Julianne Q and The Band: New Faces, Places, and Experiences

Julianne Q and The Band: New Faces, Places, and Experiences

2017 has been a busy year for Julianne Q and The Band. From the release of their debut album in May to playing many iconic venues such as Martyrs, The Cubby Bear, and Tonic Room, the band has really picked up steam in the last year. Now with a monthly residency at the Elbo Room and a few new tools at their disposal, Julianne Q and The Band are gearing up for an exciting end of the year, and a chance to be an act to watch for in 2018.

 The “new” begins within the band itself. After the departure of bassist Jimmy Provan in August, Julianne Q and The Band were faced with the task of filling a big role.

“I reached out to pretty much every person I knew in music asking if they knew anyone,” Lead singer Julianne Quaas said. “Then I started posting in all of the Facebook Groups I’m in, with Chicago and the ‘burbs and what not. And then I also emailed the music staff of Roosevelt, Depaul, and Columbia.”

After this lengthy search, the band received about twelve candidates, which were then screened. Quass asked about their experience, work ethic, availability, and how well they’d adapt to the band. This helped to narrow the band’s choices down to five people, three of which auditioned.

The search resolved with Egan Franke, a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Music Composition, and experience playing a wide variety of genres. Franke credits his openness to a wide variety of genres for his musical knowledge.

“I will listen to about anything and everything,” Franke said. “One of the great things about Columbia is that my composition teachers were very specific to listen to any music you can get your hands on. Listen to as much music as you possibly can because it will make you a more rounded musician and composer the more you listen to.”

Being the first person to audition for the band, Franke impressed immediately from the moment he first plugged in. But with this band being one that really emphasizes their family dynamic, it was important to also have someone the band felt they could get along with. This was yet another trait of Franke that the band found appealing.

“To me, Egan just stood out,” Guitarist Ricky Hendrix explained. “Not only did he have a really good background in music, but he also fit in really well with us. We just get along really well.”

“He’s young, our age, out of college, just one of us,” Drummer Jeff Mills explained. “A big part of this band is that it’s more than just a performance act, it’s like a family.”  

Although Franke is still new to the band, he feels the band is very encouraging of his ideas on already existing songs and is open to trying new things. He has already impressed the band with his work ethic, going as far as to Skype into a practice he was too sick to attend. While suffering a 101-degree temperature, Franke showed his dedication by sitting in on the practice and even giving his input on a couple of new songs.

But the “new” doesn’t stop with Franke. Also recently added to the picture was Bill Green, the band’s new manager and booking agent. As a part of Rough House Management, Green has managed a variety of bands through his career. Adding a manager to the picture was a new and foreign move for the band, but now they believe Green is a positive asset.

“I didn’t know what to expect when we first started working with him,” Guitarist Ricky Hendrix said. “A lot of people talk and name drop, and it was really reassuring to go into this and see what he's about. It’s good to bounce ideas off of somebody, especially someone who knows and who has been around music and recording.”

Not only has Green helped the band gain contacts and begin to plot out how to get the band heard outside their hometown of Chicago, he has also served as an aid in the studio. The band has been in and out of the studio the last few months working on new covers to be released. Lead singer Julianne Quass has already begun to see the experience and positive energy Green brings to the band.

“I tend to get in my head really easily in the studio and he’s helped me loosen up, enjoy the music, and be in the music,” Quaas said. “I think it’s the best I’ve ever sounded on a recording.”

Spearheading this new era for Julianne Q and The Band is another edition of the bands Elbo Room residency on November 3rd. This being Franke’s welcome into the band would seem to be exciting enough, but the excitement does not stop there. The show will also be the debut of Red River Unlimited, a new project fronted by drummer Jeff Mills. Mixing elements of indie rock, folk, blues, and even some emo, this project allows Mills to show a different side of his musical background, and his musical talents. Red River Unlimited will be the Mills’ first shot at playing guitar in a band, and he is excited about the new experience.

“I have never played with a band, especially when I’ve been the frontman of a band. So this will be really weird and cool,” Mills said.

Following this show for Julianne Q will be one Elbo Room show in December, followed by an appearance at the toy drive at The Cubby Bear on December 15th. But work for the band continues right after the show, sooner than you may think.

“We actually this Sunday are going back down to Kankakee to finish up some recordings for one of two covers that we’re releasing,” Quaas said.  


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