The Juliana Theory was an American rock quintet from Greensburg and Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The Juliana Theory signed to Tooth & Nail Records The group later signed to Epic Records for the release of the album Love. The Juliana Theory released their final studio album on independent label Paper Fist before disbanding in 2006. The band played eight reunion shows in Summer 2010.
The Juliana Theory was formed in 1997 by Joshua Fiedler and Neil Hebrank (formerly of the band Noisome) along with Chad Monticue (former singer for Pensive), Jeremiah Momper, and Brett Detar (who also split his time as a guitarist for Zao and Pensive at the time).
Detar, Monticue and Walters were childhood friends while Kosker and Fiedler met Detar as classmates at a nearby high school. The members formed The Juliana Theory in 1997 as a side-project while they played in other bands. "We really started out as a joke," recalls Detar. "Slowly, we started to like the music we were making in The Juliana Theory more than the music we were making in our regular bands. Eventually, everyone committed to make this their full-time band".
According to an interview on the website Tapout Zine, there was never a real concept behind the band's name. "We used to have an elaborate story that we told involving sociology students and a huge experiment involving music and people's responses to it, but we got tired of telling the story. The band was supposed to be a side project that wouldn't last and we just came up with a name before our first show. It has no meaning at all". In an interview lead singer Brett Detar told Lina Lecaro of the Los Angeles Times that the band's name was "pretty stupid," adding, "Let's just say this: Every band has a name and for better or worse, this is ours".
Their first performance was at a concert at Saint Vincent College booked by Christopher Pecoraro, as an opening act, but their fame grew quickly. They were spotted by Brandon Ebel of Tooth & Nail Records on the Cornerstone Music Festival impromptu stage, which showcased unsigned talent. A split EP with the band Dawson High on Arise Records marked the band's recorded debut. Shortly after The Juliana Theory signed a multi-album deal with Seattle-based Tooth & Nail records.
Their first unofficial performance was at a mutual friend's 16th birthday party on July 27, 1996 at a private residence on Waterworks Road in Latrobe, PA where they were asked to leave as they spoke out against underage smoking and drinking.
The Tooth & Nail years
After spending time on the road touring, the band signed with the independent record label Tooth & Nail. The label released The Juliana Theory's debut studio album "Understand This is a Dream" on March 23, 1999. Around this time Joshua Kosker, originally of the group Dawson High, replaced Momper when he left the band after the band's first record was released. The following year The Juliana Theory and Tooth & Nail released the follow-up record Emotion is Dead (2000). Together, the albums sold around 130,000 units.
After the release of Emotion is Dead, Tooth and Nail and the Juliana Theory clashed heads in terms of creative and promotional areas of the groups marketing. "Most things that we asked them to do for us they couldn't do or didn't do. Now, almost everything we asked for at the time is just protocol for the label. They do all of the stuff we wanted them to do back then very well now." The group left to find a new label shortly afterwards.
The Epic era
In 2001, the Juliana Theory signed a recording contract with Epic/Sony. Dates on the 2001 Warped Tour followed. On October 23, 2001 the Juliana Theory released six new songs as the Music from Another Room EP on Tooth and Nail records.
A change in the line up meant that original drummer Neil Hebrank was replaced by Josh "Chip" Walters before the recording of Love, the band's third-full length album for Epic Records.
Recorded at locations in California and also at lead singer Brett's home Studio at Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Love was produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads who also worked with successful acts Live and No Doubt. Love sold over 100,000 albums with little radio or label support behind it. This led to over 260 tour dates the year of its release and the record debuted on Billboard 200 chart at No. 71 and remained in the top 200 for 5 weeks.
Around the time of the release of Love, the band co-headlined a tour with Something Corporate for tour dates which included New York, Los Angeles and many cities in between. Between January and March 2003 both the Juliana Theory and Something Corporate shared the stage, along with support act Vendetta Red all three groups had moved from independent to major record labels since the release of their previous records.
In a 2003 interview Brett Detar shared his thoughts about the group's time with Sony. "It's not nearly as good as we had hoped," he said. "We've never really had a great time at any record label we've been at".
The band soon parted ways with Epic Records after the release of the Love album and signed a deal with Rykodisc. In a MySpace blog written by Detar, he explains that after a change in management and direction of the label, "...at the last second we wormed our way out of the deal and headed into the studio with our own funds and with the help of Josh Karchmer, our manager."
Following the separation of the group from Epic Records the band subsequently began their own label affiliated with Abacus Recordings called Paper Fist (in reference to The Juliana Theory song, "To the Tune of 5,000 Screaming Children"). Their fourth studio album Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat was released on September 13, 2005.
Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat was produced and recorded by John Travis and was co-produced by frontman Brett Detar. The album was recorded at Seedy underbelly Studios, Valley Village California between November 2004 and December 2004 and also at studio 66 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania between the months of December 2004 and January 2005.
The two CD release of Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat features a 25 minute making of documentary filmed by the band, Jeff Calhoun and Jason Hopkins. In the documentary Brett shared that around 30 pieces of music and 25 complete songs were made in preparation of the finished record.
In the documentary they band claim that the record is driven by the four songs, four pillars (or the quadrology) which hold the rest of record, the songs they specify include: "This Is a Lovesong... For the Loveless", "This Valentine Aint' No Saint", "French Kiss Off" and "Shotgun Serenade".
Chad shares in regard to the album "I can honestly say we made a record about love, cars, drinking, and drugs and sex and murder, all those things are elements of our record and I think that's pretty cool, what else do you want to listen to?, there's nothing better to listen to". Brett also shares that the record benefits from having "bite and venom" and that "the album lyrically packs a lot more punch".
The DVD features four previously unreleased exclusive tracks only available with the two CD set. The songs are "Over The Earth", "Slowly Flying Solo", "Opposite Parallel Poles" and "Can't Suspend It".
On February 9, 2006, After years of touring and recording "The Juliana Theory Is Dead" was the official statement from the band on their official website and also on the band's MySpace page. Reasons cited for the groups disbandment include issues with record labels Tooth and Nail and Epic. As of August 2009 the post has received 1057 Kudos.
An official MySpace blog posted on February 8, 2007 gave an update on Josh Fiedler starting new band Vesta and Josh "Chip" Walters playing drums in his new band called Crushing Ground.
On March 23, 2010, Mightier Than Sword Records released Understand This Is A Dream on vinyl as the second installment in their 10th Anniversary Series.
An August 16, 2009 Drive By Media story teased that The Juliana Theory may be reforming after comments left by the official Juliana Theory Twitter page suggested "good things are coming. we promise".
On October 5, 2009 former lead singer Brett Detar posted an announcement on his official website that a Juliana Theory Rarities & B-Sides Album was in the works and will be available sometime in the near future.
On December 14, 2009 the band announced that they will be playing 2 reunion shows in the summer of 2010 to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the release of "Emotion Is Dead." They plan on playing the entire record, in order, as well as a selection of other fan favorites.
A Facebook update on January 20, 2010 gave the seven final tour dates that the band will be playing:
Friday August 20, 2010 – New York, NY – Highline BallroomSaturday September 11, 2010 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Altar Bar
Saturday August 21, 2010 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr Small’s Theater
Sunday August 22, 2010 – Philadelphia, PA – The Trocadero
Friday August 27, 2010 – Pomona, CA – The Glasshouse
Saturday August 28, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA – The El Rey Theater
Sunday August 29, 2010 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
Thursday September 9, 2010 - Brooklyn, NY
On January 25, 2010 a NYC show was announced at Highline Ballroom for Friday, August 20, 2010. The band will be playing "Emotion Is Dead" as well as a greatest hits set.
In August 2010, the band released a 28 song B-sides and Rarities album for online purchase only. The album was mastered by Jonathan Gunnell who had been working with Vesta on their debut release.
On Saturday September 11, 2010 the band said one final goodnight at The Altar Bar in Pittsburgh where they donated all of the ticket sales to the Mario Lemieux Foundation.
In 2008 Juliana Theory Alumni Joshua Fiedler, Joshua Kosker and Chad Monticue began writing and recording music with a new band called Vesta. The group played their first show on April 25, 2009 in Bowling Green, Ohio. Around this time the group was working on their first album. The recording was done by Pittsburgh musician and recording engineer, Jonathan Gunnell.
On October 6, 2009 Vesta, released their debut album independently called "0.1 Daylight's Coming."
- Brett Detar - vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming
- Chad Alan (Chad Monticue) - bass, backing vocals
- Joshua Fiedler - guitars, backing vocals
- Joshua Kosker - guitars, backing vocals
- Josh "Chip" Walters - drums
- Neil Hebrank - drums 1997-2000 (joined Confident Years)
- Jeremiah Momper - guitar 1997-1999
- Understand This Is a Dream (1999), Tooth & Nail Records
- Emotion Is Dead (2000), Tooth & Nail Records
- Love (2003), Epic Records U.S. No. 71
- Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat (2005), Abacus Recordings
- The Juliana Theory / Dawson High Split (1998), Arise Records
- The Juliana Theory / Onelinedrawing / The Grey AM 3 Way Split (2000), Onedaysavior Records
- Music from Another Room (2001), Tooth & Nail Records
Live and compilation albums
- MTV Road Rules Vol. 1 (2002), Bring It Low, Roadrunner Records
- Live 10.13.2001 (2003), Live recording from 2001, Tooth & Nail Records
- A Small Noise (2006), Selection of tracks from first two studio albums, Tooth & Nail Records
- 28 B-Sides And Rarities (2010), Outtakes and demos, also includes their tracks taken from The Juliana Theory / Dawson High Split and The Juliana Theory / Onelinedrawing / The Grey AM 3-Way Split, Paper Fist
Special edition Instant Live albums
- Troubadour - West Hollywood Ca 11/3/05 (2006), Instant Live Rec.
- Scrappy's - Tucson Az 11/8/05 (2006), Instant Live Rec.
- Numbskull - San Luis Obispo Ca 11/2/05 (2006), Instant Live Rec.
- Neckbeard's - Tempe Az 11/7/05 (2006), Instant Live Rec.
- Chain Reaction - Anaheim Ca 11/5/05 (2006), Instant Live Rec.
- UK Based Website
- Official Abacus Recordings Page