LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING especially in the music industry! When I receive the interview answers back from a rockstar himself, I was blown away!
Toby Rand is the easy-on-the-eye front man of Juke Kartel. They have a new album Levolution out TODAY in Australia, out next month in the States.
In the past year Toby has had a busy time with writing and recording Levulution in America, supporting the legendary Slash on his Australian tour and with an upcoming solo project!
I’m listening to tracks off Levulution as I’m writing this blurb and loving the songs! I think Juke Kartel could become one of my favourite bands! Their new tracks (The Sign especially) are very rocky but bursting with positivity which is rare in recent times.
Toby blew me away with his humility and friendliness as we conversed by e-mail. It was such a joy to deal with him.
What have you been doing in 2010?
Hey Jacqui thanks for the interview.
2010 has been rather dramatic actually; we started the year touring in Oz, then flew back to our new home in LA and continued writing for our album. During that time our management was seeking record labels and we signed with Carved Records who have been incredible and are really passionate about Juke Kartel. We ended up completing our debut US album called “Levolution”. It’s a play on words I created meaning – Understanding the process in life by evolving to new or greater levels. The album is a reflection of our journey and we are hoping to inspire and shift listeners to want to change for the better.
After finishing the recording, we have been building our team and now have an amazing agent. Currently, we’re on the road for the Slash Tour in Australia…and it’s been brilliant.
What was it like doing a gig in the Viper Room?
The Viper Room has become our local pub we play at…it’s always energetic and such a great vibe.
When you told the other guys in Juke Kartel that you wanted to audition for Rockstar, how did they react?
The boys were a little despondent, and understandably. I mean we were just starting to get a name in Oz and build our band, but the opportunity was too great and I always had JK in my mind. I knew it would break us in the states…and it’s happening.
How was it really like being on Rockstar Supernova? What do you think of all these talent shows we have on TV now?
It was seriously incredible. I was surrounded by some much talent and inspiration…every day was an evolution and I learnt so much about myself as a singer and a man. It gave my life in this industry and I am indebted to Tommy Lee and the boys for giving me that opportunity.
Some of the Talent Shows are ok, but I’m not a fan of those ones who throw kids on the big screen (straight from school) and then leave them afterwards without any support. If anyone is to go on a singing/talent show, be sure to have a support team afterwards to further your career. Fifteen minutes of fame has now become five minutes!!
American crowds versus Aussie. Who’s wilder?
Mmmm, it depends on alcohol consumption…my fave crowds have always been at venues like the Espy in Melbourne or Roxy on Sunset Strip. Aussie’s are a tough crowd, but once you get them, it’s on!!
Juke Kartel have supported Nickelback on their Australian tour a few years ago. Chad Kroeger – a very nice guy or a bit of a tool?
Chad is an amazing business man. He has found a successful formula and he sings loud and hard. Kudos to him.
Do you have any plans for a solo album?
Currently, I’m working with different songwriters and looking to build my personal catalogue even more. I do see a solo album, a more acoustic vibe. I’m also in the process of cutting a vocal with a big Aussie dance group…fingers crossed, it’s a rad song.
What would you like to say to your fans that have supported you and Juke Kartel?
I would like to offer them Levolution. It is because of our fans (friends) that we are able to create and live music. It’s been a big journey and the support is overwhelming. Everyone has had their hardships, but we stand for you all present music that we hope can inspire with love. Thank you.
Lucky Melbournians have two more chances to see Juke Kartel live this weekend:
Friday August 20 – Prince Of Wales
Sunday August 22 – Sandbelt Hotel
A BIG thank you to Toby to restoring my belief that there are really nice, humble rockstars out there! Also thanks to Russell Thomas!