Eric's Trip Interview Archive April, 1995 - Moncton, New Brunswick (via telephone)

Heather Harkins
Julie Doiron
Publisher Title Transcript
Tally Issue #2 Julie Yes

Everyone in Halifax knows who Julie from Eric's Trip is, right? Well, even though it was right before an Eric's Trip tour & she has been busy running her Sappy record label, being a photographer, musician, wife, and mother to a wonderful baby boy named Ben, she took the time to talk to me. The conversation jumped around, so this will, too, but hopefully, it'll be as interesting and fun as she was to talk to.

How is your baby doing?

He's really good. He's been taking a bottle at night for eight days now. We're going to take him on tour with us this time, and we're getting him used to taking a bottle at night.

Do you sing to him?

I've done concerts for him. He'll lay there and swing his arms.

I think that the songs you sing about waiting to have babies, or things like that, are a really refreshing change from the usual Halifax guy songs. Are you really aware of that difference?

Well, I sing what's important to me, and I'm aware of what's important to me. I can only sing a song when it hits me.

So are you a feminist?

I don't know. I think that girls can do whatever guys can do. I don't preach about it, but I do think that.

When you do your solo songs, you call yourself Broken Girl. Where'd that name come from?

It was kind of a silly name, but sometimes I think it's alright. I was having problems with my body, so we were saying that I was broken.

Did you ever take music lessons?

When I was ten I took piano lessons for a year and a half, but then I had to swim every day, so I stopped.

What are the lyrics to the second verse of Five Year Old Girlfriend?

On our bikes, he rides so fast while I take my time. He laughs when he does his ramps, and I have to walk my bike. (Julie then explains about a tricky place where she'd go on her bike, where if you went down it the wrong way, you could flip over)

Seen any good movies lately?

I haven't been keeping up too well. We don't get cable, but we just got a VCR. We've been getting movies with subtitles, so if the baby starts crying, we can still understand them. I liked the movie Paris Texas, so I recommend that.

Who is the dog that turns up on all the Sappy stuff?

It's a lot of different dogs. I've had 4, so I really like dogs. My parents have 2 big ones. Princey died in 1993, then they just got Max, now they have Max and Samantha. Max and Sam.

Your catalog lists a bunch of new bands that might be putting out records on Sappy. Wooden Stars, Snailhouse, Thee Suddens - how did you find out about them?

Our friend Mike is Snailhouse and he's in Wooden Stars so we know him, and Thee Suddens are from Moncton, so that's how we found out about them.

What's the meaning of life?

Having babies is the meaning of life. If everyone can have some babies, and love them as much as they can, and respect them, anyone who is in a good situation to have them, who wants to have them, then I think they should go for it. I want to have four. Having babies is pretty neat, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't prepared. The first month was hard. There are times when all the baby does is cry

Julie advocates good manners, which led to this story of bad manners:

I guess I became a mother, but I don't understand why kids are starting to smoke so young. When I was in high school, it was really cool to be straight edge. These pretty bratty young kids asked me to buy cigarettes for them. I said No way! and they said, So you don't smoke, eh?, and I said "No Way!". Things are kind of rude now, especially around kids. Especially with violence around kids, too. It's pretty gross.

In a lot of Eric's Trip photos I've seen, you're all looking sort of... well, frumpy. There's one Charles Peterson picture in particular which is kind of weird. Is that intentional?

No. Sometimes people take one picture right after a show, or at the end of a tour, which really takes its toll on us. We get sick of them, and we feel uncomfortable around strangers. That Charles Peterson picture as taken from one of eight rolls of film. Our drummer was ready to stop after two.

He's a pretty famous Sub Pop photographer, huh?

Yeah. I think he's working on a book, there were piles of pictures around. It was a few months after Kurt died, so we didn't ask about them, but there were a lot of him, and Courtney, and them together. I didn't ask about them, but they were nice to look at. His [Charles Peterson's] wife came by. It was their anniversary, and I took a picture of them. I like to take pictures of people around us, who work with us.

[After Julie complains about government cuts to arts programs, I add this] Yeah. I've been really annoyed by the budget of th G7 thing. The government has been spending huge amounts of money on stupid things like repaving the roads. Isn't that awful?

Well, if they have potholes... We just bought a car, and some of the roads here are pretty bad. I do definitely agree with the new highway. Some aren't divided, and well, I'm all for a divided highway.

These are things that Julie has been listening to lately:

I just listen to the CBC, their Talkback Line. I like to think of everybody's point of view.

I like Weezer. We played with them in Vancouver before their album came out, and now I hear them when I go into Green Gables. They were great live. I like them, I just got their songs stuck in my head.

I've been listening to Joni Mitchell, mostly Blue or Court & Spark.

One of my favourite records right now is the Elevator To Hell single [Forward To Snow].

Favourite song off the new Sloan record: Well, I think they're all really good, but I really like Jay's songs on it. I like to listen to records as a whole, so I don't know.... Coax Me was their big hit single, and its pretty.... I guess the song My Generation is my favorite.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I'm pretty wishy washy.

What is your favourite occupation?

I guess mother/photographer/musician.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being in love, and hoping that everyone else can find that, too. Being nice to everybody.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I don't know if I had any. My parents and my grandparents are pretty great. It would have to be someone I really knew in person.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Lately it's been hard to have any.... but I've been eating insane amounts of nachos. With salsa, we put them in the oven. Before it was buying records, but not so much anymore. Spending money. I asked my husband what my greatest indulgance was, so he could help me. He's looking all over, and we can't find it. Except the nachos. We do have a fetish for office supplies; looking at pens, paper, staplers. Now we have an excuse for it with Sappy.

What are your favourite names?

Isabella Rossellini is a pretty nice name. I like my name, Julie, because I guess I'm used to it.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I can bet there's a couple of those. I don't know.Gee Gosh.Awesome.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I've been kind of bitter lately. It was before the baby was born, I'm not anymore. I couldn't do anything, and it just seemed like people weren't calling. I'd get cranky. I love everything that's happening in my life right now.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to stop procrastinating.

On what occasion do you lie?

I don't think I ever do. I try not to. I can't, I get too guilty.

What is your favourite journey?

I'm really into driving down Mountain Road a lot. It's got all our take out restaurants, drug stores, liqour store... I like to drive out to where there are no more houses and back. We just did that tonight.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Did you ever see the movie Birdy? It's from a book written by William Wharton, and the movie and the book are really good. I've read five of his books, out of eight. He did this book "Frankie Furbo" which is about a talking fox... I'm going to reread it sometime soon.

Which living person do you admire?

That reminds me of the hero question.... I don't know.

Which living person do you most despise?

I don't like to despise anyone. There's no one in particular, but I could be really made at somone who would kill people for no reason. I don't like anti-abortionists who kill doctors. I don't like what the government is doing: cutting out programmes....cutting out the arts. It's like we're turning into the States.

What is your greatest fear?

Just recently, I got afraid of getting old and dying. That Jon was going to die before me. I'd rather we die together, at the same time. My biggest fear is dying in a car.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

When people don't show me respect, like when I go in a place for service and they treat me like I don't know anything. Bad manners.

What is it that you most dislike?


What is your current state of mind?

Pretty happy, a little bit nervous, excited, and content. Pretty pleased.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Having a baby. I remember when I started college there was this English thing to write on our greatest achievement. I wrote on having learned to play guitar and sing at the same time. That was my greatest achievement, but its not my greatest now.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband and my baby. The two of them.

What is your most treasured posession?

My camera.

What is your greatest regret?

I don't know. I can't think of any.

How would you like to die?

I would just like to die in my sleep. Just not wake up one morning. Oh! That sounds awful. Not wake up, but know that you said good night in a nice way. I'm going to start saying good night in a nice way every night. Not that I'm going to die soon, I'm in good health, it's so that when I'm 70, I'll be in the habit of saying good night nicely.

What is your motto?

"Be friendly. Drive safely, and don't take up smoking."

© Heather Harkins, 1995