Interview: Eli and Dani of The Juliana Theory Infomercial
The video of the year goes to Eli and Dani's mock infomercial for The Juliana Theory's album "Emotion is Dead" which was ahead of it's time. I've watched this at least 50 times and I could care less if people said it's too long. Back in the 90s, we had time to sit and watch something...on VHS! I had to hear more about the inspiration behind the performance. Here are Eli and Dani!
How did you guys come up with the idea?
We made one music video before this, for a song called "Attack Me With Your Love" by the band Cameo (most known for their 80's synth-funk song "Word Up"). That video is on our YouTube page as well. A few months after finishing that one, and having so much fun with it, we started talking about what to do next. A few years ago we realized that we both loved Emotion Is Dead back when it came out. When we listened to it together for the first time we agreed that is was still awesome and also hilarious. We started listening to it pretty frequently and many long car rides included blasting the album and singing along to the entire thing. So, naturally, we considered The Juliana Theory for our next video. But we couldn't pick just one song. There were so many good ones, and you really need a sampling of the whole album to fully get how amazing it is. Thus the infomercial idea was born to do just that.
This album was widely mocked yet was insanely popular and ahead of it's time. What are your memories of this band?
Eli: I burned a copy of their first album from a friend in high school and thought it was pretty good, but didn't really listen to it a lot. I think I probably just saw Emotion Is Dead in a record store and bought it because I liked the first one enough to check out a new one. To my surprise it was very different and really good. It was louder, heavier, pretty epic at times (metal has always been my first genre of choice, so these qualities really appealed to me), and more varied stylistically than any other band of their kind. I listened to it a lot and was excited that one of the first few shows I saw in Philly, during my freshman year of college, was The Juliana Theory at The Trocadero. The show was good and I remember Brett Detar had some pretty rock star stage moves that my friend and I thought were pretty funny. (Some people may care to know that The Starting Line, from Philly, opened the show and it was their first time playing on that stage, which they were very excited about. I didn't care for them, though.) I bought and liked the EP that followed this album, but kind of stopped following them after that.
Dani: I think I probably found out about the band through Napster. I bought their first album at Black Cat in Red Bank, NJ. My friend and I listened to them a lot and were excited when they had a new album. I saw them on the Emotion Is Dead tour at Club Krome in South Amboy, NJ and bought the shirt and the pin. I think the singer was wearing cowboy boots (unless I invented that to make it funnier, but it very well could be true) and he seemed more like a "rock star" than most other emo singers. The whole presentation of the band was just different than what I expected from that kind of band, which I kind of liked and thought was funny. I have fond memories of driving around with friends listening to Emotion Is Dead.
How long did it take?
Probably about 6 hrs of filming and about 12 hrs of editing.
What inside jokes did you leave out?
We wanted to include the song "We're Nothing Without You," specifically for the amazing keyboard part, but it was already over 7 mins long and we had to drawn the line somewhere. Besides that, no jokes were spared.
Who decided on the airhorn? Points to them.
Dani deserves the credit for that one.