UTG INTERVIEW: Chris Rogge discusses Human Juicebox’s ‘Songs For The Sun’

human juicebox

When we catch up with guitarist Chris Rogge he’s messing around on the guitar in his hometown of Maumee, Ohio. His psychedelic indie-alternative band known as Human Juicebox just recently released their album, Songs For The Sun, a collection of eight songs filled with melodic lead guitar riffs that take their own time to speak, and vocals from John Bonamigo that are even calmer.

The record was created throughout the past two years, as the band—which also includes bassist Elliot Phillips and drummer James Gerhardt—went through several drummers before Gerhardt officially became a full-time member of Human Juicebox about a year ago.

“I was at a bar and this guy walked in and he was giving a flyer out,” Rogge says. “We talked about his band and our band and I said we needed a drummer.” Gerhardt was then suggested and Rogge contacted him through Facebook.

It was actually Gerhardt’s father who built a practice space in Lambertville, Michigan, where the four friends recorded the entire eight songs on the album with recording engineer Travis Geiman, who also owns his own business, Bigfoot Studios in Maumee.

“We recorded [Songs For The Sun] in our practice space, which has good soundproof and everything and it’s a big room,” Rogge says. “Travis would bring his laptop and microphone and we would start recording. We pretty much recorded it at our practice space.”

Human Juicebox records songs for their album in February at their practice space in Lambertville, Michigan.

Human Juicebox records songs for their album in February at their practice space in Lambertville, Michigan.

The album, which is a collection of new and older songs that hadn’t made it on previous releases, includes former drummer Andy Russo on the album’s opening track, “Surfing The Flood.” The album features synths from Geiman on “Late Night Slice,” as well as vocals from Bonamigo’s girlfriend McKenna Hunter on the title track. Rogge said during the time of making the album they were listening to old, ’60s surf music to make songs with a similar vibe, as well as various other music.

“We made a bunch of songs that had a similar vibe to that and then would take a pop song style and make it in our own fashion,” Rogge says. “Basically whatever we could put together with those instruments is what we came up with for this record.”

For a group of dudes who take their music serious, they also include their personalities into the mix, which is demonstrated on their song “Late Night Slice,” featuring a rap about pizza.

But throughout the life of the band, Songs For The Sun is Human Juicebox at its peak, and it almost feels like it’s just the beginning.

“It means quite a bit to have it out. It was kind of a big deal to make a record that all of the songs kind of fit and flowed well with each other,” Rogge says. “Kind of have a record that had a vibe and then had a really cool cover. We take music pretty seriously even though we’re kind of goofballs, but to have something we are proud of and we can take out wherever we play and know that when we sell it to someone or give it to someone that they’re getting something, we’re personally proud of that.”

You can buy Songs For The Sun here and follow Human Juicebox on Facebook and Twitter.

Geoff Burns
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