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Interview with Julie Westlake

HYDROGYN Julie Westlake about the new release Deadly Passions
Hydrogyn (Vocals)

Julie Westlake

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: May 2008

Official My Space site:

Julie Westlake: Brian it’s Julie from HYDROGYN how are you doing this morning?

Brian Rademacher: Good morning Julie, ready to go?

Julie Westlake: Sure, absolutely.

Brian Rademacher: In 2004, an Indie release called “Best Serve With Volume” on Rapid Fire Records and toured a little before signing with Chavis Records. What songs did you give them for your next CD “Bombshell”?

Julie Westlake: That whole deal is a little hard to explain, we really didn’t pitch ourselves to them. It was something that we just started out and we wanted to get distribution, I guess we were a little confused what they had to offer. So we signed with them and they heard our stuff… and basically, it wasn’t here’s our stuff, we gave them a couple tracks and we got signed. It was basically, a label Chavis and DA and band making an agreement.

Brian Rademacher: After that you did “Strip ‘Em Blind Live.”

Julie Westlake: That was done on DA records,Julie Westlike which is my label. We started DA Records because things weren’t working out with Chavis Records the way we hope it would, we split from them and DA Records got different distribution.

Brian Rademacher: Since being, the front women in the band and the only female in the band are the rest of the members in the band protective of you?

Julie Westlake: I guess they would be, I’m pretty much a tomboy and if any one gives me any crap I can pretty much handle myself. If something happened they would always back me up and take care of me. Depends where we go, we have friends that are police officers and if we play a big crowd, they will be there for us.

Brian Rademacher: You been touring for a couple years, how stressful is that?

Julie Westlake: It depends where you are; if you’re in the states, it’s not bad. In Europe, the venues and promoters are really professional. When you play over there you know you’re going to have a great crowd, the shows going to be good and everything is going to go smoothly. The only thing is when am I going to get to call home, or when am I going to have a good meal. When you get over you can’t speak the language and when you get on the phone you get a lady who you can’t understand, so that is a little stressful. But it’s more fun than anything else.

Brian Rademacher: What was your favorite show or venue abroad?

Julie Westlake: We always had good shows Leon, France… that was great, Havana Café, Paris, We had so many good shows it’s hard to pick one.

Brian Rademacher: Was there anything you like about the food?

Julie Westlake: It’s rough; I am really into the eating thing and take out. Once you getJulie Westlake up in the morning every thing over there is bread, bread, bread. It’s the big old French loafs that are steal. You would get to the venue and they would have catering set up and again it was bread, bread, bread and they would have ham but everything over there had a different taste. Most of the dinners were good. One night they took us out to dinner, they said we are going to take us out and get some really good French food, so we said ok. It was duck I never had duck and I was really hungry but I could have cried when they told me they were going to feed me duck. Oh my God, it was really really good. We never really have anything on our rider but to have cheeseburgers and French fries on our rider for every meal would be good. But it was a good experience.

Brian Rademacher: You recently signed with Demolition records for a 3-album deal, is that what you asked for?

Julie Westlake: That is what was offered. We were away from Chavis for a couple years and on our own… and you really need a label that supports you with dollars for promotion and Demolition Records was the label.

Brian Rademacher: Was there a particular reason why you left Chavis?

Julie Westlake: Again, it was really more; we thought they had more to offer than they really did as far a distribution. After a few months with Chavis, we came to the conclusion their distribution was basically through mail order. We can do that on our own, why should we pay someone a percentage when we can do that on our own. We were fortunate that our own label DA Records got distribution through underclass records and BCD music group, we notHydrogyn only had mail order but we had worldwide distribution through those two and our own. That’s basically was our decisions to leave Chavis because it wasn’t beneficial, it wasn’t doing anything for us that we couldn’t do on our own.

Brian Rademacher: You have a new CD coming out called Deadly Passions, when does that come out?

Julie Westlake: It comes out June 10th.

Brian Rademacher: You also did a cover of “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette. How’d that go?

Julie Westlake: It was cool, we’ve done that song live. It’s kinda cool putting a cover on a CD. On Bombshell we had one pressing with AC/DC's "Back in Back" and another SKID ROW’s “18 And Life”. It’s pretty cool.

Brian Rademacher: How much different is Deadly Passions to Bombshell?

Julie Westlake: The music itself is a lot different, I think Bombshell for us we felt went a little poppy and I don’t think we intended it to be that way. We wrote the songs quickly; when we went in the studioJulie Westlake with Michael for Bombshell we threw some songs together quickly and there were some songs on the album that we wouldn’t have wanted on the album, but we needed to get it done in an open time slot for Michael to do it. With Deadly Passions we did that on our own. Self-produced by myself, Jeff and the band we worked on the music and used a local studio called Smash Hits studios in West Virginia and everything that we wanted we got on the album this time. It is a lot heavier and no acoustic guitars; there will be no acoustic guitars on this album. So far, we got a great response form the label and distribution companies so far.

Brian Rademacher: As listening to the CD I was a little surprised it was that heavy. One of the songs “Rejection” was extremely heavy compared to Bombshell. Another track almost sounding Thrash but with your vocals it mellows the track out. “Candles Light Your Face” I felt a sound of WINGER.

Julie Westlake: Well the weird thing “Candles Light Your Face” was recorded years ago with Michael Wagener, starting with that song you can hear the transformation from Bombshell to Deadly Passions because we record that two years ago with him.

Brian Rademacher: My favorite tracJulie Westlakek is “On And On” and you also added a bonus track called “I Know”.

Julie Westlake: Yeah the bonus track was also recorded with Michael and wasn’t remixed. We did it at a workshop with Michael. It’s a good song, but it is what it is… a bonus track.

Brian Rademacher: Is “Deadly Passions” going to be the single?

Julie Westlake: We’re not sure yet. We’re waiting on the label. I think it’s a toss up, they like “On And On” but their flipping over “Shadow”. I don’t think “Shadow” represented the band at its fullest. I think “On And On”, “It’s Your Life”, “Deadly Passions” and “Silent Animation” are the ones their tossing up as the single.

Brian Rademacher: Can you tell me about this thing that happened last year called Lock Up For Muscular Dystrophy?

Julie Westlake: Yeah it was something they did locally. Anything the band or myself can do to help kids or help a cause we will. I went into a jail cell where they had a phone and I would call people to donate money to get me out of jail to be donated. It was for a really good cause.

Brian Rademacher: Can you tell us if you worked with Stacee Lawson and Zeroking? Or did Jeff do that by himself?

Julie Westlake: We both did, we just finished up the photo shoot for Stacee, and ZerokiJulie Westlakeng has been pushed back a little. This is Stacee’s first album and she was very nervous in the studio and that comes out in your product, for her first time she did good. Jeff and I helped as much as possible. We also have a lot of other projects plus our touring coming up.

Brian Rademacher: Will you tour worldwide this year?

Julie Westlake: Oh yeah we start our tour on June 19th, we just came back from New York playing BB Kings and the Crazy Donkey. Our tour starts in our home area at a place that is normally just for bluegrass, gospel and country, so this is a first big rock show since the eighties and then we are non-stop and Europe in Sept 10th.

Brian Rademacher: What are your hopes for this album coming out Deadly Passions?

Julie Westlake: I think it will be successful and we’re really proud of it, we did it ourselves. So hopefully the sales will be good.

Brian Rademacher: You did a video from the last CD Bombshell called “Blind” and it was pulled before fans can see it, why?

Julie Westlake: Well that is because the records company did not think it was right at the time, the video is a little risqué so it never came out. We might add it to a DVD in the future.

Brian Rademacher: Julie would you like to say anything in conclusion?

Julie Westlake: Yeah, we appreciate that had supported the band for sometime and thank you for everything you’ve done. Thanks Brian bye-bye.


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