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March 16, 2011 / punkcakes

An Exploration into the Sea of Bees, an Interview with Julie Baenziger

Julie Ann Bee, otherwise known as Julie Baenziger, is the hauntingly, beautiful voice behind Sea Of Bees. She is a multi-instrumental genius when it comes to song writing. Her debut album Songs For The Ravens is powerful and brilliant – an emotional experience with each passing track. She has been touring in Europe, but has made her way back to the states with 10 shows in New York come late April.

I talked on the phone with Jules about her music – my whole life, my past, my future, my love, my rage, my passion, my everything, as she put it. At six, she explained to me, she fell in love with music at church against the beautiful stained glass windows and colors” she didn’t really care much about, not as much as the hippy guy who would sing and play the piano. “I would close my eyes and just listen. At sixteen I realized I could do this, you know, and at eighteen I developed my own voice.”

Besides her musical influences like Sigur Ros and Jeremy Enigk from Sunny Day Real Estate, Jules pulls her inspiration out of her own heart, her own life and her own love: I’m most inspired by the people I fall for, the people who mean the most to me. Jules spoke about her song Strikefoot, a favorite of hers that she has written. It’s about my best friend. I remember the night I wrote it, I feel like it was the best gift, she said whole-heartedly. She even mentioned the new album she’s now working on, it’s all about one person, and I can honestly say it’s going to be my best because she’s someone who means a lot to me, and inspires me.

Your lyrics are beautiful and emotional, and they give your songs powerful sincerity that makes your music so unique and just – so good. When writing, do you completely put your heart on your sleeve and let everything go without any hesitation or do you find you shy away sometimes from getting too personal?

I don’t care about what people think, I have one life and I’d rather live it open and free. I don’t hold anything back. I know it sounds cheesy to say like, I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I do because this is my life and I’d rather live it with no regrets.

Do you have a favorite time of day or a favorite place you like to write?

Afternoons at my friend Jon’s studio [Hangar Studio in Sacramento]. I usually ride my bike over and he just lets me sit there and write. Also, my parents house in my old room, it’s really nostalgic.

Julie has the biggest heart and it shows through her music, which is purely her own – no boundaries, no limits. I don’t want to be bound by anything, not even music. That right there is exactly music should be about, and hearing an artist say that is refreshing and hopeful to its listeners. There is something to be said about a struggling musician who refused to lose herself and style in the process. She explained to me how she used to sit and cry in the bathroom out of frustration after seeing musical guests on episodes of Oprah her mom would be watching:

My mom would knock on the door and say ‘Jules just keep doing it, you’ll get there’. I would say, I am doing it, you know, and nothing’s happening. It was so frustrating. But, if you keep people around you who are smart and talented and you surround yourself with that support that’s the best advice I could give.

Of course, I asked Jules what her favorite dessert is – the obligatory Punkcakes question.

In Europe we had a lot of good desserts, but the best were the shortbreads and biscuits with chocolate. Or shortbreads with nutella, so good.

Catch Jules and her Sea Of Bees in New York!

04.21.11 – Manhattan, NY @ The Living Room

04.22.11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Spike Hill

04.23.11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Sycamore

04.25.11 – Manhattan, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall

04.26.11 – Manhattan, NY @ Joe’s Pub

04.27.11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands

04.28.11 – Manhattan, NY @ Piano’s

04.29.11 – Manhattan, NY @ Cake Shop

04.30.11 – Manhattan, NY @ Mercury Lounge

05.01.11 – Manhattan, NY @ The Living Room

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