Since her first release in 2019, Juice Webster has been an artist whose music is a kind of summoning— soft echoes of connectedness and courage; lightweight and all-encompassing. Her music is a fragrance. One that reminds you of yourself, of a lover’s face close up, of time that is fragmented, but still felt all over. Her acclaimed EPs You Who Was Myself and More Than Reaction have seen her play sold out shows around Melbourne, including a 2-night EP launch stint at The Tote and a 2022 performance slot at The Forum. Juice has also appeared at Town Folk Festival, Brunswick Music Festival, and on touring circuits supporting the likes of Mimi Gilbert and Slowly Slowly. Now, in 2023, she continues to deliver new music that ripples with fervid reflection and clarity, stinging in order to soothe. Juice’s new music traverses a new calibre of songwriting and production, cementing her as a clear-eyed, ambitious voice in her genre.
WHAT GOT YOU HOOKED ON MUSIC?
I grew up in a household where music was always playing, and with parents whose love for music runs deep, so I feel like it’s always just been there. My mum would say things like “isn’t that a beautiful lyric?”, and Dad would be like “listen to that voice! Isn’t that just amazing?” and so I think music was always very much in the foreground for me. I was paying attention, and I just fell in love with it as a form of expression.
I always felt like my creativity was nurtured. My mum used to get me to practise my instruments in the kitchen while she was cooking dinner so she could listen, and she’d ask me to sing songs in the car on the way to and from school. I’ve always felt encouraged and supported in my creative pursuits, which is important, because it can get hard sometimes.
WHAT ROLE DO OTHER PEOPLE PLAY IN YOUR CREATIVE LIFE? HAVE YOU EVER HAD A MENTOR?
I’ve never had a mentor in the traditional sense of the word. For me, the most inspiring relationships I have when it comes to music are the relationships I have with my peers; other songwriters in my orbit who are creating and releasing music into the world. I feel like I learn so much from other people who are on the same trajectory as me and I gain a lot from talking to them about their experiences, whether it be with their craft or the industry. Some of my favourite artists are also my close friends and I feel inspired by them constantly.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON RECENTLY?
I’ve made an album which is coming out in September. It’s my first full-length record and I’m really excited to share it. It feels like the product of my tastes and skills finally aligning or something like that. I didn’t consciously set out to make a body of work, I was just writing a lot of songs and reached this point where I was like “hmmm… I think this should be an album”. It deals with themes that are perennial to me at this point; fear of loss, change, growing, yearning. I love it and I’m looking forward to setting it free.
WHERE DOES MOST OF YOUR SONGWRITING HAPPEN?
I write most of my songs on the couch. I think cosy is best when it comes to writing, I like being comfortable and warm in a relaxed environment. I feel like it takes the pressure off.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS... CHAOTIC OR METHODICAL? STRUGGLE TOWN OR SMOOTH SAILING?
My creative process is maybe a little bit underwhelming from the outside, haha. It’s very fluid and go-with-the-flow. I go through periods where I feel really creative and productive, and then I’ll have a bit of a dry spell. This used to scare me, but now I’ve learned to just trust the process and try to use that time to observe. Generally, I write on my own with a guitar and a notepad. Writing songs is my way of unpacking things so I don’t feel a huge desire to share that part of the process with anyone, because that bit is for me. But I love inviting people in during the next phase —playing new songs with my band and having their input. I find that really invaluable. And I love having other people involved in the recording process too. I think that just makes sense to me.
DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT WHAT DRIVES YOU CREATIVELY, AND HOW HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED THE CREATIVE PROCESS IN YOUR LIFE?
I use songwriting as a way of making sense of my feelings and thoughts, so that’s what drives me. Its presence in my life has been one of catharsis and expression, so in that way it is quite gentle and tolerant. There are moments of frustration for sure, but I also kind of love the process of nutting things out and figuring out why something isn’t working and the trial and error of it all.
TELL US SOMETHING YOU WISH YOU'D KNOWN WHEN YOU WERE STARTING OUT, OR SOMETHING THAT YOU'VE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY THAT WAS HARDER TO GRASP IN THE BEGINNING...
It sounds cheesy but I really do believe that as long as you are making art that is honest and true, it will find the right people, and you’ll find joy in sharing it with the world. Don’t chase “success”, whatever that is. Just hone your craft, disappear into it, spend the time getting better at it, and make something you’re proud of. That’s all it’s about. Oh, and don’t compare yourself to other artists, that’s stupid.
I’m still learning to take my own advice in regard to the above, but I’ve been learning more and more that it doesn’t need to be about anything other than expression. It’s easy to get caught up in the other stuff, but if I focus on the task at hand, I feel much happier. So I’m learning to kind of just do that.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO AT THE MOMENT? ...MUSIC? ...PODCASTS? ANY HOT TIPS?
I’ve been loving RVG’s new record Brain Worms, and also Carla dal Forno’s album “Come Around”. I’m not a big podcast listener! I’m trying to be but nothing has really grabbed me yet. I’m probably just not listening to the right ones. Let me know if you have any recs.
LASTLY, IF YOU COULD CHOSE ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD BE YOUR FANTASY DINNER DATE AND WHY?
At the moment it would be Joan Baez. Her voice is a big comfort to me, as I grew up listening to a lot of her music. I think she’d have some amazing stories and golden advice.