Interview with Toby Rand (Juke Kartel)

By Haleemon Woodard
Date Published: December 7, 2006

Interview with Toby Rand (Juke Kartel) Back in September, I wrote a review of a new up-and-coming Melbourne based band, Juke Kartel, and how they are taking the indie world by storm. Now, these lads are touring North America before they embark on an insane tour spanning two continents with Rockstar: Supernova (inclusive of Jason Newsted, Tommy Lee, Gilby Clark, and Tobyís mansion bestie, Lukas Rossi). The lucky lassie that I am, I had the opportunity to chat with Toby Rand, vocalist for Juke Kartel, just as the band is launching into superstardom. How cool is that? We chatted at length about various topics from Juke Kartel to fellow Rockstar: Supernova contestant, Dilanaís, demise and resurrection, and from Mike Patton to (my personal fave) "spooning", all of which made for great conversation, however admittedly, I am way too lazy to indulge my fellow Hot Indie News readers with all of the juicy details (thatís just too much typing and, well, his Aussie accent is pretty thick at times) so Iíll just provide you with some highlights that I found rather amusing. Oh, how I love my job...

Haleemon: Youíve been on quite a whirlwind adventure! How have the past 6 months affected both you personally and the band as a whole?

Toby Rand: At the moment weíre just taking advantage of all of the benefits that have happened in the last 6 months. It isnít everyday that you get exposure like we have, and as far as the band goes, weíre just so excited! Weíre driving around here in a little van at the moment. Weíve got our tour manager driving...and our surrogate mother. Itís just a lot of fun and we want to do it this way, like rather than doing some shopping malls and playing cover songs. We wanted to get the band and just do the hard jobs, you know, and hittiní all the places we can and do small venues and just meet people.

H: How do you think the editing of [CBS show] Rockstar: Supernova played into the decision of the winner?

TR: TV is the entertainment industry and itís a reality TV show not designed to be pretty. The whole time thereís gonna be drama and if your gonna act like a cockhead on TV, theyíre gonna film it and theyíre gonna show it. Thatís the way I see it. I donít remember smashing a glass into someoneís head and splitting their head open. I donít remember crying and screaming on camera. I donít remember anything that I did like that. The ones that did do it they got to understand that when they signed that paper they are liable to be seen on TV. Iíve spoken to Dilana about this and sheís... weíre talking about Dilana now I guess?

H: Well, I guess it sort of turned that way and thatís fine.

TR: Iíve spoken to her about it and instantly sheís like Ďit sucks and I canít believe theyíre portraying me like this and stuffí and I did say to her, Ďlisten, you did it and so theyíre gonna show ití and sheís like, Ďyeah I understand, but it seems like itís been the main focus of the whole showí and it did become a main focus and for that I think she did get some rough editing but as far as how she feels now, from what Iíve spoken to her, she feels good. She came out smelling great in the end. She came in second, sheís got a band together now, and sheís got that bad girl image which is not a bad thing sometimes.

H: No, not at all, especially for rock and roll.

H: As a fickle music lover, with your typical A.D.D when it comes to entertainment, I can honestly say that my attention span for an artist is relatively short if they are not constantly in the forefront. What is Juke Kartelís prime objective now to prevent being forgotten in a year?

TR: Just keep on touring and the album will be coming out at the end of January/February and I donít think itís gonna be an album that people are gonna go Ďuh, a reality TV album,í itís gonna be these are songs that have been crafted and works well. Theyíre gonna see itís gonna be seen on MTV. You know my band, weíve got great players, weíve got tight acts, weíre energetic, [and] my boys are very good looking, that helps also (laughs).

H: And you have the accent and Lord knows all the American girls love the accent, so you have that going for you too.

TR: (Laughs) From what weíve been told so far, yeah. I donít know, if you got any marketing ploys just feel free to send them to me and Iíll review them.

H: Done.

TR: Weíre gonna stay up there and weíre gonna flood the market with hopefully songs that people are gonna love, and we believe them so you know as long as weíre doing that, Iím happy.

H: What sort of bands, in an ideal world or a sort of grand utopia, would you be touring with?

TR: In an ideal world, it would be the Foo Fighters... and Velvet Revolver because I love Scott Weiland.

H: Who doesnít?

TR: Audioslave, all these young bands as well. We donít really fall into the Panic At The Disco or Fall Out Boys- we donít fall into that category.

H: Thatís a good thing actually.

TR: I think itís a good thing for me because I think itís a fad. BUT that being said, those bands do reinvent themselves every year and it would be interesting to see what happens to them like the My Chemical Romances... Itís interesting to see what young bands do these days to try and get themselves out there and I think itís cool.

H: If I could make a suggestion, if you could tour with Peeping Tom, that would be amazing!

TR: Mike Patton, mmmm...

H: Love him.

TR: If I could just stand in the same room as Mike Patton Iíd be happy. Iíd probably try to make out with him as well (Laughs).

H: I may beat you to it but thatís ok.

H: Some people want to know how you came up with "evs". I know you said it was an Australian saying and itís funny because you say "evs" and I actually say "whatevs."

TR: That was editing at its best. What I did say on the show was that it was an Australian thing that I made up... I was in a bar and someone was going "whatevs whatevs" And I said, "yeah, evs". And then that was it, that was just that. It was as simple as a stupid word can get and I was telling everyone in the house about it like Lukas and all those guys and we all started using it amongst ourselves in the house and that was it. It just kinda happened that way and I was just getting pissed off with all the behind the scenes bullshit because people were like oh you know, "Toby you need to be more edgy" or some shit like that and I just like wrote "EVS" across my chest to say get fucked.

H: Youíre like go screw yourself. Iím edgy and hereís a news flash, I came in third, so learn about it.

TR: Whatís this?

H: I was saying, youíre like all the drama, all the bullshit thatís going on, and in the end and you came out on top.

TR: I know, itís hilarious right?

H; The only thing you can hold against you is that you ran around a pool naked and well I donít think anyoneís complaining, so good lookiní out

TR: If any guys give me shit about that Iíll just go ĎAre you getting laid because of that? (laughs)

H: Exactly, exactly!

TR: Thatís fuckiní funny. Iím getting carried away now.

H: No, good times good times.

TR: Is there any gossip you want to know?

H: Any gossip?

TR: That had you rackiní your brains on the show?

H: Ummm.... What kind of debauchery was going on behind the scenes that was never shown? Did anyone hook up?

TR: Yeah some people did hook up on the show.

H: Contestants with contestants?

TR: (Laughs) Yeah, contestants with contestants. Contestants with catering staff. contestant with random girl at the bar/clubs, contestants with production, maybe. Yeah there was a lot of stuff. I was the only single guy on the show and there was only one other single girl and we didnít hook up.

H: The two of you didnít hook up?

TR: No.

H: Ah, thatís lame.

TR: No that means that people were cheating on their partner.

H: Oh! Fair enough.

TR: Yeah, so... Iím not gonna give any names away, itís just all speculation anyway.

H: And thatís fine, and I wont ask.

TR: Iíve got some good footage anyway.

H: If you could submit it to Hot Indie News, thatíd be great.

TR: Off the record, Iíll tell you all about it if youíre really interested.

H: Ok, Iíll ask you tomorrow.

TR: Me and Lukas hooked up...

H: You and Lukas hooked up?

TR: (Laughs) Yeah.

H: That would be an interesting couple I think, and that would make for great gossip.

TR: We have to discuss whoís gonna wear the most makeup.

H: And who was the aggressor, and that sort of thing and if you guys spooned and who was the big spoon. There are a lot of details that youíd need to explain.

TR: You seem to know a lot about spooning, I like that.

And so the conversation digressed. Loves it, thatís h. Stay tuned, as these gents are hot like fi-re! My girls and I hung out with them, drank, and did shots (of what? Who remembers?) after their show in Hoboken, NJ and all of the Juke Kartel bandmates were amazingly humble and down to earth (could it be because Iím part of the media??? Iíd like to think it's because weíre uber rad to be around, ha!) So you better see them NOW before they get sooo big (which they will!) that they will be forced to be untouchable.

For more information, check out or (they do respond to messages- weíre, like, BFF now).