Made Out of Babies are the kind of band that continue to get better with each subsequent release and how stoked was I to hear their latest song “Cooker” from their forthcoming album, The Ruiner, out June 24! I think the fact they keep getting weirder and more complex in their sound is what fascinates me. Vocalist Julie Xmas seems to be utilizing her considerable talents in more ways than just saying words–using her voice to add another element of suspense to the juggernaut rhythm section of bassist Cooper and drummer Matt, while Brendan’s buzz saw and effects laden guitar dances around the chaos.
I’ve been anxiously awaiting a new release from MOOB and so I decided to send Julie some Q’s in advance of their release date. If you haven’t seen this band live, do yourself a favor and go check it out.
Who is producing the new MOOB record?
The record would not have become what it is without the help of Andrew Schneider of Translator Audio in Brooklyn. Andrew is amazing. For anyone who isn’t too familiar with how records are made, the producer is as important as any member of the band, and Andrew is definitely a rising star in the audio engineering world.
Do you have a title for it yet?
You had mentioned in our interview a while back that your writing process as a singer you often think of the words last and use sounds more than actual lyrics, but Coward seemed more focused lyrically than Trophy did (as a result the vocals sounded more passionate, subject matter was more overt). Is that still the case?
Thanks for saying the vocals sound more passionate with more highly developed subject matter. I can’t tell if I’m more lyrically focused. Sometimes the words do seem to be coming to me faster, but other times it’s like squeezing blood from a stone. I think the key is always the music. If the music is really “for me”, I can usually respond to it fluidly without too many tears and grunts. Abstract vocals are very easy to hide behind. Then again, maybe I haven’t changed at all and it’s you has changed as a listener.
Has your process changed since you started MOOB? Do you utilize different writing/vocal techniques when working with different people like Battle of Mice and do you ‘save’ some things for your main project MOOB?
I respond to different music in different ways. I’m not a good saver. Every time I scream till I almost black out, I know I shouldn’t be doing it. I am weak that way. I tend to do whatever I want despite the cost. Saving ideas has recently come into play with my own solo work, because the music is generally not originating from other people.
How have things been working with your new label The End? What was the reason to work with them and not Neurot for your forthcoming 3rd album?
Neurot is great, but we wanted to try a new partnership for this record. The End is a growing label with great ideas and we have high hopes for working with them – they seem really driven to make things work and they are committed to the new record, which is by far our best work.
What like-minded loonies are you working with in 08′?
My other personality, My lovely men from Made Out of Babies, the guys from Mouth Of the Architect, the guys from Spylacopa (Greg from Dillinger Escape Plan, Jeff from Isis and John from Candiria), A French Director and French Producer David Blin and Renaud Behar (I’m scoring their first feature length film), Andrew Schneider, Mel Liederman from Victory at Sea/Thalia Zadek, and a few other special surprises that I can’t name at the moment. It is a very busy time!
What can you tell me about the solo record and can what folks can expect? will it be heavy, electronic, ambient, combination of both, anyone producing? is if full band? is it just you and an acoustic guitar?
I would never try to play an instrument and sing. I have great musicians helping me out. The music is big and open, songs I want to sing or have always wanted to sing that most people probably will not like too much. I don’t think I could finish an entire album without expressing very dark feelings, but I also express a sense of hope and amazement at small things in the world.
Whats the possibility of a Jarboe/Julie Xmas collab?
I’ve never thought about it. I wonder if it would work.
When is the next tour scheduled for MOOB?
Summer 08’, we’ll be in Europe & the US. We’ve been taking time off to write and record.
Will there ever be a followup to the Battle of Mice record?
A BOM split with Jesu is coming out on Robotic Empire in a few months.
Did you guys work with Joel Hamilton again on the new MOOB record?
No, but we love Joel. I think we knew before we started to write that Andrew was the right person for this album. When you hear it, you’ll know why. The best – kept secret in Brooklyn.
Thanks Julie. Happy 08. looking forward to seeing you guys sometime this year.
Thank You! This was fun – thanks so much for thinking of me. Let me know if you need anything else at all!