Q&A with Mojo Juju and The Snake Oil Merchants
By: Crimson Cookie
CC: What inspired the name ‘Mojo Juju and The Snake Oil Merchants’?
MJ: Mojo Juju was a name given to me a long, long time ago. In a galaxy far, far away. The Snake Oil Merchants seemed fitting… as we spend quite a bit of time rolling into town, setting up show, pushing our wares and leaving before the sun comes up (and the fanatical mob sets in); just like the old medicine shows. I do believe that what we leave behind has some valuable healing properties.
CC: Was it difficult to form the band at the beginning, gaining support and encouragement etc?
MJ: I find it quite easy to take up vices. It’s also very easy to find people who are willing to indulge in these same vices. So it was not very difficult at all to start a band. It’s quitting that’s hard.
CC: Was it always the bands intention to play jazz/rock n roll music as well as incorporating cabaret and burlesque dancing?
MJ: Hmmm, in a way. I don’t think we knew that it would end up like this. But it has been a natural evolution. I guess we do pay homage to our heroes, but at the same trying to push the sound in to new territory. A lot of the songs we write immediately come with a visual element in mind. It’s just slowly grown in to more and more of a show over time.
CC: Four years together is an outstanding achievement. Do you celebrate the anniversary of the formation of the band each year? If so, how do you all celebrate?
MJ: Sure. We try to spice it up a bit and be spontaneous. This year it was pretty low key, a candle lit dinner and quite little jazz quintet. Then we retreated for a Jacuzzi…and well you know…a jam session.
CC: Your album of 2010, ‘Sellin’ you Salvation’, has been a tremendous success, when do we expect to see the release of your next album?
MJ: We are planning to record and film the Jitterbug Club three nights in a row in Sydney early 2011. So hopefully we will see the release of a live recording and possibly a dvd in the next 12 months. We have already been working on a lot of new tunes.
CC: How does it feel to be described as, ‘one of the most amazing, alluring and underrated bands in Australia’, (BMA Magazine)?
MJ: Haha. Well I guess it’s flattering in a sense. But also am not sure what they mean by underrated? It’s lovely to hear that people like what we do.
CC: Do you have a uniting band tattoo that you all share? If not, would you consider getting one?
MJ: No. Collectively there are a lot of tattoos in this band. Most of them are probably on me. Sawn, who is our saw player was initiated into the band with a tattoo and told he couldn’t leave the band till he scrubbed it off. He’s still in the bathroom now trying to wash it away.
B&B Shuffle presents The Jitterbug Club feat Mojo Juju and The Snake Oil Merchants performing at Red Bennies
on Oct 15th