Monday, 24 March 2014 14:10

Jucifer: The World's Loudest Nomads

Written by  Josh Spanninga
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Jucifer Jucifer COURTESY PHOTO

Jucifer wsg Ozenza and Night Hawk
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
April 9, 8 p.m.
$8 advanced, $10 at door, (616) 272-3758

The husband-and-wife duo known as Jucifer lives and breathes music. If anyone needs proof of this notion they need only to look at the band's tour schedule, which has been nonstop since they took on a nomadic lifestyle in 2001. Since then, they have made quite literally made their tour RV their permanent residence with no regrets.


“We wanted to be playing music all the time, to be totally focused on it and away from the sort of easy temptation of doing the same old daily routine, letting the years slide by until one day waking up to realize everything we dreamed about never got done and we had gotten too old to begin,” Guitarist Gazelle Amber Valentine said. “We saw that by shackling our whole lives to our band, we would have to do it justice.”


It's worked out well for them, too. They've released numerous EPs and albums to much critical acclaim, and successfully toured dozens of countries, earning fans with improvised jams between songs and notoriously loud live shows. And when I say loud, I mean amps-literally-stacked-to-the-ceiling, blow-your-eardrums loud.


“There are times we're booked into an inappropriate venue, one with noise ordinances and angry neighbors, and shows get shut down,” Valentine said. “Fortunately, our reputation usually precedes us, so we don't end up in that situation very often.”


Those audacious enough to brave the sonic assault of one of Jucifer's live shows are often greeted with a diverse mix of sounds, from doom and sludge metal to dark, pop-influenced folk. The duo attributes this diversity to its own eclectic musical tastes.


“Our taste is constant. It's a force that feels like gravity,” Valentine said. “We just know what suits us and suits each story that we tell when we make an album.”


Even crazier than their ever-evolving, multi-faceted music catalog is their ability to create a broad array of sounds with only two people. But don't get stuck on the fact that they're a duo – they prefer audiences just focus on the music.


“The dumbest thing ever, besides being always compared to bands with girls in them, was being compared to any and every 'two piece' despite having nothing else in common,” Valentine said. “We always thought of ourselves just as a band. Not anything more or less.” 

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