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Joining The Cult Of THE JUDEX

The Judex is a Rock N’ Roll band with elements of soul, garage, psychobilly and proto-punk. They believe in intense and sweat-driven testimonials during a performance and will be there for you when more lackluster bands have let you down. Hailing from Philadelphia, The Judex cult currently consists of Flyin’, Alex, William, and Nick Stance

What musicians or bands inspired you to peruse music?

Flyin’:  I was always drawn to music for as long as I can remember.  But I think the biggest thing was hearing Guns N Roses when I was 6 or 7, I had never heard anything that sounded like that before.  Like being aware that music could actually make you feel something.

William: When I was a child I grew up with bouts of extreme poverty and, as such, television was a “big deal” when I saw it since I didn’t have one. One summer I spent with my Grandparents was the summer that The Monkees was marathon’d all week and I was captivated. It was about a band, living together, struggling to make it while having adventures and sharing a certain kind of camaraderie. I’ve always been subconsciously looking for that.

Nick Stance:  The Monkees, Roky Erickson, Motorhead, Dio-era Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper.

Alex:  Keith Moon and Angus Young (because “f*ck it, it’s show business, not a f*cking TED Talk”).

What films, artwork, or literature have contributed to The Judex aesthetic?

Flyin’:  Having just seen the artwork of previous releases, I knew Will and I would get along about old horror movies. Specifically, Val Lewton was really cool.

Alex: Talk to Will.

Nick Stance: Whatever Will says… also, Howard The Duck.

William:  It’s been a conscious approach on my part to sort of creating a collective subliminal recognization of old Pulp magazines, Romance covers, B-Movie Drive-In Fare, and old Silent Film actresses along with the old Horror films like Flyin’ referenced. I think one thing above all that most bands do that make them unrelatable are constantly self-glorifying themselves with band photos. I’m talking about the band photos that are really pretentious where one guy is staring away from the camera and no one’s smiling and it’s really dour and shit… I always wonder where these people get such self-esteem. Oh, and they wear band shirts in photos and videos which kind of amazes me. I think it was bland-ass Dick Clark who told a musician to not wear shorts on stage because then you might as well be “somebody in the audience”- I’m paraphrasing it badly, but it was something like this. I’ve gone into venues where the guys on stage have cargo shorts and shit on. I don’t get it. So The Judex approach is that it’s much less important who WE are, but who YOU are and if you can relate to the overall piece. That’s why a piece of art allows more relation than a bunch of Garage rock cretins staring back at you on an album cover.

Although you frequently work within the punk/metal/rock genre, are there any genres you’d like to explore in future albums?

Alex:  I like listening to it and love playing it. (F*ck word restraints).

William: With no disrespect intended, I personally don’t think we are related to metal whatsoever and am genuinely surprised if anyone thinks so. I don’t listen to metal and can’t tell you much about it and surmise that metal fans would agree my voice isn’t very Metal-esque. I’ve always been inspired by old soul and blues records and 50s’ rock primarily; I had a friend remark on a Judex song that he could “hear the Alan Vega influence” and I had to clarify that what he heard was that both Alan Vega and I were inspired by old Sun Records songs and such. So I just don’t know- when I was a teenager, the punk scene around me wasn’t very inclusive and was kinda obnoxious. One thing about me is that I’m very turned off by cynicism, especially if it’s from suburban kids. Growing up poor and blue-collar, I was always bemused by rich kids bitching. I’ve still never seen a hipster come from the projects. So I was just never taken with punk, I’m aware many people consider some Judex elements punk and of course, I’m only speaking for myself, not the other guys. One reviewer thought we were doing a pastiche on the song ‘Sweet Hatchback‘ and that it was a parody or send-up or something. And I was like, no, that shit was sincere and heartfelt man.

Punk, rock, and metal are often shrouded in a murky reputation of drug and alcohol-fuelled mentalities. Do intoxicating substances have any benefit within the musical industry or creative process?

Alex:  I can’t speak for everybody in the industry but, probably?

Flyin’:  I’d say it really depends on the person.

William:  I can’t speak for everybody and surely some people would make an argument that they do. And I do agree with Flyin’ that, often, it depends on the person but the number of charming and functional guys who are f*cked up on smack and vodka is sadly minimal.. I’ve got to speak from experience; I’ve been in a lot of bands and every bandmate I had with a booze problem or a drug problem never created anything but problems and headaches. Not just for myself but for other people sacrificing their time and energy to make events and moments happen; months of preparation and sacrifice, and so forth. I run the risk always of seeming holier than thou when I’m not when I share that I’m a teetotaler. I’ve never drank, I’ve never gotten high. Not from a straight edge standpoint in that, I believe the straight edge movement is a moral code sort of thing and mine is just a lifestyle choice- but I’d have to make the argument that I’ve gotten a lot of shit done and not used drugs or alcohol. I’d only make an argument for amphetamines if the point was to maximize work productivity and not for the purposes of getting high (though Bowie’s cocaine use in 1974, ostensibly to fuel his productivity showed the potential dangers with that); otherwise, getting f*cked up and trashing hotel rooms and f*cking up studio time and showing up late for gigs and then not delivering on stage- these are all real f*ckhead moves, not anything I’d consider badass or ‘rock n’ roll’ at all. So I’m kinda wary of the guys swearing by drugs and alcohol. The other guys in The Judex can drink hard but they get the work done and they don’t, as far as I know, vomit on stage and/or trash hotel rooms. Yet.

Nick Stance:  I’d really love to say “no”.  So I will.  Even though I’m probably lying.

If you could have written any song in history, what would it be and why?

Alex:  “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones. I just always liked the arrangement and the sound of the song. It opens real cool and dark, and then it gets heavy and kinda f*cked up.

Nick Stance“All I want for Christmas is You”.  Because I f*cking love money and whoever wrote that godawful tune probably has their own island.

William: ‘That’s What My Heart Needs’ by Otis Redding. The way he’s able to howl with those regurgitated screams, so primal, so emotional- it beats any f*cking screamo shit, ever.

 Flyin’:  Probably something by Ray Whylie Hubbard.  I’ve never heard a better storyteller where you can hear, see, taste, feel and smell that man’s songs.   If you can’t, you’ve been hanging at the wrong establishments.

Use a single word to describe today’s music trends

Nick Stance:  Confounding.

Alex:  Existence.

William: Classism.

Flyin’:   Lazy.

What’s one musical instrument you’d like to experiment with in a future recording?

William:  I’d like some sleazy Rock N’ Roll sax. If the budget allows it.

What’s the most f*cked up thing that’s ever happened to you during a gig or tour?

Alex:   Me personally or The Judex?

Flyin’:  Only thing I’ll say is everyone got home safe.  Somehow.

William: Having entire gigs at prestigious venues canceled or tours never happening because band members casually informed me after said things were arranged that their probation due to drug arrests prohibited these things from taking place. More bridges burned and not for badass reasons but annoyingly petty ones.

Bang, Marry, Kill: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr

William:  I’d likely marry the former for his money so long as he understood that I’d be the top in any relationship we had.

Modern mainstream punk: yay or nay?

Alex:  Sure, why the f*ck not? “Mainstream punk” isn’t a thing anymore. Punk Bands from Colorado are still playing basement shows in Pennsylvania and entertaining and exciting the f&ck out of people (and vice versa) and generating a fan base. It’s always been more hit than miss at shows that I’ve gone to. If you see a flyer for a show on a Friday at 8pm go drop $7-10 and hang out for a minute. If you don’t like it, you’re out a few bucks. If you like it, you’re up a couple of t-shirts and you helped out (invested in) a band that provided a soundtrack for a good time.

Flyin’:   If it’s good yay, but I don’t think I’ve heard a lot that is.

William: Nay but mostly because I don’t listen to too much punk and was never really influenced by it. Anything I like which is constituted as ‘punk’ is older stuff but not the stuff I listen to on a regular basis.

Nick Stance:   I’m too old to know what counts as either punk or mainstream anymore so I’ll just state that rock and roll attained perfection in 1974, it’s a scientific fact.

If you could erase one musician/band from the face of the earth, who would it be and why?

Flyin’:  Eric Clapton.

Alex:   Nobody. Artists gain following/fans/haters through timing, love, and hatred. As a rock n roll fan/musician I can’t want “the enemy” (radio rock/radio metal, pop-country) to go away because it makes underground music more hungry and more appealing to that ONE different kid at school. And then that kid picks up guitar or drum sticks or starts rippin turntables or starts writing lyrics. It makes that band you like in 6-7th grade YOUR favorite band for life. And then when you’re in your late 20s and see a Ramones shirt at Target you get pissed.  But Rock n roll evolves and regenerates but it’s such a young thing, still, it gets pushed aside every other generation so far at least. But at the same time, NWA is Rock n Roll. Steve Earle is Rock n Roll. John Denver, Mates of State, Lil Nas X are all Rock N Roll. It’s so ingrained in us that we take it for granted because of buzzwords and genres that we exclude cool shit, but “F*ck you, I’m gonna express myself” is, hands down the most rock n roll thing anyone can do.

William: With this, I take the same approach I take with shitty Politicians, which, like shitty bands, are legion: rather than blame them, I blame the people who voted for them. So the many, many, many shitty bands of dubious talent and worth… they couldn’t exist if they didn’t have fans that kept enabling their work to keep coming out. What can you do?

Nick Stance:  Mike Love. Because f*ck that guy.

Describe your musical style in one word

Flyin’:  Flyin’.

Nick Stance:  semi-competent.

What projects can we expect from The Judex in the near future?

Flyin’:  Tune in and find out.

William:  We’ve got another EP coming out in May and we’ve got our semi-regular YouTube show “House of Judex” which is like old public access tv on lo-fi film, uh in 2021. If this is all we ever did, I think the body of work we’ve produced in the past nine months holds up exceedingly well: we’re a real good unit and the work will last long after we do.

Alex:  Whether or not you’re expecting future projects from The Judex, you’re going to get them. We like playing together, so we’ll do that until we don’t like doing it anymore.

You can find more information about The Judex at...