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Junebug The Interview: ‘Toast Slightly If Necessary’

Saturday night is going to be a huge night in the history of Scottish rock band Junebug, this is because they are fulfilling a dream and headlining the famous King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. Any bands coming through in Scotland almost have to headline this place almost as a rite of passage. Not only are they headlining their biggest gig to date but they are also releasing their brand new EP on the same day.

So yesterday I sat down and through the wonders of email chopped it up with the guys ahead of the big night.

The band have made no secret of the fact that this is gig is the biggest of their career, so when I asked them about how they were feeling a few days out from such a big show its fair to say that the nerves were beginning to jangle. ‘I’d say that we’re as excited as we are nervous & terrified. We’ve been planning this for around 4 months now and everything is coming together very suddenly on this one night… It’s terrifying that so much planning and work will all be completed in the space of 24 hours.’ Although the nerves are palpable there is also a steely focus and a determination to put on a set that will be remembered ‘We’ve pulled out all the stops for this gig in all areas, in terms of our musical performance, live show & atmosphere, as well as our new merchandise. We know a lot of people are travelling from afar, as well as within Glasgow, so we’ve made sure that we will not disappoint on the night.’

On nights such as these bands can often be guilty of trying to overcomplicate things but Junebug seemed determined not to fall into that trap when I asked whether the audience could expect any surprises, ‘Yes and no. Live, there are going to be a certain few things you haven’t seen or heard before, however it will still be in the style of a classic Junebug gig.’ This is great to hear.

As I mentioned in the intro, tomorrow night also sees the band launch their brand new EP, and as a result a few days ago we got to hear the new single from that project ‘Lines’ so I asked if they had been pleased with how that track had been received. ‘Very much so, yes. For this EP we wanted to release each individual track alongside a music video, before compiling them all into a CD. We’ve found that you get a much better reaction from people when they have a video to watch whilst listening, and it provides something for them to talk about – creating a bit of a buzz. A lot of people have commented how we don’t make the stereotypical video of “band playing instruments”, which was a key aim during the planning process. ‘

It’s interesting that the band brought up their videos before I did, because as they say their videos can be bizarre to say the least, something they take great pride in. ‘Well like I said before, we wanted to make something interesting to watch. Primarily it begins by deciding whether we want to attach the concept of the song to that of the video. We did this for “You & I”, as the couple dancing are meant to relate to the track. “TR” is the concept of Voodoo, which isn’t linked to the song. However for example “Lines”, it was a case of meeting up with the director which we use and beginning to brainstorm ideas and concepts. We then go away for a week or two to think things over, and then generally just decide to go feet-first and begin filming and see what the finished product looks like.’

‘Lines’ definitely seems like a bit of a progression from the band, there is far more of a melodic indie feel to it than some of their previous work like ‘TR’ and this progression is something the band is very much aware of, not only in relation to ‘Lines’ but the new EP as a whole. ‘I think with “Lines” it was a chance for us to try out a slightly different sounding track. If you listen to our back-catalogue I wouldn’t say we have one distinct sound, however perhaps Lines is the furthest from anything we’ve done previously. For those familiar with the singles, you can still expect something slightly different with the EP. For a number of the tracks, once we’d recorded them and released them alongside a video months ago, we often went back and tweaked things here and there… I’d also like to think it’s more captivating than the previous EP, with each song providing something that the last one didn’t. Whilst the songs were primarily designed as singles, they work well collectively when running from one to the other.’

Since the release of their debut EP the band have undergone a few changes so as a result have they done anything different this time around? ‘Well we have a new singer, Alli Martin, since the first EP, and we’ve also recruited Aonghas Maxwell on keys & guitar. You can really hear this as the sound has become a lot “fuller” this time round…were a lot more educated as to how to go about making, recording and producing this EP, and you can really tell by the overall improvement compared to the previous one.’

I have often joked on the blog that there has been a bit of a Scottish invasion on The Musical Outcast in recent months, but this is purely and simply because there is so much talent up there right now, so who do Junebug recommend? ‘For Edinburgh, check out “Kung Fu Academy”. We’re good friends with them and gig with them often. I can honestly say that they’re in my top 5 favourite unsigned bands in Scotland. Alongside them are Made As Mannequins, who we’re quite close with. We also recently went to see a band called the Mickey 9’s in Glasgow and my did they impress!’

Now, with the serious music related stuff out of the way I thought it was time to move onto a more pressing issue. So Junebug; if you were to create the perfect sandwich what would be in it? ‘Using a large baguette, you should first cut it in half and butter both sides. The bread should be in the fine line of baked fully, but so that it’s still slightly soft. Post-buttering, apply as much meat within. Ham, salami, pepperoni, parma ham, anything you can get your hands on. Be careful not to put too much variety in however, as then you’ll cause everything to blend into one universal taste. After the meat, insert some mild-cheddar. Grated, of course. From here on, you can choose whether to apply the green stuffs, like rucola, onions, etc. however we can’t make that choice for you. Toast slightly if necessary, but do NOT crisp it.’

Wise words guys, wise words. The band is now set for a break for as they put it ‘for a week or three’ and frankly they deserve it. As for the future, the band revealed that they are working on new material and that may emerge in the form of a single sometime in the summer or maybe even another EP in the autumn. This is on top of plans to venture south of Hadrian’s wall for a couple of shows in the north of England.

Hard working, talented and ready for the biggest gig of their musical careers Junebug are flying but remember kids ‘Toast slightly if necessary, but do NOT crisp it.’

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