy for her. It's so great to turn on the TV and see all of these talented Broadway folks - it's really encouraging for all of us, that this new venue has opened up and people out there are more interested in the theatre and it is more accessible.
PC: And these types of shows make it more accessible, as well.
JR: Absolutely. You know, I always favor new musicals - I always favor the creativity and risk of a new thing; something that isn't based on something else, you know?
PC: The audacity of it.
JR: Yeah. So, you know, I really hope that that also continues, as well, in addition to the jukebox-y vibe of some of these shows and a lot of the new shows on Broadway. But, I definitely think shows like GLEE and SMASH totally help our business and help us all have more jobs; that's great and that's really awesome and I hope it continues.
PC: What is your perception of the climate of Broadway and how it has changed since your debut ten years ago? It seems to have changed quite a bit to becoming more corporate, no?
JR: Yeah, it has definitely, definitely changed - you know, I think you are right that TV musical theatre stuff has blown up so much, but how has that affected Broadway? Has it affected Broadway? I think it has.
JR: Broadway definitely is struggling on many levels and I think the new TV aspect of bringing musical theatre stuff to the forefront also opened up the door to celebrity - which Broadway has definitely been using. For actors like me and my colleagues, that's a big bummer for us.
PC: Why so?
JR: It takes away jobs from us - you know, producers feel the need to use American Idols and the stars from the various TV shows instead of Broadway stars who can handle the material better; people who have been specifically trained to do it and people who have worked their butts off waiting for their chance at a good part. So, yeah, I think that the vibe is more commercial, TV, celebrity-driven in some ways now.
PC: There are so few new original musicals.
JR: Exactly. Exactly. I think, personally, that that's where the most passion and the most heartfelt, hard work really is - I mean, once in a while one slips through like NEXT TO NORMAL; these pieces that are new and exciting and original that are also embraced. But, also, there are shows that are really amazing, and, unfortunately, if the tickets don't sell they close really fast - I mean, SCOTTSBORO BOYS was so powerful and a really amazing piece of art.
PC: It really was.
JR: Just because it can't sell as many tickets as something more commercial - something like AMERICAN IDIOT or whatever; the shows that the tourists and out-of-towners go to - then it doesn't have a chance and people will never have the chance to experience. That is a bummer.
PC: You can say that again.
JR: I hope that more people have experiences like NEXT TO NORMAL and THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS - something that enhances and enriches their lives.
PC: You have been in big hits and quick flops. Was WICKED a much different experience since it is such a huge machine of a hit as compared to other shows you have done?
JR: Yeah, it is really different being in something like that - they are really different experiences; absolutely. When you are a part of a little show like BROOKLYN that nobody knows and that you build from the ground floor up - especially one with a small cast that is very involved with how it is being developed all along; that is a really special experience and it's a really big bummer when it all doesn't work out and it doesn't become a big hit and keep running.
PC: Understandably so. How would you juxtapose that experience with stepping into WICKED?
JR: With something like WICKED, it's such a huge machine, like you said - but, it's also a huge gift to an actress since Elphaba is one of the greatest roles ever written. It was just amazing and I wouldn't change it for anything, but it was a very different experience - you are going into something that is pre-programmed, pre-set and already with its set of ingredients; you know, "This is how it works. We ask you to fit into this mold so it can run how it runs."
PC: Who did you standby for?
JR: Well, I was in the original LA company, standing by for Eden, and, then, I came back to New York and joined the company in 2008 and 2009, in and out a lot. I came in to cover Kerry Ellis originally, though.
PC: She has done this column and is so sweet and phenomenally gifted. Did you enjoy working with her?
JR: Oh, I just adore Kerry - she is really great; a really great person and I really like her.
PC: Her solo album is amazing, as well.
JR: She is such a rockstar - totally.
PC: Your album is truly unique, as well - a Broadway/R&B/funk solo album. Did you set out to do something different like she did?
JR: I always knew that, even though I am a musical theatre girl, it is not where I live, you know? It's like, even though I am on Broadway and acting in shows and I love it, it is only a facet of me - I mean, I was never the type of person who listened to musical theatre in my spare time just for fun.
PC: Circumstances led you there.
JR: Yeah, I always tended to just listen to musical theatre stuff when I was working on roles - my tastes tended more towards Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan and Roberta Flack and Ella Fitzgerald; a wide range of styles of music, but not a lot of Broadway. So, I always knew my first album would be a sort of mixture - sort of like how I am; you know, I love musical theatre and I especially love to put my own spin on it and put my own style in it, but I also really love pop music and I really love jazz and I really, really love R&B; I enjoy singing it all.
PC: A diverse palette.
JR: Exactly. So, I always knew my album would sound that way.
PC: Speaking of an early R&B inspiration of yours: is it true Roberta Flack stopped by when you were recording?
JR: Yes! And, P.S., I just got an e-mail from her saying she loved my album and she dropped a note in the mail to me! What?! [Laughs.]
PC: Unreal! She's killing you softly!
JR: Yeah! Yeah. For real. She is. [Laughs.]
PC: Tell me the story.
JR: I was freaking out! We were at Avatar, and she was in Studio B and she came over and knocked on the door and said, "Who's over here in Studio A?" It's the Power Station - a serious amount of really important albums have been recorded there.
PC: It's iconic.
JR: I was so lucky to get the pleasure to record there. So, she was next door and she came in and it was so fun to meet her and talk to her. Talk about inspiration! She's such a legend. It was so cool to chat with her and hang out. When we were done she asked me to send her a copy of the album when it was done and so I did, and, then, just today, I got an e-mail from her saying she really liked the album and a note is in the mail. It's really exciting for me, I have to say! [Laughs.]
PC: Fate is telling you to cover "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"! It would be perfect.
JR: Oh, she is just so perfect on that! I could do a little musical theatre spin on that, though - I could.
PC: What can you tell me about a little-known movie musical you were involved in titled ECLIPSE OF THE HEART? Did it contain the classic Jim Steinman song?
JR: Oh, yeah - ECLIPSE OF THE HEART. That was a film that we shot when I was out in LA doing WICKED. This guy, Henry Farnham wrote it - it's like this Meat Loaf musical film. It's all Meat Loaf music.
PC: Both BAT OUT OF HELL albums?
JR: Yes, yes - all of that stuff. I had two songs in it and a few scenes.
PC: What songs did you do?
JR: I did "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" - that duet - and we filmed this awesome scene in this 50s-style car up in the mountains of LA; in the canyons looking over LA.
PC: How atmospheric.
JR: Yeah, it looked really amazing. And, then, I did a little bit on "Total Eclipse Of The Heart", too - just a little bit of that; it was sung by all of us in the cast. I actually had another song, I think, too, but I don't remember what it was - this was back in 2008, remember.
PC: What's the status of the project now?
JR: Actually, I was just asking Henry the same thing the other day! I know that they were hoping on finishing filming and editing it, so hopefully they finish it and we all can see it and it gets around. It was really fun to do and it had some really interesting stuff in it - it could be really good. He was a really smart and nice guy who did it.
PC: What was the film about, exactly? What was the plot?
JR: Well, I'm not really sure - all I remember is he kind of wrote a story around the songs, so there were definitely a lot of stories to tell! There were a lot of love triangles in it and different intertwining stories and things like that, I remember - it was all pretty complex.
PC: Did any other theatre performers appear in the film?
JR: Well, it was mostly LA people - TV and soap actors. Shoshana Bean did a little scene and sang a song, as well; I know that.
PC: Is your voice naturally inclined to do the riffs and vocalisme you add or does that come from your inspirations?
JR: Well, it's funny - I'm actually classically trained; I sang opera all the way through college.
PC: That seems so unlikely given this album - what range!
JR: Yeah, I was serious opera - now, I'm like, "How the hell did I sing any of this stuff?!" [Laughs.]
PC: What operas do you most fondly remember doing in college?
JR: Oh, THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO. SUSANNAH - this crazy contemporary opera; beautiful, gorgeous music. That one was probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire career, to be honest - it was totally insane.
PC: So your training is predominately classical, then?
JR: Yeah, I trained in classical from the age of 12 and then I studied opera in college, so I kind of always just did the pop and musical theatre stuff - I never gave it a lot of thought, I just did it. So, I would do musical theatre summer stock stuff when I could - I remember I did Audrey in LITTLE SHOP and I did Sandy in GREASE. In my spare time, I was listening to stuff like Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey - I was so obsessed with that stuff; I knew every riff, every line. So, yeah, I think that by just singing along with those people that the soul part of me came out - I never trained for it or worked for it, it just came out. It was the classical stuff that was always hard for me - I had to really train and work at it.
PC: What about singing rock music?
JR: Well, it's funny you mention that because the very first job I got when I moved to New York was RENT.
PC: What was that experience like - a bit fish-out-of-water?
JR: Well, anything was easier than the opera stuff! And better! [Laughs.] It all just came much easier to me, I think - whether it was rock or pop or R&B; the contemporary musical theatre stuff and the pop/rock stuff. All of that was easy to me. I have really lucked out, too, because most of musical theatre now is going in that vein.
PC: No question about that.
JR: I am really lucky that I have the skills to do that - I am so glad I am not stuck in the legit world, even though I love doing that stuff, too. I mean, I did Johanna in SWEENEY TODD!
PC: And Rose in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE.
JR: Oh, yeah - that, too! Rose is one of my favorite roles of all time, actually! I am just so lucky that I get the chance to do all kinds of roles. You know, there are still some casting directors in this town who would never call me in for that - they wouldn't think that's what I "do" - but, thankfully, some of them know all the stuff I have done so they give me more of a chance to show what I can do.
PC: Speaking of all you can do, you show tremendous range with this album. How did you happen to sing "Walk On By"? Are you a fan of Burt Bacharach and Hal David?
JR: Oh, I have always loved that song and I have been auditioning with it for years, so we had to replace another song and I said to James, my producer, "How about 'Walk On By'?" I think it is a great acting song, and, also, just such a solid tune. So, I thought, "Why don't we put a groove to it and see if we can funk it out a little bit?" And, he was like, "Eh, I don't know." But, then, I said, "Just think about it!" So, that night, at like 3 AM he sent me an e-mail and it had a file attached and the message said "How about this?" And so I clicked on it and I heard that groove that's at the top of it and I just freaked out!
PC: It's a great groove.
JR: I was just like, "This is amazing!" [Laughs.] He really encouraged me to really take more of the theatrical aspect of it out, actually, because the arrangement that we were now doing was trying to be more dynamic with the sound and musically more layered and interesting - it was a unique way of approaching it, I think; I would not sing "Walk On By" like that if you just approached me to sing it, you know?
PC: It's a bit of a reinterpretation.
JR: Definitely - it is. But, yes, to answer your original question, I really love all those old Bacharach songs and I especially love following the through-lines of the stories in all of the songs. They're so well-made and fun to sing - and act.
PC: You spoke earlier of replacing some original selections - what songs did not make the cut for the album?
JR: Well, I had a Jason Mraz song - "I'm Yours" - and then I had another one of his songs actually for a while, too - a song from his new album; a real fun, feel-good tune.
PC: He's actually done this column - what a talented guy.
JR: Yeah, he really is - I love his albums. He's really great. I actually do shows for kids and I accompany myself on the guitar - you know, just some fun stuff for kids - and one of the songs I usually end up doing is [Sings.] "La la la la la la, life is wonderful / La la la la la, life is…"
PC: "It takes a crane to build a crane," after all.
JR: Right! [Laughs.] I just thought it would be such a great song for kids, you know? It's very simple, straightforward - and a real life-lesson. I love it.
PC: So, Jason didn't make the final song-list, but John Mayer did. Tell me about that track.
JR: Yes, John Mayer did. That was a last minute addition, actually, as well. I love John Mayer and I think he is just a brilliant songwriter, so I had gone through so many of his songs trying to choose something and I just couldn't figure out what tune would work - the only one that kept working was "Back To You", but it hadn't really made the final cut. So, when I made some room by cutting some other tunes, I brought it to James and I was like, "What about this? I love the story and if we play with it a little bit we can make something pretty cool and different." To be honest, the strings on that arrangement just rock my world! [Laughs.]
PC: As they should - it's a marvelous production.
JR: I thought all the arrangements he did were so great - and that is a perfect example of it.
PC: What other songs didn't make the cut?
JR: I had a bunch of Stevie Wonder songs; a lot of them. We had worked on quite a few Stevie Wonder tunes - there were so many that I wanted to do, but there's always next time!
PC: TALES OF THE CITY is not only a fabulous contemporary score, but it was also composed by a modern pop/rock group, so it seems to be the perfect marriage of worlds for you. Do you know what the future of the show is at this point?
JR: I loved working on the show, but I don't know what's up with it - I think they are going to keep working on it. The other thing is that everyone is just so busy - I mean, Jason Moore just directed a huge movie and Stephen Oremus is doing KINKY BOOTS and the Scissor Sisters are on a world tour. So, I am glad people are still talking about it and buzzing about it, but I don't know what's next for it. It's such a fun piece and there is so much good stuff in there - it has the potential to be a really, really great piece, I think, so I hope we hear more about it.
PC: Would you like to continue on playing Connie then in the future?
JR: Oh, absolutely - I had such a blast doing that show. It was great.
PC: Did you consider doing "Nobody's City" or any other songs from the fabulous score on your album, perchance?
JR: "Nobody's City" is a great one - so is "Paper Faces". You know, to be honest, I had already started working on the album prior to getting cast in that, so it wasn't really on my radar. I mean, I had been working on that album for two, two and a half years before TALES - we actually went into the studio to record all the music and I had planned to get my vocals down, too, before I went out to San Francisco, but we just didn't have the time so I did my vocals when I got back. It was just a long process - between my schedule and James's schedule it took a good two years to just get all the arrangements set and songs set and musicians set. Then, it was about scheduling and getting everybody together to do the studio work. It just took a lot of time to get everybody in the studio together and although I wanted it to move faster, I never wanted to rush the process and I'm glad that we never did. The whole thing took more than three years to do.
PC: Will you be doing any concerts to promote the album's release coming up soon?
JR: Well, I already did the album release at Rockwood - which was great. I did have high hopes to do more concerts, but then I got pregnant! [Laughs.]
JR: Thank you - yeah, I am actually five and a half months along now. So, I was pregnant in PRISCILLA and I was so sick - my first trimester I was so sick! [Laughs.]
PC: Did they have to watch out in the front row occasionally?
JR: [Laughs.] I just did everything I could to get through the first trimester and PRISCILLA and I did, so, now that I am halfway through my pregnancy, I am now sort of all in baby-land and not focusing on the album anymore like I know I should be. But, yes, I hope I will get some more concerts on the docket to promote the album.
PC: What are your thoughts of performances of yours appearing on YouTube?
JR: Oh, I have pages and pages of stuff up on YouTube - and I didn't put any of it up! The way that I see it is that in the long run it doesn't hurt me as a performer for people to have that access - to be able to go on YouTube and look me up and see me sing and do a bunch of other stuff; for me, it can only help me. But, of course, if someone put something embarrassing up I probably would feel differently. So, I respect the fact that if somebody doesn't want to be taped, they shouldn't be taped. But, yeah - there is a lot of stuff of mine up there.
PC: Last question: your voice seems perfect for Christine McVie or Stevie Nicks - do you ever sing any Fleetwood Mac material?
JR: Oh, I loves me some Fleetwood Mac! I love it. I am such a child of that whole era. I will!
PC: The whole LOVE TRAVELS album is like a lost pop/funk gem from the 1970s - a fantastic summer album. Thank you so much for this today, Julie.
JR: Oh, thank you, Pat! This was awesome, man! It's so nice to meet you! Thanks, too, for spreading the word about the album! Bye bye.
Pat Cerasaro is a playwright and screenwriter currently in pre-production on his first feature film.|