INTERVIEW: Bluejuice (AUS), February 2009

The guys from Bluejuice are one of the best bands to interview. I’ve done it a few times over the years and it’s always a treat – they’re great people, a hard-working band with an outstanding sense of humour and a great set of stories. This was my first interaction with them in that regard, being for The Big O festivities (remember that?). This was also why I spoke to Ben Lee around the same time, albeit accidentally.

Like the Owen Pallett chat, this was done via email; so I had next to no control over it beyond the questions. I was very happy with the results, however. This has dated quite well; what with the MySpace references at all. Good times. So, here is a Q & A of sorts with the band’s bassist, Jamie Cibej; as well as their dearly departed keyboard player, Jerry Craib.

– DJY, April 2014


2008 has been and gone; how was it in the Bluejuice camp?
Jerry: 2008 was incredible. We played at over 20 festivals, which was a real privilege… for them. Obviously.

Your Homebake 2008 performance was a fucking triumph; has to be said. That must have really been the icing on the cake for you guys, playing on the main stage of such a big Australian festival?
Jamie: Ha ha – a ‘triumph.’ We don’t have triumphs; we have slow, grinding victories, but thank you. It was amazing to play the main stage at Homebake. It was Ned’s last show with the band, which made things a little sad. The intense heat liquefying our genitals also made things a little sad.

How have things gone since Ned’s departure? Newb settling in well?
Jerry: Our new drummer James Hauptmann has settled in better than a moment of unintentional irony in an Australian reality TV show.

Jamie: Ned was a dead weight. He’s currently in Guatemala extorting crop yields from peasant farmers, or something equally shameful. Booooooo! Hissssss! (Hi Ned.)

When are we going to get to hear some new material from you guys?
Jerry: A new single – very soon. An album – in a couple of months. A Christmas album – end of the year. Best Of – fairly soon after that.

The Big O tour is just around the corner. Are you excited about these shows?
Jerry: My work colleague Lorin asks me that question every day. “Are you excited about such and such..?” No Lorin, I’m not. Not usually until it’s the same morning or at least the same week of the event. Premature excitement is a fool’s game. Of course we’re excited. Put your hands in the air, bitches.

How many of the ‘Juice camp actually attended uni? Will any of the shows bring back some old memories?
Jamie: I’m not sure exactly – I think three of us finished Bachelors of Uselessness. I did mine via correspondence, so I have no memories of campus life. I assume all universities are like those in American frathouse comedies from the 1980s. Bikini water fights and such.

I recently interviewed Ben Lee and he hadn’t heard of you guys before. How do you think you’ll introduce yourselves?
Jerry: Who’s Ben Lee? Catchy name.

Jamie: I hear he digs flowers – maybe we’ll bring him a bunch. Plus, Stav and I have both been to India, so maybe we can break the ice by talking about gurus or burning ghats or aloo palak.

After that comes the Bacardi Express tour. What is the band’s stance on that kind of product placement involved with live music?
Jerry: Let me just take a minute from this FasterLouder interview to have sip of my Toby’s Estate coffee and relax in my Wilkhahn office chair.

Jamie: I dunno – it’s not like the music industry is any less obsessed with capitalist whoring than the alcoholic beverage industry. It kind of depends on the manner of the product placement. There have been a few alcohol company events we’ve done which turn out to be poorly-planned, poorly-attended soulless exercises in shameless plugging. But at least this Bacardi thing has a good idea behind it, and as far as I know it’s free for the (overage) kiddies.

Your four top MySpace friends are Dostoevsky, Erik Satie, Captain Planet and Avril. Who would win in a fatal four-way for the title?
Jamie: Everybody knows that Captain Planet doesn’t kill people, so that puts him at a disadvantage. Avril is too frail for mortal combat. I don’t know too much about Satie’s physical condition (when alive), but if his melancholic minimalist tunes are anything to go by, he’d be a pushover. Dostoevsky lived through a mock execution, and was sent to a Siberian prison – I think he’d know how to handle those other sissies.

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