Julie of the Wolves
Julie of the Wolves
Thank you Queens of Noize!

Most of our regular blog readers will know by now that here at Queens of Noize, we are massive fans of all things Grrl Power. Which is why we were delighted to interview Julie of The Wolves - an all female “Supergroup” rock band hailing from Louisville, USA. Here’s what happened when the Queens of Noize caught up with them…
How many are you? Who are you? Who plays what? What are your backgrounds / how did you meet? How long have you been together? Where did your name come from?
Julie of the Wolves is a group of four friends who met each other through Louisville, Kentucky’s music scene. Salena and Stephanie had previously played together in the band Venus Trap and Carrie and Becca had played together in Minnow. Our old bands had all shared bills together and we liked each others’ music. We started playing together in the fall of 2012. 
Carrie (guitar/vocals) has been writing songs and playing in bands in Louisville (such as Second Story Man, Minnow, and Early Age) for over 20 years. She’s also an educator and visual artist.
Becca has been playing the drums in bands on and off since 2002. Red Nails and Minnow are two of her past bands. She has been married for over 10 years to an amazing man, Rob Pennington and they have many four legged children. Becca is blessed with amazing friends and family, and helps rescue, train, and rehabilitate dogs. 
Salena (Bass) has been playing all of the instruments for a long time, though bass is her primary instrument of choice.  In her 13 years in Louisville she has played bass/drums/guitar/synth/vocals with a variety of bands ranging from melodic alt-rock to mountain music to electronic dance type stuff.  When she isn’t playing music, she is working a pretty rad job in the health insurance industry, trying to prevent her parrots from swearing too much, growing carnivorous plants, and spending time bird watching with her partner of 6 years.
Stephanie (guitar/vocals) started playing in bands a little late in life, around 21, but was hooked after that.  She played in Venus Trap, The Frequent Sea and a number of solo projects including Electric Witch and Claudia Shadows. Other than music, she likes to make people’s houses look unique and lovely and is currently working as an interior designer.  She’s been married to an awesome dude named Byron since they eloped to Costa Rica in 2009 and they have two dogs and a cat.
Carrie: Our name was inspired by the 1972 book by Jean Craighead George, in which the title character must face changes and dangerous challenges forced upon her from culture, the elements and humankind.
Becca: We were still trying to decide on a name for our band and my friend, Mark Kramer mentioned the name of a children’s storybook. The name did not ring for me but my husband, Rob, was with me when Mark mentioned a book name. Rob then said, what about “Julie of the Wolves”? I loved it.  I have Lupus. Over the years dealing with the illness there were times when it kicked my ass to pieces and I wasn’t sure if I would ever see the age of 30. Around the same time of the development of the band, I also had made the decision to no longer fear Lupus and to instead embrace it and to try to see it in a positive light. The word Lupus means wolf. “Julie of the Wolves” seemed to be the perfect name for our band.
If you had to describe your sound in one word, what would that be?
Carrie: teeth
Becca: Forest
Stephanie: Dichotomous
Influences - you’ve got a pretty eclectic sound.. What are your inspirations? Musical or otherwise. 
Becca: Some of the constants that I listened to from middle school through college were Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Cindy Lauper, Led Zeppelin, Pat Benatar, Guns N’ Roses, Madonna, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, U2, Johnny Cash, Annie Lennox, Cowboy Junkies, Velvet Underground, Aretha Frankilin and Otis Redding. It wasn’t until my mid twenties that I heard and latched on to bands such as Laughing Hyenas, June of 44, Guilt, Jesus Lizard, Shipping News, and Shellac. There are so many others I could list that on some level have had an influence on me as well.
Carrie: All over the place: I still love a lot of the indie rock I grew up with in the ’90s. My favorite bands from that era are probably Come and Unrest. Sonic Youth. Fugazi. I love some abrasive hardcore like Converge, but also am a sucker for french pop: France Gall, Francoise Hardy, etc. Also love Patti Smith, Television, Gang of Four, Mission of Burma. I read a lot of crime fiction and mysteries. Also kind of obsessed with keeping up with news and I like to travel as much as possible and learn about history and culture.
Salena:  Fred Smith of Television and Steve Harris of Iron Maiden are my 2 bass heroes.  Sleater-Kinney made me want to start playing something more than bar chords and get more interesting with whatever I write.  The first time that I saw them I walked away with the goal of learning how to play drums.  While I never got awesome at it, I got good enough to feel good playing them live.  Growing up in a pro-MTV household in the 80s helped a lot, too. 
Stephanie: My earliest musical inspiration came from classical music.  It was apparently just about the only thing I’d listen to when I was first able to choose what I heard.  A little later I listened to a lot of pop music from the 60’s like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.  In grade school I went thru my commercial pop phase, and I’d prefer not to talk about that.  Middle school introduced 90’s grunge and I still love that sound. I listened to a lot of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.  It wasn’t until high school and my early adult years that I started to discover most of the music I still listen to today - Fiona Apple, PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth, Thinking Fellers Union, Patti Smith, Sleater Kinney, Le Tigre, Quix-o-tic, Erase Errata, The Slits, Gang of Four, Helium (anything with Mary Timony, really).  Most recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Peggy Sue, Screaming Females, Wild Flag, Scout Niblett, Marnie Stern, Savages, St. Vincent, Warpaint, and White Magic.
What the first record you remember buying?
Salena: Debbie Gibson’s “Out of the Blue” 
Becca: I don’t remember unfortunately. 
Stephanie: I think my first tape might have been the single of Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now.”  I don’t remember my first record because we had a collection of records and reel-to-reels inherited from my uncle.  My favorite record to play as a little kid was the Elvis Christmas album.  Like all year long.
Carrie: The first record I owned was “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles. The first cassette I had was Michael Jackson’s “Bad”
What kind of music did your parents listen to when you were growing up?
Stephanie: I remember my mom listening to Dire Straights, Julio Iglesias, The Everly Brothers and Crystal Gale. We both loved the Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers hit “Islands in the Stream.” I remember car singing that with her a lot. My dad loved Roy Orbison, Aaron Neville, Otis Redding, and some old school country like Conway Twitty and George Jones.
Carrie: My parents listened to a lot of ’60s classic rock. My Dad was the lead singer in a cover band that would rehearse in our basement when I was growing up. There was a lot of “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Proud Mary” reverberating through the house.
Salena:  My mom listened to a lot of adult contemporary stuff.  The Carpenters, Phil Collins, Rick Astley.  My dad was into Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath type stuff 
Becca: My Mom loved classical music and Opera. We had a juke box in the basement and two of my favorite songs that my Dad loaded it with were: “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and his Comets and “I love Rock N Roll” by Joan Jett, which was most likely bought because my older sisters wanted it. I also grew up playing the boogie woogie duets on the piano with my Dad.
Which band or artist inspired you to play music/start a band?
Carrie: I started going to all age punk rock shows in Louisville when I was 12. The first band that I saw that made me think, “Hey, I want to do that” was the band Rodan. 
Becca: To be honest, I can’t remember when I didn’t want to play the drums. I still have the letter that I wrote Santa Claus and asked for a drum set (but I didn’t even know what it was called at that time and just described the entire kit the best way a 5 year could). I didn’t get the courage to try to play until my early 20s. My friend Jon Smith let me use his kit at his practice space. His friendship and encouragement were what pushed me to finally play. 
Salena:  Watching reruns of The Monkees on Nickelodeon in the 80’s made me want to be in a band.  It looked like a lot of fun to be in a band with your friends. 
Stephanie: I loved singing from a really young age.  I went to a really strict church and we weren’t allowed to use interments during service, so all the songs were a cappella. I loved how all the voices swelled and vibrated in that little church. I also took piano lessons as a kid, but I was terrible, so I just stuck to choir and chorus.  It wasn’t until I started hanging out with some guys in my high school who played in a punk band and got to sit in on their practices that I really wanted to learn an instrument.  It was like four years until I got the confidence to actually pick up a guitar after that.
Which other new bands should we be listening to?
Stephanie: Louisville has a lot of great bands right now!  Check out Twenty First Century Fox, The Debauchees, and Lady Pyramid for a quick sampling.  Also, a little to our north in Chicago, I love Absolutely Not and The Cellphones.
Salena:  Not new, but maybe starting to get a little more press nationally, The Shondes.  Great pop song-writing.  Catchy hooks.  From Louisville, Twenty First Century Fox.  They started as a B-52’s tribute band called Mock Lobster. 
Becca: Anything that makes you feel good.
A little bit about the Outskirts Festival. How are you involved in this? Any thoughts / info.
Carrie: Stephanie and I decided that we wanted to start a music festival in Louisville where we could bring together exciting and inspiring female performers from around the region and the world to perform alongside local acts. We hope to build camaraderie, community, and support for each other while putting on an amazing weekend of shows! We’re also going to hold workshops in the afternoons for girls ages 10-18 to learn different instruments, technical skills, and approaches to creative music making from experienced female musicians.
Finally…what are your plans for this year?
Carrie: To continue writing songs and keep having fun
Stephanie: we’d love to start recording a new record and play a few out of town shows. 
Our first album is Create/Destroy and was released November 2013 on Noise Pollution Records. 
Our next show is on 4/10 with Screaming Females and The Debauchees at The New Vintage in Louisville, KY. It is a benefit for Louisville Outskirts Festival. 
A Big thanks for your time girls, and for the music of course! Keep on rocking! :) 
To download their album, Click here. 
J x
Find out more at Louisville Outskirts Festival webpage, tumblr, or facebook page.
flyer by Matt Dodds
photo by Marty Pearl
photo by Marty Pearl
Youth Wish
Next Show!
Julie of the Wolves know exactly what they’re doing. With their debut album, Create/Destroy, they prove their competence and then some by creating energetic indie rock that somehow manages to sound simultaneously tensely coiled and comfortably relaxed. This illusion is predicated on the skill of the performers in seamless shifts between loud and quiet, pensive moments of clarity and agitated instances of ecstatic outburst. What C/D does most ably is play on its constituent members’ strengths in a way that allows the project to transcend the sum of its parts. The anthemic build of “Birdsong” shifts mid-stream to a call-and-response vocal breakdown, which deemphasizes the earlier dramatics in favor of a sleeker, pop-inflected transition. Closer “S.Y.L.M.F.” ably encapsulates the band’s predilection for tightly constructed compositions that rely as much on harmony as they do on riffage."
Create/Destroy Now Available
Julie of the Wolves record release show. Photo by Sean Bailey
37 Flood reviews Create/Destroy
American Gloam reviews Create/Destroy