Juliya “Mistress Juliya” Chernetsky has what I would consider the ideal gig and I’ve always admired her style of work. She started out working as a receptionist for a graphic design company and that opened the doorway for her to become one of the hottest interviewers on television. She walked through that doorway into a video journalism career for the cable network MuchMusic USA creating one of the network’s most popular programs “Uranium” which gained such a following that MTV2 revived “Headbanger’s Ball.” Juliya could be seen all over the world interviewing the biggest names in the music business…past…present…and future.
During her time with MMUSA…which later changed their name to Fuse…Juliya kept her creative juices flowing and ended up developing two more shows before her time at the network ended. Now, a couple of years later, she’s back with Fuse doing another show and when she’s not taping for her show, she’s out on the road to support her “Slave To The Metal Tour” which showcases local Metal bands across the United States and I caught up with her recently at Shakers in Cambridge, Ohio while she was on the tour. Like I said before, I have been a huge fan of Juliya’s for many years and this was an extremely great pleasure for me to get to meet her and interview such a rockin interviewer.
The Entertainment Nexus- Who or what influenced you to want to interview bands in the beginning?
Juliya Chernetsky- I actually never wanted to be a video journalist. That was never part of my plans. The only thing that as I could ever really reference to you when I was in high school and “Headbanger’s Ball” got canceled I remember hanging out on the staircase and being like; “Fuck! How are we gonna watch Metal videos?” I went to school to be…I wanted to be a shrink. I did modeling and stuff like that for fun and it just kinda worked itself out into this situation. It was never “I’m gonna interview bands for a living.” It just kinda progressed and one thing led to another and I was kinda “right place…right time…right company” ya know?
TEN- How did you get the gig of hosting “Tastemakers?”
JC- I was a receptionist for a company called Heavy Inc that did all of the graphics for the television channel MuchMusic USA. At the time I was also doing commercials and music videos so every time MuchMusic would come over for meetings I would set them up since I was the receptionist and I looked really…really intense at the time. They were like: “You have a cool look. Do you do TV?” and I’m like “Yeah, actually I do!” and they were like “Well, we have this show “Tastemakers” we’re not gonna pay you but we would love for you to be on it because you have a cool look!” So, that’s how it all started.
TEN- From there you went on to host “Uranium.” How did that make you feel knowing that you were the host of the network’s most popular program at the time?
JC- We started the program. It was never there before me. They came to me and said; “Look, you have a really heavy fan base based on “Tastemakers” and we don’t have any shows…we want to give you your own show. If you come up with something cool we have this money here. Actually the company Heavy Ink…the one that did the graphics…helped me find a producer…they came up with the name “Uranium.” We all came up with the concept ourselves because at the time the little video cameras had just come out. The whole “flip camera…Juliya’s point of view” it was so fucking new. There was no such thing as Myspace yet. So, what really made “Uranium” was that other camera. That was all their idea. I give the credit to Heavy Inc. That’s how “Uranium” started. When we started it, it was just me, a producer and us holding two cameras. We never thought that it was gonna be like this big show or anything. It just catapulted.
TEN- During this time, MuchMusic USA changed the name to Fuse TV and your show’s popularity grew even more. Do you think that your show had a direct impact on MTV 2 bringing “Headbanger’s Ball” back?
JC- I know it did cause they asked me to host it! The way that went down is once Fuse became big enough where a lot of people started giving MTV shit for not playing Metal videos, MTV decided to bring back “Headbanger’s Ball” and invited me for that first meeting. They offered me more money than Fuse to do “Headbanger’s Ball” but at the time I was much younger… “Uranium” was just picking up and my credibility was too…I mean I’m a female in a male dominated industry. I was really young so my credibility was more important to me than making an extra 15 grand a year at the time. I was like “Well with “Uranium” I’m allowed to pick my bands and I’m allowed to write my interviews will I be able to do that with MTV?” and their answer was; “Well, were not “Puppet Masters” but no!” If you’re gonna say to me; “We’re not “Puppet Masters” but no”…dude I’m like…that was the Freudian slip of the fuckin year, man! I’m out! After that, “Uranium” got much bigger and I was able to make a name for myself. It’s different than when someone like Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed goes to host “Headbanger’s Ball.” He’s already Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed…ya know what I’m sayin? So, even if he’s interviewing some fuckin douche bag…he doesn’t need to say anything because we know that Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed doesn’t give a fuck about douche bags! You see me doing like a 20-year-old girl who nobody knows doing it and it’s like; “This bitch is a fucking sellout!” So there ya go…
TEN- What was it like to be able to travel all over and do the interviews?
JC- That was really cool. I’ve been to pretty much all of the United States…I’ve been to a few different countries like we went to England for “The Metal Hammer Awards” at Donnington Castle. I’ve been to Brazil for Sepultura. It’s been amazing. I love to travel to certain parts and do my thing. I’ve been to all of these rock star’s houses. I’ve been to Ozzy’s (Osbourne) house and Dime’s (Darrell Abbott) house and Zakk’s (Wylde) house so like those elements of it are really…really fun! I don’t particularly like the traveling or touring process…cause I’m a girl and that shit gets annoying. I got all of this crap and hair and makeup and I’m like; “I wanna go home!” (Laughs) “I want my bathroom!” (Still laughs)
TEN- What was it like to interview Ozzy?
JC- Ozzy was awesome! He’s my favorite because I have listened to him since I was a kid. I translated Black Sabbath lyrics for my Russian father and that’s how we bonded. He was a “Metal Head” when he was my age. I was really nervous that I wouldn’t understand what the fuck he was saying because when I watch him on TV…I have no idea what the fuck he’s saying! Besides being nervous because of…it’s Ozzy ya know what I’m sayin…HELLO!
TEN- And you’re at his house!
JC- And I’m at his fuckin house! When we sat down I was super shaky but he was super cool. As soon as we started talking about music…he started talking differently cause he was focused and talked much clearer. It seems that when you talk to him about everyday life or whenever he kinda babbles along because he doesn’t really care. I swear to God when we started talking about the “Glory Days” he was all of a sudden like…a lot more articulate and I was like “Holy shit! I understood everything this dude said thank God!” because I didn’t want to be like “What? What?” and try to read his lips. That would be awkward!
TEN- I know that you get asked this question a lot but what are some of the more memorable interviews that you’ve done?
JC- I guess different interviews are memorable to me for different reasons. I’m a huge Marilyn Manson fan so getting to interview him for our special for the first time was fucking huge! I was so excited and it was “Super Fantasy World” and was mine and his special. We were all dressed up and it was our special. It was such a big deal. I couldn’t breathe in my freakin corset. When I interviewed Ozzy, he was like the last one of that caliber that I got to interview. I had wanted to interview him from day one. There were so many “all mosts but not quites” ya know? “Uranium” got canceled a half year after the interview so I was well into my career. I was crying and sweating. I think it’s so memorable because these are your idols as you grow up and you hope when you meet them they’re going to be as fucking cool as you always hoped they would be cause if you’re disappointed it does affect your whole. (Motions all around herself) So rock stars you better fuckin lie or just live it but like…do it! Meeting Dime was another one that I always tell because Dime and Slash and Ozzy are like…ya know what I mean? Dime kicked the door open with the tray of shots and was like; “Come on in. We ain’t doin shit till you get drunk!” I was like “Woo, it’s gonna be okay…it’s gonna be okay!” Meeting Zakk is always great. He’s always super friendly…no weird “rock star attitude” he’s always like “C’mon…let’s get fucked up! What do you want me to answer…whatcha got?” Then there are other interviews that were awesome in their weirdness like I’m a huge Type O Negative fan and they’re a Brooklyn band and I’m a Brooklyn girl. Meeting Pete Steele for the first time was hilarious because he has such a dark, sarcastic, cynical sense of humor like “Fuck you dyke!” and we totally rolled with it…ya know? I want to give much…much props to one of my favorite people Rob Zombie because he was my very first “Uranium” interview and I was so scared. I was 19 and I was a huge Rob Zombie fan and I had all my shit written on a sheet of paper “ghetto style.” It was like out of my butt crack. He came up to me and he was like; “Hey…it’s gonna be ok. Don’t fuckin worry about it.” I was like “Ahhh, thanks man!” That was like a big deal for him to be like “It’s gonna be cool. You’re cool.” I was like; “He said I’m cool!” That helped a lot.
TEN- It’s sort of like a “Wayne’s World moment.”
JC- Absolutely…I’m like 19 and totally green! I’m wearing clothes that I have been wearing for five years…self-made at home…sewn up and pinned together. There’s no production.
TEN- You’ve also had interviews that didn’t go so well too.
JC- Oh, there’s been lots of…I mean not for nothing to be honest considering the amount of interviews that I’ve done which is in the thousands. I’ve only had maybe 10 shitty interviews…which is pretty incredible. Some of them are bad because I have done a lot of “Metal Fests” and with those kinds of festivals I have 20 to 30 interviews a day which is out of fucking control man! I mean just to talk for that long…each interview is a 20 minute interview and there’s a five to ten-minute break in between. So with those kind of interviews you are like (snapping her fingers over and over) fucking spitting them out. You don’t have exactly the time to just chill and feel out the vibe and follow up and like have a beer. Sometimes with particularly Scandinavian bands who have a completely different sense of humor than we do are a little rough. I like to break the ice with some obnoxious question like something stupid like: What side is your cock hanging to today?” and they’re just like; “Uh…excuse me? You wanna fucking see my cock?” I’m like “No…no…no…never mind…lost in translation!” So, stuff like that has happened for sure. There have been some bigger bands that I have had issues with like the System Of A Down interview. I think it’s famous for that. I’ve interviewed those guys twice. As soon as the cameras are off…they’re fucking really nice guys but as soon as the cameras are on…I don’t know if they felt that they had something to prove more because I’m journalistic media that we have some kind of riff. I’ve never tried to make a band look bad in my life man. I’m a “Metal Head” I’m not like some magazine trying to pull out parts of our interview to make you look like a douche bag. But, you want to be a douche bag…I will be more than happy to fuckin exploit that shit! Fuck you man…ya know! I ain’t got no beef with them…that’s just the way they are. I guess they feel that they are the “Anti establishment band.” I’m not the establishment…I just put on a fucking metal show…but whatever. I had an interview with David Draiman that also went wrong and that one totally rubbed me the wrong way but we are totally cool…he’s a really nice guy. That’s another one where I started my interview with some break the ice material that I think is hilarious but he just didn’t think that asking him about leather pants and sweaty balls was a “Disturbed enough” question. I’m like “Dude, we’ll get to the interview in a minute but you are the asshole that’s wearing leather pants in 95 degree weather. I’m in a bikini and even I’m hot! You got balls and you’re in like pants and I think that the normal fan watching you…my first thought watching you…your band is like “Man, that’s a sick fucking riff! His balls must be cooking in his pants!” and he just didn’t think that that was a proper interview question. Ya know what David? Maybe you were sweating that day…
TEN- How do you keep your composure when things go not so well?
JC- I think it’s very important to keep your composure and that’s just part of my job. When things go wrong I try to save them in a humorous manner. Most things…I have a sense of humor with…even if you’re an asshole or something goes wrong I just go with the flow and I’m like “Oh, shit that got busted…moving on!” If somebody keeps pushing then I’ll just be like; “Um, if you don’t wanna be here…we don’t need to be here!” I’m never gonna flip out and be like “Oh my God! You are just such a fuck! It’s not that serious. We are just putting on a TV show and if you want to be a dick and fuck it up…the audience will see that on their own!” So keeping my composure isn’t as difficult as I guess some would think. If somebody gets offensive to me then they get knocked in the mouth and that’s great television too ya know!
TEN- What’s your fondest memory of Dime?
JC- My fondest memory would be the last time I saw him he was in New York and he’s like; “Juliya, I gotta show you. I got these on Canal Street.” That’s where the Asians are. That’s like “Bargain Central” ya know. He’s like: “I bartered with them! I got the coolest fuzzy slippers! And he busts out leopard print fuzzy fucking slippers. He was like; “Four dollars! I got these for four dollars! Touch them Juliya…touch them!” He made me and it was like he was so fucking excited about his fuzzy slippers. I just thought it was the cutest…and I’m on his tour bus. He’s drinking Crown and just totally sweating his four dollars slippers. I just thought that was the cutest thing ever. I’ll never ever forget that in my life!
TEN- You also got to crash the political parties with your “Electile Dysfunction 2004” segment. What was that like?
JC- That was really weird. I’m not really into politics and at that time when that happened…I totally didn’t know shit about politics. Fuse was like “Look, people your age aren’t voting and it’s super important to get them involved” and I’m like “Ok, you’re right…it’s important...whatever.” I didn’t pick the Republicans or the Democrats cause I was like “whatever” ya know. I did some research and I went out there and we had a really good time. I think that people were partying more than anything. All around Boston everybody was drunk as fuck so I was like “OK…if this is politics…I’ll roll with this shit! I drink too! I drink too!
TEN- Fuse dropped you and your show at the time “Metal Asylum” without any kind of notice. What went through your mind when that first happened?
JC- That they owed me money and I wanted to get paid! What went through my mind? The fact that…unfortunately I was dumb and didn’t save enough cash and that I had spent it all on shoes and alcoholic beverages. That went through my mind. I also couldn’t comprehend…they canceled all of my shows at the same time. I just didn’t understand how it was possible that “Uranium” being number one…how that could possibly be canceled. I was really hurt…I was really young and when you’re young and doing well I think you don’t expect that’s ever gonna end. You’re like; “Oh shit. I’m gonna charge forever!” It was just a great wake-up call. It’s like “Bitch, you were in the entertainment industry and that’s how it goes!” Shows start…they blow up and then they’re fucking over. Why are they over? I don’t know…new president…the company got sold out…there’s no more money in the budget. There’s a plethora of reasons. All of them suck! It sucked. I had a really…really hard time with it. I got really depressed for a long time. But, I grew up so much and kind of understood how the industry works…that it’s just the way it works. You could get mad at it or you can be involved in it ya know. I just realized that if I wanted to be involved in this business I just have to appreciate what I have more and not take it for granted. Save your fucking money…that was dumb. Try to do your best and always try to be a few steps ahead because that shit get’s pulled out from under you and nobody cares! Nobody likes you as much as you think they do cause once it gets pulled…all of a sudden your phone doesn’t ring that much cause you’re not the person who can get them into the show. All of these things came as such a shock to me. I was like; “What…what…what the fuck is goin on here?” and then you’re like; “Wait a minute. I’m not on TV anymore…people just don’t care as much.” I could cry about it or be like “Okay motherfuckers….you’re all crossed off my list. I’ll keep that shit in mind but yeah…yeah…we’re still cool. We’re still “industry” motherfucker. We’re cool! Be aware. I’m ranting…next question!
TEN- There was legal proceedings involved with all of that wasn’t there?
JC- Yeah, the legal proceedings had to do with “Slave To The Metal.” My manager at the time and I owned the “Slave To The Metal” brand. Because things were going so well with Fuse, we had a handshake agreement originally on the rights to the show. It was kinda like “Use our name and we use your studio” kinda shit…ya know. There was no actual legal document that divided the property but at the end of the day…there was a season in the can and that because I was no longer under contract…if they wanted to play that season…we owned the name and they would have to pay me an “owners fee” for the title. They (Fuse) didn’t feel that way because their cameras and their studio was used so they were like; “Well you can’t air it. We own the physical property.” Not the entity…but the physical property. That’s where the battle began cause they wanted to air it and not pay me. So, it ended up never airing like after a whole thing of back and forth. It just never went anywhere.
TEN- You went back to Fuse after some time. What made you decide to come back after they did what they did?
JC- Since the people that I had issues with…there’s been two full changes of the upper echelon of Fuse. The main people like production and like my boss, the guy that runs the music department…he’s still there. Those are all good people. We’re talkin about heads of the fucking company here…that deal with money not the creative part. My ex-boss called me and was like; “Look, we have this rock show…its all-new people here. The people here don’t even know what the fuck “Uranium” is.” The way television works is like nobody comes in and says: “Oh let’s see what works in the past.” It’s more of like; “Whatever the fuck worked in the past obviously didn’t work…so were starting a whole new thing!” He said: “The people here have no clue who you are and you can make money and you can be back on TV representing music again and the people you had before are gone!” I was like “Bring it…Bring it!”
TEN- What have you been doing more recently with yourself other than being back on Fuse? I read somewhere that you had a Sirius radio program.
JC- That never happened.
TEN- What about doing pictorials in Stuff and Maxim magazines?
JC-Yeah, Stuff magazine and Maxim magazine I did about three years ago. Those were awesome. I’m always trying to do photo shoots. That’s really my passion. I like photography a lot more than video because you can kinda portray whoever you want. I’m in the fan of the “pin-up.” I do that for artistic satisfaction mostly, so I do a lot of photo shoots and stuff like that. The “Slave To The Metal Tour” is my baby right now. It’s a tour for two weeks and we go from city to city and they’re all local shows so they give an opportunity to local bands to play a real show. If they’re good and bring us a good product or a good demo…I will shop it to our record label. If not, they play a show…the club makes money…everybody gets paid…we have a great time. It keeps the scene going and like the bands that we have are young, unsigned acts. There’s no fucking way that they’re getting on anything like a “supporting act” for a “national.” What we are doing is kinda like building the scene for these local acts. It’s cool…it’s really fun and any band can get on. They can go to myspace/slavetothemetalmusic.com or they can go and register on my Myspace…myspace/mistressjuliya.com and you can check out my tour dates. We do signings…we got merch…drink alcoholic beverages…
TEN- If you could co-host VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show” would you change anything about the format?
JC- I would have more hot chicks hosting the show…my friend! VH1 has a very different format and I really like those guys so I’m not gonna…
TEN- No, I don’t wanna…
JC- They do what they do how they do. If I was doing it…it would be different because I’m a different person and I do a different type of show…a.k.a. “Uranium.” That was the way I would do things!
TEN- How did you meet Victoria Talbot and how has your career changed since meeting her?
JC- I just met Victoria through a friend of mine…Don who is a really…really amazing director. He does music videos and he introduced me to her because Don really believes in me and thinks that I should build my brand further and he thinks I’m like a “big star.” He was like: “I think Victoria could really help you out.” Plus, I always wanted to do Playboy since I was a kid. I would do Playboy in a very Marilyn Monroe/Bettie Page format. Playboy models are mostly very blond…All-American/Girls Next Door and I’m the polar opposite so I would love to do it! Victoria works with Playboy so I was like: “Bring that shit! Let’s do it “classy, 1950s brunette style.”
TEN- Okay, I’m gonna switch gears on you. Tell me something disturbing about yourself that you never revealed before in an interview.
JC- I think I’ve revealed most things in interviews unfortunately. That’s why I don’t drink when I do interviews ever again! Disturbing thing about me…I don’t know man. I have crazy body images…like crazy problems with body images. I’m dieting eternally. I guess people would be like: “Oh well…what the fuck.” I love some dance music. I’m down with that. I used to be a professional ballroom dancer. A lot of people don’t know that. I did that from age 6 to 16. While I don’t like “Pop Rock” or “Hip Hop” I do love dance music. I’m like (claps her hands and starts dancing) “Let’s fucking get down!” I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that. I’m a super mushy individual and then super gay when I’m in love and people wouldn’t expect that either. That’s cause I don’t love most people. I think they suck.
TEN- Is there anything else that you want to add or say?
JC- Come to my fucking shows!
I want to thank Juliya for taking the time for the interview and for hanging out and being so cool. You ROCK!
For exclusive pictures of Juliya, please visit the Showing Some Love For TEN link