Juniper, a relatively successful young Irish 5-piece who played electrifying gigs which were always packed to the rafters. They signed to PolyGram for a potential 6-album deal and managed to release two reasonably-well received singles, the most notable being ‘Weatherman’ (not the B*Witched version). But that was four years ago and that was as far as they ever got.
Deep down Juniper were not happy berries and after the second single was released, Damien Rice decided to jump ship. “I certainly don’t regret leaving the band." "I would look back on things I did and say ‘I wouldn’t do that again’ but if I hadn’t have done it, I wouldn’t have learned that I didn’t like doing it. I just wanted to be free and when I was signed to the record company I wasn’t free”.
In early 1999, Juniper were due to fly to the south of France and record their début album with Manic Street Preachers producer Mike Hedges - all paid for by PolyGram, of course. On the eve of this dream junket, however, Rice announced that he was quitting the band.
Bell X1 + Damien Rice = Juniper, or rather
Juniper – Damien Rice = Bell X1.
Juniper formed in 1991 when Damien Rice, Brian Crosby, Paul Noonan and Dominic Phillips were still in school in Celbridge, Co. Kildare. They kept the band together while in college, playing weddings, 21st birthday parties and the like. They soon hooked up with Dave Geraghty, who opens their eyes to a whole new range of music.
In 1999 Damien Rice decided Juniper was not working for him and took off for Tuscany. That seems to have worked out for him; he found his voice and has gone on the great things.