How did the LE JUNK project come about?
It started with a love for the bass. It’s the one instrument that catches me differently and many of my favourite artists like Death From Above 1979 and Peaches revolve around killer bass hooks. So I spent a bit of time messing around writing bass-centric ideas with a drum machine and naturally developed into more fleshed-out tunes with more parts and instruments.
Tell us about the name….
It’s sort of a juxtaposition. The trashy idea of “junk” being sarcastically contrasted with a fancy determiner “le”. Like shit served on a silver plate.
How would you describe your sound?
I’d say it’s alternative pop with hints of rock and electronica.
Name ten acts that have significantly shaped your music…
Death From Above 1979
Late of the Pier
Kirin J Callinan
Name ten non-musical influences that have shaped your sound (films, TV, philosophy, religion anything)…
Sound-wise I’m pretty influenced by the nature of electronics and the recording process to create sounds, like altering the original sonics or layering effects over each other. And aside from musical influences that’s hard to say. I’d say my mood mostly shapes the sound of each song depending on what I’m writing about.
How is being a solo multi-instrumentalist different from making music in a band? Doesn’t it get a bit lonely? Who do you argue with?!
I still play in a couple of bands but playing solo is a very different animal. It’s nice to follow your own ideas and have total freedom over where they go and how they sound. I love being able to try stuff out in my own time and physically record lots of different instruments myself. Having said that there’s a special kind of magic that only happens when playing with a band… especially live. You can’t beat a group of people making sounds and performing off each other. Once live music properly returns LE JUNK will perform as a full band too.
Due to lockdown you’ve been studio-based ‘til now but you’ve got gigs planned we hear…You must be busting to play live. Is that something integral to the project and how do you approach doing it single-handedly?
I recently played a socially-distanced show supporting Deadletter and it was the first time I played or even saw live music since March. Although my music is pretty hi-fi with lots going on, I played a stripped-back set on guitar, bass and a small drum machine. It was super low key and felt so good to play in front of people again. Playing live is a huge part of the music-making process for me.
Tell us about ‘Level 3’, your new single. It sounds like a love song but in the press release you mention ‘false ideals’…Elucidate on that if you don’t mind.
The song is about treating life like a level-up activity and pursuing the wrong things to follow some kind of social norm. I think we’re often tricked into believing there are these ideals in life we need to achieve in our careers, relationships etc, but equally chasing the wrong things can leave us feeling unhappy and unfulfilled.
Your last single ‘Rich Romance’ was about gentrification in East London. How would you sum up your lyrics and what they like to discuss?
I generally write about my own experiences, but when other people’s stories interest me more, I’ll tell theirs.
Then beyond that, what’s coming in the medium and long term for LE JUNK?
I’ve written and recorded lots of material over lockdown which I’m planning to put out in the new year, along with some more live shows once they properly start up again.
Watch ‘Level 3’ here:
Photo Credit: Jessie Morgan