Juice recently released their new EP, you are simply magnificent. A group of seven guys who think that genre is a restrictive social construct in 2019, Rami and Christian shared their experiences on how music became a massive part of their lives. The band’s hard work and success are depicted on their previous project Workin’ on Lovin. Chosen as Elvis Duran’s Artist of the Month in August 2018, they were also given the opportunity to perform their invigorating single Sugar on TODAY.
The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Miles Davis were some of Rami’s inspirations. His journey to become a successful artist started one Christmas when he picked up his older brother’s guitar. According to him, he eventually learned all the classic beginner guitar songs, such as the Beatles’ tunes, Smoke on the Water, and etc.
“I was maybe around 13 at the time,” Rami said. “Our neighbor Matt left his bass at our house one night, and I was immediately drawn to it. I started playing bass along with my brother Julian on guitar.”
They eventually got their little brother Omar to play drums, who ended up being a prodigy and a student at The Juilliard School. “We would jam together in the basement for fun. I’m really lucky that I was exposed to ensemble playing very early in my musical career.”
On the other hand, Christian looks up to Green Day and Kanye West. As a violinist, he spent most of his time listening to Stuff Smith, Stephane Grappelli, Peter Lee Johnson, Boyd Tinsley and the Turtle Island String Quartet.
“I’ve been told that my voice sounds a lot like Chance The Rapper’s, and I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Acid Rap and Coloring Book.”
Beyond that, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .paak, JID and Gary Clark Jr. played massive roles in helping him become the artist he is today.
“I’ve been listening to The 1975 and the Shrek soundtrack a lot lately too. Shout-out to Fashion Jackson for reminding me how awesome that is.”
The idea of writing you are simply magnificent emerged when Juice was on tour and they were sitting in the car. Christian recalled that they needed a title for the EP, so they looked everywhere for inspiration.
“We had been through some major life changes and some exhausting stretches. A lot of our writing was coming from a darker place than we were used to,” Christian stated.
“As we were driving through Georgia, we passed a billboard that said ‘you are simply magnificent’ and it was a really nice thing to see. We had some talks after that and decided it was the perfect title for our EP.”
The project explores the majority of the band’s emotions as well their individuality, however, Christian said that there’s a grand theme.
“It has to do with trying to discover who we are and learning to accept that. I hope that anybody who hears the EP can use it to find a little peace or escape when they’re feeling overwhelmed by whatever it might be.”
Rami discussed how the final version of the EP affected him emotionally. He remembers driving over the George Washington Bridge welling up while listening to the guitar solo on YASM.
“That track actually has no lyrics, but Daniel’s solo somehow conveys all the feelings of hopefulness and overcoming issues of oneself that surround the EP.”
Christian said that the band created a number of characters for the project that are sort of extreme representations of themselves.
“It’s autobiographical in the sense that we’re entirely writing about things that we’ve been thinking and feeling, but the characters are sometimes exaggerated versions of Juice members in dramatized scenarios,” he said.
He said that the message of the song could be different for all listeners. For him, it has a lot to do with learning to accept himself for who he is despite the obstacles in life that can make it more difficult.
“I think that there’s a lot of pressure in American culture to kind of lay down and just buy into the status quo,” Christian said. “At the same time, the beautiful thing about the United States is that we’re this colorful mixture of all sorts of wonderfully different people, each with our own experiences specific to us. I hope that this EP can connect with the spirit of fighting for our right to exist here as exactly who we are.”
According to Christian, the EP has an incredible range. All of them worked on the lyrics so the storytelling often comes in different colors and styles.
“We worked together to create these characters in a world where we all feel things together as Juice.”
Rami said that the band had a couple of unforgettable shows. They played a college gig at UNC Wilmington in the summer of 2018 and at Brighton Music Hall in Boston.
“It was our hometown show and the last one on a nearly 4-month long tour—the longest we’ve ever done. We drove all the way to California from New York, toured the entire coast and drove back, playing shows along the way.”
By the end of it, they were all physically and emotionally tired, but the crowd at BMH inspired them.
“I couldn’t stop smiling. I’m pretty sure Ben cried on stage. There was so much adrenaline and dopamine in my system that I couldn’t fall asleep until 6:00 AM that night,” Rami claimed.
Christian encouraged aspiring singers to constantly find ways to improve and grow by performing in more gigs and recording oneself.
“There are always difficult patches, and nobody will believe in you the way that you’ll need to believe in yourself, but in the words of Kid Cudi, ‘keep moving forward’.”
He conclusively said that pain is the best villain in the series. “People who break the rules are trash, but people who abandon their friends are worse than trash.”
Featured Image Photo Courtesy of Juice