US Pop/Rock Poster Kids Conquer UK and Prep New LP
by Christopher Long
DATELINE: April 3, 2016 – Sims Park (New Port Richey, Florida)
Sporting skin-tight jeans, an authentic denim jacket (adorned with a slew of rock and roll buttons), road weary Chuck Taylors, and accented by a stylish tweed flat cap, 22-year-old William Stacey peered (Killroy-style) over a six-foot-high, backstage wall – perusing the festival crowd just prior to show time. It’s been a colossal two-year climb, indeed – one in which the railroad spike-thin, super-long-haired bassist has experienced the global explosion of his Auburn, Alabama-based combo, Jule Vera.
Having rocketed from small hometown gigs in 2014 to the 40-city Van’s Warped Tour in 2015 to a subsequent major cross-country trek in early 2016, an exhausted, yet triumphant Jule Vera stood waiting in the wings at Sims Park tonight – cocked, loaded and ready to hit the stage at 7pm – headlining the prestigious week-long Bay Area Music Showcase. Although this performance marked the official conclusion of the US leg of their year-long Friendly Enemies tour, the band would be afforded little more than a brief breather before embarking on the next frontier – the UK.
May 2016 found the newly-minted pop/rock poster kids traveling across “the pond” along with the Minneapolis-based band, As It Is, for an incredible 14-show outing that brought both acts to sweat-soaked concert stages in such legendary locales as London, Sheffield, Bristol, Liverpool and South Hampton.
Possessing classic movie star looks, the voice of a God-sent angel, a flair for fabulous make-up and a penchant for Cap’n Crunch breakfast cereal, Jule Vera’s captivating frontchick, Ansley Newman, found the recent UK experience to be particularly memorable – for many reasons. “In Scotland, before we played the show, the whole crowd chanted, ‘Here we! Here we! Here we fucking go!’ It got the crowd hyped, and all of us hyped before we went on stage. It was awesome.”
In what could have been a scene ripped right out of the movie, This is Spinal Tap, Newman also recalls a certain travel mishap. “We were flying over to the UK and the airline misplaced our bag containing some very important gear. Luckily we made it through the first two shows okay without it. We got it back, but it was pretty stressful.”
Fortunately, Jule Vera’s UK excursion offered more than a tedious “all work, and no play” scenario, as the band members did manage the time for a little sightseeing along the way. “Probably one of my favorite places we visited was the oldest inn in England called, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, in Nottingham,” Newman commented. “It opened in 1189 and had really good food and drinks. And the interior was super-cool. It was built into the side of the Nottingham castle, and the walls were carved from stone.”
Having returned stateside, safe and sound, Jule Vera is currently spending the summer holed-up in the studio, working diligently on material for their soon-to-be-released sophomore effort. While innovative guitar ace, Jake Roland, confesses that life on the road can be, “definitely hard sometimes,” he’s quick to also point out, “We’ve really made a lot of friends (on tour).” But after a year and a half of near-non-stop traveling, Roland is clearly eager to be getting back into the studio and finally working on a new Jule Vera record. He further revealed that the band has already written, and is now demoing dozens of new songs – a process that drummer, Kyle Horvath, refers to as, “a total group effort.”
Featuring the super-catchy, crunchy earworms, “Light the Night,” “One Little String” and “You Can’t Mess it Up,” the musical bar set by the band’s acclaimed Pure Noise Records debut, Friendly Enemies, is extremely high, to be sure. However, based on the continued involvement of famed producer, Mitch Parks, and the strength of such recently unveiled new concert tracks as, “Bottom of the Line” and “Let’s Run Away,” the expectations of Jule Vera “splitting the uprights” (again) with their second record appear extremely realistic. #TheFuturesSoBrightIGottaWearShades