"F*** THIS!": The frontman of Junk Season spills secrets on their unapologetic rule-breaking!
As the musical journey of Junk Season unfolds, today we delve into the depths of Harrison Kendall's creative evolution. From the humble beginnings of his lo-fi bedroom pop under the pseudonym Fordë to the birth of Junk Season as a full-band project, Harrison's musical transformation stands as a testament to his resilience and passion.
In this conversation, we will discover the driving force behind the name "Junk Season," as Harrison reveals how it encapsulates the ebb and flow of his songwriting process. Embracing both the highs and lows, Harrison fearlessly delves into life's discarded fragments through his music, challenging conventional perceptions and shedding light on the hidden treasures within. While Harrison takes charge of the songwriting and production, the collaborative synergy between bassist Daniel Streeter and drummer Hayden Peerless amplifies the raw energy and authenticity of Junk Season's live performances. With new music eagerly awaiting its grand unveiling, Harrison Kendall embraces this fresh chapter with boundless excitement. Indie Boulevard got in touch with the frontman to delve into the details of the new single, upcoming live shows, and more.
Indie Boulevard: Hey Harry and guys! Congratulations on your new single, it's such a great song and I absolutely love it! I've been listening to it on repeat. Can you guys share a bit about what inspired you to create "Missed Calls"? I'm really curious to know the story behind it and what motivated you during the songwriting process.
Harrison Kendall: Yesss…hello Indie Boulevard! Thank you so much, you’re killin’ me here haha, no honestly, thank you. Of course! It started with a demo I had sitting in my voice notes, and the lyric “she didn’t even smile once, all alone is all we’ll ever be”, so I decided to bring it back around and see what I could do with it. There was this initial riff that the song was built around…the chords were sort of sad and hopeless, melancholic…which inspired the lyrics, from the get go I was writing about two people in a relationship battling with their own demons, which in turn led to a breakdown between them, they were both unhappy, but being pulled back together by poor choices, and the familiar motions of trying to hold on. From there the song went through various iterations, and that main riff actually changed into the power chords you hear in it today! What was built from that first demo though is pretty much what stayed.
IB: It's evident that "Missed Calls" explores deep emotional themes related to toxic relationships and personal struggles. In today's digital age, with technology, Instagram, and social media playing such significant roles in our lives, do you feel these platforms make it more challenging to end a relationship and move on?
HK: I’m glad that shines through! It’s easy to think, shit, will any one get this? Haha…but yes, 100% it makes it more of a challenge moving on, especially as these platforms plague our everyday life…everything is everywhere, all of your moments clipped into stories, reels, edgy captions…and there’s no escaping it! You might both be out one night, and you clock each other’s stories or something, see you’re at the same place or nearby…and make bad decisions while you’re not thinking straight. That’s what the ‘Missed Calls in the dead of night’ lyric alludes to, you’re falling back into old routines, and social media can perpetuate that ten-fold.
IB: I'd love to hear more about the recording process for "Missed Calls"! Can you guys share some details about what it was like in the studio? Any interesting or memorable anecdotes from the recording sessions? I'm always fascinated by the behind-the-scenes stories that go into creating a great song.
HK: The initial version I had was actually more lo-fi/electronic would you believe! So that became the foundation of making it into the pop punk belter you hear today haha, that version was recorded in my bedroom in the winter of 2020, so some of that uncertainty, and melancholic vibe is still in its DNA. When I took the demo up to Sheffield back in March this year, myself and Callum Benson, the producer for this song, worked on it some more. That was two solid days in the studio, (Steel City Studio) we fine tuned certain parts and made the chorus massive at the end, almost blew my voice out shouting the counter melody. But yeah, lots of guitars going, was really fun to build that track up! In-between tracking and producing, Callum would take me to the local food joints in Sheffield and we’d sink a few beers to keep the creative juices flowing, then back at it haha, we’ve got a good workflow going now!
IB: How does "Missed Calls" fit into the larger collection of songs you're preparing to release this summer?
HK: So this song is a turning point for me, it’s the first song I took out of my own bedroom studio, and had professionally tracked, produced, and mastered. So I’m hoping it’s a flag in the ground that says, this is Junk Season for real now, I’m taking it seriously…not myself of course…haha, but the craft, and I’m hoping it brings people in to enjoy the rest of what’s to come.
IB: What do you hope listeners will take away from the lyrics and message of the song?
HK: I hope that if anyone’s going through a similar scenario, that they feel heard, understood and that they’re not alone in feeling this way. That self-destructive behaviour that’s ingrained within doesn’t always have to be the demon that rules you. Not that this song offers a real way out I’m sorry to say…but it offers a rally cry, you don’t have to fight it alone. We can scream that chorus together, and try and relieve some of that pent up frustration that comes with looking back at the bad decisions we’ve made, or tough situations we’re going through right now.
IB: The energy in "Missed Calls" is off the charts! I can already imagine how epic it's gonna sound when you guys perform it live. Are there any specific live shows or tour dates you're super stoked about in the near future? I'm dying to know where I can catch you guys in action!
HK: Yess thank you!! We can’t wait to play it either…we’ve just got off tour with Who Saves The Hero? So we’ve been plugging the release date on the road, BUT, our next show is over at the Bedford Esquires on the 7th July with Autumn Fires, Lost Without Cause and The Lung Rotters, this will be the first show we give it the live treatment, and we’re hoping people fancy screaming along to it!
IB: Connecting with your audience is such a crucial aspect of being a rock band. So, I'm curious, how important is it for you guys to really connect with your fans through your music?
HK: It’s so, so important. Front and centre. When I’m writing, I’m writing for therapy almost, tapping into the all singing and all dancing shit of my mind, trying to make sense of it, and I know we’re all going through that one way or another. So to have people out at the shows, or dropping me a message that find common ground in that or just letting me know they feel understood, that shit means the absolute world to us, especially when we’re all jumping around on stage like assholes and you’re joining in, two stepping our problems away haha, but yeah, it’s number one really. I’ll always look for ways to take what I’m saying and wrap it up into a relatable scenario, then whatever anyone interprets from that, it’s theirs and that gives the songs real meaning for me.
"WE'RE ONLY AT THE START OF MAKING THESE MEMORIES"
IB: Shit, I heard that at one of Junk Season's gigs, you straight up smashed your guitar on stage! That's wild, man! Can you give us the lowdown on that insane moment? Was it all planned out, like scripted, or did you just go with the flow and improvise? How did the crowd react?
HK: Ah damn, thought I’d got away with that haha…not my finest hour, totally in the moment as well. Not sure what the hell came over me, I felt guilty, there’s a good group of people that come to the shows, they travel out of town and all sorts to support us, and we put them through the same songs, so right at the end I was looking out into the crowd, feeling bad, angry at myself for not like, doing better for them? I know it makes no sense, and even as I type this, it sounds crazed but I just let loose thinking, ‘f*** this! These guys deserve more than this.’ But that’s classic me, second guessing myself, not feeling good enough, all that shit…but people thought it was cool from the outside at least and made a sick video, even my Mum was rocking out to the outburst, although she was concerned after the show haha…and let’s just say the bank account is punishing me for it now.
IB: As a band, what do you enjoy most about performing live? Is there a particular energy or connection with the audience that you find truly special and unforgettable?
HK: We love heading to a new town, seeing new venues, meeting the locals and other bands…that’s always so special to us, to then share the songs on stage with everyone, sweat hard up there and shout til our lungs are worn is a real privilege. There’s a certain ‘electric’ feeling I can’t get from anywhere else, and we all feel it when we’re on stage, I just hope the crowd does as well haha…but yeah there’s nothing like it, and we’re only at the start of making these memories!
IB: And final question. When it's time to unwind and kick back after a killer performance, what's your go-to favorite beer? Is there a specific brand or brew that you guys always reach for to celebrate the good times?
HK: Yess, the serious stuff right here, so, we’re all Guinness guys these days, so it’ll no doubt be a pint(s) of that to celebrate, but I’m always partial to trying a local brew if they have one on tap if we’re out of town, love to try the weird and wonderful things you see on the road! If I’m driving though…tends to be a shandy ffs! Thanks for having me!! Hopefully catch you guys at a show near you one day.