Since 1992 when she stepped out from the ground-breaking Blake Babies, a Boston band she founded with other students from the Berklee School of Music, Juliana Hatfield has plowed her own path through musical trends, through the folly of fashion and around the cult of personality which surrounds other seminal songwriters of her generation. After the success of her critically-acclaimed Hey Babe, released on Mammoth Records and the biggest independent success that year, Juliana joined the roster at Atlantic Records and shortly afterward set to work on Become What You Are, produced by Scott Litt (REM, Indigo Girls). The inflammatory and affectionate "My Sister" from that album with its controversial lyrics ("she's such a bitch") set a tone for a generation of female singer songwriters and opened the airwaves to a new frankness among women. Nevertheless nonplused by the myopic attention given to women-in-rock, Hatfield kept a level head and maintained her focus on perfecting her craft, always more important to her than gender-splendor in a male-dominated profession. In stark contrast to every expectation of vulgar feminism, Hatfield released a second single "Spin The Bottle," from the cult classic film, "Reality Bites" which recounted the girlish thrill and naiveté of a passing crush on celebrity and, intentionally or otherwise, set up a clever parallel to her own flirtation with stardom. Throughout a year of magazine covers such as Spin and Alternative Press, Juliana maintained her stature as a musician's musician.
Widely proclaimed as a new if somewhat reluctant guitar hero in such old-boy publications as Guitar World and Guitar Player Magazine, which have transcribed her unique voicing and song structures, Hatfield continued to develop the raw power already inherent in her vocals ands melodies. Quick on the heels of Become What You Are, she released Only Everything, co-produced by Juliana with Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade (Hole, Radiohead, Dinosaur Jr.) and on which she played the lion's share of instruments. Only Everything captured a harder-edged and more mature Juliana who had begun to recognize the value of human frailty as an indication of one's strength of character and no longer the burden evinced in her previous work. "A heart that hurts is a heart that works," she sang in the anthemic "Universal Heartbeat" with its powerful Marshall-On-Eleven chorus and it's snaky lounge-piano verses, a manifesto to the power of feelings, a mantra against emotional indifference and a paean to everyone who knows the value of risking one's heart.
After a world tour in support of Only Everything, Juliana took time off to write and record her next project. This time producing herself, she's adapted an eclectic approach to song writing and a more casual style of recording, ducking into the studio when she can and recording just a few songs at a time to keep abreast of her prolific output. In the meantime she's been playing shows both as a headliner in clubs around America and as the rockingest addition to the Lilith Fair tour which had critics singing her praises.
With the release of Please Do Not Disturb
, her new EP on Bar None Records, Juliana breaks a long silence during which time she has moved out of the house of Atlantic, her label for many years, in search of a home more conducive to her working methodology. This project offers the listener a keyhole view of Juliana's new material.
Some reflections by Juliana Hatfield on the songs making up Please Do Not Disturb
This is not a true story. It's more like a warning, what can happen if you stray too far from yourself.
TRYING NOT TO THINK ABOUT IT
This was written after a friend drowned. I was trying to express the pain of his passing, it's nagging horribleness during every waking hour.
AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT
This was inspired by a conversation with a guy in a band on tour who said he missed his wife and kid and couldn't wait to get back home. I was in my own town and couldn't wait to go on tour because I have none of these things to keep me rooted.
GIVE ME SOME OF THAT
This is a song of pure envy and longing and frustration. Not attractive but real.
I think this was originally directed at a journalist but it became something about clingy types projecting their needs onto unwilling participants in the game of love.
THE EDGE OF NOWHERE
Formulated while watching a sunset on Cape Cod. Relating the sun setting over the water to a depression/contemplating the end of it all.