THE guys of Junko Daydream have been telling me…
about their current single, Bug Bites, and what its story is. I ask how the band got together and what they have planned in regards touring. They talks about their upcoming E.P., I Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust (available from 1st November), and its themes; what Ontario is like as a base – the band reveals some upcoming artists to watch.
I wanted to know what music the guys grew up around and which albums are important to them; if they get much chance to chill away from music; the advice they’d give artists coming through – they end the interview by selecting some great tracks.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hectic. We’ve been preparing for the launch of our music video, finishing the launch of our website (junkodaydream.com) and keeping our drummer in check. He’s been falling pretty deep into the moth memes and we’re more worried about his mental stability more than usual.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We’re Junko from London, ON (Canada). We play frenetic, emotionally-raw Punk for people looking to challenge their perception of what aggressive music is and will be. Megaton riffs and sappy poetry are the pillars of the sound - the rest we throw at a wall and see what sticks.
How did Junko Daydream get together? When did you all get together and start making music?
Scott: Jack and Ryan had been playing together for years. Similarly, Jeff and I played together in various projects since we were teenagers. After our previous band, Radio Caroline, broke up in November of 2017, I eventually got sick of sitting around doing nothing and started looking for a new project. I responded to a Kijiji ad Jack posted looking for a guitarist and we started jamming in February of this year. We’ve been writing, gigging and getting into screaming matches ever since.
Bug Bites is your new single. What is the story behind the song?
Jack: Bug Bites is a song about my anxieties. All my life, I tried to deal with my issues by brute force but some recent events came to make me realize it was only worsening my situation. I took that knowledge to heart and started to make a change. I understand now that mental illness will tear you down through relentless repetition; something represented by the almost mantra like second-half of the song that only consists of a quietly sung chorus slowly devolving into some really gut-wrenching howls. We can all get better with time, remember that!
I Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust is your upcoming E.P. Are there particular themes and ideas that inspired the E.P.?
A lot of ‘Fear' (and Junko Daydream) can be defined by our desire to remain genuine to ourselves and our audience. Most of my lyrical themes for this E.P. don’t require second listens as they’re all presented at face value. Baseball deals with some life-changing trauma in my youth; Bad is an introspective into past break-ups and the way they affect how I see myself - and Song for a Friend is about shitty friends.
Ontario is where you hail from. Is there a great scene there at the moment?
Ontario has some great pockets of support for our types of tunes - you just have to know where to look. Tight communities are important, though. They’re what is keeping independent artists like us alive and working harder than ever.
In terms of music; what did you all grow up around and idolise when young?
All: The extent of our shared interests is a mutual love of loud-ass music. We all love to shred some ears.
Scott: I listened to a lot of Blues. I grew up listening to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer and Buddy Guy…which may not be apparent in our music!
Jeff: I’ve always had a thing for Skid Row and other ’80s hair metal. I love the virtuosity and time that goes into huge symphonic arrangements.
Ryan: Always been a fan of Stoner-Rock but I grew up with a huge Funk influence that I inherited from my ex-drummer father. Along from bands like Sleep, CKY; Mastodon and The Melvins have all had a huge influence on my playing.
Jack: I grew up with an older single mother so I listened to a lot of her old mixtapes growing up. A lot of Motown and Surf-Rock for sure though!
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
Success of any measurable degree…
Have you guys got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Our recent show in Montreal. The crowd there really reminded us of why we put so much work into this project.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Scott: One-X by Three Days Grace
Don’t listen to it anymore but I spun that record into the ground as an angry teenager in grade eight.
Jack: Changes by David Bowie
It has such a unique tone to it and a huge variety of influences – plus, every tune on it f*cking SLAPS.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Our rider would exclusively entail a clause that dictates that J. Mascis will actually talk to us.
Are you going to be touring more later this year? Where are you heading?
East Coast, early-November. Ontario to Prince Edward Island, we’re going to redefine the meaning of the word ‘greasy’. By the end of it, hopefully we don’t hate each other as much as we hate ourselves.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Be patient. Write the best songs you can, record them in the highest quality you can afford and release them strategically. Focus on the major markets in your area and establish a good online presence. Play lots of shows - anywhere with whoever you can.
Do you all get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
We unwind by working at our day jobs so we can continue to funnel money into Junko!
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Scott: Cadmium - Pinegrove
Jeff: Back from Cali – Slash (ft. Myles Kennedy)
Jack: Covet - Basement
Ryan: Sleep - Dopesmoker
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