Recently Artistic Echoes head the pleasure of Interviewing reverbnation competition winners Health Junkies
Could you tell us a little bit about the band, it’s history?
Ok. Healthy Junkies was formed in 2010 by Nina Courson and Phil Honey-Jones. Our first gig was at a punk festival in Brighton, we found a bass player and Drummer pretty quickly, and starting playing all round the smaller London venues taking up as many gig offers as we could to get things going. At one of these gigs at a place called Bridgehouse 2 in Canning town, South London we were spotted by a guy called Steve Iles. Steve had contacts on the punk circuit and so we did a few tours for him and he has since become a close friend, most of the gigs were in the North and Midlands of the UK. As a result of these gigs we were then booked for various punk festivals and were also asked to support bands like the UK Subs and GBH. We haven’t really slowed down our heavy gig schedule and we find its the best way to meet people, get better as performers and build our audience. Along the way we have changed our line-up ie drummer and bass player a few times but the current line-up has been going a good six months with Dave Renegade on bass and Tony Alda on drummers. We’re very happy with this line-up and are all just back from a tour of Britanny, France and are also currently recording our 3rd album together in the studio.
Who inspired you to get up on stage, to perform?
Nina- I was and still am inspired by Curt Cobain and Nirvana.. I studied theatre at school in France from the age of 9 and so performing is something I always wanted to do. Also seeing Iggy Pop play was a revelation and experience I will never forget.
Phil – I was first inspired by seeing Stiff little Fingers play in Aylesbury Friars , then Bauhuas at the same venue. 2 very different bands but equally exhilarating. Later I got into David Bowie Ziggy Stardust era. My mother was a classical pianist and so I was also exposed to performance from a young age
What is the first record you remember listening to that really inspired you?
Nina- The first record I bought was Urban Hymns by The Verve. Previously to that my parents used to play The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Stones, all the classics really.
Phil- I inherited a huge box of 45s, vinyl from my elder brothers and sisters. I played bands like The Kinks, Beatles, Stones, Manfred Mann, The Amen Corner, Zeppelin, The Groundhogs, Deep Purple all on a toy record player. The first single I actually bought was Rebel Rebel by Bowie.
What is the most interesting venue you have played at?
Phil and Nina- Only last week we played a show at a sheep farm in Britanny, France. It was in a huge shed which was filled with crazy Bretons all up for a party. We are playing at Rebellion festival in Blackpool, UK in August, it will be our forth time playing there. The venue the festival is held in is called The Winter gardens and is several ballrooms, very ornate, built in Victorian times, its really a beautiful building, and when filled with thousands of punks its even better…
That’s actually 2 venues..Oh well 🙂
Your videos have quite distinct imagery, who do you work with to create them?
We have made 3 videos with Steve Walker. Copycat, Trash my love and Witches of lust. For each of these, we basically met at about 8 AM and shot as much footage as we could in a location or 2 we had decided on beforehand. Our friend Banana did all the hair and make-up for us and a couple of friends helped out in whatever way they could,. It was pretty much make it up as you go along. With the Manifesto video we hired an old porn film set off a friend of a friend and a guy called Mark Darnay, who approached us at a gig, shot and edited the video. The Resistance video we did at home using life footage of the band mixed with explosive imagery from the internet.
What do you think makes a good punk band?
Punk seems to mean different things to different people.We thinks its about the spirit and no compromise attitude.Do what you want to do, express yourself how you want and do it for the music not for some idea of success driven by money.
Do you have any plans for the summer any festivals lined up?
We are playing at Nice’n’Sleazy festival in Morecambe 25th May The Camden Rocks festival, London on May 30th, and the aforementioned Rebellion festival August 7th.
Do you have any plans to record any new material?
Yes . We are currently recording 14 new songs for our new album.
Is there anything more that could be done to help musicians at a grass roots level, what is missing in the music industry that could be there?
Support for new musicians and up and coming bands is definitely needed. Some support for the underground music scene would be nice. Recently in London venues have been closing, also drink and door prices in some areas are so high that people tend not to go out as much. We host a FREE monthly night in a venue called The Unicorn, Camden. We always book at least one band from out of town to play alongside us and 3 other London bands. There’s always a great crowd and atmosphere and all the bands and their friends/followers support one another. Too many venues book mismatched bands with incompatible styles who have no wish to support each other. They play then they and their friends leave. Not much punk spirit there !
Here at Artistic Echoes we like to introduce people to new artists, bands, poets, writers, film makers do you have any you would recommend?
We would recommend these bands : Dragster, Bubblegum Screw, Barbed wire Dolls, Jelly, Maid of ace, check our listing for Punk’n’roll rendezvous on www.facebook.com/healthyjunkiesband in the events section to discover more great bands . Poets: Arthur Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac, Jim Caroll. Writers; Hunter s Thomson, Victor Hugo, Poppy z brite, William Buroughs, Film makers – David Lynch, Larry Clarke, Claude Chabrol, Alfred Hitchcock… I know these are not new apart from the bands but if there are any writers/film makers/poets here that people have not yet discovered then they definitely should check them out!
To Find out more head to:
Reverbnation : Healthy Junkies | Rock from London, UK
Website : www.healthyjunkies.co.uk