Interview: Judas

Judas

Words: Elena Katrina

Photos: Fi Carroll

Judas Fi Carroll We’ve been cheekily sitting on this interview with Judas for some months now, waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting for what you might ask. Well waiting for “that” moment, the right time to leash this lil beauty onto the world and it would seem that the time has come – well and truly. We’ve been writing about, and singing along to, their tunes for some time, watching them play live and knowing that inside this robust unit of musicians was an absolute beast just waiting to break out. We’ve already said it before, that these guys have the tunes and the skill to pull of huge stages and they treat the smallest of stage as though it’s the biggest and finally, it happened. This weekend just gone they stepped up to the main stage at Leeds festival, having originally been taken along to play the Jack Daniels/ This Feeling stage, and blew the proverbial roof off. That right there – their moment, our moment. See how it all comes together so beautifully.

Let us take you back to a rare sunny afternoon in May, rare for Liverpool at least. I wonder up to a band, so obviously a band they may as well have had their name in neon above their heads in the street, and tentatively said “are you Judas?” it didn’t take much more than that and we were off wondering the streets of Liverpool looking for “interesting” places to snap the cheeky chaps – and they really are cheeky. We eventually settled at a table in (then) new establishment The Merchant and get down to the serious business of interview. Only, there’s not really anything serious about these guys, apart from their desire to do well.

They introduce themselves as Carlos and Cruz before finally giving all of their real names (as evidence for the tape) and then asking me who I was! Told you didn’t I?! Cheek! But who are they – for all the people who don’t or didn’t know a damn thing about this band who call themselves Judas.

“We here today to entertain the masses. We’re here to play a kick ass show” they proclaim. Their Liverpool show just part part of a never ending tour which started way back in January.

At that point it had been a year since they released their debut EP ” It’s not officially released, but it’s out.” O… K.  Lead vocalist and guitarist “We want everyone to listen to it but like we intend to release it through a big label. At some point it will go missing.” – So get your ears on it while you can.

“We want everyone to listen to our music and build the fan base. So we can’t have no tunes out.”

The guys had then also very recently been in the studio too, to record their second EP, which I pointed out would actually then be the first EP because the first EP doesn’t actually really exist! Are you following? Good… “It’s being mixed at the moment and it sounds incredible. Everything is… advanced.” The band have passed their SATS and now onto their mocks…. time to really pull in the fans so they can get on and pass those rock star GCSEs and get signed.

Judas - Fi CarrollIt didn’t take me long to get around to asking THE question – Why the name? “Judas. Why not?” Well there we have it then! John expands… “It’s a bit of a long story but basically our names….we were going to be called The Disciples at one point… our names are all disciples names, apart from Sam, so he actually wrecked it for us all so we called him Judas.” (Perhaps Sam is short for Sampson so should they ever want to have a change of band name this could be back on the cards!…. apart from Todd…. unless there’s something I failed to learn at school).

The guys were in Liverpool not just to entertain the masses, as they put it, but to have a warm up show before their slot at this year’s Liverpool Sound City. But what else do they do aside from the show in preparation for such a big show.

“We just drink and meditate”… basically they drink and pass out for a couple of weeks.. I jest! “We do a lot of rehearsal and we have some more time in the studio as well, get some demos down too.”

And what’s their view of playing festivals? What do they see it for? To make fans, to see bands, to find industry people to help them? Before I even finished my question Sam jumped straight in and said “To make fans.” Matter of fact, straight to the point, no cheek, no messing. John chips in “We want to be the best band of the weekend – write that down in your catalogue”  – my what now? Hahah. Then James chirps in “oh and you normally get free beer” – there’s always one!

So fast forward past Sound City, past festival season, what’s the plan? John “I’ll be 22!” -he says with feigned disapproval.  Wow getting old, rolly eye action happening here right now! While Todd interjected with “We’ll just be doing what we’re doing, just with more. More people watching. Every show we’re playing is just getting more and more. We can see a build.”

James added “We played a show in Stoke last week and we’d played there before and we thought oh fucking hell there will be no one there and there was people at the front singing all the words.

John confirmed this, with a big grin and a shake of his hair “and they were with all their mates and getting pictures” You could tell he was proud.
How does that feel? “It feels good. Sam enjoyed it! We just stopped singing and the whole crowd joined in. It was a pretty good moment for us.”

What kind of new bands, if you could go on tour, who would you want to do that with? “We like Sundara Karma – they’re a cool band. Nothing But Thieves – we listen to them both quite a bit in the van.” Ahh the van – what’s the van vibe? “The van’s the best part of going on tour. Lots of jokes. Unless you have to sit in the back!” Then all at once they tell me there’s “three seats at the front.  One seat at the back. There’s like an invisible barrier.”

Judas Fi CarrollJames explained how they keep themselves entertained, invisible barrier or not. “We’ve got this game that we call Superstar DJ that we play – and we all cue a track on Spotify and we don’t know what it’s going to be. It could be anything, pop, heavy metal, anything and whoever picks the best song gets a point. And then we play that for 7 hours and whoever’s got the most points at the end is the Superstar DJ and the other three have to call you that for the rest of the night. And if they call you anything else they have to do a forfeit. We’ve never really stuck to that though we all just get out and forget about it.”

John: “To be fair we only really play it on the way back from a show, like we’re trying to stay awake. You play a show like in Leeds and then have to drive home [to London] and that’s like ….Basically the first round was good and now everyone’s just playing the worst songs.”

“Natasha Beddingfield. She’s a big fan of ours.” I’d like to say that was a slip of the tongue but this band are so funny and so sure of themselves, without being arrogant, that they most probably mean exactly what they say, but everyone is howling laughing anyway.

They might be full of laughs and full of cheek but this really is a band who at the very heart want to be the best that they can be, to have fans like them for them and not because of their manager or their label. A band who know they are doing pretty OK on their own right now and who have their sites firmly set on that big stage. They’ve now had a taste, I know, 100% that they’ll want much much more of that. And I’ll happily say it again, they have the tunes and the skill to pull that off.

Find Judas on Facebook

Check out footage of Judas on the Main Stage at Leeds festival 2016:

 

 

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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