Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Juniper. Together we discussed their name, trees, playing throughout the Bay Area, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have Juniper join them at Music Shelf. How is everyone doing today?
Thank you so much for having us! It’s an honor to be taking to you guys ! We’re doing fantastic.
2. Mustard wonders how you came up with your band name? Did the tree and shrubs of the same name have any influence?
So to answer that question we need to go a little back in time. We used to go under a different band name “Coralina”. Over time we grew really tired of it and the mistranslations on posters as well as on stage, there were only so many times we could hear “Next up Carolina!” Or hear it mispronounced as Coraleena before we grew sick of it. A song from our album now named “Delay” was originally going to be named Juniper but that name sounded too good to go to waste so the rest is history
3. According to your Spotify biography Juniper are 3-piece noise makers. What kind of noise do you make?
Our Sound is a mix of all kinds of genres, but has always been based mainly on alternative rock with notes of Midwest emo and shoegaze
4. Humans love origin stories. When and how did Juniper form?
The band started in 2019, sometimes as a trio but mainly a duo consisting of me and Lukas when we were still in high school. We never did any gigs at this time, only practices every week and the occasional Instagram story post. The pandemic essentially killed any chance of playing live. This is pretty much how the band ran until may of 2021 when Elijah joined the band when he messaged me to reconnect after years of not seeing or talking to each other. After that, we’ve been going pretty strong.
5. Juniper has been playing throughout the Bay Area for almost a year now. What has your experience been like?
It’s been great so far being able to play and connect with people along the way. Parking can be a downside, but the venues have treated us well! I hope this doesn’t come off as generic but it has been a dream come true to be playing shows so often in such a vast scene and see familiar faces in the crowds all the time.
6. Does Juniper have a favorite gig or venue? How would you describe Juniper’s live performance?
Our favorite venue picks have been at house shows, actually! So far, the one we did with Free The Youth in Santa Cruz was the best, everything about it was just amazing. We had our biggest crowd we’ve played in front of and came off stage after an encore, the energy was just insane and we loved it! I would say our performances are very energetic no matter how many people are watching and we try to add the best elements of energy or catchy riffs to our music that anyone in the crowd can enjoy.
7. Who (or what) influences Juniper?
Anything in the 90’s alternative, Emo, and to an extent even classic rock genres, more specifically artists like Title Fight, Pavement, Julie, Duster, and Hum to name a few. What influences us as individuals is just to be able to play for people and have fun
8. What is Juniper’s creative process?
The best part of the band is that all three of us are guitar players mainly, so we’re always playing around with different riffs and tunings. When we come up with something on guitar we’ll take it to the other two, and jam on top of it until we flesh out an instrumental that has very good potential for a song. Once we’ve got a good instrumental down, the main guitar player will write the song with the occasional lyrical input from the others. After that, if we’re all confident in the song we will take it out to a show and if it gets good reception we’ll keep it in our set lists
9. Last December you released your self-titled debut album. Could you share what it was like to put this album together? How does it feel to have it out in the world?
Looking back in retrospect, putting the album was a challenge but overall I’m glad we got through it. A good chunk of the album was written and demoed prior to actually releasing the current version that is out now. It was self produced at first and the quality was not at all what it sounds like now thanks to the help of Jack Shirley from Atomic garden. The second chunk of the album was put together over the course of 3 months of ideas we had that were worth giving a try and over all it turned out very well. It was recorded in one eight hour session instrumentally with vocals being recorded at home. It’s an amazing feeling to have the album out especially for as long as it has as initially everyone loved it and as it’s momentum slowed down, we do occasionally have people come up to us talking about enjoying a specific song. We’re sure it’ll be a nice time capsule almost in 10 years time as to what we had been doing and with very fond memorie
10. What is Juniper’s favorite Seth Rogen movie? How often does he laugh in his films?
This one was a hard question, so all three of us have different answers. Mine is The Interview, Lukas is a massive fan of Superbad and Elijah likes Pineapple Express. Seth Rogen laughs a lot in his movies that’s for sure, it’s permanently ingrained in our minds and might never leave…
11. What is next for Juniper?
We have a-lot of stuff going on, we’ve been working on a ton of new tracks that suit our current influences more. As of right now we’re very keen on playing as many shows as possible and maybe to try and squeeze a few mini tours in the west coast. We’re very certain we’ll be working just as hard if not harder going forward.
12. Do you have any upcoming shows?
We have tons of shows upcoming. As if writing this, we are doing one of our own house shows, on 5/19 we’ll be playing in San Francisco at the ATA gallery, a possible house show in Lodi on 5/20 and hatch workshop in Stockton on 5/25.
13. Where can readers listen to your music?
Our music can be found on any music streaming service, but some of the main ones that come to mind are Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, and youtube.