Julie Doiron wakes herself up

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Julie Doiron

“I’m finishing a pair of mittens and I’m also making a hat " my first hat,” says Julie Doiron, describing her latest pastime. ”The hat is taking a little longer because I kind of lost interest in it.”

Known for her delicate voice, the Moncton, New Brunswick native is an increasingly recognized name in indie pop.

Formerly performing vocals with Rick White in Eric’s Trip, she’s now a successful solo artist with many albums and a Juno Award under her belt.

On her latest release, Woke Myself Up, Doiron collaborated with White for the first time since Eric’s Trip disbanded. Constantly recreating herself, she decided it was time for something new.

“I wanted to make something that was different from my last two records, so I thought it would be really fun to work with Rick again,” Doiron says. “I knew if I was working with Rick, he would help me do that just because of his own ideas. I think I achieved what I set out to do pretty much.”

Although their lives have gone in different directions since the early ’90s, the pair stayed good friends. Collaboration was inevitable and the new offspring sounds more like their old music than Doiron’s usual releases.

“[White] did almost everything,” Doiron says. “He was the engineer, so he did all the recording.

“[Mark Gaudet and Chris Thompson] from Eric’s Trip also played on a few songs, and then on the other songs that they didn’t play on, Rick did the drums, bass, and some guitar. And then he mixed it. He was totally into it.”

Although Gaudet and Thompson had smaller roles in the production, having the old lineup around was a positive experience. Doiron had outside influences for the first time since 2000, when she collaborated with The Wooden Stars.

“We did each of [Gaudet and Thompson’s] parts in one day, and it was really fun to have them around again.

“It was really nice to work with Rick because I was so used to working with him. I think it even felt better, probably.”

Despite the old band’s involvement, Doiron felt little pressure for the final product. And having more people around made production easier.

“If we had gotten together to make an Eric’s Trip record, it would have been a very different experience,” Doiron says. “[White] didn’t have entire control, but he also wanted to make them sound good. It was just really nice.”

Though Woke Myself Up is finished, Doiron and White aren’t done working together. Future collaboration is in the cards.

“I think I’m supposed to be singing on some of his new songs so I know we’ll be working together for sure, like, sooner than later.”

Doiron also sings and plays bass in Shotgun & Jaybird. She has lots on her plate but feels good with other musical projects on the go.

“[Playing bass] has been really good for me for sure, and that’s changed my way of thinking about music in a lot of ways,” Doiron says. “I wrote two of the songs on the new record " which turned out really good. They’re my favourites of the songs that I’ve written in a while.”

Her life is full right now; she’s raising children and trying to find time to pursue her art, having previously put her drawings on her album covers. Music, however, will always be central.

“I’m just writing right now,” she says. “Writing and I’ve been making music with some friends. I play drums sometimes. And now that the record has just come out, I’m really excited I can finally move on.”

Julie Doiron performs at the Alex P. Keaton tonight. Doors open at 8 p.m.

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