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Julia Lancer Of The New Trust

The New Trust is a band gaining respect in California for their songwriting and live excitement. Comprised of bassist-songwriter Josh Staples, with guitarist Sara Stanger and drummer Julia Lancer, their latest disc is called Get Vulnerable. We interviewed Julia Lancer last week.

Age: 26
Years playing drums: 7 years
The New Trust, Transistor Transistor, Black Tar, Fuck Mountain, Young Valentines.
Drums: RMV shells. Bapeva Brazilian Maple. Black with silver sparkle. 12" x 10" rack. 14" x 13" floor. 22" x 18" bass. 14" x 5.5" 10-lug snare. I also have a 14" x 5.5" 15-ply vented Orange County snare in silver sparkle.
Cymbals: 21" Zildjian Sweet Ride. 14" Zildjian New Beat hi-hats.
Sticks: American Classic Hickory 2B.
Heads:
Evans EC2's on the toms. Remo Pedals: DW 5000

How is the response to the new CD so far?
Get Vulnerable seems to be getting good reviews. I tend not to search for reviews for our band. The Internet can be a very nasty place. There will always be someone that can find something that they don't like about the record. And I know it would really hurt my feelings because I poured my heart into it. I know that I really like the record. I know that Josh and Sara really like the record. And I know that my mom really likes the record. And that is mostly what I care about.

What was the band's goal for this record?
I know that Sara's goal for this record was to be able to play shows and have people scream our lyrics into our faces. And that has been accomplished. Me personally, I just wanted to make a record that I like and that my friends like. I really stepped up my game for this record. I pushed myself to pull off some fills that I had been trying to incorporate into my drumming, but didn't think I had the skills. It was good for me to get that onto tape to prove to myself that I really could do it.

Was the process of recording it different than any others?
Well, we recorded this one ourselves with help from our old guitar player Matthew Izen. We got to record in the huge vitamin factory that Josh works in. Amid rows of old pin ball machines, homemade beer fixins', a half built airplane, and a ton of other wacky treasures. It was really fun, and relatively casual. It took a lot of pressure off the whole process for me. Not having a real time frame to have to fit into. We couldn't start until after hours at the warehouse, but that made it even more fun. It was totally empty in there and we could be there all night. And I got to brush up on my ping pong skills in between takes. How rad is that?!

How long does it take you to come up with your parts for a song? Do other band members contribute ideas?
Josh had the idea for The New Trust brewing up in his mind well before we ever formed. Some of the songs we play now had been roughly written for upwards of ten or twelve years. He has been recording song bits and ideas on a hand held tape recorder ever since. He even keeps it by his bedside table in case songs come to him in a dream. (No joke. Our new record is based strictly on dreams that we have all had. I started keeping a dream journal in February.) So by the time we get to practicing the songs, I've heard them a bunch of times before. Josh will usually make 4-track recording of ideas with drum tracks built in. They're always super raw, but good as a jumping off point for songs.

One of my favorite things in this world is to watch my band try to communicate a drum beat to me. It usually involves a lot of crazy hand gestures and funny faces while they explain some impossible beat that would require like five hands and at least three floor toms.

Your band can be very poetic.Do the lyrics influence how you play a song?
First and foremost, I follow the bass line. Since there are only three of us, it is really important that we are as solid as possible so that the second guitar isn't really missed. Once I'm more comfortable with the composition of a song, I can listen to more of what is going on around me, like lyrics. I think it helps that Josh both sings and plays bass. He is rhythmically important to the band, so I feel that he tries to blend everything together so that nothing stands out too much more than anything else.

Did you use the same setup in the studio that you use onstage?
Yes! Always.

Do you try to play the songs live as they are on the recording, or do you mix it up?
I try to stick as close to the record as I can. I know that personally, it breaks my heart when I go to see a band and something that I grew to love on a record isn't there during the show. It kind of takes the magic away. Watching other drummers is my homework. Shows are where I do my studying. I love watching other drummers and learning from what they're doing. Then I can take from that and incorporate it into my drumming, while putting my own spin on it.

How often do you change heads when you're on tour?
I base the changing of my heads on the oil changes we get in the van. Every three thousand miles or so. Usually on a full US tour, we're playing basements and house shows half the time so we're not mic'd. As long as it sounds good from my side, I'm happy. I share my drums with people a lot, so I make sure to have extra heads with me in case someone else finds it entirely necessary to change them.

Were there any female drummers that influenced you?
If it weren't for my friend Caitlin Love, I don't think I would have ever continued playing the drums seriously. I was pretty shy and embarrassed when I first started. But she insisted that I play as loud as I wanted for as long as I possible could. We would sit in her living room and watch old Nirvana tapes and follow along hitting pillows with drum sticks. Then she would make me go apply what I had learned on a real kit right after. My first couple of "lessons" involved Caitlin sitting behind me while I played any beat or song that I could think of. All she told me was to 1) Always hit the bass drum if I hit a cymbal and 2) Never hit the bass drum at the same time as the snare. Good rules to start with. Usually she would whack me on the shoulder which indicated that I should never do that weak beat ever again. That is by far the greatest lesson - what NOT to do.

I never showed an interest in playing drums when I was younger, so it was rather shocking to my parents that I went on a full US tour after only six months of playing seriously with a band. When I got home, my Dad was kind of like, "Alright. Are you done now? With this whole punk rock thing?" No Dad. I am still not done.

What's next for the New Trust?
We're currently in the process of writing two EP's. It's going pretty slow and steady as of now. But none of us really mind. We know we're going to be a band forever, so there's really no rush. Josh and Sara recently taught their dog Oly to play the toy piano. I'm hoping to bring her in as a guest player on the next recording.

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