Brett Milano, author of Boston's "The Sound of Our Town: A History of Rock and Roll" describes Juliana Hatfield as "a willowy beauty with charming shyness and a slightly, tragic air." Hatfield's music – which spans over two decades, is un-relentless, cathartic, and completely autobiographical.
August 19, 2008 marked the release of "How to Walk Away," Hatfield's 10th album. Released on her own label, the album was produced by Andy Chase (of Ivy fame) in New York City. Her lonely search for life's silver lining seems to be a recurring theme throughout the album. Chase's meticulous and layered approach provides a perfect backdrop for Hatfield's lush arrangements, showcasing Hatfield at her vocal best. Richard Butler, (The Psychedelic Furs) makes an appearance on lead-single "This Lonely Love," while Nada Surf's, Matthew Caws, appears on "Such A Beautiful Girl.” “So Alone” is a hard-hitting, guitar-driven rocker where Hatfield warns, “You’re so alone, so alone/you want to die/and nobody knows.”
On September 22nd, Hatfield's memoir, entitled, When I Grow Up, hit bookshelves nationwide. The memoir serves partially as a tour diary and provides readers with insight on the ups and downs of the indie-rock icon's epic career, including her bout with clinical depression and anorexia.
In a recent interview with Hatfield, she answered some questions regarding her prolific career.
Jimmy: The song that really jumped out at me from the new record is "Remember November." This is your first real ballad, right? You sound like your soaring to new heights with the vocals. Could you talk about that song a little bit?
Juliana: Yes, I think "Remember November" is my first real power ballad. My producer (Andy Chase) and I had to be really careful with that one. We didn’t want it to get too cheesy because this song was walking a really fine line between the Beatles and American Idol. To make it lean more toward the Beatles’ side, we made sure the bass and drums sounded nice and gnarly and loud. We mixed it with a retro flavor. I also made sure that my guitar solo was British-sounding shoegaze.
Jimmy: Is there anything in particular you would change during your career? Any regrets?
Juliana: No regrets, not really.
Jimmy: When you're not writing/recording/touring, what do you spend most of your time doing?
Juliana: Running my record company (Ye Olde Records) takes up a lot of time lately. I like to be very hands-on.