Juice revs up for Ithaca return
The New York City-based sextet Juice will return to Ithaca for the first time since July 2019, ready to showcase its energetic blend of rock, soul, pop, hip-hop, and R&B at Deep Dive on Saturday night.
The members of Juice – Ben Stevens (rhythm guitar, vocals), Christian Rose (vocals, violin), Kamau Burton (vocals, acoustic guitar), Daniel Moss (guitar), Rami El-Abidin (bass), and Miles Clyatt (drums) – met at Boston College in 2013 and have been playing together ever since.
“I think there's a core of similar influences in the popular music that we grew up listening to,” Rose said. “I distinctly remember sitting in the car on tour with these guys, playing songs from 2009 when were in high school and middle school and all having some of the same favorites. But the influences are different in the sense that we all have slightly different tastes in terms of what really gets us going. That sort of distinction mixed with that core is what allows us to make unique music. And that gives us something that is almost super contemporary, but also a little bit old school.”
All the members pitch in with the songwriting and arranging, though there’s not a standard process.
“It’s completely unencumbered,” Stevens said. “It allows everyone to feel creatively seen, and basically, anything's possible. That being said, there are certain things that we do see come up from time to time, like maybe Christian or Dan or I or someone will have a feeling or an idea, and we'll jam around on it.
“Or maybe it just takes shape in a very complete demo, or maybe it's just us in the shed jamming around and linking on to a certain idea or flow. In general, though, free, creative communication is the only rule.”
Juice has released a lot of music in the past four years, including its debut EP, 2018’s “Workin’ on Lovin’,” which was followed by the 2019 single “Audrey Tell Me” (its most streamed song on Spotify) and three singles in 2020: “DiCaprio (Love Me All the Time)”, “Konoha,” and “Make Pretend.”
In 2021, the band put out another three singles – “Superimposed,” “Girlfriend Song,” and “Do You Really Feel?” – followed by the album “Boy Story,” released in December 2021. And this year, Juice put out a short EP featuring two acoustic versions of songs from “Boy Story.”
For their next project, the band members have been trying to balance creating new songs while making up for all the gigs lost in 2020 and 2021.
“Recently, we've gotten into a bit of a writing phase, trying to point out what the next release might look like, what we want, and where we want to take this thing,” Stevens said. “But we've also been blessed with the ability to be touring and be super busy, so it's been a little hard to get into the studio. But there are certainly a lot of really exciting ideas on the horizon.”
“We used the pandemic to put out our last project, ‘Boy Story,’” Rose added. “But now that we’ve been doing all this touring, it’s been harder to focus on writing than when we were isolated in a space and just able to pump out songs. We're definitely getting used to the changing nature of things and the new space that everyone's in while finding the time and space to do everything.”
Juice has found success around the country, playing shows everywhere from Fort Collins, Colorado, and San Luis Obispo, California, to Boise, Idaho, and many places in between over the past year and a half.
The band has continued to evolve since its founding, both sonically and otherwise.
“There are things that exist in our sound today that have existed in our sound since the very beginning,” said Stevens. “But we've matured – we've grown as people, as songwriters, and as artists – and our life circumstances have changed, and so the music has changed to reflect that. Also, we've gotten better at the production and lyrics, and I think we've all become better individually at our crafts. And so hopefully the music has continued to evolve to reflect that, and I think it has.”
If you go
Who: Juice, with opener Max Childs
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Deep Dive
Cost: $17 in advance, available online here; $25 at the door