Bluejuice retire the sweatbands and club shows

Bluejuice have been one of Australia’s favourite acts for the last decade, calling clubs in every city their home. Their extensive career has seen them play major slots at Splendour in the Grass, Big Day Out and tour the country endlessly with their infectious music. Jake Stone, lead singer of Bluejuice took the time before their Retrospectable farewell tour to talk to Kyle Butcher about costumes, awesome moments in Bluejuice’s lifespan and their humble beginnings as a band.
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The first time I saw Bluejuice live, they jumped around the stage sporting neon sweatbands and bright outfits. Their music was catchy and their energy contagious. Their most interesting costume was without a doubt their getup at 2014’s Big Day Out.

“Big Day Out’s costume was horrible! Out of all of the costumes we’ve worn, they were the most uncomfortable,” Jake said.

“They were uncomfortable to wear and the most horrible of the lot! We wanted to do a thing for marriage equality and we felt like that was an issue to talk about. I wanted to try and get something that looked a bit like the Wembley Stadium outfit Freddie Mercury wore, but it ended up being nothing like that at all. We just had some moustaches and some slightly offensive but broadly homosexual outfits. It’s impossible to look attractive in what we were wearing. Nobody can look good in a gold lycra, scoop fronted unitard with pink g-strings. Every day we went out and hoped we were ready to put on the costumes again, because this is the ongoing demoralization of the band (laughs). The best part of the outfit was that you could tear away the pants. For the club shows we’re going to be wearing skivvies.”

“The reputation of the band was never made on the back of our costumes. It was made through hectic, sweaty club shows and that’s what we want to do for our Retrospectable tour. We might put on some glow stuff but we won’t be wearing any crazy shit like we have before,” Jake said.

“We started in 2001 as a club band, but we weren’t serious. I was working on a labouring job at the time and my friend co-owned The Brag, and suggested I did some writing for them and I was the smart ass. So I signed up and I started interviewing bands and that, and eventually I became a staff writer there. I don’t really know what specific event started us off, but I turned up to a gig and it was a jam and we met up there. A lot of the bands we were friends with didn’t like us as a band,” Jake said.

Bluejuice have been fortunate enough to play on lineups with artists such as British rockers Muse, Coldplay, Bloc Party and tonnes of other incredible acts. No surprises then that Stone struggled to think of his favourite moment with Bluejuice.

“There have been so many. The most recent one probably would be recording with Dan Hume who just finished recording the Sticky Fingers’ latest record. I’ve loved collaborating and mixing with him,” he said.

“A long time ago we did a show called The Sideshow with Josh Thomas which was our first TV appearance and that was really fun. Another incredible memory was playing Splendour in the Grass the year The Strokes played, that was an incredible festival.”

When Stone compares playing at a festival to playing in smaller venues he reflects on the countless gigs Bluejuice have played.

“They’re very different things. If you play a festival, you either kill or you die, and that is what festivals are like. You have one chance, and it’s either incredible or it’s shit. We’re a club band. People might think we’re a festival band because they’ve seen us at Australian festivals, but ultimately we are a club band. We work best in a 200-1000 person club where it’s just hot and sweaty, probably a bit too loud in there and I think that it’s basically the place Bluejuice lives. In saying that I wouldn’t take back playing festivals, they have been incredible.”

It is sad to see Bluejuice’s career come to a close, but at least they aren’t disappearing with a fizzle. Bluejuice have booked an incredible tour spanning three months and 22 shows.

The Retrospectable touris going to be one hell of a close to one of Australia’s best bands this millennium, and you can catch them at Coolangatta Hotel on Wednesday 3 September.

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