Singled Out: Last November
The writing of "Julie" was actually a pretty long journey. About two years ago there was a song submission opportunity for the Luke Wilson film "Henry Poole is Here." That's where "Julie" really began.
I got wind of this rather late in the game. However, everyone encouraged me to submit something anyway. What did I have to lose right? Basically the winner would have their song featured in some way, if only on the DVD release. And the director of the film, Mark Pellington who's work includes Mothman Prophecies and Jerry Maguire and has done videos for everyone from Pearl Jam & Alice in Chains to Bruce Springsteen and U2, would direct a music video for the winning song.
SInce I heard about this a little after the fact I only had about a week to write the song and record a decent sounding version to submit. The contest had guidelines where I had to sprinkle a few words in here and there from a list I was given, which is where my verses came from. I had never force wrote a song that hard before so it was really a challenge for me. Pretty good excercise for a writing mind. In the chorus I had to use the line "Henry Poole is Here." It seemed and sounded silly to me but it was part of the contest, so I did. All things considered, the song turned out great. Sounded like a soundtrack song to me.
However, the judges did not agree. There were well over 3,000 submissions and mine was not chosen.
After that I just sort of forgot about the tune. Several months later I started absent mindedly playing the verse riff at tour rehearsal when we were warming up. Taylor came in on the drums with what felt natural to him and I was like wow maybe there's something here. He and Ty had this really cool syncopated rhythm section thing going on and it sounded great. We jammed on it a little but I didn't have a chorus written. I obviously couldn't use the chorus I had written before. So in the following weeks I started re-sculpting the song. I decided to make the song more personal than I had before. I changed the verse lyrics from "the" world to "my" world etc. Finally after trying multiple different ways of wording the old chorus we all agreed the chorus should rock a little more and that's about the same time I decided to make the song about "Julie."
Everyone wants to know if she's real or not but I say it doesn't matter. Let's leave a little magic in the music. Once the chorus was there, everything else fell into place. We wanted the bridge to be huge and it may very well be my favorite part of the song. It's a little heavier lyrically and I think it gives the song a really cool climax point.
I'm not sure everything happens for a reason, but I suppose this did. I didn't get on a movie soundtrack but we ended up winning in the long run.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album - right here!