Interview: JP & Jukesy
Reported by Pearsall
Submitted 30-10-03 00:01
Over the last year the scene as a whole has seen a lot of changes. With a lot of the old certainties gone there are a lot of new opportunities. Two people who have seized the new opportunities available are dj duo JP & Jukesy, from Dudley in the West Midlands. Having played at almost every major party in the Midlands and the North over the last year they are now setting their sights on the London scene, with dj gigs planned and their new record label, Deprivation Recordings, set to release some seriously manic material. I caught with them to get an insight into their past, present, and future.
Pearsall - The first, obvious, and most boring question (but it has to be asked) is how did you two get started? How did you get into the scene and what made you want to dj as a duo?
Jukesy – We both have been going out clubbing since the age of 16, going to places like Bakers in Birmingham when people like TDV used to play there. It was Sundissential at the Pulse that really opened my eyes, it was one of the best atmosphere’s I have ever experienced in a club and things just progressed from there after a couple of years clubbing I decided I want to behind the decks rather than in front of them.
Then a couple of years after that I met JP at SS North through a friend, we both used to play out individually at that stage at events in Birmingham like Sunday School and this is where we decided to start playing out b2b. We were both on the same level so it just seemed the natural thing to do. Sunday School gave us our first residency and showed a lot of faith in us, we used to do the warm up sets for them on a regular basis until the Sunday Scene died on its feet really over a short space of time in Birmingham.
Pearsall - Do you always play together or do you do individual sets as well? Are there any advantages or disadvantages do you think in playing nothing but b2b sets? Do you ever just want to knock the other dude out so you can play all by yourself?
JP & J - The only time we play individually now is if we have any bookings and one of us can’t make it, which has only happened a couple of times in 2003.
We enjoy playing out b2b and have a very good understanding between each other, there have been a couple of stressful times mainly to do with CD decks but we both enjoy sharing the limelight. We both think it’s good fun and we enjoy having a break in between mixes so we can interact with the crowd a lot more than what other people would.
Pearsall - When I’ve seen you play it’s been [dodgy northern accent] reet fookin’ hard [/dodgy northern accent], do you do dig anything else or is it just bang-bang-bang-hoover-hoover-hoover?
JP - We just really enjoy the harder stuff but certainly can play various other styles, from funky to full on acid techno, sometimes even a touch of hard trance if needed but one thing is for sure, NO HARDSTYLE!!
We realise that it’s quite big down London at the moment but it really does not do a thing for us. It’s sometimes hard to convince a promoter that we can play warm up sets too, but we will be concentrating a little more of our efforts on that in 2004 and will be doing some warm up set demo’s as well as our normal style.
Pearsall - In the last year you’ve come on a long way in terms of gigs up all over the country, I know I’ve seen you relentlessly pimping yourselves for gigs all over the internet…how much of your success do you put down to this relentless hard work?
JP & Jukesy – We dread to think how many miles our cars have done this year, we do a lot of our promotion ourselves which we enjoy doing, we like speaking to promoters and arranging bookings, that’s all part of the buzz for us. I think that 80% of it is down to our hard work and the other 20% is down to luck and chance, sometimes if you are in the right place at the right time you’ll get a little break and this does happen.
The internet is a great tool to help people do this, we have been playing out nearly every weekend this year and sometimes it’s not possible to go to all of the nights we would like.
Pearsall - A couple years ago there was a lot of talk about the divide in music between the oompa-loompa circus house of the north and the more mature, classy, and frankly better music of the London scene? Do you think this still applies (and do you think I’m being too partisan)?
Jukesy - I think there is less of a divide now than there has ever been, obviously you’ve had people like Tidy throwing parties down in London and Frantic doing events with Sundissential in Leeds. There’s a lot less oink around up north now and some would say a little less happy and smiley people about too, at the end of the day it’s all down to personal taste, what some people find interesting and exciting other people may find boring.
Pearsall - Like a lot of other dj’s you’ve gone into production work; how important is this do you think in your careers, is it something you really enjoy or is it a bit of a chore compared to dj-ing?
JP & Jukesy – We love doing it, there’s nothing better than seeing one of your tracks doing some damage on the dancefloor!!! And to have some of the biggest DJ’s on the scene playing out some of your tracks it’s even better.
I think it’s another string to our bow, it’s a very competitive market at the moment which is good but if you don’t keep your foot on the pedal it’s easy to get left behind. We have had a fairly good year and have exceeded all of our goals that we set at the start of the year and all of this with just 1 release so far the goal posts will be moving next year that’s for sure.
Pearsall - You’ve started a label of your own (Deprivation Recordings, with a rather fine first release due to hit the streets soon); what’re the ideas behind the label and what can we expect from it in the future?
JP - We have set up this label with a friend of ours Ben Hardy, he has the same vision as Jukesy and me. We want to add a good solid label to the scene; it’s easy to count on one hand quality hard releases each month so we are going to try to add to that. It’s not going to be just a JP & Jukesy label we will be trying to get as many producers on the label as possible and some big remixers too. Basically if we like it we will release it!!!!!!!
The first release is entitled “The Hustler” which we have done with a friend of ours Sam Hudson and has had the remix treatment by Defective Audio (Dom Sweeten) and this is going to kick the label off in style. This release has already seen support from DJs like Andy Farley, Paul Glazby, Anne Savage etc etc which is brilliant news for us. The second release is by Jukesy and me and is officially the follow up to the first release we had put out on Passion Records (How I feel & H-Bomb).
Both of those tracks were ott on the hoovers so for this follow up we have gone for something a little different. It’s entitled “Gollum” and has a fierce killer riff in it and no hoovers in sight. It has been remixed by 2 of the best people for the job at the moment – Justin Bourne & Dynamic Intervention. After that you’ll just have to wait and see but there wont be any let up, releases 3, 4 and 5 are already set in place and ready to go and I’m sure you wont be disappointed. “The Hustler” is out on December 1st and “Gollum” is due for release in the New Year.
Pearsall - How do you see your sound developing in the future, both in dj-ing and production?
JP & Jukesy – On the production side we are relatively new to this so will just continue to experiment, variety is the spice of life after all so we are going to try going down a few different avenue’s, maybe some techy stuff as well as the hard stuff.
DJ-ing wise I think people tend to pigeon hole too much, it should more of a case of if the crowd like it and we like it then it should get played. At the moment the harder stuff is back in fashion, this will not always be the case if not we may have to re-evaluate. As we have been clubbers for a few years I think it gives us a pretty good view point on what people want to hear.
Pearsall - Is the scene as good as it used to be?
JP - The big events are still always full, weekly events are starting to fill up again so it looks like there is still loads of life in the h/h scene. It went through a quiet period in the summer but things always do with Ibiza and people saving there money for there summer holidays. This year with events like hard house academy and magna both full to capacity, as well as two sold out tidy weekenders and another 3 next year I would say its still good wouldn’t you?
Pearsall - Did you ever dress in cyber? If so, do you have any pics that we could point at and laugh?
JP - I haven’t dressed in cyber as yet, although my girlfriend keeps badgering me too!
Jukesy – I’ve never been full on cyber, a bit of fluoro paint on my hair was my limit, no pictures I’m afraid they are all locked away somewhere safe hahaha.
Pearsall - If you were forced at gunpoint to change the style of music you play, what would you choose?
JP - Techno, or maybe even pumping tribal house.
Jukesy – Full on Carl Cox style techno like he used to play 5/6 years ago.
Pearsall - There’s been a lot of ranting and raving on the HF forums recently as to what exactly is ‘underground’…what is the official JP and Jukesy opinion on what is underground?
JP & Jukesy – Small parties in nice intimate venues with lots of sweat and quality music in our opinion.
Pearsall - You play at a lot of different parties all over the country…is it rock-star glamorous and the fulfillment of your dreams of groupies, champagne and cocaine or is it mostly eating bad service station food at three in the morning?
JP -Definitely bad food at service stations on the m1 is what its all about!!!!
Jukesy – Have to agree with JP on that one.
Pearsall - What’s the worst party you’ve played?
JP - Wouldn’t really like to say, there have been a few dodgy ones but you have to play at the dodgy ones to get to play at the good ones!
Pearsall - Where haven’t you played yet that you would most like to play? Any plans to take the JP and Jukesy thing abroad?
JP - Would love to play over in oz in the next year or so. Japan is also on our hit list!
Jukesy – In this country I would like to play at Tidy Events especially the Tidy Weekender’s that would be awesome, as well as Frantic events as they are always big events, Sundissential HQ and North are on my hit list too. Overseas I would like to play in New Zealand, Holland and Australia.
Pearsall - DJ’s – 21st century rock stars or ugly guys in a dark room playing other people’s records?
JP & Jukesy – A bit of both we reckon
Pearsall - You are signed to a number of smaller DJ agencies, how much have they helped you (or hindered you)?
Jukesy – All of the agencies we are a part of are all on a non-exclusive basis so we have total control, Gurn.net have helped us a lot out of all of them. The others we haven’t really seen a lot of work from but we never expected too to be honest its all about promotion and no one can promote us better than ourselves. Some agencies wanted to take us on an exclusive basis, if we had taken them up on their offer I would imagine that would have hindered us as a lot of promoters don’t want the hassle of booking DJs through agencies.
Pearsall - If you could, say, choose anywhere in the world that lacks a hard nrg scene and create one out of nowhere so you could go play a massive party and be treated like Gods, where would it be and why?
JP & Jukesy – Why choose just one place, full on hard nrg World domination, a World wide 24 hour party would be nice!!!!!!
Pearsall - Mars attacks and they demand the three best records from your collection or they will blow up your dog…what do you give them?
JP - Eternal rhythm - Eternal 99 (BK & dBm remix), Paul Glazby - Kick it, Karim - cheap rent (original mix)
Jukesy – TDV - Are you all ready, OD404 – 9Bar, RR fierce – Ctrl K01.
Pearsall - Who were your main influences when you started and who do you look up to now?
JP - All the recognized h/h DJs influenced me from the start and still look up to them all.
Jukesy – Andy Farley has been one of my main influences, his closing sets at SS Pulse were really something else and I still look up to him now, quality bloke and he’s the best in the business. Paul Glazby also gives me a lot of inspiration; he shows first hand that with a lot of hard work the things you can achieve. Outside of Hard House I’ve always looked up to Carl Cox, the big man has got great technical skills and he knows how to work the crowd.
Pearsall - Tom the HarderFather wants to know what your favourite colour is. Humour him.
JP – Yellow, because its warm & I don’t like the cold.
Jukesy - If always been drawn to electric blue, it depends on what kind of mood I’m in though.
JP & Jukesy
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