We’d become acquainted in Twitter, where I’d happened upon her profile while building on my list of people to follow. I’d heard her perform in SL and enjoyed it immensely, so I clicked to follow her tweets. It was a little later the same day that JueL replied with, “Thank You for the follow, if you get a chance check out one of my live acoustic performances ... and if you know of COOL SL things pass it on”, and she returned the follow. We next crossed paths at a concert, the opening of Tranquil Gardens, where we chatted in IM while listening to the performer. She agreed to an interview and we made the arrangements to do so in Skype.
Nazz: What bought you into SL and why did you stay?
JueL: I used to play sims on-line for a few years and a friend suggested I try SL, that was in 2004, and there was no music back then, just the U2 shows, so I quit. Another friend suggested coming back as the music scene has come along, so I came back in SL in November of 2005.
Nazz: You’ve been performing in SL for three years now, how much has the SL music scene changed in since then?
JueL: Rolling Stone, Wired and NPR all interviewed me about music in SL. I have to say it was a healthy competition a year ago ... now it’s a free for all. The music community is very loose knit … some will play for free and some are writing their own music. Most venues are unwilling to pay … I won’t play for free. So my impression of music scene ... It’s expanding, my visual is that it’s like a field of flowers spreading out … and competition that is so unnecessary … so few people who sing and play with an instrument.
Nazz: Do you perform in real life as well?
JueL: I’ve performed in RL since I was 15 or 16. I was very shy and it took me a long time to get over it.
Nazz: What performers have influenced your style and music the most?
JueL: Well, my music is not for everyone, I have smaller crowds. I’ve been influenced by the darker side. I like Nirvana ... I’m a big fan of Kurt Cobain and I feel like we have much in common. He was one of those rare artists who can take the music and the lyrics and blend them into something that we can feel. Other artists that I like and have inspired me … Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Bob Dylan, who’d influenced my song writing style … Patty Griffin, Mary Gauthier and Bonnie Raitt.
Nazz: What’s your favorite venue in SL?
JueL: My place is my favorite. There are no dance balls and exploders. You come in sit and listen to the music. The Living Room #13 started in early 2006 and it is centered around nothing but the most raw, down to earth, real live musicians and performers in SL. If it moves the soul, it's here.
Nazz: Any performances or special moments that stand out?
JueL: I’ve played so many over the years … iVillage, Elward, and at Dell last year at the opening. You do your own music and some covers, make new fans. Some think that getting a gig like that will make you famous. It doesn't, but it’s still nice getting recognized.
Nazz: I see from your profile that you’re and artist and have a gallery, how’s that going for you?
JueL: There’s a period of time now where I feel like painting and I'll do that and nothing else. I may pick up and write … mostly poetry and short stories. Filthy (Fluno) and Cyl (Cylindrian Rutabaga) were a big influence on getting me to sell my art work in SL and on Etsy.com … now I want to do so in RL. My style is "Folk art", I see colors and I want to throw them onto a canvas. I have synesthesia … it’s where the stimulation of one sense leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sense … like sound and vision … so painting is like music to me.
Nazz: You’d mentioned earlier a commonality with Kurt Cobain, is the synesthesia?
JueL: Like him, I’m bipolar. I feel that I’d known I was bipolar since I was eight, but I wasn’t diagnosed with it until 1989. Since then I've studied … I want to know everything about it. Everything that has to do with the brain I want to know about it. Like did you know that musicians who play string instruments are more likely to be unfaithful in their lives … and that most musicians have more testosterone. I have so many books on the brain.
Nazz: Where do you see your musical career taking you?
JueL: I’d like more exposure, on radio stations like Radio Paradise and clearchannelmusic ... and I’d like to be known as a song writer not so much as a performer. Maybe in three years or in five … someone with a bigger recognition will do a cover of something I’ve written. Or maybe I will. I still perform in SL, but not as much. I’ve tired of it and monotony bores me to death, I like more variety.
Nazz: Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers?
JueL: The biggest thing, and I tell this to everyone who wants to do music in SL, ask to be paid. If the venue owner says no, keep looking for one who will … and I’ve learned that it takes fifteen years to be an overnight success.