The last few years have been challenging for Julia Weldon, but, determined never to give up on what she loves – music – she’s taken those challenges and channelled them into her new album Comatose Hope. The new collection reflects on Weldon surviving a life-threatening coma following gender affirming surgery, and, given the ongoing transphobia of the US administration, tells a highly relevant and immensely powerful story. Here, Julia chats to ThisIsTheLatest about her favourite songs on the album, her plans to tour and how she hopes those affected by Trump and his team continue to proudly be themselves.

TITL: You’ve been through quite a lot since we last spoke. How has all that impacted you as both an individual and as an artist?

Julia Weldon: I think about this all the time! Having top surgery was a huge step in my life and the coma, which happened immediately after, was just so much all at once. Sometimes I feel like that experience changed me forever – both as an artist and an individual. And then sometimes, I feel just like the old me. But it has deeply impacted the way I value my life; the trauma I went through and others’ traumas as well. As an artist, I sort of feel like I’m still processing the experience maybe subconsciously in every song I’ve written since then.

TITL: To what extent have your experiences of the last year and a half impacted the kind of music you make and the message you want to get out to people as well as the passion you have for what you do?

JW: I think having this near-death experience has affected my song-writing like I said – in ways that are still coming to light. In terms of my message – I think it’s similar but after having gender affirming top surgery I’m able to take my message further. Having surgery was something I wanted for 10 years before doing it but it’s a life-changer. I’m healthier and happier in my body and I think that’s enhanced my life, career, and ability to be a positive visible artist for other young queer and gender-queer people, or to reach out to anyone. I’m more comfortable on stage and in my body, and I think my audience feels that. And after making this album, I feel passionate about sharing those stories. It’s like a new chapter to tell.

TITL: How is your new album Comatose Hope different from your previous work? How would you say it showcases your development and growth as an artist?

JW: Comatose Hope is definitely an evolution of my last album Light Is a Ghost. There are still catchy melodic hooks and some pop elements, but I wanted to build songs that felt more timeless and ethereal. I think – or I hope – that my song-writing is always developing and I’m growing as an artist. I think I took more risks and was more vulnerable with how I presented these songs maybe.

TITL: What did Perfume Genius producer Drew Morgan bring to the creative/recording process and how did your collaboration come about?

JW: I stumbled upon Drew Morgan when I fell in love with his production on Perfume Genius’ album Put Your Back N 2 It. When I was recovering from the coma for 6 months, I literally made a list of dream producers I wanted to work with and he was at the top. I contacted him and he was actually surprised I was interested in working with him because my last album was a little more poppy than his more ambient and experimental work. But we started emailing back and forth and made it happen – even with an ocean between us! I flew over, we recorded for 2 weeks straight and worked together across seas to finalize the mix and master.

TITL: How easy/hard did you find the song-writing process this time around?

JW: About half of the album was written prior to the surgery and coma and those songs came out of me the way they normally do – sort of all at once, music and lyrics. There are a few songs that are pretty explicitly about a major heartbreak I had which at the time was so, so painful. I feel oddly grateful for the intensity of that love and then heart ache because all that led to “Everybody Says” and “Take It All Back.” On the flip side of that there are also songs I wrote about falling back in love and navigating a new relationship – “Kaleidoscope” and “Take Me to the Water.” There are also songs about loss and family – “Soon ii” and “When You Die.” And then the post-coma songs which I think represent trying to process death or my near-death experience. I will say that the songs I wrote after the coma came out differently; they came to me slower and required more editing.

TITL: Is there one track on the album in particular you’re especially proud of and if so, which is it and why?

JW: I’m so attached to all of them. But I think Drew and I are both super fond of “Comatose Hope.” I think it really expresses what the album is as a whole but also I’m so proud of the production we came up with together. It’s both beautiful and welcoming but also sounds like my coma felt – elusive and difficult to grasp. It was a special and intense process of making that song in the studio – Drew and I really connected.

TITL: How have you found the reaction to the album to be so far? Do you care much for what critics think or are you more concerned by what the fans think?

JW: People have been saying really amazing and lovely things so far – both critics and fans. To be honest, I care about both so much! I feel confident and excited about every track and just want it to reach people. I am super invested in what my fans think – the support from my fan base is what keeps me going.

TITL: What one message do you hope those who hear it take from the album?

JW: Overcoming hardship. These songs are obviously about my experiences, but I hope they speak to something bigger that people can relate to. I feel like what ties the album together is that the songs represent the moment when we try to move through the hardest feelings. All those feelings that are too big and overwhelming to comprehend – so we have to feel and sing and move and cry.

TITL: What’s next for you? Where do you go from here? Are there any performances in the pipeline?

JW: I want to keep making music. But, my next big step is to tour more. I have a bunch of one-off shows lined up on the east coast. I’m definitely hoping to do a release in the UK sometime in the future! I’m really excited to open on a national tour for a bigger artist so people can hear what I do. I felt so proud of my last album Light Is a Ghost and didn’t really think I could make something better, but I feel so amazing about every track on Comatose Hope and Drew Morgan’s production is already blowing people away. When I look around the industry right now I am just so impressed with all the beautiful music people are making. And I hope that this little album gets to be part of that. I really just want people to hear the music- that this album will reach people far and wide, and then I’ll get to play for them live – wherever they may be.

TITL: Finally, and this is slightly off topic but I’d appreciate your thoughts on this; it’s been a difficult time lately for the LGBTQ community, particularly in the United States. How shocked/saddened are you by the actions of people like Trump who are making trans people in particular feel like 2nd class citizens, and what advice do you have for those feeling victimised?

JW: It’s terrible, he’s horrible, and I feel so saddened and angry about Trump’s rhetoric of fear and hate. It’s inspired a few songs lately and we’ll see if they turn into anything. But the best thing I/we can do is continue to resist, make art, be out and proud and visible- if it’s safe – and just not let up.

Comatose Hope is available now and for more information on Julia Weldon, visit her website, give her page a like on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. Header photo credit: Shelly Simon.

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In an announcement that many fans had suspected was coming for some time, Tomo Milicevic, the guitarist for US rock band Thirty Seconds To Mars since 2003, took to Twitter last night to announce he had left the group. The 38-year-old posted a heartfelt message that began:

“There’s really not an easy way to say it so I thought, just say it. I am no longer with Thirty Seconds To Mars.”

His post went on to single out his now former band-mates and he expressed his gratitude to them, adding:

“…thank you to Jared and Shannon for allowing me the privilege to be a small part of their dream…I’ll cherish the moments we had together.”

The message also addressed the fans, asking that they:

“…please don’t be sad or angry over this…” and calling for them to:

“Remember something very important, this band brought us ALL together…me included.”

You can read Milicevic’s full post below.

Milicevic hadn’t played with the band since leaving their current tour in March, with the official Thirty Seconds To Mars Twitter account posting the following on the 16th of the month:

Moments after Milicevic made his announcement, fans of the band, collectively known as the Echelon, flooded the social media site with messages of support for the guitarist, many of the tweets ending with the hashtag #ThankYouTomo. You can read just a few of them below.

Remaining and founding members of the band Jared and Shannon Leto have yet to comment on Tomo’s departure from the band and are part way through the US leg of their Monolith Tour, in support of latest album America.



Inspired by artists such as Kenny Chesney and having opened for Thomas Rhett, Cole Bradley has always had a passion and affinity for country music, and now, thanks to releases such as his new single “Happy Hour”, he’s well on his way to being a real star of the genre in his own right. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Cole to talk song-writing, dream shows, and his ambitions for the next six months and beyond.

viagra without a doctor prescription from canada TITL: First of all, who exactly is Cole Bradley?

Cole Bradley: Great place to start! I am a country singer-songwriter from Calgary, Canada, who currently lives in Nashville, TN. I love to have a good time, live everyday like it’s my last and put out music that hopefully people can connect with.

source url TITL: When did you first realise you wanted to make music a career?

CB: I’ve always loved performing and songwriting but the moment I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in country music was when I was twelve years old. It was when I heard my first Kenny Chesney record and I was mesmerized by the way Kenny was able to make people feel through his songs. From that moment on, I wanted to be like Kenny and create music that everyday people could relate to.

http://mustangcipowebaruhaz.hu/?sisd=netdania-opzioni-binarie&bbc=86 TITL: Which three artists or bands would you say you’ve been and are most influenced/inspired by?

CB: Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, and Darius Rucker would have to be the top three country artists that inspire me. The reason being is that their songs tell the best stories. Their music makes people feel something!

http://azortin.pl/?rtysa=opcje-binarne-demo-android&b69=8d TITL: What impact do they have on the music you make?

CB: Obviously, Kenny’s beach influence has impacted me in my song writing but ultimately, these three artists make me want to write better songs and push myself to new heights. In my opinion, Brooks, Chesney, and Rucker set the bar when it comes to releasing new and interesting songs, so my hope is that one day I can be on their level.

TITL: Where or how do you most often find inspiration for your songs?

CB: My best inspiration comes from real life experiences. I need to live my songs! If I can “live” and experience different things every day, that’s where I’ll find inspiration and that creates the best songs.

il miglior robot opzioni binarie TITL: Tell me a little about your new single “Happy Hour.” Where did the idea for the track come from?

CB: The idea came from my first year of university in Canada. Every Thursday night my friends and I would huddle into my dorm room and we would play a game called “Power Hour” where each of us would do a shot of beer each minute for 60 minutes straight. We had a ton of fun to say the least! In the end, the song is all about just enjoy a few drinks with your best pals and getting into some fun afterwards!

http://www.ribo.co.at/deniro/903 TITL: Are there any tour dates/performances coming up?

CB: You bet! We have some shows planned for CMA Fest in Nashville this weekend. After that we have some real fun shows planned in Western Canada over the course of the summer as well as a few US dates that haven’t been announced just yet.

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http://winevault.ca/?perex=binarie-con-conto-demo-gratis binarie con conto demo gratis TITL: You’ve already opened shows for a number of country stars including Thomas Rhett, but if you could share a stage with three other bands or artists, living or dead, who would you pick and where would you play?

CB: Obviously, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks would have to be at the top of that list as they are my heroes! From the past, if I was a sixties kid I would want to hang with The Beatles – “Penny Lane” was one of the first songs I ever listened to and probably inspired my love for singing. Is there any band more legendary than them?

http://vagnvagensbygg.se/firmenit/728 TITL: What has been the nicest thing someone has so far written or said about you, and what would be the ultimate compliment someone could give you?

CB: Wow, great question! I think some of the best compliments I have received are from people who have been following my career from the very start. Just to hear those people say that “you get better every time I hear you” or  “you’ve grown as an artist” is such an affirmation that I’m on track. The ultimate compliment someone could give me is that my songs helped them in a tough time or that one of my songs made them think of a special memory. For me, if someone tells me that they relate to my music and connect with it – that’s the ultimate compliment in my books.

go here TITL: Given that bands and artists today all but HAVE to be on social media, how do you feel about the power the likes of Twitter and other sites can and do have in terms of helping an artist grow their fan-base and keep themselves current? Do you think there’s such a thing as too much of a social media presence?

CB: Social media is a great platform for artists. It has never been easier to build a brand, release new music and build an audience. Social media engagement is huge in helping an artist grow their fan-base. If you can master the art of having great communication with your fans – I believe you will find success. It’s hard to say if there is such thing as “too much of a presence” but I believe if you have quality content and your personality shines through then I think you are doing the right thing.

TITL: Finally then, what does the rest of the year in store for you and where would you like to see yourself five years from now? What do you want to tick off your bucket list?

CB: For the rest of the year, my plan is to keep building my audience, touring in new markets and improving my craft. I think if I can keep improving on my live show, songwriting and in the studio as well as making new fans then I’ll be very happy. My main goal is to able to share my music with as many people as possible and if I can have a career in the next five years where I am still making a living playing music – then that’s a huge win in my books!

Check out Cole Bradley’s latest track “Happy Hour” below and for more information on him and his music, visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.