After 13 years of broken bones, broken hearts, sore heads, passive aggression, regular aggression, several arrests, questionable skin infections, and a busload of infuriated tour managers, Bluejuice are calling it quits. For Jake Stone, who has been at the helm since early 2001, this is very much the end of an era.
‘There is a lot of sadness and excitement. This final tour is sure to go well but none of us really knows what is going to happen after that.’
So why is one of Australia’s most loved indie rock acts calling it a day? According to Jake it’s as much about growing up, moving on, and people’s lives changing as it is about anything.
‘Stav has two kids and he doesn’t want to keep going.’
There is a certain grief in ending any relationship, let alone the creative partnership of young men forged on the Aussie rock circuit.
‘I think losing the band is going to be very very hard. I don’t really know what I am going to do and having had a terrible break-up in my life before (romantically) I imagine it will be a bit like that.
‘I have never had a relationship that has lasted 13 years so it’s a bit scary letting this go. I don’t know what will happen and also I suspect that if we didn’t do it now, we wouldn’t be getting the attention we are getting for I’ll Go Crazy.
‘It’s a really good song and it’s getting traction, but as you get older in the industry people perceive you to be a certain age at a certain time, and they start to perceive also that people have heard you so they don’t want you around.
‘It’s kind of a problem in Australia because it’s such a small market. In a bigger market you would be afforded a greater longevity; any band with a platinum record like we have overseas has enough money and enough audience to carry on.
‘In fact you would end up with millions of people who want to see you. It’s harder here because there’s just not the numbers to support your career once you’ve gone off the Triple J radar.’
Stone doesn’t believe that Triple J’s new Double J, the digital ‘older groovy listener’ radio, is doing anything for artists or acts such as his.
‘I actually think it’s a bad thing; it pushes the people who would be having a continuing career on Triple J into a format that they are comfortable with – off regular rotation and in the company of all the other new music that’s out there.
‘Double J has just created a ghetto that takes older people off the radio – while at the same time placating them because they are still ‘having radio play’ – it just means you are in a format no-one listens to!’
Bluejuice have always pushed the limits, forging their own brand of punk hop and ska-tinged pounding disco for their loyal followers.
As for the Bluejuice career highlights, Stone admits there are too many to list, although going to the US to film the video clip for I’ll Go Crazy was definitely one of them. After their timid entry onto the music scene as an instrumental act, Bluejuice are determined to go out with a bang.
Retrospectable is a retrospective album that pulls together the best of their playlist and is being backed up with Retrospectable: The Farewell Tour.
Catch Bluejuice at The Northern, Byron Bay, on Saturday. Tix at www.oztix.com.au.