Juliper Sky are a five-piece band from Manchester, consisting of lead vocalist Jamie Lambert, guitarists Dan Parker and Liam Grindell, bassist Roger Damen and drummer Ben Pursehouse.
They released their debut single Heaven in 2019, closely followed by the releases of Magnetise and then Waves. Waves was one of my tracks of 2019 and the first time I heard the track I was so moved I cried! After hearing it I had to reach out to the guys and luckily they were more than happy to have a chat. We spoke just Christmas, and without further ado.
I know you guys are quite new and mix of other bands. When I was researching you'd said your influences included Robbie Williams and Doves. Who have you been listening to since then?
Jamie: If you asked each and every person you'd hear something completely different. The last month I've been listening to the new Dive album for the last month as well as band called Swimming Tapes.
Dan: I've had Low Island on repeat for the last few months.
Liam: I've been listening to a lot of Tin Power atmospheric stuff
Roger: I'm the guy who doesn't listen to much new stuff. I've been sticking to my staple of Genesis, prog rock and metal. I've not grown out of it.
Who's your favourite bassist then?
Roger: John Deacon, Queen. Good bassist - solid, understated.
Jamie: I started off listening to 60's music, Beatles that kind of thing but I've started listening to dreamy music recently. So Pond, Tame Impala. I'm a huge fan of Lorde as well.
The video for Heaven where was it shot?
Dan: Where wasn't it shot? We did it round my house with the projector and stuff.
Jamie: It was the first video I ever made and will ever make. We also used stuff from the public domain. From my perspective I know where that footage is from, some of it is like 40 years apart.
If you look at your listeners there's a lot of listeners in London, but not many in Manchester.
Dan: It's because when we got put on the indie playlist by Spotify a lot of the listeners are in London. Before then, a lot of them were in this region.
Jamie: I think we've got very lucky with the Spotify playlists, we got on the New Music Friday playlist and the Office playlists as well. I think it's down to the playlists more than anything.
Have you done any gigs in London?
Jamie: I've never gigged in London - this is the first proper band I've been in and the first person to person interview I've done.
You guys have a gig in January
Jamie: We have 15th and 16th of January and then a Manchester headline on 30th in Manchester
Who does your social media?
Dan: Its a bit of us all actually.
What do you do outside of Juliper Sky?
Dan: I work at a solicitors I'm the office manager.
Jamie: I won't speak about my job, but I love doing stuff like photography. It's a hobby, but this is the first band I've actually sung in. I love painting as well.
Roger: We all have something we contribute. I've done the artwork. We've done the recording and sent it to a producer.
Dan: We've found a streamline way of doing the recording. We'll book a studio and do the drums and then we'll do the voice and guitars and send to the producers. At the minute it's on a shoestring.
What's the next single going to be?
Jamie: It's called Reflections of the Winter Sun - it's out on the 7th of Feb. That'll make part of our EP.
Dan: We've got a lot of work for ourselves as we've got six tracks to record next year.
Liam: I'd say everything has come together, I'd say we have three of the best four releases down.
Are there any albums on your repertoire that people wouldn't guess that you've been listening to?
Roger: I've got one straight away, Shania Twain Come on Over - it's incredible. There's some album tracks that are the creme de la creme.
Jamie: I was listening to some Kylie Minogue the other day. I like pop music. I was listening to Something Stupid the other day.
Dan: The first Pathway Drive album, that may come a surprise to some people.
Liam: I can't say I don't listen to anything I'm not proud of.
Ben: Same really.
Spotify is the new way of sharing music. I'll share artists I like with weekly playlists and daily tracks. I'll also do a deep dive and find new music that way also. Do you guys as artists think it's a good thing?
Jamie: It's the main way people consume music. I can't think of anything that properly rivals it at the moment.
Dan: We said when we set up that we'd let people stream it, we'll make money another way.
Sometimes bands ask me how I interpret their music. With you guys it felt like a floaty, happy safe blanket. Does that sound right?
Roger: Jamie will be loving that description.
Jamie: I think with Waves it's like that. But Heaven is a bit different.
Dan: I think all music it's about escapism and we all find our own meaning in music.
What radio stations to you guys listen to?
Jamie: I heard today that XS is going and is going to be replaced by an Afro-Caribbean station.
Debbie: I love that music, but I think it's crazy when you look at the cultural history of Manchester and the influence it's had on the world to get rid of XS is madness. You look at the bands who are coming out of Manchester at the moment it's so diverse why would you get rid of a station that champions their music?
Roger: It's such a shame for it to just change.
You may have seen this in previous interviews so forgive me if you have, where does the name come from?
Dan: Half of it is born out of practicality - half of it isn't. The idealism of it is it's a form of escapism deep within your consciousness. It means to people what they want it to mean. We also wanted a name with good google rankings.
Roger: Literally nothing comes up apart from us when you google it.
Jamie: It's like the lyrics, we put thought into it, but not too much thought. Trying to keep it catchy, the syllables fit. There's some new songs that I think that's what that's about - there is no real meaning.
Debbie: I think Waves, if you're someone who's in love. That first few lines encapsulate what you feel for that person.
Jamie: It's definitely a love song. It's not about anybody.
Debbie: The lyrics if you read them out of context they seem deeply personal but if you listen to it with the music it lifts you and transcends you out of space and it's floating.
Jamie: I don't want to think about the lyrics too much. Some songs do mean somethings. it's not black and white some songs mean something, some don't.
Debbie: For me music is all inclusive. It doesn't care about sexuality, gender or background it's about you, the band and the music. It's a family.
Jamie: Mainly I want my lyrics to be positive - but not too focused on it. The music is dreamy and the lyrics I want them to be too. I just want to keep it floaty.
I love the artwork on your singles as well. Is each tracks artwork going to be the cover of the EP?
Jamie: Every track is asking that.
Roger: As there's four different artworks we've thought about that.
Outside of music what's your passions?
Liam: Someone asked me that at work and I literally couldn't think of anything else.
Jamie: Sports, gaming, photographers. I think sport is like music as it's people expressing themselves and want to do well as what they do - I see the similarities of pushing yourself as far as you can go.
Debbie: Mines writing... DUH!
I normally ask bands this question. I'm going to give you a tenner you can buy any album you want what do you want to buy?
Liam: Across The Universe by Justice on vinyl and Currents by Tame Impala
Roger: I love the Geoff Wayne War of the Worlds and I'm gonna go Pink Floyd With You Jamie: Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd and Revolver The Beatles.
Dan: Slowdive by Slowdive and Total Life Forever by Foals
Ben: Nevermind Nirvana
Roger: I should've said that!
Debbie: Mine would be Eat to the Beat by Blondie and the other one changes so probably The White Album by The Beatles.
Massive thanks to the lads for giving me the time to do this interview. You can catch Juliper Sky playing on 16th January at West Street Live, Sheffield; 17th January at The Undergound in Bradford, 31st January at Castle Hotel in Manchester.