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Bluejuice Singer Jake Stone's Surprising First Singing Gig

When you hear the name Jake Stone you think, Indie; you think Rock; you might even think Funk. And why wouldn't you?

As lead singer for the band 'Bluejuice' from it's beginning in 2000 till the breakup in 2014, and even during his solo years since then, these have been Jake's signature musical styles.

And so it came as quite a surprise to us when we found out what Stone's first professional singing gig was...

"My sisters and I were in the choir for John Williamson's 1988 Opera House televised version of 'Hey True Blue'. We even met him and got a photo signed," laughed Stone.

That's right, before he was releasing albums with Bluejuice and performing at festivals, Jake Stone was rubbing shoulders with the likes of Aussie country singer and downright legend John Williamson!

So this got us thinking...what else don't we know about Jake Stone and his stellar music career? Well it turns out quite a bit! Here are the top five things that we learnt about the singer during our interview.

1. He never planned to have a professional career in singing

"I've loved music since I was a kid, but as a listener and I initially played drums and piano. I didn't consider it as a career, since my middle sister Elana [from All Our Exes Live in Texas] was always the musician of the family."

2. He quit smoking 12 months ago and hasn't looked back!

"I always smoked and have done since I was 13. At a certain age, it was incongruous with singing and with my general health. I've been winding it back for a few years, and finally over the last 12 month I've managed to make a real effort to quit.

"It's been one long attempt to wean myself off the ciggies, and I'd gotten it down from a pack to about 1 a day, and finally I'm not smoking!"

Why did Jake make the decision to quit? Smoking was taking over his life and stopping him from doing the things he loved!

"[I] Couldn't perform without my cardio at athlete levels of fitness, seriously. Performing at the front of Bluejuice was no joke, and you have to be in very good shape to do it. "

And for those who are struggling to quit smoking, Jake has some seriously good advice to give from his personal experience.

"Find a good reason that is something you love doing, that you can't do as easily as a smoker. And then slowly wean yourself down, over a long period. Eventually, you'll miss the one ciggie, but you won't be hitting it all the time."

3. The 'Bluejuice' band started as a complete and utter accident with Jake improvising vocals with a few mates at a small pub gig

"I happened upon my friends Ned and Jamie playing at The Three Wise Monkeys in the city [Sydney], at a sh*tty gig...I jumped up and improvised some horrible vocals over their awful acid jazz...The gigs were three hours of terrible improvisation. We started playing around, and people would surprisingly come and see us. We weren't regarded as 'good' for quite some time. I'd say about seven years."

4. 'Bluejuice' was a combination of two band members nicknames...and Jake NEVER actually liked the band name!

"It was the combination of two horrible nicknames, neither of which I had anything to do with. They were given to them by co-workers at their pub job, god knows why. I am ashamed to even speak these words. Those were our drummer Ned's nickname 'Bluesticks' and our bass player's nickname 'Juice Master J'. The idiots put those two horrible names together into one horrible name - Bluejuice. I had no choice, and couldn't change the name."

5. Since the band split in 2014 Jake has been training in muay thai and boxing

"I'm a big fan of combat sport, and for the last four and a half years I've been training and sparring muay thai and boxing.

"I've also done some writing for VICE Sport, about women's boxing in Australia."

Have you recently thought about quitting smoking? Read more about people's personal experiences at ICanQuit.com.au

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