[HEIKO JULIEN INTERVIEW]
‘Heiko Julien is a writer and musician from Chicago. His third and final ebook, “There Is No Reason for Tigers to be Beautiful, They Just Are” will be published in its entirety in Pop Serial 4.’
He also makes music: http://heikojulien.bandcamp.com/
‘I AM READY TO DIE A VIOLENT DEATH’ ebook: http://www.scribd.com/doc/102952623/I-Am-Ready-To-Die-A-Violent-Death
‘AM I COOL’ ebook: http://www.scribd.com/doc/94961731/heiko-julien-am-i-cool
MATTHEW SHERLING: What ‘led you’ to write ‘I AM READY TO DIE A VIOLENT DEATH’?
HEIKO JULIEN: This ebook, like the one before it and the one after, are essentially anthologies of my online output over a period of roughly 3 months. In this sense, they function as a sort of diary that I am able to look back on and arrange in a meaningful order, adding lines in between that piece it all together, kind of like stand up comedians do with jokes. There are a lot of One-Liners in these books. This is a function of the medium in which a lot of the content is created (on Twitter.)
I find that when I take the most interesting thoughts I have blurted out over a span of time and compile them, there seems to be consistent themes that I am trying to communicate. In the case of this book, a lot of ontological issues I never worked out and maybe should have at an earlier age, hence the sort of (optimistic) Adult Goth feel.
The period of time captured in this book was characterized by a lot of risks and changes happening in my life. I had raised $1000 on Kickstarter to help fund a tour for my and my friend’s bands. I was considering trying to abandon pursuing a career and possibly make music my full-time vocation. I was thinking a lot about what kind of life I wanted to make for myself and realizing that this was a decision that would have to be made quickly. It made me kind of grumpy, but also at time manically hopeful. I think a lot of this comes across in the book. I finished writing it in a rare sustained afternoon of cogency in Philadelphia after playing a successful show in Brooklyn the night before that I had previously doubted would go as well as it did. Having faced my fears and survived, I barked at the moon and finished the thing.
I am planning on making the next ebook (There Is No Reason For Tigers To Be Beautiful, They Just Are via Pop Serial 4) my last. I plan on challenging myself to write prose, although I imagine the aesthetic I have been crafting in these li’l books will play a big part in what I write in the future.
MS: Do you have a definition for ‘poetry’?
HJ: I do not have a set definition, although this is more a result of lazy thinking than some sort of Free Spirited approach to expression. I think that if standards and conventions inhibit one from expressing themselves sufficiently, then they are unneeded. Structure seems important though. I consider myself to be an Entry-Level Writer and an amateur who has a lot to learn. I think that once you understand the structures others have built, you can mess with them to a much more significant and interesting end than someone who just couldn’t be bothered with rules in the first place. One day I will be more of the former and less of the latter.
MS: What is ‘underrated’?
MS: What is ‘overrated’?
MS: What do you know anything about ‘Sewer Greats’?
HJ: Yes, it is a record label that caters to the post-grimy post-cool post-internet post-youth demographic. (I am using ‘post’ inappropriately as an intensifier because I think it’s funny.)
I actually had a song on the Sewage Tapes Vol. 4 compilation. (http://sewagetapes.bandcamp.com/track/billie-jean) It was a cover of Billie Jean and features me singing in my beautiful, angelic voice. Kitty Pryde was on that one too before she became netfamous too, so that’s something I’ll tell my grandchildren about, probably.
MS: What would be the coolest thing about being born before 1900?
HJ: Greater involvement of horses in day-to-day life. I think people can learn a lot from horses.
MS: Where is the Internet ‘taking us’?
HJ: I think heavy Internet users who produce a high volume of creative content are probably making excellent cases against themselves that will be used to incriminate them in their professional and personal lives in a mildly dystopian future. Or more likely, no one really cares.
MS: If you choose the song at your funeral, what will it be?
HJ: Flying Lotus - Parisian Goldfish (http://dancefloordale.com)
MS: What’s your favorite IRL thing to do?
MS: If you could wrap up your worldview in one sentence, what would it be?