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  • December 1st, 2017

    Squeezing Out the Music with Juice

    After years of consistently selling out Garcia’s, Juice is taking over The Cap for one special evening on Saturday, December 16, joining Ripe and Late Night Episode. Since the release of last year’s self-titled record, Juice has toured relentlessly while converting legions of fans on the way. In preparation of their Cap debut, Juice sat down with The Cap to discuss touring, their rise through the music industry, and what to expect from them in 2018.

    You guys have steadily been putting in work for the last three years. Do you feel like it’s been paying off?

    Of course! We’ve been playing more shows, getting new fans, writing new songs, we’re having a lot of fun with each other back to back nights on stage. We still can’t believe we’re playing the cap…it’s paying off!

    For those that aren’t too familiar with Juice, can you explain your sound and style?

    Imagine coming inside to a warm plate of chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk put out by your loving mother after a long day of playing in the snow with your friends. Yeah…It’s kind of like that.

    You guys formed at Boston College, can you tell us about how that took place?

    During the summer before freshman year, Miles (drums) saw Christian post a violin video on Boston College’s accepted students Facebook page.  He messaged Christian about jamming once school started, awestruck by such a unique talent.  When Miles was looking for a roommate on Boston College’s incoming freshmen database, he noticed this one kid Dan who wrote in his bio, “I played guitar in high school jazz band and love ripping the funk.”

    Immediately Miles thought to himself, “Yo.”
    The first Juice jam session was a rough one. Christian was missing strings on his violin, the drum kit in BC’s practice room was missing just about everything besides a snare drum, and Dan’s amp was operating at about 65%.  Still, the three managed to have enough fun to want to do it again.
    The next time, Christian brought his two friends Michael (guitar) and Chris (keys) from his music seminar.  Miles befriended a British exchange student named Jack (bass) from literature class and brought him along as well.
    When the second semester of freshman year started, this new kid Ben (vocals) showed up on Miles’ and Dan’s floor, replacing someone who had transferred out of BC.  He casually mentioned maybe 100 or so  times that he had missed last semester because he was in Los Angeles for the TV show The Voice (big deal right?)  He then asked if they knew any keyboard players who would accompany him for a singing competition at BC. Miles and Dan put him in touch with Chris.
    Coincidentally, Christian entered the same competition with his good friend Kamau (vocals).  Ben and Chris won the competition and Christian and Kamau finished in second place (Christian and kamau are still salty about that).  When the four of them congratulated each other, they were struck with a crazy idea.  What if we formed a band with these two singers (Ben and Kamau) and the rhythm section that Chris and Christian had been jamming with?
    The 8 of them won Boston College’s battle of the bands that year.
    When Jack had to return to England at the end of the semester, Kamau brought in his friend Rami who was known around campus as a baaaaad man on the bass guitar.  Luckily he lived up to his reputation. Four years later, the eight of them are still playing shows together. Yay! The end.

    It’s not easy for an eight-piece band to be tight and effective, what challenges did you guys face early on? How has the songwriting process changed since then?

     At first it was difficult to make sense of 8 different guys all playing at once, but as we’ve grown, we’ve learned how to combine each of our individual talents. Things have fallen into place and we’ve sort of ended up at this unique destination. As we continue to write new songs, we’re always striving to create music that draws upon each of us individually and collectively as a whole to get that true sound of ours.

    You’ve played Garcia’s before, and now you’re playing the main room at The Capitol Theatre, with a history of artists like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, and most recently artists like Bob Dylan, Robert Plant, and Sheryl Crow. How does it feel knowing you’ll play the stage as those icons?

     It’s always been one of our goals to play the Capitol Theatre. Our drummer Miles is from Rye and has been seeing shows at the Cap since he was a kid. It’s an amazing honor to play on such a sacred stage, hopefully following in the footsteps of some of the amazing acts that have played there before. We expect a great turnout between Ripe and ourselves, and can’t wait to feel the energy of the room!

    What are some bands that have inspired your dynamic? What makes them stand out?

     We always get this question, especially since we’re an 8 piece band. Each of us draw upon different influence, with some convergence, and the presence of so many different influences has really contributed to Juice’s development. To give you an idea of how diverse the spectrum is, here’s a list of some of our favorite individual influences.

    • Ben- Stevie Wonder
    • Christian-  Kanye West
    • Kamau- John Legend
    • Miles- Phish
    • Dan- Stevie Ray Vaughan
    • Chris- Chick Corea
    • Michael- David Bowie
    • Rami- Herbie Hancock

    People were very receptive to your self-titled album, when can we expect another project from Juice?

     Our fans really enjoyed our first record, and we’ve developed a lot as a band since its release. We love the songs on the first album and have continued to improve them for our live show. Our newest project should be released in 2018. Last summer we went into the studio with producer Johnny K and recorded a few tracks in Milwaukee. In January, we are heading to Nashville to finish up the second wave of songs. We’re aiming to release our new single “Sugar” soon. It’s been getting a lot of love during our live shows and we can’t wait to finally put that record out.. Stay tuned for it!

    When you guys won the $20,000 Grand Prize at 2016 Land The Big Gig competition at Summerfest, it definitely gave you some much deserved recognition. Has anything changed since then? Do you guys feel like festivals are great settings for you?

     Winning the grand prize solidified the fact that we were totally gonna get after it as a band post-college.  While our songwriting process has matured as we’ve gotten older, we’re only just out of college, we still have the same amount of fun on and offstage. It’s all organic, what you see is what you’re getting, the reactions, the faces, people know that, they can tell. It just sort of happens, we channel our youth, there’s no bottling that up. Having said that, festivals are really an ideal setting for us because of the high energy live performance and big sound we channel.  Also, we don’t fit on smaller stages so we kind of need festivals.

    Where do you see Juice in five years?

    As musicians and artists, were constantly searching for something tangible our listeners can thoroughly feel at the core of the music. We’re always looking to transcend each aspect of the live show and create an atmosphere much bigger than the 8 of us on stage. As songwriters, we’re always trying to push the boundaries of the recording studio. If we’ve done even a bit of that 5 years down the road, then thats a big step, something to be proud of.

    Ripe is headlining your show at The Cap on Saturday, December 16. How familiar are you with their music? Have you ever played with Ripe or seen them perform?

    We’ve seen Ripe a few times and played with them once in Boston at a music festival. We love their energy and can’t wait to share the stage with them again!