Juke Kartel

Juke Kartel: The Interview

Australian rock phenoms Juke Kartel just finished recording their debut for Carved Recordings in LA, titled Levolution, it promises a rollicking good time of rock and scorching melodies. Produced by Brian Virtue (Jane's Addiction, Velvet Revolver, 30 Seconds to Mars and Chevelle) and the famed Rick Parashar (Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Nickelback). The album will spotlight six new tracks as well as six more from their 2009 Australian only CD, Nowhere Left to Hide. 'It s about the journey we re all on', quotes vocalist/lyricist Toby Rand as the album finds it's musical parity in strong hooks, multi-textured instrumentals and passionate vocal styling.

SHAKEFIRE: What has been the biggest adjustment moving from Australia to LA?
JUKE KARTEL: I guess it's the difference in mentality. LA is constantly buzzing and i find so many creative outlets here. I have found a city where i feel most comfortable expressing myself without judgement. LA is the melting pot of the world's entertainment, it's here we have been put in front of the most amazing,creative people. Getting used to the basics of the different paced lifestyle has been difficult at times, but I have learnt how to make LA work at my own speed.

SF: How has been driving on the “Right side” of the road treating you?
JK: Not a problem at all...it's crossing the road that sometimes catches me out.
SF: What do you guys think is the biggest misconception Americans have about Australians/Australia?
JK: The common questions are "Do you have Kangaroos in your house?" or "You guys are crazy living with all those deadly animals, how many times have you almost been killed?" haha, it's humourous...as i've seen more deadly creatures in LA in the last 2 yrs, then i have in Australia in 28!!
SF: What is your favorite thing about America so far?
JK: My favourite thing about the US is the positive attitude and uplifting energy. Americans definitely make you rise and achieve. I also love that everything is large!
SF: What is the most listen to music on your IPod(s)?
JK: I would say U2, but generally i have my ipod on shuffle...i love so many different varieties of music. My ipod is one of my best friends.

SF: What are the bands (Musical) influences?
JK: We have been influenced by bands such as U2, Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, Live, Pearl Jam...it's hard to say. I feel our 'Levolution' album isn't any of these bands...it's Juke Kartel.

SF: Seeing that you have toured with Nickelback/Ozzy/Slash etc, have you “geeked out” over any of the bands you toured with?
JK: Playing the Quart Music Festival in Norway '09 where we opened up for Slash & Friends (Ozzy, Ronnie Wood, Fergie, Jason Bonham, John 5 all performed a very special 2 hour show with Slash that evening…. It was a surreal experience to be a part of that. 
SF: Who is your favorite band of all time?
JK: U2 is my number one. They have consistently recreated themselves album after album...going from early punk, to stadium rock....Bono's lyrics are touching and powerful and the musicianship makes me feel alive.
SF: Where did the name of the Album come from?
JK: 'Levolution' is a word i created. It means 'Understanding the process of life by evolving to new or greater levels'...we have been faced with many goals to rise to and concur and the word Levolution sums up our band life. I am so fuckin proud of 'Levolution'....it is a culmination of our band's journey over the last few years and really tells stories of evolution we have undertaken. It has acoustic driven songs, heavy rock, and melodic sonics. So rewarding to hold the finish product and see everything we've poured into the album.

SF: Do you have a good road story you (are allowed) to share?
JK: Yeah, In Buffalo on tour, we were stumbling back from a boozey night at a strip club, and our tour bus was parked in a city street. So we were fucking around in the snow and drinking, when gunshots rung out. There were shouts of 'hit the deck' but i wanted to see what was happening (beer makes me invincible). Anyhow I watched a gunfight between rival gangs literally pass by our bus...I can still smell the gunpowder

SF: What tracks on your new album did you guys enjoy creating the most?
JK: Soulshaper was recorded live....so the essence is real and i remember my whole body was covered in shivering goosebumps as i sang. I really loved creating all the tracks, but putting together 'Bullet Wearing Trademark Clothes' was so rewarding. It has all the elements to a great, current rock song. The breakdown is epic...and i remember singing the backing vocals with the boys and thinking how magical it's going to sound on the album. And i was right.

Interview by Dave Chobanoff