Jupe are an upcoming and exciting edition to the Irish and UK music scene that are sure to take the Irish pop scene in their helms in 2016. We spoke to Jupe front man Tim Night about the bands career and musical journey…
Jupe have had a great year in 2015 that included a set at Electric Picnic, what would you say was the highlight of the year?
I think the highlight of 2015 would definitely be the set at Electric Picnic. Prior to playing the EP slot we released our single Rocket in Ireland and the UK. That got us a lot of awareness in the UK and we saw that recognition and success at the Picnic. We had a very busy and successful summer working towards EP and to actually play it was amazing.
For someone who may be just discovering JUPE for the first time, how would you describe your sound?
I would say that Jupe are everything you want. I would describe Jupe as rock, funk, jazz and I would describe Jupe as really, really good. Our shows are stadium status every single time, if you want to enjoy yourself and jump around the place and see lots of smoke and lasers come to a Jupe show.
Would you have a typical song writing ritual or does it differ from song to song?
Song writing is interesting as I think it is important to keep the structure of how you write a song quite fresh, to change it up so you can keep yourself and your material fresh. I would come to the guys with an idea, my specialty in the band is to write lyrics so I would present a few bars of a chorus or a few bars of a verse or a melody and because the guys are such amazing musicians and very energetic they are able to take that and make it blossom into a hit.
After leaving college you began playing gigs as a solo singer – songwriter. What enticed you to become part of a band?
Originally when I was doing the singer songwriter circuit I wanted to have something a bit different to what everyone else at the time had. I wanted my name to unite with a band, like artists such as John Mayer, with a full band so you weren’t on your own. That went quite well but as time went on we began to enjoy ourselves more and everyone had more input into how the songs were written so it then naturally progressed into forming a band. We are five best friends and we’ve known each other for many years; we are like a close family of people who share a passion and a dream.
Jupe have gone through various transformations both in sound and members, was there ever a point were you thought the band wouldn’t make it through?
Back when we hadn’t released anything in a little while, we brought the show to the Academy and we were told by a few people in the industry that we were out-dated. So back then it was a process of restructuring and re-evaluating who we were, what sound we had as a band and how we wrote our songs, basically the standard of everything as a band. That was a challenge; all of us were very keen on taking the challenge head on. To be honest, we’re happy that we had that challenge because we are a lot better for it now.
Who or what would you say would be your biggest influences?
As a group we all have different influences; and music as a whole influences us to push ourselves and progress ourselves. There are people around the world right now in the music scene who are trend-setters, they are trailblazers and whenever they come out with something different it is challenging to a listener, it challenges people to accept that and once they do it’s a trend. So we like to emulate a lot of people out there that are setting trends and standards in every way: a live show, a song-writing perspective and a branding perspective, every element of the music industry. We definitely try and emulate the trend setters of the music world.
You have played with Mumford and Sons in the past, how was it to share a stage alongside them and did they share any tricks of the trade with you?
Playing with Mumford and Sons was a very surreal experience. We were doing a show for St. Patricks Day in the Jameson distillery and we were told that Mumford and Sons were going to be playing but the lead singer Marcus Mumford was very sick at the time and nobody knew they were going to be there. So we played our set and hoped for the best. It was a very strange experience, they showed us how to harmonise, their set was a stripped back acoustic and they started off with a four part harmony; straight away the audience were completely captivated. The way they command the audience without even doing or saying much is really interesting to watch, having the element of mystery about them as people was really great and it was fantastic to be a part of that show.
As a band that prides themselves on their live show what would be your favourite aspect of performing live?
My favourite aspect of our live show is how you can turn a song that you hear on the radio as three and a half minutes long into a rock or jazz journey. If we take a song like Rocket for example and add intros, outros, guitar solos – that’s what being a musician is all about. It is all about the fun, the passion for music, that is what we love. I think during the live shows we are able to showcase all of the ideas that we had while writing our album that might not have made the cut because they were too musician-ey and egotistical. When you write a song for a CD or radio you want to add in drum solos and such but it just wouldn’t work, so the live show gives us the opportunity to add in as much changes and creativity to our songs as possible.
Words – Cornelia O’Riordan