This is the first grassroots festival how excited are you to be part of the line up?
Julia Deans - "pleased as punch" I believe is the expression.
If you get some time to get away and check out other artists who are you most looking forward to see?
JD - oh, I will definitely be making time to see as many as I can! Ms Jones, Mr Costello, Rodrigo y Gabriella and Cairo Knife Fight are up the top of my list.
I saw Rodrigo y Gabriella when they were here last year they are amazing, their skills and sound are phenomenal because they don't sing, How different is it being up on stage as a solo artist compared to having a band? If you needed a backing band or singers who would you bring to Grassroots with you?
JD - It's quite different. You have to try and get the audience to laugh at your stupid jokes or else you just look like you're cracking yourself up. I guess I come across as slightly crazy either way. Thankfully this time I will have two lovely and very talented men joining me - Joe McCallum on drums, and Mike Hall (Nightchoir) on bass.
What do you enjoy most about your job, and about playing festivals like this?
JD - Playing music to people is like being part of a (sometimes really large) conversation. It's very rewarding
I saw you at the Anna Coddington gig at The Dogs Bollix, you were with Anika Moa who you have toured with before, and 2 out of 3 of the Sami Sisters, is it inevitable that you would hang out with other musicians or is it kind of imperative for support and such?
JD - It's both. We all end up becoming friends through playing at festivals, going to gigs, being at the same events... and we all tend to be sociable creatures. It's like any circle of people who have similar interests; I'm pretty sure the NZ dungeons and dragons contingency or the Kiwi speelunking society find the same thing.
The line up for Grassroots is fantastic, but which Roots and Blues musician or band would you wish to have on the line up?
JD - I'd love to see someone like Lucinda Williams or Emmylou Harris... they're on my wishlist for next year.
What are your top 5 essentials for music festivals?
JD - cellphone (i always get lost), good walkin' shoes, sunscreen, waterbottle and backstage pass (what a snob!).
What are your plans from now until Grassroots?
JD - I'm plotting up a storm of a tour with the beautiful and talented Anna Coddington. That's set to start just after the festival, so exciting times ahead!
Your sound is a little different from Fur Patrol days, how would you describe it and why do you think you fit into the roots and blues genre?
JD - I'd say my solo work is more stripped back from the Fur Patrol sound, more acoustic-y... less "rock", for want of a better way of putting it and "blues and roots" seems to be cover a very broad range of music, judging from the variety of acts on this line-up... I'm struggling to give you a clear answer on this one cos I don't really know! evidently it just does.
What is your advice for up and coming musicians or a tip to help them?
JD - If it stops making you happy, just stop. take a step back and breathe.
Thanks so much for your time!
JD - you're welcome! =)
Julia Deans is the charismatic lead singer of Wellington band Fur Patrol. Now based in Australia along with the band, she has embarked on producing her own solo recordings.
Profile pic by Phillip Simpson (www.phillipsimpson.com)