Ontario three-piece, The Junction, has a lot going for them. They are currently on a cross-country tour with Bedouin Soundclash and are about to make their major label debut. I had a chat with the band’s bassist, Matt Jameson, the other night, and here’s what he told me about the band.
The Concordian: What’s it like to be touring with Bedouin Soundclash? Are they a band you guys admire or like playing with?
Jameson: Yah, totally. They are an incredible band; they are really good guys. We toured with them last January and last March. They’ve had a huge amount of success since then and going across the country with them has been incredible.
The Concordian: When you see bands that have done well over the last couple of months, does that inspire you guys to keep at what you are doing?
Jameson: It totally does, you know, because you have a band doing well and they’ve all had a grassroots approach and have got good morals. They have good reasons for being in music and doing music and that it totally is inspiring to keep going. Right after this tour, we’re going to get back and work on a record.
The Concordian: I’ve seen a lot of your pictures and I noticed that you guys always wear yellow jackets on stage. Why is that?
Jameson: We used to. We used to be a four piece but in the last five months or so, we’ve become a three-piece and that’s something that we dropped along with the yellow jackets, which was a bit of a new growth for the band as far as us becoming a three-piece. It was a decision that only would have happened if it would have to be made.
The Concordian: But what was the original intention with the yellow jackets?
Jameson: It was a visual for our unity, or the fact that the four of us weren’t doing our own thing; we feel connected. It also works as being recognizable.
The Concordian: What’s a good show for The Junction?
Jameson: A good show depends on a good crowd. When you have people that are into it, it’s that much easier for you to get into it. It gets better and better from there on.
The Concordian: Going back a little bit, what was your earliest musicial memory?
Jameson: Probably one of the earliest, was that I was always going to punk rock shows. Loving going to shows and seeing bands.
The Concordian: What is the first record you remember listening to?
Jameson: Michael Jackson’s Thriller! That’s definitely one of my earliest.
The Concordian: Is that something your parents made you listen to?
Jameson: My parents weren’t too musical so they didn’t force any music on me. I’m like the one member in the band who didn’t come from a very musical family.
The Concordian: You guys have been friends now for a long time. How has that helped the band? How important is the friendship?
Jameson: You can’t do any of the stuff in the band if you are not friends with people. As far as the type of band we are, you can’t do anything without being able to live with the person and treating them like your brother because it’s just not going to work. If there’s beef that you are taking up on stage with another member, it’s going to show, so you can’t do that. You know the drummer and the singer have known each other since grade one and started playing music together in grade nine and I joined in grade twelve. We’ve been together for quite some time; the two of them nine years and myself, six. There’s a lot of stuff that we still have get to go through but as far as us getting along, we’re friends for life. We already know that.
The Concordian: You guys signed to Universal Music, a major label, even before your first record is released. That’s not that common. Are you guys feeling any pressure?
Jameson: There is no pressure from them but it’s a pressure that you can create yourself just because I guess we see all of these things as opportunities and we want to make the best of every opportunity that we get. Getting signed didn’t just come out of nowhere. It’s been a step-by- step process for us to get a distribution deal for an EP and to just play a whole lot of shows and become a better band and eventually get signed. Now it’s our opportunity to make our first full-length album and to make it really good. We can’t go half-ass on this or just hope that some big producer will save the entire record. It’s us putting the weight on ourselves. Nobody’s telling us what to wear or write. Universal understands development, so it’s nice.
The Concordian: Where are you in the process of making your first full-length?
Jameson: We started last April with working out new material. We’ve demoed a bit in the summer and handed in a batch of four more songs right before this tour. It went over really well. When we get back we’ll do another month of pre-production on the album and then we’ll start recording. Hopefully we’ll have a spring or early summer release.
The Concordian: What kind of sound can we expect from The Junction on this record? How has it evolved?
Jameson: The sound is definitely is going to change. You know we’ve had criticism and definitely our own criticism that we want to have the live energy that we have at the shows captured on CD. We want to take the stage to the CD, basically. I think our musicianship and songwriting, has just gotten better. We’re getting older and we know what we are doing more…we’re still young, but just the time that you put in, the better you get at it and that’s what we’ve been doing. I think every band hopes that their next record is better than the last one, but I think there’s definitively going to be an evolution.
The Concordian: I read in your bio that Mike’s father said you guys should make music that makes people want to dance…Why is that important for you?
Jameson: It wasn’t like we’re going into it saying like “ok, we’re going to make music that’s danceable.” Mike’s dad is a music freak and he just knows that it’s part of music and part of life: a lot of people out there love to dance and so do we. I don’t think we go out with the intent of just making it like that, but we definitely enjoy dancing and would like to have music that does the same for other people.
The Concordian: Do you have any specific goals with this upcoming release?
Jameson: It’s kind of one of those things where you are not sure where to set the bar because you can either be really disappointed or you can be blown away. I guess we are hoping, in the back of our mind, every musician wants to be blown away with what’s happening. I think we’re setting the bar at a realistic point, I hope we do well across Canada and hopefully we can enter some other countries as well.
The Concordian: Do you guys have any goals as far as where you’d like to see the band go within the next couple of years?
Jameson: As far as world domination is concerned?
The Concordian: If that’s what you guys are thinking of [laughs] .
Jameson: I’m kidding. I think in the next couple of years we want to be taking steps forward. We don’t want to be taking steps backward.
The Concordian: What have you learned so far from being in The Junction?
Jameson: I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned how to be humble and really enjoy music. It wasn’t in me at a really early stage and it was just kind of one of those things that over time, it’s not even a release, it can be for some when you get up there, I’m feeling really good right now and it’s just one of those things that I love to do and have learned to love every aspect of it and enjoy!
The Junction play at Club Soda on December 15th with Bedouin Soundclash. Show is at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15.