The Januariez
stopped by Punk Globe for a chat!
Interview By: Lisa Lunney
Punk Globe:
Thank you for taking the time to chat with Punk Globe!
The Januariez:
Thanks Lisa! It's good to be here!
Punk Globe:
How did The Januariez form?
The Januariez:
This is always a fun question, because I never know where or how to begin. In early 2010, I recorded a short EP in effort to find some capable musicians who wanted to work with me. Initially I had called the project January. I know it's silly, but my birthday is in January, and the month is named after Janus, the god of the doorway. I wanted a name that related to me, wouldn't backfire on me (words have power), and evoking Janus keeps the doors open. In late 2010/early 2011, I started performing open mics with a girl named Holly, and we were at Darrell's where met drummer Reno and former bassist, Josh. Reno joined us on stage for a couple of tunes, and when we finished, the host mistakenly referred to us as the Januariez. It sounded good, so we ran with the name. We've never replaced Holly, and we've had a couple of bass players since Josh's departure. Tony Rivera has filled in up until June. Just waiting for the right people to come through that door!
Punk Globe:
What bands inspired your unique sound?
The Januariez:
When we were recording with Jack Endino, he said he could not tell what I listened to (I wrote all the lyrics, guitar, and bass on the album), and we've been compared to bands that are unfamiliar to me, which is kind of odd. My all time favorite band is the Butthole Surfers. I love that their albums sound messy and chaotic, but at the same time, there is a splinter of cohesion. And then you see them live, and it's even crazier! Their stuff is brilliantly unapologetic and intimidating. True southern trash, and that's kinda how I've always seen myself at the core. They aren't afraid of the dark. I was also heavily influenced by Fugazi, The Bags, Plaid Retina, INXS, The Sugarcubes, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and 45 Grave. I also really like early Soundgarden, The Black Keys, and some QOTSA, too. Anything that is dark, heavy, and weird. But then, I also like Motown and Hall and Oates.
Punk Globe:
Thus far, what is your favorite track?
The Januariez:
It would have to be "Shut Up and Listen!" I think it's actually one of the few songs on the album that doesn't weigh the listener with my emotional mess! ha! Though I like "Moments of Knowing" a lot, too.
Punk Globe:
Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
The Januariez:
Everywhere really. For a long time, music was an escape for me. I went through some seriously fucked up shit for a good chunk of my life, and playing music enabled me to escape. I was literally driving myself into the ground until I got pregnant and stopped playing and partying so I could take care of my son, and ultimately, myself. And then I got a phone call that changed my entire lens, and I sat down and wrote my first song in 7 years. I used these songs to face down my demons. Every song was born from that catharsis. Making the album enabled me to name the demon and give her due respect. It's ironic, cause the making of the album, creating the band, everything altogether has strengthened me in such a way that the songs I'm writing now are at my mercy, rather than the other way around.
Punk Globe:
Do you think there was a particular era of music that paved the way for the way the music industry is today?
The Januariez:
Man, I'm not even sure how to answer this. If you mean all the different genres and sub-genres of music we have and how some things that were obscure and weird are now revered as cool and whatever, then yes, I think there were some key movements that happened simultaneously in LA, NY, Detroit, and the UK in the late 70s/early 80s that really pioneered music as we know it. And we can't ignore what happened to Seattle in the early 90's. But overall I think the pivotal era was during the birth of jazz and the coincidental rise of commercialism and media in the late 1910s-early 30s. It was the perfect cocktail, and now we're all suffering the hangover. ha! Hello internet!
Punk Globe:
What band would you love to tour with?
The Januariez:
Ha! I am too much of an idealist to realistically answer this question. It is just my luck to name a band I would so love to tour with only to tour with them and end up hating them. I love so many bands, and I have ideas of how the people in those bands may be personally (based on their song content), and I know as soon as I wished to tour with them, that my ideals would be shattered, so I would love to tour with a band I don't already know and love, unless I can have time hanging out first so I can deal with the reality of the band first. Really, I would love to tour with any band who is awesome, professional, and doesn't have lots of drama. I don't want to have to track down some licentious guitarist right before we're supposed to go on or leave town or whatever.
Punk Globe:
What has been your favorite venue to play live?
The Januariez:
INartsNW Collective in Seattle. Hands down! Love you Tony and Kook!
Punk Globe:
What artists are you currently listening to?
The Januariez:
I'm in a writing phase, so I haven't really been listening to too many artists. I listen to my friends' music a lot-Seeing Blind, The Black Tones, and Kultur Shock to name a few. While I was traveling a few weeks ago, I heard a syndication of Casey Kasem's American Top 40 from June 1986. It was totally surreal. But mostly, I've been listening to the music in my head.
Punk Globe:
What are you most looking forward to in 2014?
The Januariez:
I'm looking forward to writing and recording some new music and traveling. We have enough material for another album, but I'm not sure if it's the right fit for the next thing. Lots of things are changing very quickly. We are in the middle of a personnel shuffle, but it's all good. I'm taking what I've learned these last 2 or 3 years working with all the people involved (even the people who are still mad at me, and there are a few!), all the places I've been, and all the music I've written and making the next thing a natural progression. The demon and the I shall become one, and we will all become three.
Punk Globe:
Any closing thoughts to readers?
The Januariez:
We are not satanic. I can't believe how many times we have been asked that! The image of the demon on the is the shadow self of the elf. We all have light and dark parts to our beings, and our society punishes darkness without ever truly understanding it. I refuse to deny myself an honest existence, and that means examining parts of myself that are uncomfortable. These are simply the metaphors I choose. Please just listen to the lyrics and music and check out the art. If you aren't sure what to make of all of it, check out the Hermetic Library! They have a ton of great resources!

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The Januariez