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Interviews: Juice


Juice, a band originating from Bakersfield, CA home to some of the best bands to come out of the 90's such as Korn, Orgy, and Cradle of Thornz. Over the last year, Juice has gone from relative underground to being played on MTV's Road Rules. With a sound like a wrecking ball, Juice has now become a force to reckon with.

Smother - How do you feel about the new cd? Do you think it turned out real well or is their still stuff you'd like to change about it?

Brian - I'm sure that everyone's answer will totally vary, but me myself there is stuff that looking back I'd rather have done differently. But I think that's the way it always is. Overall, it's basically pretty heavy but I don't know we all put a lot into this-there's a lot of hours, a lot of fights…you know.
Ray Ray - Hell yeah, I mean I'm pretty pleased with it. There's always room for improvement but it went pretty smooth.

Smother - What are you trying to convey by the album name "Beaute"? Is it the more of the theme of the album or Juice as a band?

Brian - We've all come from crap. We're all poor, and come from bad families and all that crap. For us actually to put out a cd, it's great, I mean hell we just decided on that name. It's a personal little thing for each of us, especially me.

Smother - Yeah, I know that your vocals are pretty emotional and intense. I remember that when we did that other interview, you told me one of the songs was actually about one of your girlfriends who slept with some of your friends. So obviously it's pretty intense and pretty personal at the same time.

Brian - Yeah, it is. On that note it has both good and bad points, but I don't give a crap; people either do or don't understand it. But if they do then I think it might be able to help somebody, know what I mean? That's where the whole "All is Beautiful" comes in to play.

Smother - So I know you guys just recently played your cd release party, how did that go?

Brian - It went really really well for a Sunday and 21 and over. It's pretty good. All the bands were great. We were all pleasantly surprised.
Fluckey - It was a great place to play a show. But we're all about doing all-age shows. There can be more of a variety of people there. It's not hard to get a 21 and over show, but we think our fan base is more younger. We're not trying to be like Aerosmith or anything. We just do what we want to do. Not try to be all about selling records and selling out our sound.

Smother - So how did it feel to play live again, after being cooped up in the studio for so long?

Brian - It's where it should be every damn day, man. That's the bottom line.
Ray Ray - It's what we live for. We love moving around, recording in the studio is just a part of it. It feels good to get established and go on the road.

Smother - Is it hard to achieve the sound live versus in the studio?

Ray Ray - I mean there's a few different effects.

Smother - Do you guys have any endorsements?

Ray Ray - Not now, but we're working on it.

Smother - Have you guys been writing any new stuff since the studio?

Fluckey - Yeah, in the last couple of weeks I'd say we've written four or five new songs. We played one of the new ones at the CD release party. We'll have another one ready for this show this Friday.

Smother - I know your CD is kind of like an EP, do you want to release a full-length by the end of the year?

Fluckey -- To me, this is kind of like a promotional thing. We want to sell as many as possible.

Smother - Yeah, to get label interest or whatever.

Fluckey -- If we got signed to a label, we'd probably re-record some of the songs. I guess it just depends on where we're at when that happens. I mean we could have some new songs. If we have better songs then…you know we want to make sure they're good songs. We're not like a song factory or something. We write some songs, but there's some that we get rid of. We'll probably make a long LP, when we get signed.

Smother - Is this playing and recording all the time, is that making you guys broke as hell?

Brian - Oh hell, yeah we're all broke as hell as it is, but yeah it's making it harder. But we're willing to live off of five bucks a day if that's what it takes for us to play. That's kind of what we're doing. Us being unsigned, that's the way it is, with all the stuff we've got going on, doing it all without a label to back us up moneywise. We're all basically on our own, including Michelle our manager.

Smother - Yeah, she's doing a really good job as well. I was going to ask you about this. I know she set you up with a street team and everything and I was wondering if you guys thought that it was working out favorably?

Brian - Oh yeah the street team is doing rad. I mean they're promoting crazy stuff. I gotta give them their phat props too. Without the whole everybody doing their thing, we wouldn't be sitting here doing a freaking interview. I mean it's just cool things are going well.
Ray Ray - I thank and appreciate all our fans and supporters for liking our music and digging our music and stuff.

Smother - So what's the deal with that hidden track? Amazing Grace?

Fluckey - Yeah, they went down there to do some vocals, and Anthony used to be a singer. And he tried to sing and that's why he USED to be a singer. So he's back on the drums. It was nice. It was moving. It's a good thing he's got two sticks.

Smother - So have you guys had any label interest yet?

Brian - Well, what we're doing is going to wait until the labels contact us. We're waiting for us to have enough of a buzz to where they call us and say, "hey we want you guys" instead of us calling them and saying "will you sign us?" Ray Ray - I think we're worth something.

Smother - What kind of deal are you looking for? Is it more money related or musical freedom?

Ray Ray - I just want tour support. I want to be able to record. All you need is a chance to be heard and you can go from there.

Smother - I know you guys kind of recorded that cd release party the other day. I was wondering how that went over?

Brian - Well it kind of sucked because the audio screwed up. The video is okay but the audio is jacked. So what we're going to do is we're going to have a party here. It's an all ages party so it's gonna be crazy big. It's gonna be kind too big but we're gonna throw that on DAT.

Smother -- I heard that you guys were going to do a web cast or whatever, are you still up for that?

Brian - Yeah that's still on. That's in the works. Ray Ray - I mean it's just another chapter in what we can do. Radio, newspaper, tv, internet.

Smother - The video stuff came out pretty then, so that was a professional deal right?

Brian - Yeah, it turned out okay. We're going to have an editor edit it. So basically it'll be a video style so it's not going to be super long. But actually we're going to have too. We're going to edit it.

Smother - And make it into more of a music video basically.

Brian - Yeah definitely.
Fluckey - I don't know what song we're going to do it for yet, but a lot of people say "You" is a pretty commercial song. People like that song. I'd rather do something a little heavier, maybe "Green" or something. That's a good song; that's probably my favorite one on the album.

Smother - So I heard that you guys we're recently on Road Rules on MTV. What do you think about that?

Brian - It's a small step but a huge step for us. For us to be unsigned and to be on MTV. Although, it's small it's great. We're all like little kids when it came to that. We're a nobody band and we're all on MTV. So we're all tripped out.
Ray Ray - It's cool. It's definitely neat, but I'm looking for the big package.
Fluckey - Yeah, that's weird stuff. I mean we were in the studio and people were calling us telling us about it. We didn't know what day or whatever. I saw a tape of it, and I was like "wow that's cool". I mean I don't want to settle for that. We want that to be where we started. If you want to be successful you have to have the attitude, that wow that's cool, but you gotta want more. It becomes a cool story but it can't be the only one.

Smother - So how did you work that anyway?

Brian - Our manager sent them something. And they wrote us back and they actually sent a handwritten letter, which is very cool. They we're all like "We at MTV, loved Juice, send us more CDs." Kind of how that happened. We're really psyched.

Smother -- Do you think that once that you finish your video, they'll play it on MTV regardless of whether you're signed or not?

Brian - We don't know.

Smother - So are you doing any touring any time soon?

Brian - Yeah later on, we're going to be touring with Salmon, Tribal Disco Noise, us, and some other band that has yet to be decided on.

Smother - Oh, cool I had heard that. So is that still going to be just up and down the west coast?

Brian - Yeah, it's going to go basically from Mexico to the opposite border. It's small but hell.

Smother - Shit, for an unsigned band. So I mean that's a good deal right there. That's pretty damn successful. Speaking of being successful, have you guys been getting any radio play other than you know the normal college stations or whatever?

Brian - Actually, I personally don't know about it, but I've been told that we're on the air in lots of cities around the U.S. I mean I haven't heard us or anything.
Ray Ray - We've gotten some, but not as much as I'd like. But it's kind of what I expect. (Editor's Note -- Later on, Michelle their manager informed me, that despite the guys short memories, they are being played in California, New York, West Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, in Bakersfield on KRAB, and also in Harrisonburg, VA thanks to yours truly! Request Juice now.)

Smother - I just recently gave one of the DJs in the radio station, one of your singles. They're going to play it as often as possible, too. So it's all good. At least, you know you're for sure being played in one town.

Brian - That's rad. That's definitely good.

Smother - So with that last show that you just played was that the first show you guys had done since recording?

Brian -- Well, actually we've done a bunch of small shows just to get out there and play. It's actually been really good turnouts. Older people and then really young people. Lots of jocks and lots of cowboys believe it or not. We're really happy with everything that's going on. With the cd that took a lot of effort on our parts.

Smother - Not only financially but also emotionally. It was definitely a drain.

Brian - Now that's it done, it's just a huge relief. We just want to get out there and play. And go all over the country. If there's a will, there's a way.

Smother - So has the crowd been getting into you?

Brian - It's crazy, scary, monster pits. Stuff that I wouldn't get into. I mean talk about hell. There's huge all rotted out jocks out there freaking out. Hell yeah. I love it. I love looking out there and seeing everyone freaking. Or jumping. I love seeing everyone jumping. That's rad too.

Smother - Personally I think that your sound has really matured and developed since the first demo that I have. What do you attribute that to? Where do you point that finger at?

Brian - If I stepped outside of the band, I'd say it's the fact that we've all been really really tight the last year. As far as being best friends or even brothers even. I jumped on some guy who was all over my friend. There was this huge fight and I mean you've heard of this whole "I got your back" thing, well the whole band has that. You should have seen it. I saw this big guy all over my friend so I jumped in there. And I put him in a lock. He passed out. Then his friends jumped on me. Then the whole band jumped in. I mean that was it. So it's pretty rad. I mean that's a lot of it right there. There's no way you're going to screw around with anybody and have us be "well that's cool" - you know? That and we all go hang out. It's not a business really. Which is nice, because a lot of bands are like that, which sucks. You'll see dude, we'll be hanging out, we'll be acting like freaking idiots.
Fluckey - Just having a new guy in the band. Not to say it's all because of me, but it gives Ray more room, and me too. We can jam to one riff for hours. It's so easy to write in this band, everyone contributes. It's a cool atmosphere. We can all get in one another's shit, but we're all friends so no one takes anything personally. When someone thinks that something sucked, he can just joke about it, and it would never ever hurt my feelings. It's cool to be on one another's ass.

Smother - That's good. Yeah I really liked that one song "Seven". I liked that part with that really weird guitar sound and it all builds up and then your voice comes in, and it just slams your ass. Just listening to that and then going back to your demo. It's almost like listening to two different bands cuz you guys have just gotten so much better. And I mean I really like the demo a lot so that goes to show how much I like the CD.

Brian - Wow, thanks a lot. That means a lot. That stuff, there was a lot of stuff going on in our personal lives, and we come to the studio. That's basically the way we write. We don't say "hey that sounds cool that's play something like that." It's all about someone being pissed off and getting in a fight with their woman and then they write. So that's basically what it's about.

Smother - Aren't you just glad you have women in your life? Just so you write good music?

Brian - Exactly. Can't live with them and can't live without them.

Smother - So what's the song "Green" about?

Brian - My version of the song "Green"? My lyrics? That one is about the same girl that I wrote about on the first one. She called me back and we talked a little bit and things were like good and then they were really really bad, because nothing ever happened. So I got into a lot of drugs. And that was my way of escaping. So that's what that was about. Not dealing with feelings and loneliness and breaking of the heart the correct way. It's about drugs taking the place of the girl that just kind of aren't there and you're just kind of numb and you don't feel anything. Oh and just to get clear of things, I've been hearing a lot lately that Korn and us are fighting. That's just not true. I mean on their part I don't know, but on our part, I couldn't give a crap what. All I know is that they play they play good music. We don't talk smack, they do what they do and we do what we do. And that's the way the world works.

Smother - I know you know the guys from Orgy and there coming out with their debut pretty soon. So what you think of their music?

Brian - I've heard pieces of their music. And they're very much a mix, those guys are going to be huge. So it's rad. It's techno slash gothic, I guess.

Smother - So it sounds like their a different mix than what people normally listen to that will be going to Family Values and what-not.

Brian - Yeah definitely. They're going to be huge.

Brian - I want to give props out to Papa Roach. Those guys are rad. Hopefully we'll get to tour with them. And I wish Ryan from Orgy all the luck. He's like a brother, he's great. He deserves whatever comes to him. All the good things that's going to happen to him.

Smother - End it all off with a good joke.

Fluckey - Could it be a tasteless ethnic joke?

Smother - Sure I don't care.

Fluckey - Cool, I got one for you. I got a lot of Mexican friends, so don't get me in trouble. What do you get when you cross a little Mexican boy and a little Polock boy? A little kid that likes to spray paint his name on chain link fences.

Smother - That's pretty good. It's pretty bad but funny. Have have a wonderful practice and take it easy.

- J-Sin

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