LYNN 'JULIAN' AKA
Cookie 'Cutter' Girl
INDIE GUITARISTS INTERVIEW
by Monica Yonge
1. Describe the early years of your
and how your talent was nurtured.
My Dad is a Jazz musician who went to Hart
College in CT.
He taught music and gigged out until I was born.
Both my parents notably attended every "only a parent could
endure this" school assembly I was thankful to be
performing in too! *smile* After earning my degree in Jazz
and Contemporary Music, I jumped into the local music scene
of Central Maine singing cover songs and playing Conga drums
for the popular duo, "Sunday Driver," and the classic rock band, "Out of Bounds."
2. Where there any events, people or
that were musically influential?
When my duo partner, mentor and best friend,
passed away unexpectedly in Dec. 99', I stopped
playing completely. My new CD, "Cookie Cutter Girl," is my
first attempt at expressing myself through writing my *own* story and putting it to music. For 3 years, I looked within' myself and became the emotional songwriter that I am today.
3. What does your live set up consist of? (equipment)
I work primarily with a full band now:
Lynn JULIAN: Lead Vox/Rhythm guitar
SM 58 Cordless Mic / Ernie Ball Music Man Electric Guitar / Alvarez Silver Anniversary Edition Acoustic-Electric Guitar /
Fender Electric Amp / Crate Acoustic Amp / JBL Speakers
Peter Doubt: Lead Guitar/Backing Vox
AKG Mic / Fender & Gibson Electric Guitars / Fender Amps
Pat Callahan: Bass Ken Smith Bass
Dave Lyden: Drums Peace (by Pearl) Drum Kit & Vic Firth Sticks
4. Describe the creative process of
your first solo debut entitled,
“Cookie Cutter Girl,” from the initial inspiration
to getting it down on CD.
"Cookie Cutter Girl" herself appeared to me during the break of a solo performance in which I was completely ignored by the restaurant I was playing for. I started drawing her on a napkin and it was love at first site. *smile* I am MUCH more shy than "Cutter," so speaks my mind, as well as that of silent women everywhere. The more people I told about her, the more people told me that I had to start recording a CD. As the CD evolving, I realized that Cutter is MUCH bigger than her music. So I had the comic teaser done for the insert, since I couldn't afford to have a whole comic book done. Then, through preminition and fate, I met Ron & Justine Fontes of Sonic Comics, who also fell in love with Cookie Cutter Girl and generously offered to assist me in producing the comic book. Ron is the ex-Art Director for MARVEL COMICS and Justine is the "Queen of Licensed Children's Books." (Disney, Peanuts, The Wiggles)
5. How involved are you in the recording process?
I am involved in EVERY aspect of the recording process. NOTHING is done when I'm not present. I write the songs, record rough demos and sketch out what I'm looking for with the engineer/CO-producer. Then I write rough "hooks" and parts for some of the musicians I hire and attend EVERY recording session of EVERY instrument, to assure the parts are played as intended. There are SO many decisions: guitar sound, pedal sound, effects! Next, we mix the parts in as they're recorded. Each one changes the feel of the piece and, sometimes, leads to rerecording parts we already thought were done! Finally, the production, which, for me, takes longer than everything else combined. There are NO right answers to how a song should be produced. You have to trust your judgment on whether some little note, hook, instrument, adds or takes away from the overall piece. Often times, with more than one producer, the opinions differ and this can create tension in the studio. It's of the utmost importance that this is kept to a minimum though. An artist *MUST* feel free to speak their mind about their work. Studio squabbles effectively undermine your confidence about the important, and difficult, production, mixing and instrumentation choices you are making. To avoid this, try to choose a studio that has already been successfully used by another artist you know and trust.
6. How did you record the rhythm guitar
Most of the guitar parts for my "Cookie Cutter Girl" CD were recorded in double stereo, meaning they take up 4 tracks each. One track is direct, one is the room sound and 2 are from one room away.
7. You have your own record label named,
Cookie Cutter Records.
Where did the idea to self produce your own records blossom from?
In a word: necessity! I couldn't afford a producer, so I studied the music I was trying to emulate commercially as I recorded. I don't have a record label, so I *had* to start one. I don't yet have a publisher, so I had to open my own publishing company, "Cookie Cutter Publishing," too. At least I have a publishing company now to help my friends out too! *wink*
8. Where was your debut recorded, mixed & mastered?
True Sound in Vassalboro, ME. It was the only CD of this style or magnatude ever recorded there. So, it was a 2 year long learning experience for both of us.
9. What is the feel of your first solo
and how is it being received?
I call my style of music "Girl Power Pop" to give listeners a VERY clear picture of what to expect from my CD. I'm thankful to say it's been extremely well received by OVER 500 TV & RADIO STATIONS!
10. You do a LOT of promotion!
What's your latest promotional outlet?
We just got a brand new COOKIE CUTTER GIRL mobile! It's a prowler yellow Honda Element (a "Yellament") that says "CookieCutterGirl.com ... Join the Movement" on the side. My acting manager, and best friend, drives it ALL over MA for his job and we take it a new venue every weekend. We are going to have it wrapped with comic cells from Cookie Cutter Girl Issue #1 this Fall. *Honk* a "Hello!" when you see our "Yellement" driving by your town! Want *your* BUSINESS LOGO on the side? EMAIL ME: GirlPower@CookieCutterGirl.com.
11. You have recently become a co-host/VJ
for “No Hit Videos."
Tell me how that opportunity presented itself.
Nikko, the charming host for "No Hit Videos" found my site on the web and contacted me directly. I can NOT stress the importance of having a large web presence here enough! *wink* He asked my band to record a video for his show and then mentioned he was looking for someone to CO-host some shows with him too. I thought it sounded like great fun and jumped at the chance to have my music reach more fans.
12. You have made a few TV appearances what was that like?
In truth, my first TV appearance, on "Songwriter's Corner," was the first time I'd EVER played guitar in front of an audience at all! When host, Martin Swinger, graciously asked me to fill-in as host for him one week, and hire my own guest too, I was NOT about to admit that to him. So, I just practiced, asked Scott DeRapps, a musician friend of mine to join me, and dove in! I admit that I played a few strange major, minor, diminshed chords: D "maybe," G "murder" and F "Demented." Was it worth it? Absolutely! Let's just hope noone digs that tape up on my someday though... *smile* I found the most difficult thing about TV performances was guessing which camera to look at. They often have several taping, yet, you don't know how they're going to edit the tapes later, so you're not sure where to look to get the best angle. Does it show that I over think everything, yet?
13. Tell me about the Cookie Cutter
and your plans for it.
The upcoming "Cookie Cutter Girl"
COMIC BOOK, due out this winter, will introduce fans "Cutters'"
CRYPTIC POWERS! I just finished CO-writing it with SONIC COMICS'
Justine Fontes, "Queen of liscensed children's books" (Roger Rabbit, Little Mermaid, The Wiggles). It will be produced by Ron Fontes, "ex-Art Director for MARVEL COMICS!" Shojo Manga fans... We are currently running a COMIC BOOK CONTEST to find for *the* artist to draw the adventures of Cookie Cutter Girl, "Girl Power Pop Music Superhero" for Issue #1! We have the characters, the storyline mapped out into panels and the funny dialogue. We need *your* hands! Winner gets to draw the premiere issue, which will be FEATURED at the 2006 SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON and all kinds of CCG COLLECTABLES! Go to CookieCutterGirl.com to see a teaser of the comic, although it's not done in the Manga style we now desire. COMIC BOOK ADS FOR SALE! Have *YOU* got a product that appeals to young people, comic readers, music lovers and/or women? Ads are now being sold AT PRINT COST for Cookie Cutter Girl Issue #1, due out this winter. EMAIL ME: GirlPower@CookieCutterGirl.com.
Here is a list of the characters and "Cutter's" Super Powers:
"Cookie Cutter Girl," freeing women
(on her hot pink motorcycle, with Spike in the sidecar!)
Cookie 'Cutter' Girl's Super Powers:
Super Sight: Cutter sees whatever Shadow the Power Parrot sees.
Her bird "shadows" her & perches on top of buildings.
Weakness: Parrot *must* be able to see a crime to show Cutter.
Super Strength & Speed: Cutter gains super strength, speed and
agility from "Stardust," her feline friend, who transfers this
by cat napping on Cutter's magic belt.
Weakness: Cat *must* sleep on her belt to charge it!
Magic Belt: All Cutter's "jewelry" has been blessed by tribal elders and it
harnesses the GIRL POWER of all the women Cutter has helped.
It GLOWS PINK when she fires it's PINK ENERGY RAYS
at her enemies and stuns them momentarily!
Weakness: Cutter's power relies on her jewelry!
NOTE: The more women Cutter frees with her GIRL POWER,
the MORE POWERS she gets in return ... KARMA!
Magic Cuffs: These reflect the GIRL POWER RAYS, so Cutter can
RICOCHET the RAYS off the CUFFS to aim them at her enemies!
Magic Headband: The center stone focuses the GIRL POWER,
as it GLOWS PINK, and allows Cutter to read all female minds.
Magic Guitar: Shoots PINK RAYS of GIRL POWER
at her enemies to block their blows and stun them!
"Julian," her all too human alter ego
(and the first "cookie cutter" girl Cutter freed!)
"Secret Asian Man," SAM, her Japanese, secret agent love
"Spike" her tiny, canine comic sidekick in the sidecar
"Shadow," her fierce, feathered friend who gives her Super Sight
"Stardust," her fond, feline force who gives her Super Strength
"Shihan," her martial arts instructor (United Kosho),
"Lil Sis," her lil' sister who is a computer whiz
"Sunday," her funny, ghostly advisor, who is all about the ladies
"SYD," Sick Young Dude, Julian's abusive boyfriend
"The DOMINATOR," his alter ego & her arch enemy
"STU," her Stupid Tyrant Uncle who was forced to raise her
"Jax," her best friend who has the family Julian longs for
"Jenny" her jealous,'goth girl' friend who wants to be more
14. You music can be found on nine Nationally released CD compilations. Which CDs can your music be found on?
"Get the Picture" is featured on
"RE-FUEL YOUR SOUL"
from MO PHUNK RECORDS & FRESH TRACKS!
"Get the Picture" is featured on
"Go Girls Music Fest 05,"
played & sold at all Go Girls Music festivals!
"Get the Picture" is featured on
from MUSES MUSE!
"Get the Picture" is featured on
"SANTA CRUZ LIVE Battle of the Bands" CD.
"Jenny" has been chosen by 7RECORDSMUSIC
for the CD, "GLOW BOY," along side the theme for the
HIT TV SHOW: "QUEER AS FOLK!"
"Other Girls Do" is featured on "Media
5th Indie music compilation CD!
"Without You" is featured on the
GINA CD "For the Missing".
"Julian" was chosen for the "04347"
compilation CD, which features the top Maine artists.
"Stalker" and "Watcher"
are featured on the
MAINE SONGWRITERS ASSOC. compilation CD.
15. What are your plans for 2006?
2006?! I still have SO much happening in 2005! *smile* I have my first comedy/holiday EP coming out this Fall: "HAM for the HOLIDAYS," Tommy Turkey's Plea for Pork, as heard on the DR. DEMENTO SHOW! I realized last holiday season that there was a total lack of Thanksgiving songs on the radio. So, I wrote one ... from the perspective of the turkey. *wink* Then, I wrote another one from the point of the fruitcake too! I should mention at this point that ALL of my songs are available to perform and/or record. In 2006, I plan to attend the Comicon (Largest US Comic Book Conference) with Sonic Comics to promote Cookie Cutter Girl Issue #1 and her CD as a package deal. This way the music will reach comic fans and the comic will reach music fans too!
16. Are there any people who have helped
you with your
music career that you would like to mention here?
Of course I'm grateful to all the family, friends
and fans who have stepped up to do what they could. I'm *always* thankful
for every request made for my song on the radio!
The one person who deserves 90% of the thanks though is my acting manager: Frank Douglas. He is my best friend, and is giving 110% of his spare time and energy to help me succeed. I honestly don't know where I'd be right now without his generosity of time, spirit and sponsorship. "Doug" is truly an angel and I am eternally grateful that he found me on the Internet. Fate and intuition have come to my aid yet again...