'The main thing with us is that we don't want to compromise what we do.'
Occasionally, it is not until I witness a band live that that their startling brilliance is fully realised. These sentiments very much applied when I saw The Junket at the Aldershot West End Centre earlier this year. Their debut mini-album, 'Stamina', displayed a potential for writing raw, twisted noise-pop, but The Junket's live show is something else. The trio are totally absorbed in the intense sound they are creating, keeping the audience transfixed with their dynamic stage presence. I managed to have a quick chat with Rick and Reu after the show, and was not surprised to discover they were fiercely intelligent and passionate about their music.
The Junket are: Rick (vocals and guitar), Reu (drums) and Steve (bass and vocals).
This is a very boring question to start with, but how did you form and who are your inspirations?
RICK: We formed in Kettering. Basically, we were all in bands which had one really arrogant, egotistical member that fucked everything up and we ended up doing more arguing than we did playing, so we were all sitting in the pub one night and decided we were fucked off with our bands and started The Junket. The name means a night out on the town, named after how we met if you know what I mean. And our inspirations are Robert Smith, Perry Farrell, films, books, Bob Mould, The Pixies, Girls Versus Boys, Flaming Lips, it's all there...and Fugazi, of course.
What's it like coming from Kettering, is there much of a scene there?
RICK: No, simple answer. We tried, when we started out...
REU: There was one to get started in, but it died because people just didn't give a shit.
RICK: The rehearsal studios got repossessed by the bloke. We weren't supposed to be rehearsing there, but this bloke just turned up every week on his Harley, we paid him a fiver and he gave us the key, but it turned out he didn't actually own this room! So we got kicked out by the estate agent and that basically finished off half the bands but we, luckily, had moved on a bit by then.
REU: There's nowhere to play really either is there? It's a difficult town to get started in.
You had a mini-album out last year on Deceptive, so how come that didn't develop into a more permanent deal?
RICK: It was only ever supposed to be a mini-album deal really. We were thinking about doing albums with them but the thing about it was they wanted more than one album, y'know, and we didn't feel ready for it.
REU: The amount we were writing then compared to the amount we're writing now is totally different.
RICK: Yeah, it's basically that we weren't happy with what we had; we wanted to put a mini-album out on Deceptive and then move on.
REU: I think that if we'd have gone straight into doing an album it wouldn't be as good as it is.
RICK: So we're doing it on Lime Street which is cool.
You've got a new single out, 'Adolescence'; do you think it's your best so far?
RICK: Well, we've all got different favourites so I dunno...I'm really bored of all our other singles, so I'll say yeah 'cos we haven't played it that much yet!
REU: We experimented with it a fair bit as well didn't we?
RICK: Yeah, when we wrote it, it was intended to be an experimental b-side thing and it sort of changed into a single.
Have you finished recording your new album and how does it differ from the mini-album?
RICK: Yeah, we've finished it, it's all done, all the artwork and everything. Um, it differs...well, the thing is with the mini-album is there's only seven tracks so you don't have a lot of time to change the mood, so we just wanted it to be a pretty raw representation of what we do. Even though we had quite a lot of the album stuff then we just wanted to do a loud, in your face sort of thing. So in that way I suppose the album is a bit broader, it goes all over the place. Some of the songs are pretty unrecognisable as us...
REU: With ten songs you're allowed to play with the way people feel as they listen to the album and stuff.
RICK: So yeah, it's quite different definitely.
Do you ever look at bands like Idlewild and feel that you could be as successful as them? How successful do you strive to be?
RICK: The main thing with us is that we don't want to compromise what we do. I've noticed that a lot of bands are getting loads of money chucked at them now, bands that record companies know will work. Radiohead have been really successful, so if a band's going that way then they know that there's a certain amount of punters that are going to like it. We want to be as big as we can be, but at the same time we don't want to compromise our music. Does that answer your question? But I love Idlewild!
I was listening to some of your lyrics this evening, and they're quite sort of deviant...
RICK: The album's mainly about positivity to be honest. The ones that people notice are like 'Brother/Sister', which is about incest. The majority of the songs on the album aren't really deviant. That one's like...I wanted to write a love song but I didn't want it covered in melted cheese, so I put a little slant on it.
What are you going to do for the rest of the year?
RICK: We're touring in May for our album, we're recording a new EP and we're putting a song on a Fierce Panda six band thing. We're going to tour and write and tour and write and get messy!
Issue 6 Contents
Issue 6 Summer 2000 © Tim Bragger