CAT’s Live Music Thursday Presents Juice

Juice1

Juice1

Last Thursday, CAT invited Juice, the seven-piece band hailing from Boston College, back for the second time this year. They played “Live Music Thursdays” last semester to raving reviews from students throughout the University. The band prides themselves on their eclectic style, which combines funk with rock and hip-hop music. 

“I’ll never say this again, but can I get a little less violin,” violinist and vocalist Christian Rose asked as the band checked the microphones before their set. The guys opened their set with a burst of guitars, drums, bass and violins. The sultry vocals of lead vocalist Ben Stevens is almost reminiscent of singer and songwriter Allen Stone. As the first songs progressed, you could feel the music swell up in your chest and your heartbeat to the same time signature as the drums. Throughout the hour the band played, it cycled through different improvisations from different members in all of their songs. In the third song of the night, Rose took the improvisation and played so hard that strings from his bow began to fall to the ground. “We never play the same show,” Stevens says.

The band formed at Boston College in 2014. It released its first self-titled album in 2016, which features hits like “Gold” and “Shoot Me Down.” It has sold out venues such as the Brighton Music Hall and Mercury Lounge. In 2017, after graduating, the band toured the East Coast and opened up for DNCE at Summerfest 2017, a music festival that takes place in Milwaukee, WI. It is expecting to finish and release their upcoming EP, “Heartbreak in a Box” in mid to late February tentatively.

Talking with Stevens after the performance, he said that the songwriting experience is a collaborative effort. 

“It used to be very one-sided, but now it’s very collaborative, especially with this new record,” Stevens said. “We’re all writing together. The best thing about the band is all the different influences combining into one. We try to keep that sort of organic-no pun intended-structure in a lot of our songwriting.”

The band is unique in having three different vocalists. While Stevens tends to take lead on a majority of the songs, that is not always true. 

“It’s pretty much whatever fits the song,” he said. “So if the song requires a lot of energy, maybe I’ll do it because I like being energetic.”

Including Rose and his hypnotic violin was a no-brainer right from the beginning, according to Stevens. “At first, at face value this doesn’t seem normal, combining pop with R&B, with rap and then adding a violin but [Rose] is so malleable, he’s quality so it’s easy!” 

As for their favorite song to perform that evening, Stevens said that it was their closer, a new song called “Sugar” off their future EP. 

“The last one that we closed with, everyone is singing by the end of it. It’s super fun,” Stephens said. The band plans touring until mid-February and to perform in Scranton, PA this July in the Peach Music Festival.