AN INTERVIEW WITH JUNKIE
From the heat of San Antonio, Texas comes Junkie—a band with a surf rock soul and a garage punk roll. With the release of their sophomore album, Fast Times, the four guys showcase what it’s like to grow through the tough stuff and come out enriched, but still unchanged at the core. Produced by themselves, the album continues the idea that Junkie does what it wants, how it wants, and with the goal of having a damn good time all the while. Being able to see the way they’ve developed as a music group through the years shows just how close they keep their own realities to all of their projects. They’re making music that doesn’t define them but instead lets them express those defining moments of their lives, letting us experience those right along with them.
YOU GUYS HAVE A GREAT DYNAMIC ON STAGE. HOW DID YOU ALL GET TOGETHER IN THE FIRST PLACE?
MARK PEREZ: Well, James (drummer) and I have been playing in bands together since middle school, so that was an easy transition once we started Junkie in high school. Daniel (bassist) lived in the neighborhood too so once we started jamming together it just flowed. Nick (guitar) is a pretty new addition to the band, but you’ll be seeing a lot more of him. We’ve known him through the scene for a while now and he’s always just been a really chill dude so when his group disbanded, we asked him to start jammin’ with us. Music seems to be embedded in our DNA so it’s easy to play off of each other, we all know when to pick things up and what to chill on. It just works.
NOW YOU’RE ABOUT TO GO ON TOUR! HOW IS EVERYONE FEELING?
Oh, we’re hyped. Everyone is like ‘Oh man we’re gonna party every night and live like rock stars’ and all that. We just got our van fixed so everyone is dying to get on the road and get to Salt Lake City. This tour is our first official one so not only is that super cool, but we get to do it with Beach Goons. So basically, just a bunch of homies. To us, it’s not just a tour but friends jamming together on the road.
IF YOU COULD TOUR WITH ANYONE, WHO WOULD YOU GO WITH?
If we ever get major, Broncho would be top of my list. I would love that.
WHO ELSE HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING TO LATELY?
Oh man, lots of stuff. But I’ve been listening to Tennis a lot. That’s probably my favorite band right now.
YOU MAINLY WROTE THE FIRST ALBUM AND THEN YOU GUYS COLLABORATED FOR FAST TIMES. WHERE DO YOU GET A LOT OF YOUR INSPIRATION FROM WHEN WRITING?
I can’t really explain it. It’s all about what I’m feeling just being there in the moment. “Fast Times,” the first song on the album, we wrote all at once and it just flowed out of us. We had just gone through a rough patch and I honestly thought Junkie was done for. But we came together, had this big heart to heart, said I love you man, and we realized we wanted to keep playing together. So we started jamming and Fast Times just came out of what we felt in the moment and all that we had gone through in the past two years. Life moves fast and stuff won’t matter in a week from now.
YOU GUYS ARE KNOWN FOR HAVING A CONTAGIOUS ENERGY AT LIVE SHOWS. WHAT’S YOUR MENTALITY GOING UP ON STAGE TO CREATE THAT?
It’s still all about being in that moment, even in live shows. I just try to put a feeling out there because I want people to feel something and not just enjoy our presence. I love it because of the fact that I get to dance super goofy up there and everyone just thinks it’s super cool. No one cares. And I get to hang out with everyone, like the people that come out and become friends. I get to be a regular person hanging out and playing music.
Photographs by Sienna Razo