Getting to Know Julia & The Deep Sea Sirens

Julia Johnson tells Something You Said about her band: 

Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens are a band of Canberran musicians who I gathered together to play my songs. I feel very lucky to have such incredible musicians willing to traipse around the country playing my songs with me. We are currently a five-piece, and on stage there are normally these instruments: guitars, cello, drums, bass, autoharp, banjo, casio keyboard. I always like to boast about great Op-shop finds, so at this point I would like to say that our Casio was $10 at Salvos.

Family Pets is our album. It’s the largest, funnest, hardest piece of work I have ever done, and in my opinion is also the best thing I have ever created. It’s a portrait of my life in Canberra the last few years: the loss, the joy and the changes. I didn’t notice until I was writing the last song on the album, how ‘change’ was such a common theme in the songs. The song Family Pets is what made me notice this.

Canberra is a loaded word, and my home. There are parts that I defend, and parts I don’t. Canberra has a really wonderful underground scene. With very few venues, we play in backyards, burnt out observatories and other unusual places. The music that comes out of Canberra is honest. Some Canberrans champion JDSS as a band that have proudly stayed in Canberra, fighting the urge to try our luck in Melbourne or Sydney, but every freezing winter when I’m chilled to the bone, I promise myself ‘this is the LAST winter I’m staying here!’

I’m currently listening to… Jack Colwell & the Owls, Cracked Actor, Beach House and I’m rediscovering Electrelane and some early Joy Division too.

The next 12 months will no doubt feel even quicker than the last. We will play shows in as many locations as we can, write new songs, and I’m determined to touch my toes before the end of the year. So I will be doing some stretching!

It might surprise people to learn that we are also currently working on a cross-art performance, mixing live shadow puppetry with live music. So the Deep Sea Sirens will be puppeteers as well as musicians…

Interview by Bobby Townsend. Photo by Rohan Thomson. Check out Julia and her Deep Sea Sirens at their website and follow them on Twitter.