Interview by Tarja Virmakari
Just recently, Italian Rock Grunge Project JULIA AND THE ROOFERS released their debut album ‘The Will Of Evil’, strongly influenced by the sound of the Seattle bands of the 90s as well as by the angry approach typical of the riot groups (Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Hole, Babes in Toyland). The album is now available digitally on the main digital platforms, and physically on Amazon, eBay, Spotify + on the band’s Bandcamp page.
Metal Shock Finland‘s Tarja Virmakari had a pleasure to talk with the band’s frontlady Julia and Ranza, talking widely about the band’s debut album ‘The Will Of Evil’, which was released on January 7th 2021 via Diamonds Prod, and many more. Read the interview below.
- Hello JULIA AND THE ROOFERS, welcome to Metal Shock Finland! First a question to you, Julia, entered the musical world in 2010, would you like to tell me about how?
Julia: Hi Tarja! I started playing when i was 15 in a band made up of some school friends. When I realized music was more than a passion I started studying singing and guitar. Then I joined a Led Zeppelin tribute band and this experience completely changed my point of view and “trained” me. After that I tried a lot of diffenre genres: I played guitar in a reggae band but also sang in some prog, heavy and thrash metal bands.
- Please tell us, how you came up with the project, formed in 2018, and why this name? How is it connected to roofs, lol, or just a nice nick to your band mates?
Julia: At first we were an acoustic cover band because where we live is very difficult to play in an electric set. So at the beginning we just wanted to play and have fun till we decided to try composing something new taking adcantages of the lockdwon period. I left my colleagues choose the name and they insisted on calling themselves “roofers”.
Ranza: About the word “roofer” we choose this one with Peso because sounded cool, yeah guys, we fix roofs lol, last year we discovered that in english slang it means “pushers” lmao
- Infact, talking about your band mates, Peso and Ranza, how did you meet each others? And what are their inputs in this project, concerning the songwriting etc?
Julia: I met Peso and Ranza when I started taking guitar lessons at musicart school with Pier Gonella. I performed a few times with Peso for various events sponsored by the school until he offered me to start a band. this is how Julia And The Roofers were born.
Ranza: I first met Julia in a concert organized by the school where I teach guitar, when I was coming in the theatre where the bands played I heard her singing and I thought “Wow! She has a great voice!” Then six years later I started playing with her.
- What are your personal influences, music-wise?
Julia: Personally I consider Led Zeppelin my biggest influence as a singer and a musician but I also like Alice In Chains especially Jerry Cantrell’s work as a composer.
Ranza: My influences come from jazz, I love John Coltrane and Pat Metheny, ‘70 rock with Beatles and George Harrison and one of my favourite metal records come from Finland: “Elegy” by Amorphis, I think it’s a milestone in my musical growth.
- Talking about the songs themselves, from where you take the topics and inspiration?
Julia: This album is a very personal work. I decided to talk about some episodes of my recent past that I wanted to exorcise using all the bad memories and anger to create something useful and start over.
Ranza: It was a pleasure and honor to work with such a musicians like Peso and Julia and I really enjoyed and had fun studying the harmonic arrangements. I only regret that we had not the magic of work together in a rehearsal room and in a recording studio but, well, I think we did a great team work.
- How would you describe your musical style?
Julia: We tried to make something different not focusing on a specific genre. Anyway my grunge influence is very recognizable as well as some reference to the sound of the 70s. I think that Peso gave that heavier touch to the songs and Ranza worked hard to make everything homogeneous.
- We all know that this current world situation has changed the music industry, but you didn’t stop, and during the lockdown you decided to draft your debut album ‘The Will Of Evil’, please tell us more on how it came together?
Julia: Because of pandemic we had to work remotely so I played the drafts of the songs via Skype and I recorded them with my phone so they could work on them too. It was a bit of a complicated process but it allowed us to arrive in the recording studio prepared and motivated.
Ranza: Sometimes, working one by one, we felt differently the feelings of any single song, I remember that one time, when I was first approaching “bones” I played a totally different intro and she told me “this is not what I have in mind” lol, but we worked to give form to Julia’s ideas and this is good.
- Your debut album ‘The Will Of Evil’ was released on January 7th 2021 via Diamonds Prod, what can you tell us about its sound?
Julia: I think this album is something to be listened to without prejudice, without imposing limits related to genres and styles. This is what I recommend: close your eyes and just listen!
- Is it a concept album, or does it have 9 separate stories?
Julia: It’s more a concept album, all the songs are shades of the same story. To sum up the record is about a toxic relationship.
- Just recently you released 3 singles + videos from the album, ‘Sound of Evil’, ‘Eros & Thanatos’ and ‘River’, why these choices as first singles?
Julia: We chose at first “Sound Of Evil” ’cause when we were recording it we fell in love with the song which also sees the participation of Pier Gonella as solo guitarist. With the second single “Eros And Thanatos” we wanted to show our dark and erotic side which we best represented in the video. For “River”, the third one, we created a lyrics video cause it’s one of the most representative lyrics of the album.
- As we don’t yet know when the proper shows and tours will be again possible, how will you support the album in the meantime?
Julia: We planned to make more video to support the project hoping to be able to perform live as soon as possible.
Ranza: The best thing to support the album is to work hard for live shows, the arrangements in the recording are rich in overdubbings and we have to recreate the same feelings in three on stage.
- And what about your future plans?
Julia: We are getting ready to be ready to play the record live but we are also working on some new material.
Ranza: Cross the fingers while we wait for a change of season when people and musicians can come back to live shows, we really miss them.
- Now the word is yours, what is your message to our readers and your fans?
Julia: Thank you so much for your support! You can find us and all our songs on our Facebook page, Bandcamp, Spotify and Youtube! We can’t wait to play all these songs and entertain you all! See you very soon.
Ranza: I’m really pleased to talk to Finnish pals ‘cos guys YOU ROCK! You have a lot of the best metal musicians ever!
JULIA – voice and bass
RANZA- guitar, sitar and keyboards
The Will Of Evil -tracklisting:
Summer (seems so easy)
Sound of Evil
Come to an end
Eros & Thanatos
Down in the net
“The Will Of Evil” was recorded and mastered by Pier Gonella at MusicArt Studio.
More information at https://www.facebook.com/Julia-and-The-Roofers-113700193813172
Check out the videos + singles, taken from the debut album ‘The Will Of Evil’.