After seeing Albert Hammond, Jr. we made our way to Julian Casablancas + the Voidz show at
Cedar Street Courtyard around 10 pm. The Voidz played their new songs and even some old, they played covers of Julian’s solo work like River of Brakelights, Glass, and his work with the Strokes like Ize of the World.
After the show, we went to the back of the venue where the artists enter/exit. It was actually a dirty, trashed filled alley, it smelled pretty awful. We stood out there waiting for about an hour and a half, met a few fans and we were all discussing what we just witnessed.
After continuing to wait outside, some fans looking and feeling a bit defeated with their albums in hand, we noticed that Julian Casablancas had finally come out.
I felt like a robot walking over to him, we were in survival mode and we NEEDED to meet him. “Excuse me Julian?
” I said to him with the GATRS at my side, “I’m sorry if I’m interrupting but can you please sign my album?
” Without hesitation or question, he took the album/marker from my hand and made some jokes about the dog on the cover as he was signing it. I then asked him if we could take a group photo because we were sure he was a busy guy with places to be but he then responded by saying a quick “no, its alright I can do individual pictures with you guys
” with a warm and friendly smile. My friend Naomi
was standing next to myself and him, said to him “but it would go much faster than individual pictures.. We don’t want to waste your time.
” To which he said to us “well what have I got to do? I’m just gonna go back to my motel after this.
After getting all Jules to sign what we wanted, I remembered that Naomi suggested to me earlier that night that if I did finally end up meeting Jules, I should ask him to write my favorite lyrics I’ve been wanting to get tattooed for a long time on my arm instead of the album cover. So I decided to listen to her and just go for it and ask him. He seemed a bit shocked to find out I wanted “Don’t be a coconut” tattooed on me and even more so that I wanted him to write it on me. He seemed a bit ambivalent at first but then agreed after some persistent pleading by me and my friends. He asked where I wanted it written and at first suggesting my upper arm he said no because it’ll “hurt you like hell“. It took a while figuring out where to put it but finally the decision was made to put it on my forearm. The moment was captured on video by Naomi here (thank god!!)
That’s me asking Julian about placement, thank you Naomi for the picture!
And so it was done. He kept telling me how much pressure that was and I saw that when he put the “C” too close to the “Don’t” he looked like he was swearing internally. Apparently this was a first for him, which I found really surprising and I know that stressed him out even more, even to the point where he threatened to lick my arm to smear it so I wouldn’t get it tattooed. I said still get it tattooed even if he licked it but he kept laughing and continued to hangout with us afterwards. We finally said our thank you’s and goodbye’s and we all got individual hugs
Even after all that, we still chose to take a group picture just because we really didn’t want to take any more his time since he already stayed a while with us.
Naomi and I had questions to ask him.. Such as when the Voidz album would be coming out because we were really excited for his new work with a new group. To this he answered “it may be released hoping maybe sometime in May, although I might just go rogue and release it whenever I feel like it.
” In other words, he might pull a Beyonce.
We asked what brought on the surge for a new creative outlet, he told us “I’ve been wanting to do weirder, darker, more aggressive stuff for years and finally decided to to go for it.” While he’s obviously still with the Strokes he’s just wanted to do something he’s always wanted to do he told us. With that friendly, mysterious smile that we all know and love he place his hands together and gave that infamous gracious bow he does.
I almost forgot. We got Brandy to look up a random and nearby open tattoo parlor to which we took off sprinting while simultaneously hyperventilating. We made it to the tattoo parlor in one piece thankfully, there were lots of crazies and drunks in the streets of Austin since it was about 4am.
We showed the guy what I wanted tattooed and he looked at me like I was crazy, I don’t blame him. I explained to him what just happened to which he thought was pretty cool so he agreed even though they were closing, so shout out to the awesome staff.
After getting the tattoo, Brandy and Naomi suggested I stay with the GATRS at the apartment they rented out for SXSW. We were on a rush, we were driving back and fate must have known… Hard to Explain was on the radio at that exact moment.
We all got about an hour of sleep each but word had spread like wildfire about my tattoo all over the internet, which was a nice surprise.
Mia, Naomi, and I decided to catch the Voidz second set at Fader Fort, which was insane to be at.
To some people’s surprise, the Voidz set was really short- 30 minutes or less, we made our way to the back of the venue where the artists entrance/exit but this was different from the previous night. There was a huge crowd waiting for multiple artists, only about 20 of us were there for Julian though and weirdly enough some people recognized me as the “tattoo girl.”
We were told constantly to move and leave and even saw Rick Ross and his entourage enter the Fader Fort via his van.
We waited for about two hours for Julian, some were starting to leave and we were even handing Cult (Julian’s record label) stickers at some point of our waiting. Again, as we were feeling defeated, I hear Naomi say “Julian is walking out now, he’s coming our way.” He greeted us with a “hey y’all!” only to then apologize and say that he felt weird saying that but he felt he had to because we’re here in Texas.
Julian and I at the Fader Fort, seeing my tattoo.
After he signed a few things for other fans, he made his way to us and said “I remember you guys!” After seeing my tattoo, he then called me a badass. It has to be said, getting called a badass by your idol/hero is surreal.
I asked him if I could somehow get a picture of him posing with my tattoo, he agreed and voluntarily pulled an epic expression.
We thanked him and moved away after getting individual snaps this time so other fans could get their turn.
People were screaming his name and requesting odd things to get signed or asked him to do things for them, he mockingly said “Julian! Julian! Slit my wrists!” and then quickly apologized. He even did a little robot move complete with robot voice and said “too many voices. Cannot compute.“
It has to be said that Julian Casablancas is incredibly gracious and incredibly patient with his fans. I’m not sure how he does it. He is honestly such an amazing human being and I am so proud to call him my hero.
Review by Alyssa B.