Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 2011
Brian Rademacher: Hello Jules, and welcome back to RockEyez.
We interviewed you back in 2005 with the band THE DEADTHINGS which was a glam shock rock type of band that was killer with a pretty good following are you continuing with that band or is your focus now on WHITE WIDDOW?
Jules Millis: Hi Brian thanks very much, wow six years ago! THE DEADTHINGS was a fun band, basically at the end of 2009 when we finished touring with PRETTY BOY FLOYD on their Australian tour we put THE DEADTHINGS on hiatus. Some of the guys were settling down and werenít keen to keep travelling and by this stage Iíd started WHITE WIDDOW with Trent (Bass) and I was keen to put more of my efforts into that. Weíre all still friends and we might do something down the road with THE DEADTHINGS, but WHITE WIDDOW is well and truly my focus now.
Brian Rademacher: WHITE WIDDOW is a melodic rock band a totally different direction than THE DEADTHINGS. WHITE WIDDOWís self title debut came last year that received great reviews but the new release "Serenade" that will come out next month (Sept 23rd) blows me away. Do you prefer melodic rock over glam?
Jules Millis: Thanks for the kind words about the new album! Yes the two bands are very different, I prefer melodic rock over glam/sleaze, I prefer the more complex vocal arrangements and the melody created by the blend of guitars and keyboards.
Brian Rademacher: Letís start off with the first song "Cry Wolf" holy shit man is that track amazing or what? When you go into the writing of "Serenade" do you have to have a different mindset compared to writing for THE DEADTHINGS?
Jules Millis: Yeah itís completely different, THE DEADTHINGS material was far less orchestrated, and often would evolve out of jamming songs in rehearsal, where as the bulk of WHITE WIDDOWís songs are written and put into demo form and then brought to the band to work on further. So a lot more direction and focus is spent on the song before itís brought to the rehearsal room.
Brian Rademacher: Your vocals for WHITE WIDDOW are a lot different than THE DEADTHINGS. Do you have to do anything different vocally wise?
Jules Millis: WHITE WIDDOW allows me to use a lot more of my voice, a lot more light and shade and a lot of the time it really pushes me to my limits. I have to make sure Iím practicing regularly and I get my breathing right to be able to perform the songs accurately live.
Brian Rademacher: With the word of mouth from a good friend Kieran Dargan (Firefest) Quoted: Listening to the forthcoming WHITE WIDDOW album "Serenade".....if you thought the debut was class. This makes it sound like a bunch of school kids recording demos. OH MY CHRIST......THIS IS F**KING AWESOME. So I really wanted to hear it and I contacted AOR Heaven. Mr. Dargan was spot on. When you hear things like that and comments about the new release what goes through your mind?
Jules Millis: Wow! Thatís pretty awesome to read, especially from someone like Kieran, to be honest Iím a little shocked when I read something like that. Iím pleasantly surprised that people think that highly of the new album. We just tried our best to make the best album we could and improve on the last one.
Brian Rademacher: Just listening to the CD and the power in your voice and the soaring guitars by Enzo Almanzi this release is explosive. The sound quality is amazing and you worked with Pelle Saether of (GRAND DESIGN). How was it working with Pelle?
Jules Millis: Thanks again, Pelle was great, he works fast and is good with communication. He really gave us the width and depth we wanted in the production that we felt was missing from the debut. Weíre very happy with the end result.
Brian Rademacher: With AOR Heaven is it a distribution deal or a record contact?
Jules Millis: Itís a record contract. Georg and the team at AOR Heaven are great to work with, their support has been fantastic.
Brian Rademacher: The sounds on the CD I hear influences of Ted Poley, MR. MISTER, VAN HALEN, EUROPE, DEF LEPPARD and many other high profile bands. Are these some of the bands that influenced the sound?
Jules Millis: Yes for sure weíre big fans of all those bands, DANGER DANGER is a big influence and it was great to get to tour with Ted Poley when he was in Australia last year. Bands like JOURNEY, NIGHT RANGER, RICK SPRINGFIELD and GIUFFRIA, are all major influences as well.
Brian Rademacher: One of my favorite tracks is "How Far I Run" with so many great songs did you have any songs that you left off the release and how do you go about the track listing order?
Jules Millis: Thatís great to hear, actually "How Far I Run" is the only song that was left over from the debut and we all felt it deserved to be on the new album, apart from that everything else was written specifically for this album. No finished songs were left off, there were a few that were started but not completed because we felt it wasnít working as a song at the time so they were scrapped half way through the pre-production demo stage.
The track listing I went back and forth on a lot, but in the end I tried to give the album balance from start to finish but still with a sense of variety in song pace and style.
Brian Rademacher: Is there anything you would change before the release of "Serenade"?
Jules Millis: Not really, I think that we have made the best album that we could and weíre all happy with the finished result.
Brian Rademacher: What are your hopes for the record?
Jules Millis: Iíd like this album to further establish us in the world of Melodic Rock and hopefully be successful enough that we can continue to keep touring and making albums.
Brian Rademacher: Do you feel that with this new release you will get to tour in the U.S.?
Jules Millis: The album will only be released in Europe and Japan, so until our albums are available in the US I canít see it being viable for us to tour there. If that changed then for sure we would make the effort to tour in the US to support it.
Brian Rademacher: What was your favorite song singing during the recording and why?
Jules Millis: Probably "Strangers In The Night", I was really happy with how all the vocal melodies came out and particularly the pre-chorus lines. As soon as I heard it back I knew it was exactly what we wanted.
Brian Rademacher: When you heard about Jani Laneís passing, what were your thoughts?
Jules Millis: Itís just very sad, although itís been obvious to a many that Jani had a lot of personal demons that heís struggled with for many years, I still donít think that people thought it could go this way. I was lucky enough to meet him several times and he was always a great guy, friendly and quick witted. For me Iíll always remember him as an incredible singer and songwriter that was sorely underrated.
Brian Rademacher: What would you like people to remember Jules Millis for?
Jules Millis: Hopefully someone who is passionate about life, music and the people I love and that I also made some good music.
Brian Rademacher: What is a typical day for you waking up in the morning to going to bed at night?
Jules Millis: All pretty! Letís pick the typical day of a show;
Wake Up around 9.30am, make a pot of coffee and check e-mails/facebook messages.
Send out some reminders on facebook about the show tonight to stir up some last minute interest. Have lunch with my amazing girlfriend Adrienne, then put together the set list for tonightís show. Pack my bag with clothes for stage and check all my equipment is order (wireless microphone system, wireless in-ear monitors). Drive to the venue for sound check around 5pm. Work through sound check for approx 2 hours, make sure everything is in place with door staff, worksheets, set times, stage times, etc. Then take off with one or two of the guys in the band to get a light dinner. Head back to the venue about 9.00pm to watch some of the other bands playing on the night (depending on our stage time) head back stage to get changed. Warm up with some vocal exercises, then hit the stage usually around 11pm. Perform for just over an hour. Head backstage to get changed and relax for a bit. Then head back out to the venue to meet friends and fans and have a few drinks and hopefully sign a few newly purchased CDís.
Then itís time to pack everything up and either head out with the guys for a post gig party or home to bed to pass out!!
Brian Rademacher: Well Jules itís been great once again and the new CD "Serenade" is powerful. I hope everyone at least hears it and when they do they will be hooked. Would you like to say anything in closing?
Jules Millis: Thanks Brian and thanks for the kind words for the new album, weíre looking forward to hitting the road in Europe through September and October for details of where weíll be on tour please visit www.whitewiddow.com.au or www.facebook.com/whitewiddowaor