Suzie Quattro? Rough sleeping in Melbourne? Sydney’s Bin Juice have some serious explaining to do

Alternative Sydney 5-piece, Bin Juice are consistent purveyors of dirty, hard hitting grooves. They sat down with Happy over some beers to get to the bottom of that irresistible sound and to help us decipher some of the finer details of what makes them tick. Strap in for something a little weird.

Photography by Liam Cameron

All you need to do is listen to some lyrics to be intrigued as to what’s going on in the heads of Bin Juice. Luckily, we had a chat to find out

HAPPY: Hey fellas, thanks for taking some time out, what have you guys been up to?

Jacques: Well, we’ve been recording a little bit… or trying to record, I guess.

HAPPY: How’s that going thus far?

Jacques: Yeah, pretty good. We’ve just been testing the waters, trying to get the right feel for what we want to do. Testing out stuff for our upcoming EP.

HAPPY: You’re pretty prolific in the studio, your last two EP’s came out within months of each other, how are you keeping it up?

Jenifer: I guess because we just play a lot together, we like it. Whenever we play, we don’t really rehearse that much, we just jam and new songs end up getting written. We’ll make up iPhone demos or just remember what we’ve done and take the best of it to the studio.

HAPPY: You’re playing a lot around the Sydney area, any plans to head further out any time soon?

Jacques: We were actually just talking about that. I don’t know if, after this release, we try and sort out another tour. We just need to find out when everyone’s free!

HAPPYI’d imagine it’s also a tough one financially, are you guys keeping up day jobs?

Hugo: Well, I work for the government (laughs)

HAPPY: Ouch! Well, it’s certainly tough keeping it together. Are you fellas finding it hard keeping the ball rolling?

Jacques: Nah, more so just finding time to jam and to book shows, they’re the problems we’re facing. Financially, not so much.

Jenifer: It’s not like we’re trying to support ourselves with the band, we know it’s not our form of income.

HAPPY: That’s definitely understandable. Does finance come into your goals with the band? What are your aims for the future?

Jenifer: I guess just keeping up the way we’ve been going. The more music we make, the more people will listen and allow for us to continue, so that would be pretty sweet.

Jacques: And playing to more people as well! I think we all love it enough to just keep powering through it.

Singer, Eli and Bassist, Arne arrive just a little later than planned…

Arne: Sorry we’re late guys. We just came straight from work and had to shower before coming over.

Jenifer: Sorry, say that again, a shower?!

Photography by Liam Cameron

HAPPY: Woah, guys, it’s getting a little too steamy here. How about you take us through your songwriting process instead?

Jenifer: Well, a lot of them come from jams, I think we work on some songs more than others.

Arne: Usually someone comes up with an idea; a riff or something. Then we’ll all just join and and see if it could turn into a song or a section of another.

HAPPY: One of the things I’ve noticed about your tunes is the lyrics, they’re a little out there. Where are you getting this inspiration?

Eli: Uh, just the top of my head, really.

HAPPY: Really?! So nothing from personal experience necessarily? No deep and meaningful?

Eli: Nah, sometimes things will just come out of nowhere like the start of Astro Surf was just completely random.

HAPPY: What about the Suzi Quattro reference?

Eli: Well, I remember, I was surfing and…

Arne: …Do you even know who Suzi Quattro is?

Eli: Yeah of course! I know she’s a musician and a lot of middle aged women like her…

Jenifer: She’s got a sweet leather jacket collection!

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HAPPY: Being a part of such a solid music scene in Sydney, what bands do you rate?

Arne: We love Winston Surfshirttheir bass player, man. He blows my mind.

HAPPY: You’ve been around for quite a while now, how do you think you’ve evolved as musicians and as band mates?

HAPPY: Having played around so much, what have been some of your favourite venues to visit?

Jacques: Moonshine (Manly) definitely!

HAPPY: Any good stories from all this time on the road?

Eli: We slept in a park in Melbourne once (laughs)

Jacques: Yeah that was kind of stupid, my back was in a spasm all night.

HAPPY: Were you a bit scarred after that experience in Melbourne?

Jenifer: I was. (laughs)

Jacques: We went to see this crazy Japanese band… were they  Japanese?

Arne: (laughs) He was hanging upside down of the roof rafters playing a rockabilly guitar solo… and we saw Chris Lilley in a nightclub.

HAPPY: What?! How was that?

Jenifer: Well he actually went to our high school so we tried to grab his attention with a school chant we used to do… kinda nerdy, really. He ignored us until we just said hello like normal people.

Eli: I’m surprised he continued to talk to us like normal people. If someone came up to me like that, I’d be a little scared.

HAPPY: (laughs) I think we’re getting a bit off track here! You’ve been steadily releasing the “Episodes” EP’s, how did the idea come about? Did you already have the songs written?

Arne: Yeah, just a lot of songs, really. It was a good way of recording continuously. If you have things planned out then you can talk it over in rehearsal and conceptualise each EP with a slightly different flavour. Episode IV for example was meant to be a little more psychedelic… now we’re trying to go a little bit hip-hop in the new one. No rapping though, just inspired rhythmically (laughs)

Photography by Liam Cameron

HAPPY: You’ve worked quite a bit with Ben Worsley at Everland studios, what influence, if any, has he had on your music and your approach in the studio?

Jacques: He was just nice to work with and had a good space to work with.

Jenifer: Yeah, the best thing about Ben was that we found it really easy to relax in the studio with his laid back vibe.

HAPPY: Hugo recently made our list of the top guitarists in Australia, how did he and the rest of you work up those seriously solid chops on your instruments?

Hugo: Yeah I had a teacher…

Jenifer: I did some scales in the dark.

Everyone: (laughs) really?!

Jenifer: Yeah! Doesn’t everyone?…

HAPPY: Did you guys really meet Funkadelic?

Eli: Not really…. (laughs) we called his hotel and spoke to his wife… I don’t really know what we were thinking, what would we have said?! (laughs)

HAPPY: (laughs) Yeah, I don’t know what I would’ve said! Finally, though, what do you guys think about this vendetta a lot of people have against Triple J, saying they’re too insular with their playlist.

Jacques: Well, we don’t care too much. I guess it’s just a little unfortunate that they’re the premiere new music radio station in Australia, in America there are so many different channels with different vibes so there’a s lot more music that gets out.

HAPPY: Do you get a lot of air time?

Eli: No, never really. We’ve been up to their lobby a number of times and put demos in their pigeonholes. We even spoke to Richard Kingsmill who said our songs were too long (laughs)…

HAPPY: That sounds like a bit of bullshit! Ah, well, it’s not like you’re struggling without! Any final thoughts?

Arne: I just wanna make a quick shoutout to JJAPC Pressure cleaning (points to Eli’s JJAPC jacket).

HAPPY: Thanks, guys, I reckon that’ll be good for the cleaning business!

Bin Juice will be rocking the Red Rattler this Friday the 20th May; more info here.