The most telling sign of a band’s longevity is its ability to grow and evolve—perfect example: Jule Vera. The self-proclaimed (though picking one genre doesn’t feel right to either one of them) alt-pop rockers are changing up their sound that best suits the band moving forward. From touring with friends to maturing in the industry, Ansley Newman (vocals) and Jake Roland (guitar) detail Jule Vera’s story.
If you’re surprised that Ansley’s name isn’t Jule Vera, you’re not alone. “We were struggling to find a name [for the band] and were looking at baby names,” Ansley notes. “We saw Jule and Vera and put them together because it sounded cool, but everyone thinks it’s my name.” The choosing of a “baby” name should not deter anyone from believing Jule Vera is still an unsure, wandering fourpiece band. In fact, the band’s maturation and making big decisions is the most important part of their progress right now.
As a band, changing your sound can be terrifying. You have no idea if your fans will stick around, if they’ll resonate with the music like they did before, or if they’ll keep tweeting you words like “we miss the old stuff.” Take All Time Low, Paramore and The Maine for example: bands who were of the Warped Tour Era, but chose to move onto a more mature sound that suits their tastes and their goals better now. Jule Vera is choosing the same route. Ansley claims, “We started the band when I was fifteen, so we’ve just grown up. It used to sound Warped Tour-esque and now we’re getting out of that scene sound-wise.” Taking new strides is always risky, but if a band is to be successful in the long run, it’s necessary—and both Ansley and Jake seem to have a better idea of what the band should sound like moving forward, as it all starts in the studio.
In an ideal situation, writing and recording by yourself is simple: you go into the studio with an idea, evolve that idea and create a song that makes your heart proud. Being in a band is a much different dynamic and it’s something Ansley had to get used to when writing for a record. “Sometimes you write a chunk of [a song] and have an idea and bring it to the band and it goes in a different direction,” she explains. “If you really liked it and it goes in a different direction, it’s just something you have to do.” Not only that, but writing can be a grueling process if the topic is something heavy on your heart. Ansley goes on to state how “some things are hard to write about, but it’s worth it when people can relate to it.” She’s right. That connection and the ability to relate from writer to listener is one of, if not the best, things about music.
Recording follows a similar routine for Jule Vera. “It’s a waiting game sometimes,” Ansley offers with a laugh, “I did all the vocals [for the most recent record] in a couple hours and then I’d have to wait for everyone else to do their stuff.” This grueling wait is more excitement, rather than disdain, for wanting the music to be complete. It seems like the band truly loves the studio because they hint at new music coming soon. “Not any original music yet, but we’re gonna do some covers for YouTube very soon,” Ansley notes. Though the band has been busy in the studio, touring is one of their favorite parts of what they do.
Having toured with American Authors, Vans Warped Tour and Our Last Night, Jula Vera has been nothing short of busy, and it’s the fans that keep them going. “Boston is always really good for us. Same with Chicago and in Texas,” Jake comments. The duo agree that “Bad Company” is one of their favorite songs to play live, as fans love it. “I always like Porch Swing,” Ansley adds. “It’s me and my ukulele and the rest of the band comes in later.” And what’s the best thing about touring in general? “Meeting friends and fans,” Ansley suggests. “Everyone’s super nice on every tour we’ve been on. You just make so many friends, so it’s a lot of fun.”
It seems like Jule Vera is doing everything right: growing as a band, loving what they’re doing, and being incredibly downto-earth and kind-hearted individuals. The band is one to watch out for in the future, so make sure to keep them on your radar.