Mininterview with Jucifer
Recently, Gazelle Amber Valentine of Jucifer answered a few questions of mine:
Since you guys have been founded as a band, you’ve been on tour with pretty much no real breaks from what I understand. Is this kind of how you planned on working as a band?
From the beginning everything we did was always structured towards playing more shows in more places. So getting rid of home ties as soon as we could made sense for us. We never wanted to do anything else as much as we wanted to play music, so we always worked to do it as much as possible.
We were around for a few years before we hit the road full time, although we always got out as much as we could… but it gets easier to stay booked on the road once you’ve been touring for awhile! We’ve lived completely in our tour vehicle for a decade now.
How many vehicles have you killed while on the road? Any amazing vehicular deaths you can remember?
We’ve never killed any that didn’t get brought back to life, one way or another. We’ve been careful and we’ve been lucky! We have had some crazy breakdowns though. Especially the ones since we’ve lived in our vehicle… because when your house breaks down, and you need it to get to your next show, it’s the scariest shit ever.
You’re pioneers in the sludge/doom duo style of band. Does it piss you off at all to see others doing what you’ve been doing?
Only when they do it without crediting us as an influence — and we know we’ve been one, because they played their first shows opening for us, or their duo formed after they saw us a bunch of times, or their three or four piece band opened for us and later became a two piece using a bunch of amps (!). Or when people talk to us about new bands as if we’d been influenced by them. Or when people heap praises on new bands for doing “innovative” things that we did years before.
As an underground band it’s understandable that lots of people don’t know our history. But to be in that kind of a band where you know you’re not gonna ever make money, and you’re fine with that, but what you expect to earn is just reputation, credit for what you’ve accomplished — and then to not be given that credit — really sucks. And sucks more when that credit isn’t given by bands that spawned on your ideas, bands that came about specifically because you exist.
It’s interesting because I have no animosity at all for certain bands that might share surface traits with us… because those certain bands aren’t ripping us off, just doing their own thing in a similar context. But some of the bands cropping up in our wake seem to have almost nothing of their own to add.
Personally I could never bite on somebody else’s ideas that hard, but I guess I’m the exception. It’s weird to me that anyone would wanna miss the opportunity to be creative and instead, jumps on something somebody else is already doing. Especially copying a band like us… shit, if you’re gonna be unoriginal, why not do a style that’s more lucrative! LOL