“It’s such a cutthroat business where hardly any money is available until you reach a certain level…”
In 2008 a new band appeared on the London scene. With an experimental and melodic Metal angle and some very interesting world music inclusion, Jurojin can be seen as one of the few breaths of freshness to sweep across the Hard Rock / Metal music scene every now and then. Paul Blom connected with Jurojin guitarist Nic Rizzi.
When it comes to musical roots, Nic’s exposure covered classic groups in both pioneering Rock and Metal genres.
“As a kid I was exposed to quite a wide diversity of music through my parents, like world music, some old classics. I was a huge Queen and Beatles fan when I was 8! At an early age I knew I wanted to play an instrument and settled on picking up the guitar. By that stage I was big into Nirvana and Guns ‘n Roses, and taught myself their songs, which is really how it all started for me! My teenage years were dominated by Metal music like Fear Factory and Sepultura. By 18 I got massively into pretty much every other genre out there…”
Some bands just make their kind of music from a sense of compulsion – when it comes to approaching Jurojin’s music (as an individual and as a unit), Nic’s philosophy is this:
“As an individual a lot of the writing I do comes through mood. I have to be in the “zone” to write material that I feel is worthy. It’s sort of a domino effect in that one good riff tends to inspire another. As a unit it is very similar, as soon as we have something we all consider “great” we just roll with it.”
Finding an original band name is not as easy a task as one might imagine. In the case of Jurojin, it seemed destined.
“We were looking for a word with meaning, and “Jurojin” just seemed to be the one. Jurojin is one of the seven Gods of fortune, and we all know a bit of fortune can go a long way in this industry. Other meanings attached to the name, including longevity and wisdom, which are both aspects we yearn to achieve. “
With so many bands materializing each day (in every genre), keeping head above water without sacrificing your (for lack of a better term) musical principles, and being able to make it your career as opposed to an expensive hobby is no light subject.
“It’s such a cutthroat business where hardly any money is available until you reach a certain level… many revenue streams are declining. We recognize we have such a long way to go if we are to even make the slightest splash in this industry, but the passion and love of working together as a band, the amazing vibes that come out of our jam sessions, and the friendships that we share are too precious to not push forward for as long as we can. “
With the often blurry line between Alternative and Metal music variations, it is difficult pleasing all of these communities. Their Living Measure of Time release (reviewed in the previous Muse issue) does have a cross-over appeal.
“Firstly, we recognize that people all have different tastes. We take a couple of risks on this record as far as what you’d expect from a “Melodic Metal” band. The more “purist” end of the spectrum has reacted negatively to the album, but we are so fine with it because when you try something new you can never expect everyone to like it! Amazingly though, the overall feedback to our release has been overwhelmingly positive so we could not be happier.”
When it comes to experimental inclusions (Tabla & Santoor), the question is whether space was found for it in the songs, or if the music dictates it.
“James and I had written a bulk of the album before anyone joined the line-up, so unfortunately TLMOT is not a full reflection of what we can do as a band. The Tabla in our sound is not a novelty, certainly not a gimmick, and believe me when I say you have only heard a tiny introduction to what Sim can do…”
Besides the importance of an engineer and/or producer, people often overlook the last line of defense – mixing and mastering. Drew Mazurek (Linkin Park) came in to work on TLMOT.
“In four words: DREW IS THE MAN. He is the most humble, genuine and attentive producer we have ever had the pleasure of working with. We were having some problems with the people we were working with, and Drew came in like a breath of fresh air. His expertise, dedication, attention to detail and passion turned a lot of inconsistent and poorly mixed material into a final product we were all extremely happy with, capturing the essence of the band.”
“As much as we enjoy the record, we are a live band at heart. We are at our best on a stage and the energy between us is quite apparent. Touring is always a great experience as we get to share all of those experiences together, as a team. “
With many Muse Magazine readers being musicians, Nic has these words of encouragement:
“Having a record out is a dream come true for us, so as far as that is concerned, I’d suggest all musicians make sure you always make music for the love of it, for that feeling you get inside when you write something that makes you want to play it over and over again. Regardless of whether or not you succeed in this business, music makes the world go around, and as a musician you are blessed with the ability to create it, so never ever take that for granted!! Keep the vibes flowing, forever!”
Check out Jurojin – The Living Measure of Time album review
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Written By : Paul Blom