Jute: Julie Axis, Joe Axis, and Robb Shakespeare by Anna Maria Stjärnell
I know Julie used to be in My Scarlet Life. What did the rest of the band do before Jute?
Robb Shakespeare: I was involved in various projects in Iowa. In 1996 I started getting into digital recording and started my own project called Drip. I became frustrated with my surroundings and was making plans for a move of some sort. In 1999 I met Julie and Joe. I packed up and moved to Chicago.
Joe Axis: I was in and out of several bands here in Chicago throughout the 90’s…Most notably a space rock band called Is-U-Is, with my friends Dan Smith and Sean Wolfe (who are now the IDM duo Salvo Beta).
Julie Axis: Mike Dobkowski, our bass player, was in several bands out east including Gluestick and Aleutian. Joe St. Charles is also currently in his one man band called Chicago Typewriter.
How would you describe your sound?
Joe Axis: Our sound?… hmmmmm…let’s see. Dark, Sexy…we’ve been called intelligent. That’s a hard one, because in my mind we are always changing…moving forward.
What’s your inspiration when writing songs?
Julie Axis: Politics, news, media, the state of the world, flowers in my yard, confusion, seeing clearly, history, reading, traveling….
Robb Shakespeare: As far as writing songs, the best inspiration is always when you record a great track or figure out the perfect part. That propels you to the next stage of crafting the song.
What will the next album sound like?
Julie Axis: More confident than the first. “a violent narcotic” was written when we all felt a bit defeated. We have come out of that and emerged stronger than ever. I think you’ll be able to hear that come through on the next disc. It’ll have lots of ear candy and tasty bits as well as a few more up tempo tunes.
Joe Axis: The next album will definitely have the same Heavy/Headiness to it. However, there is a prevailing theme of strength and confidence to our new songs that I don’t feel was prominent on A Violent Narcotic. The new stuff has a slight Edge to it.
Will you tour Europe sometime?
Julie Axis: Oh, I hope so. We all want to. It’s a matter of timing it just right. We will wait until the second CD is done and then figure out what comes next.
What other bands do you like?
Julie Axis: Jane’s Addiction, Amon Tobin, Björk, Tool, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Curve, DJ Shadow, Radiohead, Broadway Project, Amstrong, Nobody, Black Heart Procession…
Robb Shakespeare: I like many of the artists Julie mentioned and so many more. Lately it’s been Air and The Cooper Temple Clause.