Mojo Juju has hit the road with songs from her new album Seeing Red / Feeling Blue, touring through 4 states and territories this June/July. Tomatrax caught up with Mojo Juju to talk about her music.
Your bio talks about you not resisting change and doing each project differently, was it your intention for your latest album to be different to your previous work?
My intention is always challenge myself. To evolve & become better at my craft. It wasn’t that intended to force a particular sound or do a specific thing. Rather just that I couldn’t recreate the same album I had already made. It would be inauthentic. So I started writing, with no restrictions, and this is the album.
Where did the title Seeing Red / Feeling Blue come from?
It came from a conversation with my producer, Ptero Stylus, about the content of the album. It always felt like the album existed in two halves. Half of these songs were really recorded straight up in a studio with a live band. The other half were created more in the box, and then elaborated on with live instrumentation. But at the end of the recording process Stylus mentioned to me that had observed the songs were either angry songs about the bigger picture or sad songs from a very personal perspective. So the title just made sense.
What was the inspiration behind the video for They come and they go?
That song, for me, comes from a place of anger & frustration. There’s also times where I was feeling defeated or deflated by these feelings. But I’m a fighter. So, I guess I just wanted to do something visually simplistic and strong. Something fierce, but something that shows there is more than just the one way to look at things. Paul van Kan at FernColab made the clip and really did all the hard work. He’s a super talented guy.
You’ll be touring in support of your album, what can fans expect from your show?
I have scoured the streets of Melbourne & Sydney looking for the best musicians. We’ve got some of the guys from the Cactus Channel joining the band for the tour, I’ve also got a killer horn section and my brother Steve ’T-bone’ Ruiz de Luzuriaga, who plays with me a lot, in fact he’s probably my closest most consistent collaborator these days. I’ve also done my best to get some A-Grade bands on the bills.
So it’ll be quality tunes everywhere.
You previously fronted the Snake Oil Merchants, how does performing solo compare with being in a band?
Well, I still play with bands. It just allows me the freedom to select the band / the musicians I work with dependent on what I wanna do creatively, as opposed to writing & arranging songs with a fixed band or line up in mind.
So for example, if I wanted to have a horn section on the album, I hire horn players, but if I write an album that has string instruments only I find I string band. I loved being in TSOM, but I think we wrote all the songs we could write together for the time being.
You cover a fair few styles across your music, is there any style you’ve wanted to explore but are yet to?
Of course. I’m not sure if I know what they all are yet. But I’m too curious not to keep exploring.
Is there any music style you’d never touch?
I don’t think I have the chops for classical or opera. Haha. But who knows.
Definitely nothing I wouldn’t touch out of principle. It’s all to do with context.
I think there might be some things I’d only do if I was invited to. But I don’t object to anything.
Maybe metal or thrash. I can’t really see myself doing that.
Your songs tell a lot of stories, where do you get the inspiration behind your lyrics?
Often it’s things I have lived through or things I’ve observed. But the imagination is strong. And if you can back up what you imagine with genuine emotion, then I think people can relate to it.
And that’s what I want. I can tell any made up story, but I want to create something that people can attach to emotionally. So I have to be able to attach emotion to it.
So yeah, for example, sometimes people think certain songs are about romantic relationships, but maybe they’re just about losing a friend or a band breaking up. Or sometimes they’re just about loneliness.
When writing songs what comes first, the music or the words?
It changes. There are no rules. But often melody comes first for me. Lyrics find there way to the melody later.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
When I’m working on it, I obsess over it. While I’m writing or working in the studio I listen to it too much.
In order to deconstruct & rebuild & destroy & rebuild. And then, once it’s finished and out in the world, I don’t really ever wanna hear it again if possible. hahaha.
But you know, sometimes I do hear it playing in a place, a bar or something, or on the radio and you can’t escape, and most of the time if I’m honest, if I can overcome my nitpicking, I think I’m mostly proud of the work I’ve done.
What music do you listen to?
I listen to a lot of music. A lot of different music. Lately I’ve been smashing the new Kendrick Lamar album.
And I just got Action Bronson’s ‘Mr. Wonderful’. But some of my favourites are Tom Waits, Dr. John, Betty Davis, Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder.
I love Beyonce, MJ, Andre 3000 & Frank Ocean. So you know… it’s all over the place. Some days it’s Bruce Springsteen or Johnny Cash.
What do you plan on doing after your tour?
Having a big sleep. And maybe a trashy night out with my pals.
Mojo Juju’s tour dates are listed below. Check out her website to find out more!
Fri 5 Jun – Solbar | Maroochydore – http://www.oztix.com.au
Sat 6 Jun – Woolly Mammoth | Brisbane – http://www.woollymammoth.com.au
Thu 18 Jun – Clarendon Guesthouse | Katoomba – http://www.clarendonguesthouse.com.au
Fri 19 Jun – Cambridge Hotel | Newcastle – http://www.bigtix.com.au
Sat 20 Jun – Newtown Social Club | Sydney – http://www.newtownsocialclub.com
Sun 21 Jun – Heritage Hotel | Bulli – http://www.heritagehotel.com.au
Fri 26 Jun – Pirie & Co. Social Club | Adelaide – http://www.moshtix.com.au
Sat 27 Jun – Corner Hotel | Melbourne – http://www.cornerhotel.com
Fri 3 Jul – Spirit Bar | Traralgon – http://www.oztix.com.au
Sat 4 Jul – Caravan Music Club | Oakleigh – http://www.caravanmusic.com.au
Sat 1 Aug – Darwin Festival | Darwin – http://www.darwinfestival.org.au