Hailing from Belfast where the "rent is cheap and coffee's decent", Junk Drawer are on the edge of their destiny. We're gonna call it black and white...they will either break through big time or slowly die in desolation. But right now, they are devastating the world of indie music, Song 3 being the perfect example of this chaos. So breaking through big time it'll be...
Junk Drawer is the band you wish your band was. The band you wish will break through big time. Become the world greatest Rock band, tour the world and play their best tunes in a massive stadium, where fans are wearing their first-tour-dodgy-T-shirt and argue about whether the first EP is better than their last LP. The famous first EP Junk Drawer will release arrives in Autumn 2016. And guess what? You're wishing it will be an album full of unstoppable anthems like their recently released Song 3, the first taste of The Cult Fat Guy EP.
Stevie and Jake Lennox are the vocal force behind Junk drawer, with the addition of Brian Coney on bass and guitar, and utility man/best all-round musician Rory Dee filling the spaces in between. It's in 2016 Belfast where the outfit are best found thriving, creating music nobody else seems to be bothered to make.
We caught up with the band desperate to find out more about their lifestyle, their thoughts and ethos. And more importantly, how their music so naturally becomes a reflection of their state of mind, sitting quietly between modesty and big ambition. Read the wonderful, random interview below. Your next favourite band, we promise!
"Lyrically, there's definitely a theme of existential dread running through the EP and it's tied together with slight variations in perspective coming from our multiple lyricists"
The new record Song 3 is wonderfully well-balanced. What's the idea behind the new EP The Cult Fat Guy?
The goal is to make music we'd want to play because no-one in Belfast appears to be doing it, and we're the biggest snobs we know. Lyrically, there's definitely a theme of existential dread running through the EP and it's tied together with slight variations in perspective coming from our multiple lyricists.
Although, it works well to give a good balance of the sum of our "crippling neuroses". It's partially a discussion about making human connections, the things we don't like to talk about, some personal black humour. Oh, Stevie's got epilepsy and is prone to extended blank spells, which creeps into the point of view. It's a whole mess that hopefully makes sense after a few listens.
When you were about to record The Cult Fat Guy what atmosphere did you try to create?
We're thinking through the most satisfying and prolonged way to murder each other. Stevie's generally berating Jake or stressing about trying to maintain his attention span.
Sounds like there's a story in that? Go on, share one with us...
Once when Stevie (the most lead singer) was under the influence, he went on a prolonged rant about how cult fat guys are the reason good bands can thrive, which is where our new EP title comes from. As a band, you can be disheartened without cult fat guys who genuinely get it, and as a fan, we definitely would see ourselves as the cult fat guys who throw a few quid at a band who mean nothing to their parents or peers. We're under no illusions; we're not going to 'break'. The best case scenario is gradually amassing enough cult fat guys to break even at some point. I mean, have you seen Last Days Here, the Pentagram documentary? It's the truth.
What is it like to attend one of your gigs as a "cult fat guy" then?
Fairly ramshackle, in all honesty. There are a lot of changeovers so sound guys probably have their work cut out. There's a general feeling of build up we try to get across. We're all awkward with stage banter, unless some dry wit or genius strikes (it usually doesn't)! We still haven't gigged too much yet, though.
I'm curious then how you'd describe Junk Drawer's sound in one sentence?
An amalgamation of our favourite parts of everything we've ever listened to, guided through our own feeling and intuition.
Put like that it makes perfect sense. And the best and worst things about Belfast then?
Worst is the sectarianism, patriotism and religion.
Best is the backlash to sectarianism, patriotism and religion, cheap rent and decent coffee.
Go on then you can only play one other city in the UK with one current band. Where and with who?
Tough call. We'd love to play with Parquet Courts. For hipness, in Camden, but for genuine interactions with people, probably somewhere in Scotland. "The Scotch" are a much better breed than the rest of us generally. The Scottish and Irish are definitely kindred spirits. If we could say a singer songwriter, probably Richard Dawson. He's at the pinnacle of artistry.
Interesting point. For you who is the ultimate anti-hero guitar player?
We're arguing over whether it's Neil Young or Stephen Malkmus. One note with feeling or several disjointed notes get to a different place. Neil Young. A couple of us saw him play 3 hours recently, with a 25 minute version of Down By The River. Malkmus probably couldn't do that...