JULIETTE COMMAGERE Q&A: “THE PART OF MYSELF THAT I USUALLY DON’T LET PEOPLE SEE…”
LA born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Juliette Commagere has always been highly in demand as a performer. That’s why she was personally asked to open for The Foo Fighters and supported Bat For Lashes at the Latitude Festival.
‘Big Star’ is her new splendid track (out now) taken from Juliette’s impressive new album ‘Human’, a dark and evocative soundscape meant for the starkness of the Mojave Desert or night drives through L.A. when the sun is getting low…
Hi Juliette. Can you talk a bit about your new single ‘Big Star’ and your new album ‘Human’?
Let’s see…I wrote Human thinking I was making some catchy pop record or something. Not intentionally, but I felt like that was what was coming out. That shows what I know. For Human I played around more with creating drum loops on my MPC and some songs are written with only layered synths and no other instruments.
But nothing is more boring than talking about how you made a record. Human is liking riding into the deepest darkest depths of my soul! It’s the part of myself that I usually don’t let people see but then here it is for all to see!How has your music evolved since you first began playing music?
Oh my god…when I started out I was terrified and had no idea what I was doing. I let people push me around. But not anymore. Never in a million years would I have thought I would have a solo career. I thought I would be part of a band forever.
I love all styles of music and I feel like I could make any kind of music I want, but there is something about the music I choose to make that challenges me and transports me to another world. I want to create sounds and emotional landscapes that I don’t hear all the time. I don’t know if I’ve achieved originality but trying to recreate music I’ve already heard bores me.
Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration?
From the maniacal circular thoughts that are constantly spinning around my head. But I’d like to think my songs have a sense of optimism in them. I also draw a lot from nature and my emotions. And the way I feel when I’m alone. Sometimes I write about things that have happened but usually my ideas are more abstract than that.
What did you learn from sharing the stage with Linda Perry, Air, Greg Kurstin, Nick Lowe, Bat For Lashes…?
I keep thinking I’m learning something from working with different people but then again I have no idea what it is. Everyone’s success is very different. Some people are really kind and some people are not. Some people work really hard and some people don’t.
Some people work at music with the methodical approach of a 9 to 5 job, and others approach it with spontaneity. Some are really good musicians an some are not. I think I’ve learned that nothing makes any sense at all and I should stop trying to make sense out of everything. Were you surprised when Foo Fighters asked you to open for them?
More like they were probably surprised when I said, “Hey, can I open for you?”. But I was surprised when they said yes!
Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Well you don’t have to come if you don’t want to but after my last show my friend said it was like Twin Peaks meets Blade Runner. That sounds pretty cool to me. And I’ll have a light sculpture that the artist Christina Pierson made for me…and I have the coolest keyboards…and I make all my own stage clothes…and my show is the opposite of having a million friends on stage with hand drums yelling hey and ho which is a lot of what I’ve been seeing these days.
What has been the hardest part of being in the music industry for you?
Being in the music industry is a nightmare. If you are weighing starting a band or writing for television definitely write for television instead. Even my friends who are struggling actors have more money than the musicians who are supposedly doing okay. It’s just that every contract is set up in a way so that the musician is getting screwed.
Even producers are getting screwed. Making money is extremely difficult because the second you make any money you have to put it right back into music. But–it’s the most fun you could ever have! That’s why everyone in the world wishes they were a musician!
Who has helped you the most get to where you are today?
Where am I? I have no idea. But my husband, Joachim–he pushes me to keep going. When he loves something I do that is the most important thing to me. Although every time I play him something new I preface it by saying “and you have to tell me this is the greatest thing you’ve ever heard”.
Who would you want to do a duet with?
I’d like to do a duet with Juliette Barnes. And not just because we have the same name.
What’s coming next for you?
I really want to move to some remote scandinavian shore for a while. Maybe I will go there and write a book. That’s what I would really like to do. But most likely I will stay in my basement in L.A., drink some IPAs, and crank out some more music!
By Frank Bell ©FAMEMAGAZINE.co.uk