Social Junk have seemingly moved all over the place in the past 18 months, but considering their all-over-the-map output, it's pretty damn fitting. They've got releases on a ton of great labels (Night People, Not Not Fun, yours truly) and have been touring crazies for the past few years. Now that they're settled back East, Heather Young and Noah Anthony look to turn things past 11 and unleash a series of new sacrifices of their disjointed, freakout wailings. They seriously have to be one of the best bands on the planet right now, it's jut a shame more people don't realize it. Noah answered some questions over the course of about 18 months and 5000 miles.
Well, my parents were always jamming a lot of like Neil Young, REM, U2 and stuff like that when I was growing up. I remember hearing "Green" by REM all the goddamn time. It's hard to complain though, living in totally rural West Virginia that's about as good as it got. Still, if I have to sit through the U2 movie "Rattle and Hum" ever again I will seriously fucking lose it. My older brother was the into all the "cool" shit around ‘92 or so, and definitely got me into some serious Nirvana, Breeders, and later, Sonic Youth action. Then at some point he had a guitar (with a Grunge pedal no less!) and we started recording in our bedroom with this boombox I had. The whole cassette lo-fi do-it-yourself atmosphere really inspired me and got me going.
Me and Heather met up in high school. We had been going out for a couple years and wanted to get some kind of band going so we started SJ sometime in the summer of 2002 along with Diane, who played bass and percussion. As far as other projects, I mainly just focus my efforts on Social Junk, but Heather has her relatively new totally rippin' solo project HNY and has released a few tapes and has an LP coming out later this year on Seacave.
Heather was in college studying Sociology at the start of the band. Basically, it's a term describing a class of people in a social system who depend on others and have, by lacking certain skills, "fallen through the cracks of society". So yeah, there's that.
We did a split with Robedoor on the Deathbomb Arc Tape Club. From there I think we both became aware of each other and started talking. We played with RBDR last summer in LA and have kept in touch since. Awesome dudes.
Honestly, it was a pretty mellow tour. It was great but not very crazy. Probably because it was the first time that me and Heather went out without anyone else.
Yeah, that was our third time down to Miami. I really really love this fest and hope it continues to happen. It somehow manages to stay organized (thanks to Rat Bastard of course) amid the chaotic pace and staggering number of acts (107 last year I think). I always have a great time and see some amazing shit. Some of last year highlights to me were Human Adult Band, Lazy Magnet (as always),Small Pox and Darker Florida (Irene Moon and Pax Titania). No Bummers here.
Well, the fact that we pulled it out on that tour is enough for me. The van was pretty fucked from the get go. We met this random dude at a rest area in Connecticut that gave us his AAA card and bought us all breakfast twice, meaning two of everything we ordered. Kinda weird. Also we saw the best bathroom graffiti ever while passing through Kentucky ("Toy Story 2 was just ok"). We're in Philly now actually, it rules.
Mainly I miss my family and friends. And Tudors Biscuit World. Small town charms.
This interview is so behind on shit! We're not on the west coast anymore but back to the east coast in Philly. We sort of went synth pop in Oakland. Well, maybe not but we definitely we have been flirting around with keyboards more lately than usual. We recently finished our upcoming split with Lazy Magnet (also our first Oakland recordings) so expect more synth aspects than usual along with typical sci-fi imagery and drum shred in song form. Not related but on our upcoming CD on Digitalis I got to play a real nice Hammond Organ poorly.
Not too much has changed. It feels really good to be on the East Coast.We're having the best summer in recent memory. This dude Lance Simmons who goes solo under Dick Neff and used to play in Them Natives starting playing with us not too long ago. It's really great jamming with a full time drummer again, feels awesome. We're practicing twice a week now too which is a record for us. So, you know,"we're workin' on a sound".
With "Concussion Summer," most of the basic ideas were originally recorded live on 4-Track then taken apart and meticulously pieced back together over several months along with a lot of different sounds and other weird recordings and eventually turned into songs. So it was a fairly long process that has become a pretty typical style for me and how I approach recording. As soon as we finished up that record, we immediately recorded "Born Into It" at a friend's studio in Huntington, WV. There are very few overdubs,it's mostly just us jamming out with everything actually miked up professionally for once. I really love how both of those albums turned out.
I occasionally talk to Thurston online and we had been talking about PL and he asked if we wanted to do it. I said sure.
Good god, there's a lot going on right now. We're finally wrapping up this album we've kind of been working on for 3 years which is the at-one-point-in-time appropriately titled album "Give Up" to be released on LP from DNT/Deathbomb Arc. I feel like it will definitely be done soon. It's also nice to have Lance in the band now to help work out the songs for that record. Aside from SJ. Heather has a ton of solo tapes in the works, I started a dumb solo project, me and Ren (God Willing) have a new thing called Modern Office, and there's another project that's me and Davey from Mincemeat or Tenspeed in the works called Universal Soldier which is like Soulja Boy meets Enya or something. Silly summer bands are the best.
Yeah, New England and Midwest thing in the fall with Mincemeat or Tenspeed and Dick Neff. Good times.Hoping to play at this Indian Reservation in Oklahoma. I'll let you know how that turns out.
Hah. Well,other than some keyboards here and there we don't really take it that far. Of course there is that time we scored an episode of Law and Order SVU...Dick Wolf, call me bro! I was once in a synth pop group called Kissy Kissalots with Zack Kouns. We only had one song though.
Yeah, I like that tape a lot. She tried a lot different things on it to great effect. BUT the LP will be incredible! It's going to be a reissue of her "here you can touch the sky" tape I put out last year. It's coming out on this newish Oakland label called Seacave.They also did the LP version of Robedoor's "Rancor Keeper". I'm not sure what the status of the record is right now but I hope it happens soon. It's a fucking masterpiece.
Hmmm..besides Lady Gaga? I don't really keep up honestly. I mostly listen to Pop music. Have to say it though, Peaking Lights "Imaginary Falcons" is incredible. Also, anything by Work/Death, that guy rules.
We have some other releases coming out very soon that I'm pretty stoked on. A split tape with Lazy Magnet on Arbor should be dropping in July or so. Also in July from the Netherlands' label Cut Hands is "Four Chambers of the Heart" on CDR which is a reissue from 2006 and SUPER weird SJ. Lastly, I'm going to put out an SJ LP of songs from our short lived acoustic phase called "Somebody Should've Told You" to bum people out. Eat some Pizza, drink some beer, have a cool time.
-- Brad Rose (22 July, 2009)