In the words of one of The Juliana Theory’s (TJT) new songs, “Hold on tight now for the ride of your life” because the rock quintet is coming to Downtown Brew.
Creeping up on their decade-long journey as a band, TJT will perform at 8 p.m. today with openers Jamison Parker, June and The Fury. The band is touring to promote its fourth release “Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat,” which debuted Sept. 13.
And for old fans and newbies, TJT aims to simply give its audience eight years worth of music for an experience they won’t forget.
“We don’t tend to do back flips and synchronize spins and moves or anything, but we try to have a really good time and try to help everybody else have a really good time, too,” lead singer Brett Detar said. “It’s really about connecting with people through our music.”
Detar, vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist, will share the stage with his long-time friends and bandmates Chad Alan, bassist; and the three J’s of the band: Joshua Fiedler, guitarist; Joshua Kosker, guitarist; and Josh Walters; drums.
The band, which formed in Pennsylvania in 1997, united for similar reasons as other groups: because of their early love for music.
“I think that most of us are the kind of people that grew up with music as a part of our life from an early age,” Detar said.
For Detar in particular, between his grandmother encouraging him to play musical instruments and his father in a singing group himself, music was just a part of life.
But despite what many listeners would think, Detar was nursed to the sounds of such Motown artists like The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson, which has contributed to the full sound of TJT.
“I think it’s a bit of a stretch, but in some ways not because I think that something that we always focused on are vocal harmonies and obviously there’s a lot of that in Motown music,” Detar said. “So maybe that was an influence subconsciously early on.”
But don’t worry, TJT is still all about rock ‘n’ roll, which is evident in “Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat.”
“This time we wanted to do it pretty much how we play,” Detar said. “If you see us live, it’ll be very similar to how we made the record.”
For instance, on many of the new album tracks, the drums aren’t always perfect, Detar said. And that’s no coincidence.
“We always made records in the past that we didn’t think really had enough energy or energy that came anywhere near the energy of when we play live together. It was always like, ‘Well, we’ll never capture that energy if everybody’s shooting for perfection and doing things one at a time,'” Detar said. “It was all about having five people in the same room together, playing at the same time, trying to capture good performances as opposed to layering everything bit by bit.”
“We set up and just wanted to make a rootsy album,” Alan said. “We wanted it to be stripped down and organic.”
And making the additive-free style album proved rewarding.
“I think that the record is a lot more exciting than any of the records we’ve made before because of doing it that way,” Detar said.
But has their music and lyrical flair suffered because of their experimental recording style? TJT don’t think so.
“We still maintain our pop elements in the band because we’ve always loved hooky songs,” Alan said. “We’ve never made any extreme genre jumps and I’m glad we’ve never become a band like that. We sound like what we sound for better or for worse.”
Once the “Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat Tour” is over, TJT will head to Europe, with additional stops in Australia and Japan.
“We’ve basically been concentrating on supporting the record on the road,” Detar said. “At this point, we’re just trying to get out and play a bunch of shows.”
As for future plans, Detar is just looking forward to playing an intimate show for his music-loving fans.
“That’s the nice thing about small venues; somebody’s face is really close to my face,” Detar said. “The school of rock that I grew up in, that was what it was all about; to get down and dirty with everybody.”