Chat with the Band: Bluejuice

Thursday, 23 October, 2014

Bluejuice have decided to call it quits after 13 years of sequined leotards, crowd surfing and questionable antics. The indie rock band is touring the country to say goodbye and release their final album, Retrospectable. Bassist Jamie Cibej reminisces about costumes, their days of acid-jazz and recording their final song.

How did Bluejuice begin?

I formed the band with our old drummer Ned, and we played in a dodgy pub I worked at. It was an instrumental band for a few months, blissfully devoid of vocalists. Just imagine, if Jake and Stav had never shown up, we could have been playing interminable single-key jams forever.

How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard of you?

Our music is like porridge: black and full of razor blades. Our music is like a small dog: ovoid and French speaking. Seriously though, I don’t know anymore.

Did you find it hard to record “I’ll Go Crazy”, knowing this is the end?

We actually recorded the soppy “No Time For Tears” after “I’ll Go Crazy”, and given how comparatively upbeat “I’ll Go Crazy” is, it was quite fun to record. This whole ‘knowing it’s the end’ thing is quite unreal at the moment anyway. I don’t think I’ll actually believe it’s the end until I’m sitting at home in my underpants eating whole wheels of cheese and realising I don’t have to go to rehearsal.

Why have you decided to call it quits after all of these years?

Precisely because it has been ‘all of these years’. After 13 years of slugging it out, it’s been difficult to collectively muster up the energy to keep recording and to keep forcing people to pay attention.

Do you think your music has developed over the years?

Oh yes! I listened to a cassette tape recording I’d made of our very first show in 2001—it was basically acid-jazz. Then once Jake and Stav turned up we became something of a hip hop band. Then we decided singing was a good idea, which brought us to pop music. That was more or less the progression.

You’ve done some pretty crazy stuff with skipping ropes, crowd surfing and some terrifying dance moves. Have you ever been injured or gotten into trouble?

Apart from bloodying my fingers all the time and crying at the end of the “Broken Leg” video shoot, I’ve never been injured, though Jake has broken several bones and the cops have taken him away for various things.

What’s your favourite costume and have you ever had a major wardrobe mishap?

Our yeti suits probably looked the best, though they were impossibly hot to play in. You could argue that the decision to start wearing costumes in the first place was a mishap.

Do you have trouble adjusting to regular clothes after all of the flared pants and sequined leotards?

You never realise just how good pants are until you’re stuck in a moist-groined leotard.

What are you going to miss the most?

I think that once the band has finished, I’m going to miss having people hurl water bottles and glow sticks at me. Maybe I can get a girlfriend to do that.

Does the end of Bluejuice mean the end of all your shenanigans?

I doubt it somehow. We have some pretty deep-seated emotional maturity issues.

What advice would you give to your younger selves?

Your haircuts are shit. Actually, that advice still applies today.

So, what now?

To be honest, I don’t really know. Forging new paths, something about new horizons, greener pastures, seizing the day—all that stuff. Oh, and sitting at home in our underpants eating wheels of cheese.