By Kevin Zimmerman
The Time Is Right For Julius C
“Dedication” and “loyalty” are words freely thrown about in the music business, but when it comes to New York rock quartet Julius C, they actually mean something: The band’s four members have known each other since as far back as elementary school, and they’ve been diligently striving to break through with what they term their “propulsive, shiny pop songs with hooks-a-plenty” ever since.
That time may have finally arrived, however, with the release of OK, OK, its first full-length album. “We’re pushing it as hard as we can,” says singer/songwriter/guitarist Jay Stolar. “We want to continue to grow the band’s fan base in every way we can.”
Stolar wrote his first song in the third grade, and in his teens became “obsessed” with how the Beatles and Radiohead constructed their songs. Fellow songwriter and bassist Mike Tuccillo, whose father is both a guitarist and an audiophile, passed on his love for the technical end of music to his son. These days, Tuccillo tends to focus more on arranging and production while Stolar does most of the composing. Tuccillo has known keyboardist Jason Wexler since fourth grade; the pair have known Stolar since college. (Drummer John Adamski joined in 2007.) The band, originally named “Julius” for an uncle of Stolar’s, added the “C” at around the same time. “It works on a lot of levels,” Tuccillo says. “It’s an homage to his uncle, whose full name was Julius Charles Lewis, and of course to Julius Caesar.”
Building a fan base in its hometown of Staten Island, Julius C began making a name for itself throughout the northeast, to the point where an album became the obvious next step. “We actually worked with a couple of different people to make a full-length,” Tuccillo says. “We even tracked a record that was never released because we weren’t happy with it.”
Instead, he says, “We all sat down together and decided we wanted to make it come from a place that we all could get behind.”
Stolar, who also has a burgeoning songwriting career outside of the band, says bringing SESAC in to Julius C’s close-knit relationship has been critical in achieving momentum. “It’s really amazing to have a real ‘partner’ who will sit with you for hours, giving us advice on what to do to take the band further and to develop more fully as songwriters.” “It’s great to be respected,” affirms Tuccillo, “no matter what level you’re at.”
Given Julius C’s music – and its proven commitment – that level could be pretty big, pretty soon.