Side Note: Some of the most humble + gracious people we’ve met to this day, are in this band. SO happy to see them thrive + rock the stage at Sound on Sound in the coming weeks.
Check out our Interview with JULAI, TJ ,+ KEEGAN below:
Question 1: Can you introduce your band and tell us a bit about its history and members?
Answer: Julai and The Serotones is a dynamic band composed of 8 talented members:
- Julai (Lead Singer):
- TJ (Drummer + Management + Back End)
- Keegan (Saxophone)
- William Durant (baritone guitar)
- Tom Pelton (trumpet & keys)
- Pete McEachern (alto & soprano saxophone)
- Nick Lenz (bass guitar)
- Brad Griffith (guitar)
The group originally formed in early 2015 when a few friends got together to jam in Bridgeport, Connecticut. T.J. Debicella (drums) and Brad Griffith (guitar) had a vision to put together a powerhouse group of musicians. Over the course of just a couple years, the band made a strong entrance into the live scene, making waves with their unique bluesy tone and soulful vibes. With beginnings as a trio, the band has evolved into an undeniably powerful octet; and in 2021 the group completely reimagined their presence.
Question 2: Did you know each other before? When did you get together? How do you pronounce your name?
Answer: The band members’ connections stemmed from mutual friends, shared high school experiences, and a chance encounter at a natural foods market. Three horn players, including Keegan, came together, strengthened by their shared school history and friendships. As for the pronunciation of the band’s name, it’s pronounced “ju-lie” and “ser-o-tones.”
Question 3: How did you find out that you were going to be opening for the Sound on Sound festival? What was your initial reaction?
Answer: The band’s journey to opening for the Sound on Sound festival was marked by dedication and perseverance. After playing five shows in New York City, often to sparse crowds, they kept their professionalism at it’s peak knowing opportunities arise out of nowhere sometimes. When the opportunity to open for Sound on Sound festival came, their initial reaction was one of celebration and validation of their dedication to their craft.
Question 4: What kind of preparation did you go through to get ready for this performance?
Answer: Preparing for a festival like Sound on Sound required meticulous planning. The band spent hours working on their setlist, timing their performance, and leaving room for introductions and audience interaction. They also aimed to build hype around their performance and create a memorable experience for festival-goers. Their dedication was evident in the planning and refining of their set.
Question 5: Can you describe your music style and what sets your band apart from others?
Answer: Julai and The Serotones’ music style is a captivating blend of genres, including dance rock, jazz, hip-hop, and reggae. Their music is known for its high energy and an infectious, upbeat vibe that gets audiences on their feet and dancing. This unique blend of influences sets them apart from other bands.
Question 6: Sound on Sound is known for its diverse lineup. How do you feel your music fits into the festival’s overall atmosphere?
Answer: The band’s high-energy performance and unique sound blend seamlessly with the diverse lineup at Sound on Sound festival. Their music complements other acts on the bill, making them a perfect addition to the festival’s atmosphere.
Question 7: What songs can festival-goers expect to hear during your performance, and why did you choose them?
Answer: Festival-goers can expect to hear popular tracks like “Green Light,” the band’s top song on streaming services, and songs from their new album, such as “Pick Up Your Phone.” The selection reflects their best work and showcases their musical evolution.
Question 8: Is there a particular artist or band performing at Sound on Sound that you’re excited to see or possibly collaborate with?
Answer: The band members have various artists they’re excited to see or potentially collaborate with at Sound on Sound festival, including Sammi Ray and The Friends, Hozier, Dispatch, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Question 9: Performing at a festival can be a dream come true for many artists. What message or emotion do you hope to convey to the audience during your set?
Answer: During their set, Julai and The Serotones aim to convey a message of fun, positivity, and community. They want the audience to let loose, forget their worries, and immerse themselves in the music. Their performances aim to boost serotonin levels and make everyone feel like they’re part of something special.
Question 10: Can you share any memorable moments or challenges you’ve encountered while preparing for this festival?
Answer: The need to be gracious + positive at all times . They emphasize the importance of friendship and open communication within the band.
Question 11: What advice would you give to other local bands aspiring to perform at larger festivals like Sound on Sound?
Answer: The band advises aspiring local bands to surround themselves with loved ones, persevere, and never give up. They stress the importance of gratitude, humility, and hard work in achieving their dreams.
Question 12: After Sound on Sound, what’s next for your band? Any upcoming projects or tours we should look out for?
Answer: After Sound on Sound, the band plans to release singles throughout the year, promote their upcoming album, and organize a release show. They’re also considering a small tour next year and aspire to hit more significant festivals.
Question 13: What’s the creative process like for your band? How do you go about writing and producing your music?
Answer: The band’s creative process varies, with some songs taking one night to write and others evolving over three years. On average, most of the instrumentation is completed in 3-4 weeks, with lyric writing happening afterward. Writing melodies varies, often driven by personal inspiration.
Question 14: Are there any local venues or festivals that have been particularly supportive of your band’s growth?
Answer: The band receives substantial support from local venues like High Nine Brewing in Deep River, CT, and their close network of friends, photographers, sound engineers, and fans. These local connections have played a crucial role in their growth.
Question 15: Who is someone you’ve been wanting to work with?
Answer: The band members express a desire to work with bands like Rubblebucket and No Doubt due to their inspiring vocals, energy, and unique stage presence.
Question 16: Lastly, is there anything you’d like to share with us, that we haven’t touched upon?
Answer: The band encourages everyone to follow them on Instagram and keep an eye out for their upcoming album. They are passionate about sharing their music with the world and are excited about the journey ahead.
About JULAI + the Serotones:
JULAI and the Serotones are an 8-piece powerhouse band that bring their high-energy sound to listeners worldwide. The band has appeared on bills with award-winning legends such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Mayer, Alanis Morissette, Trey Anastasio, Hozier, Steel Pulse, Gin Blossoms, The Skatalites, Ripe, and more. After hearing the band’s debut studio album, critics have commented, “Driving with outright creative freedom and faultless musicianship, the precision and passion of JULAI and the Serotones reaches unrivalled peaks… Guided by confidently meandering vocals, the Connecticut band showcases a level of unity and colorful optimism that’s unparalleled amidst such a vast group set-up.” Deftly navigating between high caliber improvisation and downright catchy original tunes, the band has a unique ability to bring out the best in every crowd they play for.