Thursday night at Battle of the Bands, Juice took home first place. In this interview, the band members, including Christian Rougeau, A&S ’17; Jack Godfrey, A&S ’14; Ben Stevens, CSOM ’17; Miles Clyatt, A&S ’17; Chris Vu, A&S ’17; and Daniel Moss, A&S ’17 answer some questions about their experience. Two members, Kamau Burton and Michael Ricciardulli, both A&S ’17, couldn’t make it, but were there in spirit.
Heights: Did you play an instrument in high school, or were you part of a band?
Rougeau: I did a lot of that stuff like that in high school—I’ve been playing the violin since I was three.
[They all laugh as Godfrey approaches the interview, out of nowhere]
I actually moved from South Bend, Indiana to Westin, Massachusetts halfway through high school. So when I was in South Bend I was in a band at Notre Dame and we had the opportunity to open for their version of Modstock, which happens at the beginning of the year—so that was pretty cool. And I wasn’t really in a specific band when I was in Massachusetts, although I had a couple of side projects and stuff.
Godfrey: Well, yeah—not at my school, but I played in my church band as one of the music leaders. I played piano and a little bit of drums, guitar, bass, and we had another band as well where we played at birthday parties.
Stevens: In high school I played the cello and I was in a choir, and I was actually the drummer/singer of a band in the ninth grade. I mostly, like Jack, played and sang in church.
Heights: How did you all meet?
Daniel: Okay, so first me and my roommate Miles, the drummer—oh wait, there he is…
[Clyatt approaches the interview, again out of nowhere]
…met on the Agora portal and then we jammed in our room for a pretty long time, which we still do. Then we found Christian, who brought in the Upper boys, which are Chris Vu and Mike Ricciardulli.
Godfrey: I was in English class with Miles during the first semester and then we realized that we both play instruments.
Stevens: I kinda just hopped on the bandwagon.
[They all laugh.]
Rougeau: I knew Kamau from orientation, and we decided to do BC Idol, and Ben was doing BC Idol with Chris Vu, and we all decided to jam. And then we made this sort of super-group where the winners of BC Idol mixed with the second place winners of BC Idol and we formed the best jam band on campus.
Heights: All right, I’ll definitely quote that.
Rougeau: Oh no, no, don’t say I said “the best.”
[Sorry boys, I’m a reporter]
Heights: How did you come up with the name “Juice”?
[Everyone cracks up and says, “That’s a good question.”]
Godfrey: Okay, so we had to submit our video to compete in the competition and we needed a band name, which we didn’t have, so didn’t you, [he questions Clyatt], just say “Juice”?
Clyatt: Yeah, [he replies to Godfrey], you and I were the only ones there, and we wrote in the group chat because I had to submit the video in five minutes, and I said, “Come up with a name.”
Rougeau: And I was like, “How does ‘Juice’ sound?”
Godfrey: And we had five minutes to think of something better and we couldn’t.
Stevens: We were going to do Saucy Juice or Juicy Sauce.
Godfrey: Or Suicy Jauce.
Rougeau: I have a special connection with juice because apple juice is my favorite juice.
Heights: So it was pretty spur-of-the-moment? There was no inspiration?
Stevens: Our music is juicy.
Clyatt: And we’re all really sweet.
Heights: Where do you guys practice?
Clyatt: In our room or Lyons.
Godfrey: For the first Battle of the Bands we were practicing until about one in the morning—there were about six of us playing in one small dorm room.
Godfrey: I feel like everyone must have been pissed off.
[They all laugh.]
But it worked.
Heights: How do you choose what songs to play?
Rougeau: Well, for the last couple of competitions, the first round Battle and the second round Battle, we haven’t been allowed to play covers so we’ve been doing a lot of speed-writing originals, and I mean everything’s turned out awesome because we love “Pineapple Group,” we love “How Ya Gonna Do Me Like That,” we love “Where I Wanna Be,” but we do also love to play covers. So when we’re picking covers we kind of have a sound in mind although we have a wide array of genres that we do. But we do tend to go for more funky stuff or stuff where we can showcase Ben’s voice or Vu on the keyboard or my violin.
Clyatt: I’d say that no matter what, we all listen to different types of music—rap, pop, jam bands—but within those genres we all play funk.
Rougeau: Hip hop, rock, alternative, funk … jam.
Daniel: Everything but country.
[They all laugh.]
Heights: How did you guys prepare for this event, and what other venues have you played at?
Godfrey: We drank a lot of apple juice every day … Okay, we just practiced a lot. Like all of the time.
Stevens: 11:00 at Lyons we’d start practicing.
Godfrey: We’d start at about 11 [p.m.] and end around 2 [a.m.].
Rougeau: At least four times a week, especially leading up to the show.
Moss: And we played at Faneuil Hall.
Stevens: We played at the Music Guild and it was really cool. We played outside and got a huge crowd. But we played outside O’Neill for our first kind of introduction to BC.
Moss: The first real time was round one of Battle of the Bands.
Godfrey: It’s funny that we have only done five performances and our fifth was yesterday. And Ben wasn’t even there for the first round of Battle. The whole band has only been together for four performances.
Clyatt: The first time the whole band played together was two days before our first show.
Vu: I learned all of the songs the day before.
Heights: What was it like on stage last night?
[In unison]: Sick!
Godfrey: I was screaming the whole time.
Heights: I was too.
Stevens: The lights perfectly coincided with our builds and the crowd was awesome.
Rougeau: Whenever I took a solo the lights would go and the crowd would scream.
[He imitates what the crowd sounded like.]
I was just feelin’ it.
Heights: What happens next now that you have won Battle of the Bands?
[In unison]: Modstock!
Rougeau: Yeah, we’re opening for Hoodie Allen.
Godfrey: We’re also trying to play at the Commencement Ball, and we’ve auditioned for that, so we’re just waiting to hear if they’ve picked us.
Heights: What are your plans for the future?
[They all “aww” in unison and hug one another.]
Moss: Our bass player is leaving and going back to England, which is a rough move.
Godfrey: I’m only at BC for one year—this is the end.
Stevens: And it’s really sad because I fell like we’ve all become such good friends—like really good friends. We got mushy yesterday.
Rougeau: Yeah, it was a beautiful thing.
Stevens: When they were announcing the winners we all held hands.
Rougeau: But in terms of after Jack leaves, we’re all—well, a lot of us—are living together in Walsh, and Chris is living down the hall, which will be awesome. I think we’re going to start the year off by playing a couple of shows in our room—having, like, Juice parties.
Heights: Oh yeah, you guys can serve juice boxes.
Rougeau: Exactly. We’re also going to try and play around Boston and get our name out there because we’ve kind of expanded to the maximum that the BC bubble will allow us to, so we’ll have to break through the bubble. Hopefully somebody will notice us.
Photo by Drew Hoo / Heights Staff.