Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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JUBE: Keep Rising!

JUBE interview
JUBE interview JUBE interview

As someone in a famous TV show once said… "And now for something completely different!" When describing JUBE, it's a similar descriptive analogy which comes to mind but not in an alternative or outlandishly different way, far from it. The genres of jazz, soul, pop and funk which the band cross-pollinate we know oh-so-well individually, but it's the difference in the group's approach to creating their deftly mixed sound, plus confidence in their ability and a refreshing ethos which elevates their talent above any pretenders. Converse with them and you get the feeling they aren't in this for the short term, as their latest organic music-making process goes to show, would you believe it's taken 12-years to get their err, 'new' album "As One Door Closes…" finished to their standard. Sure, it's a long time but boy-O-boy it's been worth the wait!

JUBE's label, aptly named Freshly Squeezed, set the group's stall out in an almost antihero-esque kind of way, while confirming my previous observations as I read their bio, it goes on to state this isn't just one of those "attention-grabbing" bands and this isn't just one of those records". Again, we are in total agreement so what about their story? Well, they formed in Sheffield around the considerable talents of core duo Julie Clarkson on guitar/vocals and Bennett Holland on keys/vocals - the band's name, JUBE, was also formed around the couple, this time it was their names! How romantic! Yes, they are together! I'll let you work out who used what letter from who's name. Some 15-years-ago 2 band members became 4 with the addition of Darren Campbell on bass guitar and Richard Storer on drums.

I was lucky enough to catch up with JUBE recently, to find out all about their debut album, what makes the band tick and of course, the elephant in the room…why did it take them sooooo long to record their album? As you can imagine, after 12-years, the founding twosome were dying to tell me all about it!

Where did you meet?

BENNETT: We met in July 2001 at Red Tape Studios in Sheffield, which is a music industry training centre with recording studios and rehearsal rooms. It was very much a hub back then for bands and local talent coming out of the woodwork. We used to perform at open mic nights around then, of which there were many and we both played in local bands in different venues around Sheffield.

Can you tell me how the other members of the band came to join?

BENNETT: Darren and Richard joined us on the first recording sessions in 2005 and started playing a few gigs with us from then. Darren was in Weekend Players (Groove Armada side project) with me. We toured together in that band, including festival performances at Glastonbury etc and toured the States and Canada supporting Groove Armada. I had known Richard since we were 11-years-old and had always played music together from that age, before that, we played in a local acid-jazz style band in our teens called The Tranceplants. In 2005 the name JUBE was conceived and we would play gigs as a four-piece and also as a two-piece. The core is and always has been the two of us but we feel very lucky to have two amazing and very talented friends performing on the album.

Could you tell me about the JUBE song composing process?

BENNETT: We're both singer-songwriters so to speak and we're always playing around with ideas but Julie is the main songwriter on this album. I wrote "Drag" and wrote the music for "People" and "Inside". Julie writes the songs on her own with an acoustic guitar and then works on the arrangement with myself, I then add keys and backing vocals, before bringing the songs to Darren and Richard who would add their flavour and groove.

JULIE: The subject material for the songs generally forms from day to day frustrations or joys, surroundings and circumstances. The usual ups and downs of life. We both try to work through and resolve some of our issues in our writing.

The single “Everything” (release date TBA) and album "As One Door Closes…" is out now on Freshly Squeezed Music

You can read more from Blues & Soul Editor Lee Tyler's exclusive interview with B&S one to watch and hotly-tipped jazz/soul/pop/funk act JUBE, including why it took 12-years to make their impressive debut album "As One Door Closes...". All in the latest issue of Blues & Soul magazine - click the 'BUY NOW' link below to order straight from the B&S shop or read on for high street retailer details...

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