Like any good journalist, I spend the week before an interview preparing with a ritual of research and ruthless investigation. While scoping out the Toronto band JUICE, I was struck by youthful faces, bold sounds, and above all else, a strong sense of ambition. The combination of whopping brass with poppy-rock and suggestions of soulful jazz buzzed in my ears and prickled my curiosity. I had to know more. Who are these guys and what is their story?
Simply put, JUICE is a group of six hunky dudes who have crazy different backgrounds in music, yet come together to make sweet sounds that induce riots on the dance floor. Meet Tom Hanley, lead guitarist and vocalist who moonlights in multiple Bollywood projects, Kyle Woodard, master of the woodwinds and musicals, and Max Stanutz (aka The Dreamy One) on the trumpet. There is also Claudio Santaluce on drums, who is currently releasing his seventh solo organetto album, Craig Clemens on keys and vocal and the one behind the bands reddit phenomenon and finally, Andrew Wright on bass, the one the other band members lovingly call ‘creature’. The boys met while attending Humber’s School of Music, playing together in various ensembles and projects until they stopped jamming to other people’s songs and started making their own. Together, they are a juicy combination of smooth operators whose groovy tunes and punchy music videos are contagious. It is almost impossible to pin down exactly what genre this band occupies as they blend their talents into an impressive arrangement of vocals, brass, strings and woodwinds. However, what remains at the band’s core is a certain tenacious hold on composition and musicality that is “oh so refreshing” and positively infectious.
It is easy to see how the band united. The guys are incredibly close and comfortable around each other, laughing and teasing while asserting their strong temperaments. Their online presence matches their larger than life personalities, which is exactly why a link to JUICE’s bandcamp went viral on the website reddit last fall. When Clemens casually responded to an invitation to share the band’s music, the boys never expected their website and songs to blow up online, erupting in massive exposure and hundreds of thousands of hits to their website. The band has connected to music lovers far and wide, reaching audiences in Spain, Argentina, Atlanta, Georgia and Melbourne, Australia – all pretty incredible for a band that has never played outside of the province.
Their newfound fans from across the globe give insight into their infectious sound and diligent work ethic to self-promote. The group maintains a “nose to the grindstone” policy, playing gigs constantly while maintaining a fresh presence and creativity to their live shows. JUICE works hard, plays hard, and always looks like they are having the time of their lives. Whether serenading large crowds at the Beaches Jazz Festival or in a smaller bar venue like the Horseshoe Tavern, JUICE brings an undeniable energetic presence to their live shows. And with the release of their feature album Hit the Ground Running and an upcoming tour across Ontario and Atlantic Canada, JUICE is beyond ready to cause some heat waves and get you into the groove.
WORDS: LAUREN CULLEN
PHOTOS: ISAAC ZELUNKA
THE BUSINESS OF PARTY – PITBULL EVENTS – STEVE PALMER & FRANCIS GAUDREAULT Next Post:
EDITOR’S LETTER – ISSUE 8