RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LONDON ARTIST JUNKHEART
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
I’m Jake. Currently the sole member of the band Junkheart. I used to play in a folk-punk band until I discovered synthesizers. Then my whole life changed.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
Utterly impossible question to answer, so I’ll give you a fake answer to show you how cool I am. Hounds of Love by Kate Bush.
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
At the bottom of the devil’s boot. Staring up into the night sky.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
I literally know no one in the ‘industry’ really, but I am addicted to the Tape Notes podcast with John Kennedy, where he has all kinds of musicians and producers come on and offer their advice. I think it’s simple advice but the main take-away from a lot of these people seems to be: patience, confidence, and embracing your fear.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
I can solve a Rubik’s cube in less than ten seconds. Ed Sheeran once gave me all his beer when he quit drinking. I’m writing a graphic novel about the Junkheart saga.
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
Just, more time. More free time, and more time. That’s all I need. Or maybe, like for the internet to explode so people would start to care about stuff again.
Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….
Largely, no. But I do occasionally have lyrics that I think are funny, or stupid but make a really good point, that push the boundary of acceptability but are so perfect in the song that I do think that someone could take it the wrong way or I could be accused of being insensitive. But that’s just the risk you take putting things out in the world, people are going to hear it that don’t think the exact way I do, or have different, painful experiences that might be triggered by an off-colour remark. Do I mean to hurt or offend anyone? No. But it’s not like I can follow round my music explaining exactly how I meant everything.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?
Well, I’m an atheist, and for me, conspiracy theorists are just another kind of religious zealots, though they might claim to be secular. So, no. Not that I have a problem with being skeptical about the information that’s given to you, in fact, I think that’s really important, and there obviously have been theories that began as a conspiracy that turned out to be true, but they’re vanishingly rare. It just seems that conspiracy theorists apply their skepticism to the mainstream narrative, and then don’t treat counter-narratives with the same doubt. Sorry, that was a really long and serious answer to a light-hearted question haha.
What was the worst experience on stage?
I use quite a lot of electronic equipment on stage and there is an ever-present fear that at some point, everything might just stop working. But I think it was actually my last show at the Sebright Arms when I was using in-ear-monitors for the first time, and the front-of-house sound was so loud that I couldn’t hear if I was playing in time or not. That was tense.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
I’m a massive Blink 182 fan.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
We’ll have to wait and see. Colourpunk is my mantra, an ideology I try to live and work by. That doesn’t mean that I have to have acerbic punchy songs, more that I just accept and promote this absurd paradox in my life of staring into the void of nothingness and choosing to make pretty songs and life-affirming music. If that make me stand out? Well, that’s another story.
I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.
Sky Forever is my favourite track on this EP, partly because it just is an indie-pop banger but also because it’s one of the most philosophical songs I’ve written. It’s about the daily struggle to stay optimistic when it feels like the whole system is rigged against you. It’s about questioning whether you’re strong and stubborn in the face of adversity or just deluded. And has some sweet 80s synths.
What was the recording process like?
Long. I went through about 10 different versions of this song before I found one that had that balance of wistful, thoughtfulness and cheerful poppiness.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
Whenever I write/produce a new song I always have some hard-learned lessons. With this one it was probably something stupid like, is 25 backing vocal layers enough, or should we add 10 more?
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
So much. But I suppose I’ll always feel like that. Also, I go through phases of what I’m into, if I was to do it again I’d probably have more acoustic instruments, maybe have more real-sounding drums, but that’s what I’m into NOW, not what I was into then.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Just to keep an eye out for the Sky Forever music video which will be out in a couple of weeks and my debut EP ‘In Gloom,’ to follow. Cheers x