Juliana, interviewed by Robert Ham for Billboard about the new album:
RH How was the process of recordings these songs? To hear the album, it sounds like it was a lot of fun to put together.
JH It was actually very challenging, especially after coming off of my last album. With Pussycat, the recording of that was really fast and seamless. This stuff was really challenging. The songwriting, for one thing. Some of it is pretty complex. A lot of chords and melodies. I wanted to do as many songs as I could in the original key she sang them in. Some of the melodies are just so sick, a lot of stuff is really high in my range which is kind of a weak spot for me. It was hard. There were moments where I thought, “I don’t know if I can do this.” I almost wanted to quit because it was so challenging. For me, it was just a puzzle. What do I want to reinterpret? What do I want to copy?
Then there was the problem that some of the songs were so iconic, like “Hopelessly Devoted To You.” My first instinct was to just copy all of her vocal inflections exactly. But then I thought, “I can’t because it’s too iconic. There’s no way I’ll ever measure up.” It’s a little bit my own but I’m not disrespecting the original.
RH Were there songs you wanted to do but had to abandon because they were too hard to pull off?
JH There was the duet with Cliff Richard, “Suddenly.” That one has like a billion chords. It’s kind of nuts. We recorded the basic tracks and then there’s the question of who can sing it with me. I asked a few people. One person said, “No,” and a couple of others were interested. Then other songs needed my attention so I ended up abandoning it because it was just going to be too complicated. I hope to get back to it eventually and finish it.
The interview also touches on the Hey Babe vinyl reissue, Become What You Are, and Pussycat.