South Wales trio, Junior, have been on our radar for awhile. Since delivering their ‘JuniorLand’ mini-album in late 2015, they’ve gradually been evolving their sound, moving away from the routine pop-punk. Last year’s split EP with Fierce Morgan, and more recently, their latest single ‘Veronica’, hinted an edgier approach. Nevertheless, their knack for producing big choruses is still firmly intact.
Having toured on the underground circuit in recent years, this weekend sees Junior arrive at Donington. When co-vocalist Mark Andrews isn’t flying around the WWE NXT arena, he’ll be joining guitarist/vocalist Matt Attard and drummer Si Martin on the Dogtooth stage on Saturday, bringing the feelgood vibes through a set of addictively catchy songs.
Before they pack up and head to Donington, we talked to Matt Attard to discuss ‘Veronica’, Download’s growth beyond rock and metal and what to expect from their set this weekend.
AH: Some might know Junior as Mark Andrews’ pop-punk band. Besides that, what should they know about Junior?
Matt: We’re not a run of the mill ‘fast drums and wall to wall guitars’ pop-punk band. We love to push ourselves and try something unexpected, especially since all our influences are so varied. We love big riffs, massive choruses and songs that tell a story.
AH: You recently released a new single called ‘Veronica’, which brings a slightly darker side to the band’s sound. What was the mindset behind the track?
Matt: We’d been sitting on the demo for a long time, and we were so stoked with the reaction we got for ‘Fall to Pieces’, it felt right to try something a bit different. The idea was to just make a really solid rock track and would be great fun live. It also gave me a chance to put a self-indulgent solo in the middle.
AH: You’re set to play the Dogtooth stage on Saturday afternoon. For those who have never seen Junior before, what can they expect from your set?
Matt: We’re a band who like to have lots of fun, an international limbo competition has been a staple of our live shows for a long time now, so we’re planning on making it bigger and better. We’ve got a couple of surprises up our sleeves as well, so you’re gonna have to be there to find out what we’re about.
AH: You’re one of several pop-punk bands playing Download. With it normally being considered a rock and metal festival, surely it’s only a good thing the festival is becoming more varied?
Matt: Totally! I’ve always felt that Download is an eclectic festival, even if it is mainly metal. I like to think that music is less territorial these days too, and people just enjoy what they want to enjoy. Hopefully having a varied line up will mean people discover bands they wouldn’t normally listen to, which is what a festival should be all about.
AH: Once you’ve done with your set, who can we expect to see you watching for the remainder of the weekend?
Matt: For me, Biffy Clyro are the main band of the whole weekend. they’ve always been my favourite and they always put on a killer show. They fit into the headliner slot so easily just down to the grandiosity of their sound. But I’m also stoked for our mates in Holding Absence, as well as bands like Four Year Strong, Dinosaur Pile-Up and System of a Down.
‘Veronica’ by Junior is out now.
Junior will be playing on the The Dogtooth Stage at Download Festival on Saturday, June 10th.
Download Festival 2017 takes place at Donington Park from June 9th to 11th.
Tickets can be purchased here.
View more of Already Heard’s coverage from Download Festival 2017 here.