Since being crowned Elvis Duran’s August 2018 Artist of the Month, you could say that Juice has been tasting the sweet side of success. While the unusual moniker conveys the fluid style of the group‘s dynamic, it’s also a testament to the fusion of collective and individual experiences that produced the inspiration for their new EP, “you are simply magnificent.” Each track is a triumphant and unapologetic display of deeply intimate vulnerabilities and an acknowledgement of the flaws that make us all human. Juice was kind enough to give us some insight on the EP as well as what makes them tick as a band.
Cliché: How did all of you meet?
Juice: It’s amazing when you fall in love. Six wives are a lot, but it’s cool sometimes. It was the 8th of June, in the burgeoning heat of summer, beneath a shy maple. This maple seemed content. Happy to bear witness to the humble peach sky of a new season. The wind kissed the cheek of the bark, and the ground sang a tune of unity. And thus, Juice was birthed. – Ben
Why did you choose the name Juice?
The name was Juice was sort of a toss at the dart board immediately before freshman year Battle of the Bands. It came down to the wire and they needed us to make up our mind, so out of the list of appealing nouns we came up with, that was the one that stuck. But as we have grown to assume the identity, Juice has become a pretty appropriate descriptor for the style and personality of the band. It’s a fluid and dynamic mixture of genres and influences. Plus, we’re all pretty sweet guys. – Kamau
What does it mean to be named Elvis Duran’s August 2018 Artist of the Month? Did that recognition give you more creative momentum?
It’s actually pretty unreal. As many do, I grew up listening to him and his crew every morning on my way to school/work, during my more formative years. Creative momentum isn’t what it gave us. Confidence and gasolina is what it gave us. We loved meeting him and seeing how good people with good hearts can succeed and flourish and touch the masses, and it sparked a fire in us. -Ben
What new or unique elements do you bring to the table as a band?
One of our strengths is our diversity, both geographically and stylistically. Even separate from the unique instrumentation of our ensemble, the organic intersection of varying tastes and influences like classical, hip-hop, pop, rock, and soul is not something that manifests in this way all that often. We have a very adaptable chemistry and songwriting process that produces some interesting results that you won’t hear anywhere else. – Kamau
Talk about your new EP, “you are simply magnificent.”
This EP is the cornerstone of a new Juice. Not that YASM wasn’t always in and around us, ‘cause it was and is. Rather, it’s our hopes and dreams of love and acceptance. It’s everything to us. A chronicle of young men struggling to embrace the world and ourselves. We wanted to make sounds and stories that were true to what we know, but that also pushed us to places we want to, and were/are scared to go. Humanity is the tale it tells. – Ben
The EP explores a broad spectrum of emotions, from euphoria to betrayal. Do you find that working on music is cathartic or therapeutic for you?
The songs on YASM have been incredibly cathartic for all of us collectively and individually. There’s a lot of emotion, vulnerability, personal baggage, and humanity packed into these songs, and as we mature together we’re finding new ways to articulate these elements of our human experience in the synergy between our instrumentation and lyrics. The response we have been getting to the project has been incredibly enlightening and humbling- it sheds light on the fact that despite the various paths we all take to get to where we are presently, there is something fundamentally common in all our experiences. As cliché as it sounds, we’re all striving, loving and hurting on the same blue marble and everyone can connect to that. – Kamau
Which track is most meaningful to you and why?
“Stupidfreak” is the anthem of the project. If we’re honest, even fitting in isn’t ever really “fitting in”. The mirror is a fickle friend, and the world is its hard ass step-brother. This song is a hopeful ballad that recognizes that this “fitting in” isn’t really the goal, ‘cause what does that mean? Finding one’s voice through vulnerability and honesty, and just a touch of rebellion, is what true growth meant for the character in that story; a character we can all relate to.
Another prominent theme in your work is the importance of staying true to yourself. How do you ensure that your music stays authentic?
There is a convenient built-in quality assurance mechanism for the band, where we are all friends first. We know one another frighteningly well at this point and even if we’re trying something entirely new, we can zero in on whether something feels natural for us as a unit or not. We’ve had to workshop or even scrap countless ideas because they didn’t feel authentic or not everyone could vibe with what was going on. It’s hard to hide it when something is forced and naturally these things don’t survive in the wild. There’s always going to be the seasoning of our weird inside jokes and shared experiences in everything we do. – Kamau
Any new projects in the works right now?
Yes. Yes. No, but yes hehehe. Lots of new toys in the trunk. – Ben
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Juice Shakes Things Up with Their New EP, “you are simply magnificent.” Photo Credit: Samuel David Katz and Off Season Creative.