Hooky rock with the delicious catchiness of pop-punk means that young Montgomery County, Texas, trio JunkBunny are a force to be reckoned with.
The trio of Mac Johnson (guitar and lead vocals), Cayden Diebold (bass and backing vocals) and Jake Douglas (drums) started playing music together at high school and won themselves a major record deal with Lava Records before, in their words, they were legally able to buy booze. Actually, none of them can yet in their home country.
The band released debut EP JunkRock last Friday (18 October), which gives us a taste for their infectious punk-tinged rock and for which they worked with Grammy-winning producer Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, P.O.D.).
The band sent us second track – and their debut single – Sedona to get us into their sound, and it certainly succeeded. It opens up with a light riff that dives into a verse of engaging vocals “Trying not to get frustrated and I’m waiting longer, Waiting for you when the sun is setting on the line, Hoping that you’ll get here on time” supported by lively chords and drums.
A second verse feeds into cries of “I want you here, I need to hear” over descending chords, which drop into a chorus “New York City’s pretty nice, Buy two v-necks you can get so high, She said that I’d get nowhere, I said I’m already there, I want you here, I need to hear,” then big cries of “Sedona.”
A little guitar solo drops into vocals supported by drums that build up to a big final blast of the “Sedona” cries. It’s a super-catchy blitz of fast-paced, engaging punky rock. Check it out in the cool video below:
This fun punkiness is present throughout the EP, including the highly enjoyable This Time. It opens up with lively guitar chords, drums creep in, then big pounding drums support Mac’s vocals “You say you want me but I’m in awful shape, You say you need me but not this time or place” with each line intersected by big blasts of guitar chords.
Big rocky chords and crashing cymbals jump in half-way through, giving way to a few repeats of a catchy chorus. Give it a listen below:
We had a chat with frontman Mac to find out more about this exciting new band. Read on below…
GR: Who are JunkBunny?
MJ: “We’re a rock band from Montgomery County, Texas. The three of us have been friends since before high school and we all love playing music, so we started a band and have been playing whenever we can ever since.”
GR: You just released Sedona. What should people be expecting from the song?
MJ: “When listening to Sedona, we think people should expect a rock song with a ‘road trippy’ kind of vibe. This song was inspired by a trip that I took when I was younger to Sedona, Arizona, and I wanted a song to match the feeling I got while being there. It’s definitely a very freeing, vibey song.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
MJ: “We would categorize ourselves as a rock band with heavier alternative music, paired with driving, catchy melodies and super-tight harmonies.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
MJ: “A lot of the lyrical content we have deals with the feelings that a person might be having about themselves. Whether it’s not wanting to be alone for rest of your life, or dealing with not having enough confidence to handle certain situations, we tend to sing about that stuff.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
MJ: “We draw most of our influence from 90’s/early 2000’s grunge and alternative. Bands like Alice in Chains or Foo Fighters are huge influences on the sound that we have.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019 and into 2020?
MJ: “Our EP came out on 18 October, and we are super excited for people to hear it. We are also opening up Buzzfest in Houston tomorrow (Saturday, 26 October), which is going to be fun. Aside from that, we hope to have more gigs throughout the end of this year, and hopefully be on a tour by 2020.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
MJ: “Just enjoy the music. We are doing this for fun, and because it’s what we want to do for the rest of our lives.”