Julien-K in London, 2018
|Origin||Long Beach, California, United States|
After the release of Orgy's third album, Punk Statik Paranoia, internal conflicts within the band caused Shuck and Derakh to find themselves writing songs that lead vocalist Jay Gordon had no interest in working on. The pair opted to continue writing and recording material, with Shuck stepping in on vocals, before deciding to launch their own side project with the addition of drummer Elias Andra and keyboardist Brandon Belsky.
Julien-K's webpage was launched in the summer of 2003 with initial demo versions of songs "Look at You", "Kick the Bass", "Someday Soon", "Everyone Knows", and "Technical Difficulties", the latter of which was later featured both in the film and on the soundtrack from Michael Bay's 2007 Transformers.
Their debut album, Death to Analog, which was mixed by Tim Palmer, was released on March 10, 2009 in the US, and later on March 5, 2010 in Europe. The album was initially planned to be released on February 17, 2009, the date the United States switched from analog to digital television.
Julien-K lent musical contributions to several video games, including Sonic Heroes ("This Machine"), Shadow the Hedgehog ("Waking Up"), and the musical score for the 2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen video game.
In June 2010, Ryan Shuck announced that Brandon Belsky had left the band, to be replaced by long-time collaborator Anthony 'Fu' Valcic.
|"||Brandon has left the band due to creative differences. He was genuinely not happy with the direction we have been taking on the new record... the band on the other hand is excited and enjoying exploring new territory. We can barely contain ourselves and our new material. Unfortunately a situation like this can only mean parting ways.||"|
In November 2011, it was announced that, while remaining a member of the band, after their January 21 live show in Los Angeles, Andra would be taking a break from touring with the band to be with his family, including a new baby on the way. In January 2012 it was announced that Frank Zummo from Street Drum Corps would be replacing Andra.
We're Here With You, the band's second album, was released on January 23, 2012.
Julien-K's third album, California Noir was released in two 'chapters' as a double album, with Chapter One - Analog Beaches & Digital Cities - in March 2015 and Chapter Two - Nightlife in Neon - in August 2016. The band started Indiegogo campaigns to support the funding of each, each with goal of collecting $10,000, which were both reached in just one day with the final totals surpassing $28,000 for Chapter One and $43,000 for Chapter Two.
In May 2017 the band announced Time Capsule: A Future Retrospective, a four-disc 64-track set of previously unreleased material, and again launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund it, reaching almost $12,000 of the $15,000 goal in less than two hours, once again meeting their goal within a day, and ultimately finishing the campaign with $50,520. In the summer of the same year, Julien-K toured as direct support for the band PIG, which consists of former members of the pioneering industrial rock outfit KMFDM. They were also joined by electro-rock band Ghostfeeder. Longtime friend Bidi Cobra (formerly from The New Division) replaced Anthony "Fu" Valcic on Bass Guitar/Keyboards for the summer tour, although Fu remains a member in the band.
In May 2018, during a live Facebook chat, Ryan Shuck confirmed that Cobra as an official member of the band and he contributed to the fifth studio album Harmonic Disruptor, due to release in March 2019.
The Julien-K production team of Derakh, Shuck and Valcic also worked with Chester Bennington to perform an exclusive version of the song "Morning After" for the Underworld: Evolution soundtrack and for the remix album of the band Mindless Self Indulgence's "What Do They Know?". The track was released as a bonus remix on Another Mindless Rip Off, with a completely "Instrumental DJ Dub" version being released for free download on their official website.
Julien-K has also teamed up on Chester Bennington's solo project, the band called Dead by Sunrise. Dead by Sunrise has since released their debut album Out of Ashes on October 13, 2009. The band was on hiatus ever since, and with Bennington's passing in 2017, its fate is currently unknown.
|"||Both bands are the same. The one where Chester sings and writes is Dead by Sunrise, but when I sing, and Amir and I are the primary writers, it becomes Julien-K and it's more electro... Julien-K and Dead by Sunrise are basically a creative collective, we're sort of a Warhol-style factory in that sense; Dead by Sunrise is Chester's Julien-K if that makes any sense.||"|
During Projekt Revolution 2007, Bennington replaced lead singer Ryan Shuck for the Chicago date of the tour while Shuck attended his brother's wedding.
In 2007, prior to the release of their debut album, Julien-K was on the main stage for Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution tour and one of the opening bands for Evanescence's North American "The Open Door" tour, and followed it up in 2008 opening for Mindless Self Indulgence, with supporting bands Fake Shark - Real Zombie!, London After Midnight, The Birthday Massacre and Combichrist.
In July 2010 the band announced their first European tour, scheduled for August and September, playing in Germany, Netherlands, France and England.
Julien-K appeared as the musical guest at the 4th annual Summer of Sonic fan convention in London on the 25th June 2011 as part of their second European tour.
Following the release of We're Here With You, the band embarked on their third European tour, supporting Mindless Self Indulgence in fall 2012.
Session and live members
Aside from the band, Amir Derakh and Brandon Belsky used to DJ under the moniker of JK DJS. They did their first DJ performance together December 31, 2007 at a hotel resort in Del Mar (San Diego), California. Since then they have played numerous shows and have released some of their DJ sets as free downloads from their MySpace. However, since Brandon is no longer a part of Julien-K, it can be assumed that the project has been discontinued.
|2009||Kick the Bass||Death to Analog|
|2011||Fail With Grace||SDS Sessions V.1|
|2012||Breakfast in Berlin||We're Here With You|
|We're Here With You|
|Cruel Daze of Summer|
|2013||Nights of Future Past|
|2014||No You Can't||California Noir: Analog Beaches & Digital Cities|
|2015||Futura (DTA Mix)||Death to Analog|
|2016||Mannequin Eyes||Mannequin Eyes EP|