The first thing I do when I get to any city is park my luggage, get glam & find the nearest bar and band that I would wanna be up front and center for. I wish I would have known about Brand of Julez last time I was in NYC, and able to catch a show around their stomping grounds at The Gramercy Theater, Bowery Ballroom or Webster Hall. Check my interview with Julez Zamora, singer/ front-man of Brand of Julez!
Scandalous: Julez, I'm probably talking to you from a venue green room, or in the van while you guys drive to the next show on the Bring You Army Tour with Orgy & Motograter. How was the first night of the show?
Julez Zamora: The first show was great! We got to Salt Lake City, UT the night before, celebrated with the boys a bit and got a good night's rest to prepare for the first date. The first day of tour is always a little hectic with getting to meet everyone, loading all 4 touring bands worth of gear into the venue and getting everyone on schedule. So we’re used to that. Other than that, it was a smooth first day of tour.
S: As soon as I heard "Falling Up", I knew I had to interview you. Your vocals alone really make that song, but I love every part. I'm always curious to know when the first time was that a singer realized he could sing, and their process to getting to where they are today vocally.
JZ: That for me was sometime around the age of 15/16. My dad who got me into rock music and playing music always told me I had a voice. I just needed to believe in myself. Turns out all it took was a few of the pretty girls at school to tell you have a great voice and that was all the confidence booster I need, LOL. I’m joking, kinda. It really was just me practicing at home over and over again until I started finding my voice. Then I just ran with it.
S: What's a little history on the band, and how long have you guys been around?
JZ: My brother Brandon and I started the band with my dad when we were 16 and 13. After playing hundreds of bar gigs, constant change of drummers all while slowly creating our own sound, a desire grew stronger for wanting to play music for a living. Now we’re touring the country together fighting for our dream more than ever.
S: What's the funniest thing you've thought/ heard about Texas before visiting for the first time, and was it true? AKA Do you guys think we all right horses?
JZ: This isn’t the funniest thing I’ve heard about Texas, but I heard you guys have the best Mexican food. And boy is that right!! The best tacos and quesadillas I’ve had in my life was at this little taco truck off the highway somewhere in Austin on our first tour effort. Love me some Mexican food!
S: Tracks like "Power Within", "Falling Up" and "Monkey" must surely be what people listen to before they jump out of airplanes! Are all of you guys natural performers and that's where you get that energy and power from?
JZ: 1000%! The crowd is what get us going every night! It could be a horrible day on tour, but when you hit the stage and are connecting with complete strangers for the first time whether it’s through heading banging or lyrics in a song... it’s honestly what drives us in general.
S: I'm a late 90's-early 2000's girl no questions about it. Your song openers/ riffs start off just like songs from some of my favorite bands do. What bands do you love the most, and are you inspired by anyone, or do you just do what you like when writing?
JZ: I love a large spectrum of bands. But if I had to pinpoint a band that did it for me, it would have to be Nirvana. I was already a grunge fan, so I love all the bands that came out in that era. But, Kurt Cobain, made me want to be a lead singer/guitarist in a rock band. A band that majorly inspires me today is Alter Bridge. I love everything about that band. Their songs, lyrics, riffs, live performances... that band drives me to be a better musician/song writer.
S: What do you guys want to write about that you haven't written about yet?
JZ: I live in the Bronx in NYC. A couple months ago a young teen was brutally murdered because of false identity by a local gang in the area. He was a young kid with aspirations to be NYPD police officer. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. My heart went out to the boy’s family. I couldn’t imagine their suffering of losing their child. I don’t have kids but I have 2 younger brothers that I need to look out for. So this story hit home. I would like to write lyrics about this tragedy in my local neighborhood.
S: You've done a couple tours so far with big bands, starting to form some favorites when it comes to cities and venues?
JZ: Absolutely! Some cities are favored based off of shows, other cities we just love because of the city itself. The city that caught me by surprise was Portland, Oregon. Beautiful small city, record shops all over the place, vintage shops, a ton of restaurants, beautiful women up and down the streets. The overall vibe of Portland I fell in love with.
S: You're out with Orgy and Motograter now, what are the plans for the rest of 2018/ upcoming 2019?
JZ: Hopefully finish the year with a Winter tour? We are currently writing a new EP so plans are definitely being made to hit the studio during the holidays.
S: Last question, I'm a game player. I always play games! If you had to pick one, would you rather cut off all your hair, or wear all white for an entire tour?
JZ: Oh I’d totally wear all white for an entire tour! I just recently started wearing white sneakers and a white jean jacket on stage, why not throw on some white pants and a white shirt? Hahaha.