As the members of Jule Vera, an upcoming local Opelika alternative-rock band, sat across from me at The Overall Company in downtown Opelika, I asked them how they felt about their recent achievements in the music industry.
“You know it doesn’t seem like a long time [from starting Jule Vera to now] because signing record labels can happen within just a couple months, but it feels like a long time for us,” Jake Roland, band member, explained. “We’ve had all these songs and feelings bottled up for so long that the fact we are actually doing this is like our first step, our shot.”
Three years ago, Ansley Newman, lead singer, Jake Roland, guitarist, and Will Stacey, bassist, were three teenagers playing and writing music in their houses, uploading their songs to Sound Cloud and sending their music to band managers, hoping one might take an interest in their music. Since Ansley Newman joined Roland and Stacey, back when Newman was only 15, the three have been writing and creating music collaboratively. Not until 2013 did the band officially become “Jule Vera” which is Greek for “young truth.”
“We wanted our name to be different, not just something like The Strokes or like that, we wanted a name people will remember,” Roland said.
After being a three-person band for years, this January Kyle Horvath, drummer, and Austin Jones, guitarist, came in the picture. Horvath and Jones, both hailing from Nashville, Tenn., had heard of Jule Vera through a friend of a friend. They met with Newman, Roland and Stacey and joined their band in January when Jule Vera was about to sign with California-based independent label, Pure Noise Records. (Photo courtesy of Jule Vera)
Being signed to a label was just the start. They have recently released a new single through Alternative Press magazine titled “One Little String,” check it out HERE, and they will be releasing an EP album this summer as well as playing on The Vans Warped Tour for the entirety of the 2015 tour, which kicks off in June.
In their early beginnings, Newman, Roland and Stacey played at local bars and coffee shops, then eventually started traveling to Atlanta to play more shows because the music scene was larger there.
“There’s just not that many venues to play around this area, for our type of music anyway, so we usually go to Atlanta or Birmingham and have started branching out and traveling to up to Michigan and stuff,” Roland said. “Now this summer we will be playing in almost all the states with The Vans Warped Tour. Maybe we will get a bumper sticker or something for every state.”
Being able to participate in The Vans Warped Tour gives Jule Vera more national exposure and a chance to shine. They now have band managers, tour managers and an RV to take them from city to city.
“When you’re just starting out no one really wants to help you, but now everyone is like, ‘What can I do for you?’ which is great for us,” Roland laughs, explaining the difference between now and when they first got together.
While most bands dream of success and making it big, for Jule Vera this dream is becoming reality. But it is not luck that has gotten them to where they are today. Their hard work and determination has paid off and the music industry has noticed.
For the five members of the band, success is not the only goal of Jule Vera. Though being able to get signed to a label and playing on a national tour is definitely an achievement, Jule Vera is not just about the fame.
“We don’t necessarily have to be famous, you know, as long as we are playing in front of kids who like us. We really strive to meet everyone at shows and try to respond to everyone who tweets us and stuff like that. We just want to hear from other people, that’s the best part about it,” Roland clarified.
Sipping on coffee, a passerby would not recognize them as members of a band that is about to perform on one of the world’s biggest traveling tours. Dressed in normal, comfortable clothes, they blend into the rest of the patrons enjoying their coffee at The Overall Company. Laid back, laughing and talkative, they are genuine and friendly.
Roland, the main talker of the group, continued on about their fan base.
“We have a wide sound, we don’t necessarily confine ourselves to one genre, so we have all different kinds of fans,” he said.
“When we make music, what’s so cool about it is that you can create something from nothing and suddenly there is a song there,” Horvath chimed in.
“Yeah, the ideas to start songs usually come at random, in the middle of the night or when you’re driving in the car,” Roland added.
However their music and lyrics have come to be, Jule Vera will now be releasing their songs on an EP expected to come out in early summer, just in time for The Vans Warped Tour.
To listen to Jule Vera yourself, go to their Sound Cloud page at: https://soundcloud.com/search?q=Jule%20Vera.
If you want to check out Jule Vera live this spring, they will be playing with Lydia in Birmingham, Ala., May 7, and with He Is Legend along with Meddler in Mobile, Ala., March 24. Also don’t forget Jule Vera will be playing the entirety of The Vans Warped Tour, which begins June.
For more information about tour dates, locations and news visit http://www.julevera.com or their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/juleveramusic.
For more information about The Warped Tour, visit http://www.vanswarpedtour.com.