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Jucifer 1

Thanks alot for taking the time to answer these questions. I must say, I did some extensive touring around Europe and the US, but going on tour every year, for a whole year...having the same line-up and relationship since 1993, it's almost unreal. I mean, I don't know if people realise the psichological impact an extensive tour has, especially in the underground. How do you manage all the pressure, touring...being constantly on the road?

 

Thank you for having us! Yeah, it is a massive impact on your brain and your body too, and I think you're right that people don't always take into consideration how hard it can be. Of course it's amazing being able to play the music that you love, and to meet great people as you travel, and to see the world. We never take those parts lightly, and are super aware that we've been very fortunate to be able to find support for what we do.

At the same time, it's a strenuous and sometimes merciless feeling existence. You can begin to feel that the whole thing is impossible. I think we'd be unable to do this at such a constant level if we didn't have each other. We have each other's back, always, and we're both pretty strong and stubborn people. Not always good characteristics, haha, but in context of the stress and work of endless touring, those traits serve us. And we love being together, which is key. Besides that, we're still just completely in love with playing music. After the worst day in the worst week --- and we've had some really brutal ones --- it still feels like redemption to play.

Since we're on this topic, is NOMADS: Build To Destroy out yet? What's the whole concept behind the project? And I think you're also the editor on that.

The film's not finished yet, partly because there is so much material to sort through as we're choosing what goes in. And partly because yeah, I am the editor. So it's a struggle to find time on the road. We have made some further progress since releasing the long trailer, but still have work ahead of us. I guess that's kind of appropriate to the concept, which is essentially bringing the viewer into our world as we live this weird chaos life. We'd like to give people a sense of both the glorious and traumatic sides of touring in this manner. To let someone watching understand how something that is often painful, can be also totally addictive. Or vice versa, to let them see that what's perceived as a romantic fantasy way of living, is actually much more difficult than they'd imagined.

Most of Jucifer is created in the good old fashion DIY, what do you think this concept means in 2017? What has changed in the DIY term in, let's say, the last 15 years?

Wow, I think that's such a great but confounding question! I mean, perhaps it's rather simple to answer --- as you could say, things are easier to make and share than ever due to the internet connecting us all. But when you begin to consider how the world seems to be trending more towards repressive policies, and its wealth being distributed ever more heavily to an ever smaller elite, then maybe the answer looks more complicated. Maybe there's a certain loss of innocence, but countered by a strengthened resolve? And a continued loss of resources --- at least in "meatspace" --- but simultaneously a more emphatic desire for community?

One thing that strikes everyone is the famous wall of sound. I'm curious, how do you move the whole equipment when it comes to touring Europe? Or do you have aseparate backline stored somewhere in Europe and you just use it when touring on the continent?

Speaking of resources and DIY, haha. We're not able to own more than one wall of sound, and wouldn't be able to afford to ship our rig a.k.a. 'The White Wall' overseas. So in Europe and elsewhere beyond North America, we travel with rented backline and ask that promoters augment that whenever possible. Sometimes we get to play through a fairly comparable setup. I think a few shows on this year's EU tour are making special plans to do their best approximation! --- but in general, outside our own continent we're just doing what we do with a smaller rig. It turns out to be fine, because as most Europeans probably know, there are a lot of venues with sound level restrictions or in really ancient streets where bringing a huge vehicle isn't possible. So what might feel like a really small setup for us in the US, is almost too much around Europe.

And then again, why so many cabs? Looking at some pictures, there are over 30 cabs on stage.

Yeah, about 30 cabs is typical when we're with our own gear. We own about 40, and usually exchange some that need repair for others that've been in the shop about once a year. Then depending on venue and stage size, we may use fewer, but 20 cabs is generally minimum. One reason to have many cabs is to have many amps, hence many sounds at once. I love to cover all of the frequencies one would hope to have from a couple guitars and a couple of basses. And as a collector of amps that run at 2ohms, I need multiple cabs that can create that load to get their optimal sound.

The other big reason is that we both like to be surrounded by the whole frequency spectrum. It's something club monitors aren't able to provide --- they can't generally handle a lot of bass, for example --- and also allows us put exactly the cabs we each prefer hearing on the part of the stage where we'll be as we play. For me that's everywhere, so cabs across the whole stage is ideal. And building them into a high wall, besides being good mind and body exercise, means we can fit more cabs onto smaller stages. That lets us keep the sound more consistently what we want from venue to venue. Of course when we're overseas it's very different looking and less powerful, but still a similar way of blending multiple sounds. And apparently often still "too loud" haha.

I also read that you're a big fan of altering almost every piece of gear. I'm curious if there are certain guidelines you follow for every pedal..like I want this to sound like this, etc. Was it a self learning process?

Yeah everything I know how to do has been kind of a learning-by-doing process. I'm fairly impatient about orthodoxy and "how to" manuals... I'd rather dive in. With sound gear of course you have to understand how not to destroy it, and what it requires to run its best. But beyond that I like to experiment. I really know what I personally like to hear, and that's what I always tell people who're just starting to play is most important. Think about what you like and keep tweaking stuff until you hear it. To me that's so rewarding compared to the more typical, do x to sound like guitarist y from band z.

Recent albums have had a very clear message, Distric Of Dystopia seems very politically-driven and it relates very well with the current situation worldwide. Do youalready have the concept for the next album?

Thank you, yeah we weren't exactly hoping for District of Dystopia to feel so relevant! Alas. And we do, we are already in progress of making the next album.

Is it still a thing for people to witness a difference between the studio Jucifer and live Jucifer? I've noticed that people who are seeing you for the first time are quite 'shocked' to see the live setting is different. Was this planned in the beginning or it just happened?

Yeah, I think there are plenty of people who haven't done the research to know about all the variety to songs we've recorded versus the sometimes unfathomably different variety of songs from our live show. Even though we've had this diversity for nearly a quarter century now, it's something a person could really easily miss if they were just casually googling or on youtube. When we went in to record our first 'real' album, back in 1995, we talked about whether we should only put in songs that we were playing live (like Long Live the King, Ruin and Pink Chiffon, Code Escovedo) or whether we should make the album more free to move through styles, like a soundtrack --- which in our minds it was. We knew this would be confusing to people's expectations and we knew that would be bad for us as far as "making it" or something. But we decided that for us, to do the art the way we envisioned it was the main goal.

And for us the making of an album is a different type of art than the planning of a setlist. So to answer you, I guess it's both. It just happened that we had these different kinds of ideas that could be confusing to someone checking out our band, but it was planned to follow them anyway. In the last couple of albums we've chosen to record based more on our live style --- probably because we got a lot of our "playing" with studio tools out of our systems on earlier ones --- and it's been hilarious to realize that finally, after all this time in this band, we play sets full of songs from albums, that audiences can actually recognize. You know, that thing that 99% of bands do for their entire existence. Haha.

 

Looking back on this way of life, the decisions you made, is there anything you would've done different?

There are lots of decisions that turned out in a different way than we thought, sometimes better, sometimes in a disappointing way. That's life I think. But we see the past as a road that brought us here, to the present. And we really love where we are, and are excited at everywhere we still want to go. So no, we wouldn't change anything.

This year you're coming back to Romania to play at Rockstadt Extreme Fest. Obviously you're not a stranger to Romania, but you are performing at the biggest metal open air event here. There will definetly be alot of people seeing you for the first time, so what should they expect from Jucifer and what does Jucifer expect from the crowd here?

We're very stoked to play Rockstadt Extreme! We love Romania and open air fests in general, plus there are a lot of great bands on this one. And it looks like such a beautiful setting. We expect an awesome crowd who'll be having an amazing weekend, and probably just as stoked as we are to be there! For people seeing us the first time, I'd say expect for the songs to move fast through a lot of different extreme sounds that are all intended to make you wanna throw yourself around or break shit. In our opinion the greatest feeling live music can give. We can't wait! Thank you very much, see you soon \m/

ROCKSTADT EXTREME FEST takes place between the 10th and 13th of August and it has become the biggest metal festival in South Eastern Europe. All info can be found on www.rockstadtextremefest.ro or on www.facebook.com/rockstadtextremefest/



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REF 2014: Meet and greet


REF 2014: Ziua 1


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REF 2014: Public


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