Hello lovely people
Last Friday we hit the stage at Gulf Bike Week in Dubai. It was fantastic to be back playing a big arena again. 5,000 people came to see us play alongside the excellent Razorlight and Daughtry. It was our first gig since we played in Los Angeles in April and the eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed a few changes...
First things first, we have parted company with our keys player, Lionel. There was no anomisity in that decision, we just decided to go our separate ways. We remain good mates with Lionel and wish him well in everything he does.
Playing as a four piece has been a very different experience. We have spent much of the summer working on new material. We played 2 new tracks on Friday; At War With Ourselves is starting to sound really strong now and we have had some nice comments about that track. The other new track is still so fresh out of the box that it doesnt even have a proper name yet, it is currently called In Love With The Enemy...but that may change. It went over really well on Thursday and we are excitied about that song. It is short and punchy but great fun to play.
Preparing for this gig was different and slightly more complicated as we have some new equipment which helps us create a better show, but it needs to be used correctly...that is not always easy but I think we managed it this time. We are looking forward to taking it up a level for the Beats on the Beach gig in Abu Dhabi on the 2nd November.
Some of our lovely fans have asked if we are going to be taking part in the Dubai Rugby Sevens this year, alas we are not. We are pleased that the organisers have again opted to use our track Your Time Is Now as the official anthem of the event but JD will not be playing at this year's event.
What we WILL be doing very soon is announcing some big news from the US. We have been working hard on spreading the JD word in the States and we have made some good progress there so watch this space...
There are lots of other exciting things happening as well and we promise to keep you posted..
This is just a quick update on the progress of the preparations for the band's trip to LA for MUSEXPO and the Worldwide Radio Summit.
We are now less than 3 weeks away from boarding the plane bound for Hollywood and the anticipation is building. We have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received from friends, fans, radio, TV and print media and, of course, our good friends from Audi Middle East, who have kindly agreed not only to support Juliana Down on this tour but to send four of our fans with us.
In case you have not heard the competitions that are currently running on Virgin Radio Dubai and Dubai 92, the prize is incredible. Four business class return air tickets on Emirates Airline and 4 nights at the luxurious 'W' Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard as well as the chance to see JD in action at both the Worldwide Radio Summit and MUSEXPO. Each place is worth $10,000...
Speaking of Audi, we have some very exciting announcements to make in the coming weeks about our relationship with them...stay tuned.
It has not all been champagne and roses though, having dismissed our managers 'Above and Beyond' in January we have been managing ourselves in the run up to LA and that has come with its own challenges. Specifically we have had to deal with the issue of getting Lebanese passport holders in to the US at a time when many Americans (particularly those in homeland security) seem to think the Middle East only exports oil and terrorism...This means that there are some serious additional security checks that apply to some passport holders from the region, which has extended the time period for obtaining visas for Dia and Sari from a couple of weeks up to a potential period of 4 months! This discovery, coming only 5 weeks before were due to leave, lead to some worried faces around JD Towers, to put it mildly. Fortunately, we were told a couple of days ago that Sari has been cleared (so the checks can't have been all THAT thorough...that was a joke in case anyone from the FBI is reading) and Dia should not be too far behind.
We have decided to document the LA tour with a weekly video update, which will chart the band's preparations for the trip and our time in LA. Our good friends at 8 Ball Productions are producing the documentary for us and it will be turned into a feature length film for release at the end of 2012. The weekly updates are on our FB and YouTube pages, so please subscribe for regular news and look out for the film later in the year.
If you would like to know more about what we are doing in LA, go to www.musexpo.net and check out the other bands, speakers and attendees who will be making this one of the, sorry THE music events of the year.
Thanks for your support, we really appreciate it.
Sorry it has been a while since the latest update but we have some exciting news....While we were busy writing new songs (there are now about 10 or 12 new ideas for the next record which are starting to take shape, those of you who were at the rooftop gig in Dubai last week will have heard a couple of sneak previews) we were also having some casual conversations about taking JD to America....
For the last 8 years there has been a music conference in Hollywood, called MUSEXPO (www.musexpo.net) The biggest names in music, film, radio and TV come along to the event to spot new talent. This is where Katy Perry, Jessy J and LMFAO (and many more besides) got a deal. Last year, our drummer James was invited to attend and he saw 'One Night Only' (who were subsequently signed by Coca Cola to record their new anthem) and 'All Mankind' (who signed with EA Sports to have a song on FIFA 2012) rock the joint. It was clear that this was somewhere JD needed to be. The event is possibly the most prestigious event in the music industry for up-and-coming bands but getting an invite is not easy...
We are very proud to annouce that we have been invited to be one of the showcase artists at MUSEXPO 2012. We will travel to the US at the end of April to play 2 showcase sets for the Worldwide Radio Summit and MUSEXPO at the world famous SIR studios in Hollywood.
We would like to thank our sponsors, Audi Middle East for helping to make the trip happen and to Virgin Radio and Dubai 92. There will be a lot of press over the next month or so in relation to the LA trip and we hope that you will get involved...there are some great prizes to be won!
Stay tuned for more details. Thanks for your support, we hope this is just the beginning of some great times to come
It's that time of year again, Santa is somehow wedging himself down chimnies the world over, office bores are using mistletoe as an excuse for some light sexual assault and pretty much nobody is doing any work.
It is the week between Christmas and New Year and at JD Towers we are reflecting on a fantastic 2011 and plotting how to top it in 2012. As Cilla Black once said (apologies to the non English), let's have a quick recap...
2011 started with a bang, fresh from opening for Guns N'Roses we began recording 'Empires' and became the first homegrown band from the UAE to sign a deal with a major record company (Sony Music Middle East). The album was released in early April and rose to number 3 in the Virgin Megastore charts.
Later in April we opened for Maroon 5 at the World Trade Centre in Dubai, where we also filmed the video for 'Control' - which you can now see via this website. We then went on a tour of Lebanon and did a load of press for the album.
The summer was largely spent sketching out new ideas for the next record and preparing the track that we would licence as the official anthem for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens. The song; 'Your Time is Now' was released in October and on the morning we debuted it on the Dubai 92 breakfast show we had over 500 people visit this website and in the 5 weeks leading up to the event thousands of people downloaded the track. It was then played to over 100,000 people over 2 days at the event and over 15,000 came to support us at the post event gig (thanks!).
We have also been privileged to play a number of other big events, including the YASALAM festival in Abu Dhabi and the Teen Club Culture gig in conjunction with Virgin Radio. It was a pleasure to work with the guys at Virgin Radio again, they have always supported the band and special mention must go to Kris Fade and Brent Black - we loved your video BTW Brent...
So as the year draws to a shuddering halt, we peer over the calendar precipice and contemplate what is to come in 2012...obviously some of it is unknown and much of what we do know we can't talk about yet, but here are some of our New Year resolutions...
1. We will release a new album...not just yet and probably after the summer, but before the end of the year, promise.
2. We will be taking JD to at least one other country to see if we can't persuade them to join in the fun.
3. We will be adding to the JD sound, don't worry we are not out buying sandals and flutes, just a bit...'extra'.
4. We will be bringing a fresh perspective to our shows and trying to bring some extra entertainment to the good people who come to see us
Well, that's that for 2011. We hope that you all enjoyed your festive fun with family and friends and we hope to see you all in 2012.
Dia, Sari, James, Andrew and Lionel
Finally we can talk about it!
For the last couple of months we have been sitting on a big old piece of news that we couldn't share with anyone but the day has finally arrived so no more swearing family members to secrecy, we are proud to announce that JD has written the official Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens Anthem. For the first time in the event's long and illustrious history, the organisers, Emirates Airline and Promoseven Sports Marketing decided that the time had come for the event to have its own anthem.
During the summer we were approached by Promoseven and asked to consider writing the anthem. At the time we were just starting to write new ideas for the follow up to 'Empires' and the next time we were in the studio we came up with the verse section of the song, which sounded great but we struggled with the chorus. Initially we had a different part but, in true JD fashion, on the eve of recording the track, we decided we didn't like it so we changed it to what we have now, which we are all really pleased with.
The song is a mix of the dark side of JD (in the verse) with the bright anthemic side in the chorus. The lyrics chart the preparations of a team before a big match and a band before a big performance. We hope you like it and look forward to your comments.
We are really delighted to have been asked to produce the anthem. We have a multi year deal so hopefully it will be around for a long time to come. Emirates Airline and Promoseven have been really supportive of the band and we hope that this will be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship with them. It would have been easier for them to select an existing hit record to be the anthem or to ask an established international artist to write it. We hope we have repaid the faith they showed in us...let us know what you think of the song, which you can download for free on this website.
Unfortunately it's a risk that every band worth their salt has to factor in. No, I'm not referring to media scandal, creative block or insomnia; I am of course referring to broken digits.
The five of us have 40 fingers and 10 thumbs in total, and the simple fact of the matter is, we need every one of them to fully function as Juliana Down. As our most astute fans will already be aware from the recent announcement on our facebook fan page, Sari has managed to break a finger. Not only that, he managed to do this playing soccer - one of the few activities where, unless you are the goalkeeper or Diego Maradona, fingers shouldn't in theory come into the equation. Not wanting to feel left out, Dia has also fractured his hand. To be fair, if it's going to happen to more than one of us, better that it happens at the same time. That said, James, Lionel and myself are not taking any risks and have recently taken to wearing ski gloves until normality resumes.
So, unfortunately we have had to postpone the show on 2nd September at Cheers, which we were really looking forward to. Thanks go out to the Metality crew who have agreed to accommodate us later this year, so keep checking our webpage and facebook for further announcements as to when this will be.
Rest assured that despite the above, the JD corporate division (aka Kelly Haechler, our manager) have been busy working on some new and exciting prospects for us. All will be revealed shortly, but let's just say we have a BIG performance lined up for the end of this year on home turf. We are also working closely with our friends at Blackberry to provide you with new and innovative ways to gain exclusive access to Juliana Down material and events. All of this is work in progress but it's looking good so far.
So whilst Sari's finger is in rehab (the experts in white coats reckon he will be able to pull off the solo in Glorious again within 4 weeks), it's still all systems go and we can't wait to get back on the stage in September. In the meantime, Ramadan Kareem from all of us.
Sorry it has been so long since our last update, we have all been lazing on our super yachts sipping champagne and cavorting with lingere models...oh no, hang on, that was last night's dream. In fact we have just been a bit busy, no excuses. It won't happen again, we promise.
It is now firmly summer time in the UAE and the heat is well and truly on, but while many are gearing up for their summer holidays in far flung locations, JD is hard at work writing new material. We were interviewed for READ magazine the other day and they expressed surprise that we were already writing new material so soon after the release of Empires but the truth is that it is a process that never really stops. So far this year, we have been focussing on the album release and the various gigs and press events that come with it but now attention is definately on the new songs that are coming through.
It probably wont come as a surprise to hear that some of the material on Empires has been around for a while, so even though the album is new we are very familiar with those songs. We still love playing them live but there comes a time when you want to get your teeth into some new stuff and that time is now. We are setting ourselves some targets for completing a certain amount of new material by the end of the year and so far it is going well. We are writing both individually and collectively. Lionel has been whirring away in his workshop/science lab and we are all excitied to see what emerges from that. Andrew has got some great tunes, Sari is always a mine of decent riffs and me and Dia have got some ideas coming through. The great thing about the JD process is that all of these ideas will jump on the bus to the rehearsal studio and pretty quickly they will either take shape (not always the shape you were expecting) or they will collapse in a heap on the floor and will be removed by the heavies. We are pretty harsh on ourselves when it comes to the quality of the songs we expect to produce and if a song starts to resemble the last kid to be picked for the football team, it gets clubbed to death.
We have just announced 2 new shows for September, the first is on the 2nd, if that makes sense, at Cheers@ The Lodge in Dubai. The second is on the 23rd at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai, this is a teen event sponsered by virgin radio and should be fun. There may be other gigs in September and October as we look to gear up for the party season towards the end of the year. I am sure that some of the new songs will get their first outings at these shows so watch out for that. As usual we will be announcing the setlist on this website on the day of the gig.
We are also pursuing opportunities overseas with a view to getting JD heard in Europe and America. This is, of course, easier said than done but we have some good people helping us so we'll see what comes of that.
If you want to keep up to date with the band, you can follow us on Twitter; twitter.com/julianadown and facebook; facebook.com/julianadown.
That's it for now. For those of you going away on your holidays, have fun. If you are in the UAE for August then Ramadan Kareem from us and see you all in September.
Wow!...we are kind of tempted to end this blog here, there is not much more you can say after such an epic weekend in one of the World's most incredible cities.
We have just returned to Dubai after a simply awesome 5 days in Beirut and it is an experience that will live with us for a long time. From the moment we staggered off the plane into the elegant chaos of this great city to the time we had to drag ourselves back to Dubai, everything about the trip exceeded expectations. In fact Beirut should really come with a health warning, those guys really know how to party...
The main reason for going was to play the American University annual 'Outdoors' festival, which is a riot (almost literally) of sound, colour, energy and more pretty girls than is really fair for one city. Over 17,000 people came through the doors over the weekend and we had the privilege of playing just as the sun was setting through the cedar trees clinging to the hills overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. We will post the pictures in due course but they cannot do justice to the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd. We were delighted to see that some of the people in the crowd knew the lyrics to our songs. 'Empires' has been on sale in Lebanon for a couple of weeks but as this was the first time we had been there to promote it we were not expecting that many people to know who we were. We played for 45 minutes and had a great slot to play, right after our good friends from Lazzy Lung, who put on an epic performance and who deserve to do great things in the industry.
We also got to spend 7 or 8 hours talking to the media, thanks to our good friends at Music Master and Sony Music. It is always a challenge to find 6 different ways of answering the same question without sounding repetitve or contradicting yourself...who knows if we managed it! if you are in Lebanon, look out for some JD articles coming soon. We also spent a fun hour at the radio 1 studios doing an interview and playing 'Without You' on the radio for the first time. We do not have plans to release it as a single yet, but it sounded really good on the radio so you never know...The soundcloud recording of the interview is on our FB page along with some photos from the weekend if you want to check them out.
Anyhow, we are off back to bed for a week to recover from some epic parties. We met some great new friends, hopefully impressed a few new fans and created some memories that will keep us going through the long hot Dubai summer.
Catch you soon.
Hi, it's James again. Just wanted to check in and update you all on the beautiful madness that is Los Angeles...
I have been here just over a week and came partly to see the MUSEXPO, which is an event organised to showcase the talents of some of the best up and coming artists in the World. JD was not taking part this time but we were asked to come and talk to the organisers. The event was cool and there were a number of bands playing that should be making headlines very soon, for example 'All Mankind' are an Aussie band who have an awesome sound so watch out for them. I have had a number of other meetings with senior industry people and media folk who have all been very kind about the band and in the last 24 hours we have heard that the LA Tribune is going to feature JD in their next edition, which is cool. I am still to meet with a couple of industry execs, obviously can't say too much at this stage but it has been a productive trip so far...
In addition to the work and the partying in LA, we have also had a road trip to Vegas, which is always fun. Saw the 'Bodies' exhibition and the Cirque Du Soleil performance of 'Love' inspiried by the work of the Beatles. Epic show and a reminder of what an incredible band they were, go see it if you get a chance. We also buzzed the Grand Canyon in a light aircraft and took in a few days in beautiful San Diego.
All in all a great trip. Heading back to the Middle East at the weekend in time for the trip to Beirut for the American University show next weekend.
See you soon
Andrew here. Just a quick line to say a massive thank you to all the JD fans who made it out to see us headline the Peace One Day Festival at Irish Village on Thursday night. The highlight for us was definitely seeing and hearing a lot of you sing along to our tracks. Clearly we have very vocal fans!
In case you didn't notice we had an awesome time on stage. After a heavy couple of weeks gearing up for the Maroon 5 support slot and various other band commitments it was great just to kick back and enjoy the show on our home turf. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we are already looking towards playing at another big concert in Dubai shortly, so watch this space.
Another thing that made me smile today was hearing our latest single 'Control' on Dubai 92 for the first time. Listen out for it! The music video for 'Control' is being developed as I write this blog entry. Can't wait to see the finished product on MTV Arabia...
See you all soon.