Local Ocean Beach/Point Loma rockers King Julian have exploded onto the scene with their performances at Same Same But Different & OB Oktoberfest this year. We wanted to see what the hype was all about, and were blown away when we caught their set at OB Oktoberfest. The band are currently in the studio crafting their first set of tunes, and we can’t wait to see what they create.
If you’re as curious as we are, read on to learn about Nolan, Hunter, Matt, & Sterling, the formation of King Julian, and what we can expect from them in the near future!
Photo: Courtesy of King Julian
1. Can you tell us about the origins of King Julian and how the band came together in San Diego, CA?
We’d all seen each other play throughout the scene with other groups. Each of us probably has a different story for when and how the band officially started, but the first time Nolan and Hunter jammed was in a buddy’s backyard party after Nolan’s then band’s set. After that, Matt, Nolan and Hunter got together to jam and from there all we needed was a bass player. We played a couple shows with a buddy but came into our own when Hunter learned Sterling was moving back to SD. They had both taken lessons from a local legend, Glen Fisher but never played into a band together and this was the perfect opportunity.
All of this happened in the course of a month or two early in 2023 and now here we are.
2. King Julian recently played at Same Same But Different Fest and OB Oktoberfest in San Diego. What was the experience like, and how does performing at festivals compare to other gigs?
Festivals are magical experiences – especially ones where you get to hang with your friends in other bands, jam and enjoy music you love in an environment that’s all about having a good time. Festival stages are amazing because most of the time, you’re outside with the freedom to move around, you get to work with people that genuinely care about your experience and play in front of people that’ve never heard your music. That’s all to say, there’s nothing like playing in front of an audience that knows your music and sings along – we’re just looking forward to those two things being one and the same.
3. King Julian has maintained an air of mystery surrounding the band. Can you share a bit about the creative philosophy or aesthetic that drives this mysterious vibe?
We wish we could.
4. Your band started recording in September. What can fans expect from your upcoming music, and are there any particular themes or influences that have shaped your sound during the recording process?
We’re constantly writing new music, and I think that’s something that won’t change. Recently we connected with a friend who owns and runs A Pretty Girl Records out of his house in Lemon Grove and have been working on new songs as well as recording our current set of originals. Our influences individually come out through this process but we’re all collectively into early Kings of Leon and Cage The Elephant.
5. San Diego has a vibrant music scene. How has the local music culture influenced King Julian’s music and identity as a band?
Sterling and Hunter grew up in San Diego and specifically in PL / OB. Over the years they’ve been heavily involved in the scene and you might recognize them from other bands like Peach Cooler, Fashion Jackson, Sensi Trails, The Blonde Brothers and more. Our collective influence and identity is pretty widespread but MDRN HSTRY are not only some of our favorite people but also have made some of our favorite music.
6. Are there any memorable stories or experiences from your journey as King Julian that you’d like to share with your fans or aspiring musicians?
We’re so new, it’s hard to say anything of impact. We’ve been fortunate to all have a desire to make this project into something bigger than ourselves and have individually all made sacrifices to do so. The most important thing to us is to never remain stagnant, always put everything we have into our performances, and have a good time.
7. Many bands face challenges when starting out. Can you tell us about some of the hurdles you’ve encountered and how you’ve overcome them in your musical journey?
Nolan tested positive for Covid right before SSBD and in an effort to keep our fans and other festival goers safe, we made the tough decision to play without him. We ended up bringing friends in other bands at the festival up and essentially jamming with 5 bands for our set. After each song, we came up with an outlandish excuse for why he couldn’t make it (usually involving a ridiculous way he died). While some people fully believed our set was planned, unfortunately we heard that one guest took it literally and needed to be talked to because he truly believed our singer died in a land-based bull shark accident or one of the 7 other ways we made up (he’s fine now). We ended up doubling down on this bit and brought Nolan out in a zipped up body bag with a wireless mic for our Oktoberfest performance the following week. While it probably went over 95% of the attendees’ heads, it made us laugh and that’s really all that matters at the end of the day.
8. What can we expect from King Julian in the near future? Any upcoming shows, releases, or projects you’d like to tease?
Currently, our biggest priority is putting out content. We’re heavily hitting this studio this week and next and hope to have a single out in the next month or two.
We’re playing at the Beach Comber in Mission beach on October 25th, hosting a costume contest and getting a spooky head start for Halloweekend. Then we’ll be at 710 Beach Club on November 18th, opening for our buddies in Tsunami Soundwave’s album release show. We’ll also be back at THC on December 28th with Three Legged Dog.
More Info: Instagram