Scotland, Americana music and an Aussie twist; What’s not to love about Millar Jukes and The Bandits?
Banding with ARIA award wining producer Paul McKercher, Scottish-Born Millar Jukes and The Bandits have created an amazingly deep and soulful EP, Their five Americana-inspired heart-felt and carefully planned out songs telling a story of love, heartbreak and raw emotion. Set to launch this week at The Toff in Melbourne, Millar Jukes spoke to us about his Scottish roots, best food and gig joints in Melbourne and the Bandits.
How do you feel your Scottish background has influenced your music?
Scottish people are really proud and passionate people. They wear their hearts on their sleeve and are really honest. I think being Scottish has really helped me in showing that honesty and emotion when writing music, especially when playing live.
How has it been living and working Melbourne?
I love Melbourne. It’s one of the best cities I’ve ever been to and has a great music scene.
Are the crowds in Melbourne different to that in Scotland?
The music scene here is filled with real quality and character so crowds are used to listening to a high caliber of music. They make you work really hard to win them over but when you do they get stuck in and it’s an awesome feeling!
How would you describe your sound?
I try to write catchy songs with a bit of a groove so people can hopefully dance to it. It’s been compared to early Beatles and Van Morrison with a modern feel. One reviewer called it “new vintage” which I think describes it really well.
Where did the name ‘The Bandits’ come from?
The guys in the band are great musicians and I wanted the band to have its own identity. It was my brother who actually gave me the name. The Bandits have really taken to the name so I’m glad it stuck.
Where’s your favourite place to eat and enjoy live music in Melbourne?
So many places to mention but I always like going to the wee caravan called Chuckle Park in Little Collins Street for a beer and meatball wrap before going to gigs in the Hi-Fi.
What was it like working with Paul McKercher?
Paul is awesome! He’s a true professional and a great person to work with. He’s one of these guys you just like straight away and he knows how to get the best out of you. I’m really hoping we can work with him again.
How was it recording straight onto tape? How does the process differ to digital recording?
It’s a lot different because you only have so many chances to get it right. Recording to tape made it feel more real and authentic and we wanted the EP to have that old school feel to it. I like records to sound a bit raw and unpolished and I think that’s what recording to tape gives you.
Your EP has 5 songs on it – was it a deliberate act to keep it short and sweet, or did the number of songs just grow organically?
We always wanted to put 5 songs on the first EP to give people a taste of our music. I also wanted it to tell a story and try to make it flow for the listener.
When saying all of your song names after each other – it sounds quite poetic and they all rhyme. Was this also an act of fate or was it carefully planned?
Ha I didn’t even realise that they rhymed. I just wanted the EP to tell a story about a guy trying to get the girl. The order of the songs is actually different parts of his story being told.
Who created your artwork for the EP? Does it hold particular significance to the albums meanings and inspirations?
We got it from a photographer in Montreal. It’s a really cool photo of a Joshua Tree with the lights of Las Vegas in the distance. We wanted it to show what out music is all about and also keep that connection to our American influences.
Which is your favourite song on the EP?
My favourite is “Out of Time” as it’s my favourite to play live. I love the energy of the song as it’s the guy’s last chance to get the girl and he puts everything on the line.
What was the inspiration for the first single ‘Be Mine?’
I was just mucking about with chords and then started singing random lines that later became the chorus. Once I had the chorus I then started writing the verses and it kinda all came together.
Have you ever played at the Toff before?
Yeah we’ve supported the Hello Morning there for their Closer tour back in April. It was a great night and fortunately we’ve got Steve Clifford from the band doing a solo support for us at our launch, which is really exciting!
What can audiences expect from your EP?
A lot of energy, emotion and a good wee story of love and loss.
Check out Millar Jukes & The Bandits @ The Toff Melbourne on November 27