LYNN 'JULIAN' AKA
Cookie 'Cutter' Girl
MSA Member Profile: Lynn Julian Continues to
"Break the Mold"!
by Bob McKillop 5/05
My neighbors are laughing at me as I rock out across the living room rug, headphones on, and laptop in one hand. I am listening to “Jenny”, a powerful, rock-infused pop tune by Lynn Julian, from her debut album “Cookie Cutter Girl” (released in March of 2005, "Get the Picture," the first single from this CD, sat on Broadjam’s Top Ten Indie-Rock Lo-Fi List for 16 straight weeks). This song tells a great story; the punchy rhythm section and layered, complex chord progressions keep it moving at a nice pace. Lynn’s vocals are slinky and emotional; imagine David Bowie’s spirit inhabiting Chrissie Hynde’s voice. The song is about taking risks, being unconstrained by society’s rules, and the excitement of opening yourself to another person:
“But when she stares into my eyes... (ooh Jenny) /
It's only then I realize... (ooh Jenny) /
Love will make you much more bold than wise”
Julian comes across in her music as the quintessential hard rocking chick with a guitar, with the added dimension of being a great storyteller. She’s pissed off and excited at the same time; she likes the rush of feeling angry; she’s dark and upbeat, sexy and scary; she suffers no fools, but if you can handle her power and energy, there will be a lot that you can enjoy. She loves the whole experience of the electric power that passes through you at times of high emotion. Her songs are, in short, a lot of fun to listen to!
In conversation, Lynn Julian, the person, is just as upbeat and
full of energy, but the scary, dark part melts away with the lingering, final power chords of her music. She is an accomplished and educated musician, vocalist, producer, and writer, with a vivid imagination, a very positive message for women, and a knack for promoting herself. She puts in a lot of hours, working hard at her craft and her career. There are a lot of irons in the fire for her to tend, and she seems to be keeping up. Her music is getting significant radio play. She is in negotiations with several publishing houses
to represent her music for TV and movies, and with two producers
who would like to record “Jenny” and “Get the Picture”, another great cut from her album. She is helping to write and produce a comic book that features her Superhero alter ego “Cookie Cutter Girl," and is working on her next CD, a collection of comic holiday and novelty songs. On top of all of that, she will be co-hosting a cable music video show ("No Hit Videos" on Channel 9 Augusta, M-TH 11PM, SAT 10PM), and is filming a live video at
Asylum in Portland on June 2.
Lynn was born and raised in Augusta. While
her father was a jazz musician earlier in his life, she harbored no aspirations
to a music career while growing up. After graduating from high school, she
took off for Europe for a year and a half to try and decide what she wanted
to do with her life. She was peripherally involved with the rock music scene
in Ireland, and worked for a while delivering singing telegrams in Europe,
but it was not until she returned to the States that the music bug bit her.
She entered the University of Maine at Augusta, earning a degree in jazz and
contemporary music. After graduation, she hooked up with a new friend and
mentor, Bob Bachand, and toured with him for a while as an upbeat folk duo
called “Sunday Driver”. Bachand was a large influence, both personally
and artistically, on Julian.
“Bob made me believe in myself as a songwriter” says Julian.
Tragically, Bachand passed away suddenly in 1999, and
Lynn found it hard to continue to perform. She entered an introspective period of writing her own story in prose and song, from which she emerged as the confident,
energetic person that she is today.
Julian’s current focus is her debut album and her professional persona as “Cookie Cutter Girl.” The idea for this strong, feminine role model grew out of Julian’s own personal experience in a string of abusive relationships. Her personal success in rising above the negative feelings, and in refusing to remain a victim, led her to this poster child for Girl Power. The theme behind “Cutter”, as Julian refers to the character, is that women don’t need to live their lives within the confines of the rules that society has laid out for them. They can “break the mold” and be whoever they want to be – professionally, personally, sexually, whatever. Women can be a source of support for each other, instead of competing with each other for men, jobs, and security. While this is a decidedly feminist message, men fill positive roles in her music and writing, and
are not portrayed as being evil in any stereotypical way.
“The message is one of strength and power for women, it’s
not about men being bad because they’re men”, says Julian.
Julian is collaborating with Ron and Justine Fontes, of Sonic Comics, on a comic book that tells the story of “Cutter”, a female super hero, which is inspired by Julian’s outlook and life experiences. Ron is a past art director for Marvel Comics, so the project will result in a quality product. “Cutter” draws on the strength of the women around her, and then projects that strength to other women when they need it. The message in the comic book is one of personal power and authenticity: are you a
“cookie cutter girl”, or do you “break the mold?” Julian is combining her music and the comic book into a single promotional package, capitalizing on the synergy generated by the two mediums.
Julian appreciates the MSA for the community that it brings to
it’s members. She has referred dozens of artists to the MSA, and
feels that the association helps her as a source of sharing and support for her craft. “Songwriting is just as important to
rock music as it is to the singer / songwriter genre”, she says,
“I want to bring the craft of story telling to the rock scene,
which is not necessarily known for it’s story songs.”
Julian’s goals for the coming year include continued focus on the “Cutter” concept and projects, producing a second CD, and
perhaps getting into some creative writing. She is investigating
what grants are available for programs about female empowerment, and she welcomes any suggestions MSA members might have in that area. Her second CD will be a break from her current musical thread, and will be a collection of comic holiday and novelty tunes. Obviously, Julian lives her philosophy of “breaking the mold”,
as she continues to re-invent herself.
“ I really feel that success is all about having faith in yourself,”
she says; “The more energy that you put out into the universe,
the more energy you will feel coming back to you”.
There doesn’t seem to be much of an energy shortage around
Lynn Julian. To listen to Julian's music and learn more about
her career, visit her website at Http://www.LynnJulian.com.