Juice Webster Sucks: “I’m Embarrassed To Post On The Internet”
Naarm singer-songwriter Juice Webster writes music for breezy Spring days. You won’t see that in her Spotify bio, but maybe you should. She’s just released her debut album, JULIA, and it’s proving to be the perfect soundtrack for the warmer weather we’re experiencing down here in Victoria (Australia’s best state, apologies to my editor). Combined with a healthy dose of (preferably Victorian) sunshine, JULIA is a surefire way to shake off any lingering winter blues.
The gentle understanding that Juice affords herself across JULIA is comforting. She embraces loss and change as something to be respected, not feared or ignored: as she sings on opening track ‘Returning’, “Can’t help but make mistakes, we’re learning/I miss you every day, I’m yearning/But in his face is you, returning”. Backed by her band (Kllo/Armlock’s Simon Lam on keys/production, Ollie Cox on drums, Noah Hutchinson on bass and Theo Carbo on guitar), Juice reflects on the past without getting bogged down in regret. Songs like ‘In The Zone’ and ‘Headaches’ twinkle and swirl in your eardrums, gently lifting your spirits while offering space for quiet contemplation. JULIA isn’t morose — it’s a way of looking forward by looking back.
To commemorate the release of JULIA, Junkee spoke to Juice about learning to love Mitski’s music, the show Heartstopper and dodgy haircuts. Bad hair really does suck.
Junkee: A mistake that turned into an opportunity?
My album cover was a happy accident. I was having dinner with my friend Chayto, and we had plans to take some really chill content photos. It was quite a warm night and I gave my friend Edvard a call, because he lives nearby and he has access to a pool. On a whim, I ended up getting in there and we took a bunch of photos in the pool, and ended up getting the album cover out of that shoot, as well as the back cover of my vinyl, which was really cool.
Cringe quote you used to live by?
When I was in high school, I loved the quote ‘real eyes realise real lies’. I thought it was really clever and edgy. But I’m not sure if I could say I used to live by it, because I don’t really know what that would look like.
Worst advice you got and blindly followed?
I have had some really bad advice when it comes to haircuts throughout my life. I have very thick hair, so it can make it a bit hard to get it to a point where it looks good. And someone once convinced me to get an undercut, which is when you shave the little under bit of your hair. While I think that’s a really sick haircut, I really, really do. I was not, I’m not and will never be cool enough to rock that haircut. That became immediately clear as soon as it happened, and I deeply regretted it. It also grew out really badly. It was not a good time for me and my head.
Anything you used to be wrong about?
This is actually something I feel quite a lot of shame about, if I’m honest, but I used to not really connect with Mitski music very much. Now, I’m a hardcore Mitski fan, and I love her and I think she’s a genius, and I think her new album is just beautiful. I’m really really sorry, and I fully admit my wrongs. Don’t come for me, please.
Embarrassing internet habit?
Honestly, just everything to do with the internet is embarrassing to me. I’m embarrassed by how much time I spend on the internet. I’m embarrassed to post on the internet. I’m embarrassed to exist on the internet. Everything. In the words of Sky Ferreira, ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’.
Ideal morning routine versus actual morning routine?
I would really, really like to be the kind of person who wakes up and seizes the day. You know, goes for a walk, has a coffee, writes in their journal, like all that wholesome stuff. But unfortunately for me, I don’t have very restful sleep, so I don’t really wake up feeling refreshed very often. I can be a bit sluggish and slow in the morning, which sucks.
Something very off-brand for you?
I’m not sure if this is off-brand for me. I feel like my friends would be like, ‘that’s not off-brand’, but other people might think it is. I really love the show Heartstopper. I think it’s so beautiful and tender and pure and sweet, and watching it makes me feel really good, so I don’t feel any shame around it.
Bad health decision?
I think probably [drinking] too much caffeine and not enough water. I drink a lot of tea and coffee throughout the day, and I always have and I always will. I am who I am.
What do you waste money on?
Things I don’t need. I can’t think of anything specific, but I’m the kind of person who will impulsively decide that I really need to buy this thing that I’ve never once desired in my life. Then, a couple of days later, I’ll be like ‘why did I buy this thing that I just don’t need and never even wanted in the first place’.
Worst procrastination habit?
I just go to bed. If I’m a bit overwhelmed or if I have a lot of stuff to do, I sometimes just go to bed. I feel like maybe, when I wake up, I’ll have the energy to do the thing but I end up just snoozing, snoozing away.
Juice Webster’s new album JULIA is out now. If you’re quick when you’re reading this, Juice is playing a special launch show on Friday, September 22 (that’s today when this is published) at Naarm’s The Evelyn Hotel. You can grab-last minute tickets here.
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Illustration credit: Matt Lauricella, @pigeonboyart