We featured Juice in the very beginning of Stereofox and the response was (not surprisingly) very positive. The Canadians, who have this very friendly and plentiful sound, incorporate elements from the funk, rock, ska and r&b music. Later on, we started talking and decided to follow up the feature with an interview! I hope you like my online talk with Tom (guitar/vocals) about their new album, how the band has changed and...few other stuff!
Ivo: So, your first full-length album is on the way (thanks for the sneak peak)! It’s been two years since your EP, how did those two years change the band not only musically but as a group of individuals?
Tom: A lot has changed since the EP. The way we write, our group dynamic, the way we look at putting on a show. When we wrote the EP we really focused on making music that was fun and challenging to play. Now we are more focused on going where the song needs to go along with getting a strong crowd response. We have all gotten a lot closer as a band and because of that the music has become a lot more specific to how we are as a group. Positive, fun and crazy.
I:Can you share some information about the recording process of “Hit The Ground Running”? How do you guys come up with the ideas of the songs and who produced the album? Any funny/weird stories?
Tom: The album was recorded at Humber college recording studios for Tom and Kyle’s fourth year final project. The project calls for each student to record 3 songs and mix them in school but we decided to record during all of our sessions and do post production (mixing/mastering) outside so we could have a full length album coming out of school. We were assigned student producers, Stacey Y and Mercedes Campana who produced in the control room and during sessions. A large part of the album was self-produced by the band. There are a lot of different genres represented on the album, we are always wondering if some songs are too different but we are starting to look at the diversity of our music as a strength. We are all different and have different personal and musical backgrounds so of course we can’t just settle on one sound and style to write in. The craziest thing about Hit the Ground Running was we had just released our EP with all of our new material on it so we had to write the album between each session. Nailing down 2-3 songs before a session, tracking them, then right after having to pump out another 3 songs from scratch. It was tough to pull off but I feel like spending that much time writing within a short period helped us develop a lot musically and gave us a ton of new material to play live. We are always trying to come up with new music, it keeps everything fresh.
I: Based on my information, you are all music graduates. Does this mean that being a musician is to some extend at least a job or you are all in just for the fun?
T: We all play in different projects that do jobbing gigs, performing at weddings and corporate events. Juice has even been hired to do events like that but primarily Juice is an original project that we look at as a creative outlet. We all invest a lot of time in it and take it seriously but it is never a job to the guys in the band.
I: Your music style goes beyond the usual ska music. You guys incorporate a huge varieties of genres. Is the complexity due to the number of band members?
I: It has a lot to do with what we are listening to. You are what you eat. If I am listening to a lot of Al Green I am going to write music with a soul influence just because that is what I have been checking out. Everyone in the band comes from different places musically but shares a lot of similarities, it makes for an interesting writing process. We have never decided that we are any type of band, actually when people ask me what genre we play I always have a bit of a tough time describing it. When we are writing we let the songs go where they want to. Everyone in the band has a strong hand in how the songs are developed and also has a good understanding of a number of genres so naturally we start mixing different styles together.
I: So far you've been playing quite a lot in Canada, any plans on crossing the border, even the ocean? I bet tons of Europeans will enjoy your positive vibe!
T: We are totally looking to cross boarders and oceans! Our plan as of now is to grow as much as we can locally, building a strong network before we make the jump then do our best to tour as much as we can sharing our music with anyone who wants to listen.
I: Which artists from the Canadian music scene should we keep an eye for in 2013?
T: There are a ton of great Canadian bands to watch out for. We played with a band called Five Alarm Funk from Vancouver last summer and they were awesome! Air Marshal Landing, The Soul Motivators and Savanah are a few cool Canadian bands to check out as well.
I: Do you have any pre-show rituals you often perform before stepping on stage? Like group hug or…eating burritos or something?
T: We all have specific warm ups for our instruments but as far as a group thing there isn’t one specific thing we do. We use to go “Best Friends on three” and yell best friends but then decided that it was really lame and stopped doing it LOL.
I: If you guys participate in "The Hunger Game" who would win and why?
T: That’s a tough question, in the end of the video no one really wins so I think all bets are off for a hunger games round. I think Andrew would be a top pick, in the video he goes down first because he has a cast on but now that he is healed up he would be tough to take down. Small, quick and smart. The rest of us would be easy targets, especially Craig in his Kitchener Rangers jersey. My money is on Andrew.
I: Tom, thank you for the interview! Greetings to the whole band! Looking forward to sharing the album on our page. Any last words to our readers?
Thanks a lot for taking the time to check out the interview! You can download "Wake Me Up," the first single off the new album, for free at our bandcamp. We are really excited to drop our new album Hit The Ground Running and hope you guys give it a listen.