The Juliets came through NYC last week playing two intimate shows– at Littlefield in Brooklyn and Piano’s in the L.E.S in downtown Manhattan. Self-described as a “Detroit-rock band done a different way;” band members Jeremy Freer (vocals, guitar, piano),  Anthony Marchese (cello) Sarah Myers (violin), Jax Phillips (drums), and Ashton Hopkins (bass) make their own rock rules.  The Juliets are not your average indie-rock group, they seamlessly mix strings, piano, and classical arrangements in their pop-rock– making feet-stomping songs that linger in your head for days. [PD recommends “Sweetheart-” listen below and keep reading] PLAYGROUND DETROIT caught the Piano’s show and chatted with frontman Jeremy Freer about their music, the trip out to NYC and life back in Detroit.

PD: Your sound is awesome- it’s so fun but at the same time really emotional and beautiful. How long have you guys been together?

JF: “Thank you! We’ve been together for three years now. Our self-titled album was released in February 2010, and Perfect Season is our latest release.”

PD: How do you think describe your music and your influences?

JF: We’re from Detroit– the raw power of the rock music from here has definitely influenced us. Detroit is home of Motown. As far as I’m concerned, people should brag about that all the time. The Motown sound has also influenced New York City– Lou Reed, The Ramones, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie…Anyone who’s been doing anything interesting in music has always had their ears to Detroit. There would be no “Suffrage City” without that– Bowie’s sound was super British and then he started getting into what was happening with Detroit.”

PD: Does recording in Detroit impact your work? Do you find living there inspiring?

JF: “It’s hard not to be inspired and feel the energy from back in the day. It’s an amazing thing to look around Detroit and know that there is all this history. But it can be frustrating too, it’s a love-hate thing. We’ve played pretty much every venue [in Detroit], some shows are packed…some aren’t, so it’s hard to sustain yourself only playing there. A lot of Brooklyn bands keep getting signed lately, but a lot of them have a similar sound. [NYC] is where the music industry lives so that’s hard to compete with, but you knoq, Detroit bands…there is definitely something about them. They all have really different and unique vibes, but there is something that is the same: they’re all intense, passionate, gritty…they really push it to the max.”

PD: How you like the spending time in New York?

JF: “You know, I’ve found that some people bash New Yorkers, saying they are snobs and things like that, but what I’ve found is that people are actually really nice [in NYC]. Every time we meet someone and they find out we’re from Detroit, they’re like, “Oh yeah? You’re from Detroit?” You get mad respect from people out here, it’s great. If you live in NYC,  you have to be really committed to doing what you are pursuing there.  It’s the same for Detroit, you really have to want to do what you do as well, there are different obstacles in both cities.  There are similar mentalities though with different frustrations: wanting more of a music industry in Detroit, versus New York being over-saturated, I can relate to that– there is a strange connection between both cities that can be understood through music ultimately.”

PD: What’s up next for you guys?

JF: “At the end of this August we will be releasing the music video for our next single, “Only You” off our second album, Perfect Season. We will be having a release party and show in Detroit. We will keep playing shows in New York and Chicago regularly, we are not focusing our on a nation-wide tour yet. We just book another NYC show September 15th at Piano’s, in case you missed us this time!”

PD: Where do u see Detroit in ten years?

JF: “Right now it’s kind of like a clean slate, a city where the beautiful things about it will be further developed hopefully. People should recognize what kind of potential this city has. It’s long overdue and people don’t, well, God help us.”

“Loon” by The Juliets from Cameron King on Vimeo.





Check out the SINGLE BARREL DETROIT feature on The Juliets.

And the IMPORTED FROM DETROIT campaign featuring the band.