I caught up with up and coming band The Juice from Manchester, who are five northern lads described as ‘dishing out scally rock with a sweet pop sheen’. Starting out initially as a duo, Preston brothers Jack & Joe recorded their first two singles (Rip It Up & At Times) which in no time at all received airplay from BBC Introducing Lancashire. The lads quickly realised that to do the songs justice live, they needed more members. In stepped Louis (Lead Guitar), Ross (Bass), and Joe (Drums), making the duo a Manchester based 5-piece. The joining of the group brought together an array of influences including Ska, Punk, Rock and Hip-Hop. Jack and Joe were initially inspired by The Beatles, Britpop and the many other great bands of North West England, the lads are finding their own space with the influences each member brings to the table.
In the short space of a few months, The Juice were sharing stages with the likes of Glass Caves, Sugarstone, Callow Youth and Chris Helme (The Seahorses), and are looking forward to This Feeling shows with bands such as Cavalcade when live music returns which hopefully will be soon!
Hi guys, please introduce yourselves to our readers, who you are and how you formed?
Hi, we’re The Juice, 5 lads living/based in Manchester. It was originally Joe & Jack (brothers from Preston) but then we reached out online as we wanted to be in a band and up stepped Ross & Leachy (Bass & Drums) from Oldham and Louis (Lead Guitar) from Harrogate.
What style of music would you describe yourself as and what influences do you draw upon?
It’s always hard to describe yourself, as stated we’ve been described as scally rock with a sweet pop sheen and that’s what we’ve been running with! Half of us love The Beatles and half of us don’t, but the half that love The Beatles write the songs so that influence finds it’s way through. 60s guitar music, 90s guitar music, new wave and post punk influence what we do the most.
How have things been for you over the lockdown/tier fiasco? What has been the most challenging?
It’s been bizarre, half the time we’ve not known if we’ve been able to rehearse or not! We’ve not been able to gig for a year pretty much, and when we were recording the latest tunes we were masked up. 4 of the lads have already had the dreaded covid so it’s been dead weird.
What are your feelings about the current situation and its impact on live music and venues?
Frustrating is how we would describe it. We’re just desperate to play live, we’re rehearsing and rehearsing but nothing replaces that feeling of gigging. We keep seeing stories of venues closing and even those that are surviving are only scraping by, and without the smaller venues there are no new bands. Bands don’t just start playing arenas, so these places matter big-time.
Do you think there has been enough help for the industry throughout the crisis?
We don’t think so, as it isn’t just bands and artists that make up the music industry, there are so many jobs linked in the industry that aren’t getting the support they need. Two of our lads work in the music events industry and unfortunately one of them was made redundant, so we know first hand the impact it’s had.
2020 has been understandably riddled with a lot of negativity, what was some positives for you in 2020?
Being able to get in the studio and record the 3 singles that are going to be coming out was great in what was a frustrating year. With the 5 of us we’re so much happier with the sound of these new tunes and can’t wait for everyone to hear them. With there being no gigs we’ve also been able to hone our sound and experiment more with the songs. The process usually is Jack goes away, writes a song and brings it to the table but more and more we’re starting to create stuff as a 5 from scratch which means more variety in the tunes.
Tell me about your most recent please or upcoming single/album…
We’ve released our third single, and first as a 5 piece called ‘Tell Me Tina’. It’s a pretty classic theme about a breaking relationship but we’ve given it a bit of punch and it’s one that’s gonna stay in your head. You can watch the video here.
What’s the best venue you’ve played so far and what’s would be your dream venue to play after Covid-19?
The Dublin Castle in Camden was pretty special, knowing Madness and Amy Winehouse regularly played there was great. Leachy loved Gorilla, Ross loved The Grand in Clitheroe and Louis as a Yorkshireman loved The Wardrobe in Leeds. Shout out to The Ferret in Preston too. We’d love to play at Castlefield Bowl. We watched Blossoms there a couple years ago in the summer and it was class.
Favourite festival you’ve played or want to play and why?
Any we’re not fussy ha. Seriously though Glastonbury and Leeds Festival would be the dreams, one day…
What tune should readers listen to right now of yours that sums you up the best?
At Times, people seem to resonate with the lyrics and it perfectly sums up our ‘Phase One’ before we became a 5. The sound with the upcoming singles is quite noticeable.
What can we look forward to from you in 2021?
Initially the 3 new tunes are going to be released as singles, then as soon as we can we’re just going to be gigging and gigging and gigging some more. We’ve missed it!
THE JUICE NEW SINGLE ‘TELL ME TINA’ IS AVAILABLE NOW: https://linktr.ee/thejuicemusic