Photo by Mick Mercer
Julianne Regan of All About Eve
~by Jezebel
(photos by Mick Mercer)

The reunion of All About Eve was unanticipated but was completely appreciated. With all their side projects, no one ever thought that AAE would ever see the light of day again. But - for the past few years, the fairy lights of AAE has been mesmerizing audiences throughout the UK (damn when WILL they come to the States).

The ingredients of well crafted music, interesting and believable lyrics combine to make AAE one of the bands in the music world that has never perhaps reached the pinnacle of fame, but have had long lasting affects on the music scene and musicians. Some of these are to be released on a new CD of old Eden releases, b-sides and some pre-Phonogram demo's under the title "Return To Eden - The Early Recordings."

I have been lucky enough to encounter Julianne Regan over the last year or so not only as an excited fan in her audience, but backstage and in social occasions as well. So at ease with herself and with what she does, she gives off a serene and contented aura and of course, you yourself all of a sudden forget you are speaking to "her" and find yourself just enjoying an interesting, funny and charming women with much to share and much to create.

And even luckier….I was able to get some time with her now, as the Eves continue to tour.
Jezebel: All About Eve has been back together for over two years now, but what prompted the reunion?

Julianne: The reunion really just kind of happened. The Mission had three UK dates and Wayne called up Andy and asked him if we'd like to get back together and be their support for those dates. Andy met me after work one night (yes, I'd had to fall back to earth and get a 'proper job') and laid the idea on me. He said afterwards that he thought I'd tell him to 'f*ck off' but he caught me in a good mood, feeling all positive and mature, and so I thought 'why not? It really was that simple. I don't know why I just went for it. I think it was just such an odd thing to do, you know, I was working in an office, pretty happy with things, music and all that stuff all gone behind me, but, I just felt curious and thought it might be fun.

Jezebel: How did you feel about the overwhelmingly welcome reaction you received from the fans? 

Julianne: Couldn't believe it. I thought that people would've forgotten us or just thought we were past it and that we were a bit sad and very irrelevant. No way did I think that we'd get such a warm and positive response.

Jezebel: Has that continued since the initial reunion shows? 

Julianne: Very much so. On the whole, we've just done a load of acoustic shows and that's been a very different kettle of fish. Still a warm reaction, very warm, amazingly so when it's just a girl and a voice and two guys and two acoustic guitars. At times, the fever pitch has been like at an electric show! It never fails to amaze me that people get off on us so much. Call it low self-esteem!!

Jezebel: As you have told your fans through your website and the discussion group, Marty (Wilson-Piper) has left the group and is now working on solo projects in New York and a new guitarist has joined… does this affect what the Eves are doing now and what kind of change do you think the fans will hear in the overall sound of the group?

Julianne: It can only be a good thing really. With Marty, it had come to the point where his main band, The Church, were having a sudden increase in activity and that caused a conflict of interests. We'd always managed to strike a balance and plan ahead carefully until recently, but, it had come to the point where Andy and I had to decide whether we were happy for AAE to be a side project, or whether it was worth more than that. We decided it was worth more. There comes a point when you've 'reformed' for a couple of years where it starts to feel cheap and embarrassing that you are still churning out songs from ten years ago without lighting a few fireworks with new material. For example, Marty has been away with the Church for a couple of months now and was only going to be able to do two days rehearsal before the May tour. Two days. That's not enough to rehearse the old stuff never mind write and rehearse anything new. Also, as he has just relocated to New York, AAE with him in the line-up was always going to be a part-time thing and Andy and I want to go for it!
The new guitarist, Toni Haimi sounds great. He has a different style and sound to Marty, in fact, he has more in common with Tim (Bricheno, original guitarist) than he does with Marty! He has a style of his own and plays the old stuff with verve and breathes life into it while injecting his own thing into the new stuff. He's pretty much the perfect AAE guitarist for this century! He can play dirty and play sweet. Just what we need…and he lives in Kentish Town ……and that's a lot closer than Brooklyn! 

Jezebel: With the departure of Marty, how will the sound of the new material you and Andy are currently working on change if at all?

Julianne: Well, we are free to experiment a little more. We aren't going to turn into Portishead or Eminem, but we can incorporate loops and more 'modern' drum sounds into our thing. Marty was a bit loop-phobic. I think he despaired of Andy and I sometimes, thinking that we were fashion-followers. We're not; we just keep our ears and minds open and don't want to be buried alive by our own 'old' sound.

As for guitars, well, Marty is a bit more traditional than Andy and I. Not that he's old-fashioned, he just has a sound and plays to that sound. Which is fine, but, not if you are trying to break out of your own confines. I think Toni, once he's settled in, will help us take risks.

Jezebel: Tell us more about the new material you and Andy are working on? I understand it has a lot more reverb there and is a lot more edgier than previous work from the Eves?

Julianne: Well, it's hard to be objective really because when you first write a song, it sounds new and radical and then when you've done a few rehearsals, it starts to nestle in nicely alongside the old stuff. But I think it's just that I'm used to it now. There are loops, but nothing to scare anyone. The songs are still 'songs' because that's what we like and that's what people who are into us like. There are more 'strange noises' creating atmosphere in the background, the guitars range from choppy and in your face, to sparkly and spangled. I think it's still very much us, but, a more 'contemporary' version, just, growing up without getting all Radio Two and AOR.

Jezebel: You were a main part of so much of underground music history, being the "voice" in Severina, being involved with Eves and your professional relationships with people like Wayne Hussey, etc, but with the break-up of the Eves and after some of your other projects such as Jules et Jim, we didn't hear anything from you for a while. What were you up to and how have those experiences influenced what you are producing and creating now?

Julianne: I just went to ground really. I thought I was fed up of music but I was just fed up of the industry and the disappointments and frustration of that side of it. I took a bit of time out, did a kind of solo project called Mice, did an album under that name, released it, record company folded a few weeks later so two years work down the drain… Jules and Jim is an ongoing thing and totally different to AAE and that was a great diversion for me…But I was quiet because I had to gather myself and decide if I still really wanted to do music and whether I had anything to offer. I think I thought I could just crawl under a stone and be left alone but it was only a matter of time before I was dragged out again!

Jezebel: You have worked with so many different people over the years outside AAE, what prompts those relationships for you? How do they affect your work with Eves or do you try to keep them separate?

Julianne: All the things I've done have really just fallen at me. Someone asks me to do something and depending on how confident I feel and how much I like the stuff, I'll decide whether to do it or not. When Steve asked me to do some singing with This Burning Effigy, I thought, well, let's hear it, I heard it, loved it and did it. It was great. It reminded me I loved singing and I loved LOUD things! The Mission support thing was like slipping into an old shoe. Great confidence booster and fun. Mice was a great experience as I was very hands on in the production, did about 70% of the song writing myself, artwork, everything, played more guitar than I'd ever done before…Jules et Jim is an amazing way to learn about grooves and schmaltzy Euro-cool-melodies……….Everything I've done, even if kept totally apart from AAE, will have a subtle effect on AAE just because it becomes part of my experience. I think it's great to work on stuff outside. It brings air and light into my contribution to AAE. It's like the project Andy had when AAE was inactive, The Lucy Nation. The way he worked in that project, the sounds he crunched out, the atmospheres he created, well, AAE can only benefit from that kind of broadening of horizon.

Jezebel: The Eves, particularly yourself, seem to have a good connection and communication with their fans….unlike many other bands that seem to dismiss the importance of them. I know that you post to the yahoo newsgroup from time to time. Have you "spied" in on it to see what is being said? How do you feel about some of the intensity of some the fan's devotion to you and the band?

Julianne: I have had spies report back to me! The intensity is flattering. I feel that intense about music I listen to sometimes. I think the 'devotion' can verge on 'perceived ownership' with a small handful of people in that they are hypercritical if you don't do what they expect you to do, but on the whole I think they trust us and give us the benefit of the doubt and wait and see what happens. It's fine and dandy until someone turns up at your door on Valentines Day with chocolates, flowers and tarot cards!!

Jezebel: As a fan myself, I have always found that your shows are so different from many other performers in that you include your audience in such a respectful and intelligent way. Do you enjoy performing? And as the Eves have done both this year, which do you prefer, acoustic or semi-electric?

Julianne: I love performing when there's a good chemistry between the audience and us, and between members of the band of course! Sometimes, to be honest, it can be hit and miss. But it is usually 'hit'. You just have to leave worries and gripes in the dressing room if at all possible. There are usually A few magical moments on even the worst night of a tour for us! I think we're lucky I that we enjoy the music so much. You can tell if a band is bored / just doing it for the money / going through the motions.

As for preferring acoustic or semi-acoustic then I would have to say neither because I am so looking forward to the FULL electric tour in May!!

Jezebel: And what song do you enjoy singing the most? Of course that leads to the question, which of the Eve's songs are your favourites and why…

Julianne: At the moment, my favourite song to sing is probably 'Outshine the Sun' from our Ultraviolet album. Favourite Eve songs? Well, "In The Clouds", for the memories of the innocence we had when we recorded it, "Outshine The Sun", because we always try to blow the roof off when we play it and it's uplifting but sinister too, and "Phased" because it is always verging on 'out of control' when played live, and it makes me feel like I have access to space and the Universe without the use of drugs!

Jezebel: And if you could tell your fans one secret about yourself…

Julianne: Although I am quite a deep, sensitive soul, who weeps at sad films and stares at the stars most nights, I LOVE going to IKEA with Andy!! Hmmm, contemporary Scandinavian light fittings and flat-packed furniture does it for me every time!

2002 Tour Dates - UK Electric Tour
May 13 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
May 14 Southhampton, Hampshire
May 16 Leeds
May 17 Liverpool, Merseyside
May 18 Swansea, Wales
May 20 Exeter, Devon
May 21 Truro, Cornwall
May 24 Bilston, Wolverhampton
May 25 Wavendon, Milton Keynes
May 26 Norwich, Norfolk
May 31 Shepherds Bush, London