It’s the three chord rock and roll sound track that Britain has so badly missed since the late 1980’s. JUNK the ‘creators of short and sweet, jangly, lo-fi rackets’ are taking the music back to Yorkshire. Third Outing caught them along the way...
3rd: Hello JUNK! First off, If you had to describe JUNK's sound in one sentence what would it be? We'd go for 'joyful, jangled, certainly NOT junk'.
JUNK: The sound of a broken amp rolling around in the boot as you're driving along to The Archies.
3rd: Woah; Sugar, Sugar then! You've just released Dirt In My Eye from your upcoming EP. It is such a tune. Tell us the story of the song?
JUNK: We wanted to write a really simple song using just three chords, it was only half finished when we brought it to rehearsal but it seemed to resolve itself almost immediately. We ran through it a couple of times before we recorded it for the E.P, it definitely didn't have lyrics when we laid down the instrumental tracks. It's about being with somebody that's detrimental to your mental well-being. We're not very good at writing songs about healthy relationships.
3rd: Car E.P is a fast record. The tracks are fast and loud some sang by Sam and some by Estella. How do you choose who sings a song?
JUNK: Strangely enough it's never really crossed our minds. There's no set formula, a lot of the time whoever wrote the song will end up singing it but often we'll write a song together and just instinctively know who should sing it. It's nice to have the male/female element to play with, I think it gives us a bit more freedom.
3rd: You can hear the freedom for sure. What else we hear, for example in Willows, is a distinct Jesus and Mary chain vibe.
JUNK: Well spotted. The simple answer would be that we ripped them off? We'll have to start looking for a decent lawyer! We find it inspiring that they write the best pop songs using just two or three chords. As soon as you start complicating things, it starts to fall apart. As songwriters they're greatly underrated, William Reid has a real knack for simple, melodic guitar hooks. We're actually playing a set of Jesus and Mary Chain covers on 3rd May at Sounds From The Other City festival in Manchester. Our friend Jenny runs a night called Violent Femmes where she gets bands to perform a set by a particular 90's band. This year she's curating a stage at the festival and she invited us to play. Willows was equally influenced by one of our favourite bands, The Willowz, whom we named the song after. They were one of the better bands that came out of the garage rock revival of the early 2000's but for some reason never got the exposure that others received.
3rd: You also covered a Pavement song Silence Kit for Art is Hard Records. How did that compilation come about and how did you end up on it?
JUNK: Last year they asked us to contribute a song for their Cassette Store Day release. It was 20 years since Pavement released Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain so they were getting various bands to cover songs off that album. People often compared us to Pavement but they were never a band we'd really listened to. Recording it was fun and was definitely a good introduction to the band, after that we went and bought every album. Fun fact: coincidentally the last person to have played the snare drum we used on the recording was Bob Nastanovich from Pavement.
3rd: So we've made those comparisons now. but what do you make of this whole 90's revival going on at the moment?
To be honest we're kind of indifferent to it. There are some good bands that sure would fall under that umbrella and there are some bad bands. We never set out to sound like a 90's band but there were definitely a lot of early 90's/late 80's bands that we were listening to at the time. We're always wary of "revivals". more often than not they seem to be orchestrated by the music press or fashion world more than anything else.
3rd: We need to talk about York. A great town with a great music past. There are bands such as Everlate and Likely Lads, the latter recieving slight success, the former looking for it. Where are you in the fold? Someone needs to take the mantle from Shed 7 in terms of success, right?
JUNK: The York music scene is really healthy and there are a whole load of great bands at the moment. It's a really inclusive scene and everybody is really encouraging of what each other are doing. There's a lot going on outside of the main venues, little gigs in pubs or DIY gigs elsewhere. For Record Store Day we contributing to an E.P. along with three of our friends' bands. It's the first compilation on B.O.N.E.R. Records and also features And The Hangnails, Bull and Fat Spatula. They're all great bands so check them out.
3rd: So for those in York, and those other in the knowe. Are you the Burn's Hotel, Evil Eye, or The Willow?
JUNK: Pubs and York. There are a lot and we try to make the most of living there. We spend a lot of time in Dusk, they've been really encouraging and also tolerated a lot of drunken behaviour. There's a new bar, Nevermind which is really cool, and Willow if we're steaming.
3rd: So what's 2015 going to be like for JUNK? What's the next step from York?
JUNK: Our plan will probably be what it's always been, just to carry on writing, recording and playing gigs. If anybody wants to send a big cheque our way then that'd be nice but otherwise we're quite happy doing what we're doing. There are a few gigs and festivals that we're looking forward to, Indietracks being one of those, and we've already started recording a few new songs.
3rd: Best of luck JUNK, we look forward to seeing you in the Willow chinese disco busting a groove. FYI if you see JUNK there, your desert island drink is?...
JUNK: Gotta be a Bloody Mary. Any day of the week, any time. Although we recently played at Temple of Boom in Leeds and they serve something called a "Moo Bomb". If you imagine a Jager Bomb, but replace Jager with coffee tequila and replace Red Bull with milk. Sounds terrible but we haven't looked back.
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