INTERVIEW: Trunky Juno | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Purveyor of off-kilter pop gems, Trunky Juno releases his highly anticipated new EP on 2nd July. The County Durham canine lover’s introspective synth sounds were first witnessed on his previous EP, but he’s now become braver and louder, while his familiar blissful hooks and thought-provoking lyrics remain.

Some of the songs on the Good Dog EP have been around for a while, and he says it’s taken him until now to finish anthemic opening track Daddy’s Gone For Cigarettes: “I think most songs sit on the back-burner for a long time before they get released. This one in particular sat there for a while though. I think it just took a while to figure the production on it, and what it should be. I remember recording drums for it loads of times, and re-recording parts for it over and over again.”

In Serial Killer Vibes – an ode to post-COVID awkward exchanges and anxiety – he sums up the current mood of the pandemic limbo we find ourselves in, where many of us are now much more wary of socialising. Favourite Show is sweetly emotive with its catchy “Leather boots and denim jeans and thoughts and dreams and magazines” refrain, while latest single Hawaiian Pizza is “a song about tuning out people who shit all over everything you like” and is closest in sound to his previous releases.

I think my music sounds closest to artists like MGMT, The Flaming Lips and Beck. It’s pretty alternative, but still indie pop, and it’s also quite eclectic

“I always call myself a lo-fi pop noodler,” says Trunky, when I ask how he’d describe his sound to someone who’s yet to hear his music. “I think that explains it pretty well. But if that doesn’t do the trick, I think my music sounds closest to artists like MGMT, The Flaming Lips and Beck. It’s pretty alternative, but still indie pop, and it’s also quite eclectic whilst almost always still sounding like Trunky Juno.”

A self-confessed homebody, he’s recently played some local gigs in Newcastle and Stockton ahead of a wider tour in November, and says that where he lives has had a definite influence on his music. “I’ve always lived in the North East, and I’ve always played in bands up here. I’ve dabbled in punk, jazz, indie; sat in working men’s club dressing rooms listening to the bingo, and all the usual things a musician up here does.”

The opening track of his new EP includes the line “Dreams are for weekends – that’s what my teachers said”, so I’m curious if he toed the line at school or spent his time plotting how to become a rock star. “I was always pretty good,” he says. “I wouldn’t mind going back – do some maths, kick a ball around outside and play some Iron Maiden covers in the music room.”

If you’ve encountered Trunky’s music already you’ll probably also have seen his joyful cover photos, many of which feature dogs with wonderfully compelling faces – which of course sit nicely alongside the name of his new EP. “I like animals,” he states simply. “There’s loads of good ones. Giraffes, raccoons, alpacas, penguins, and of course dogs.” Which leads nicely onto what he hopes to achieve in 2021 – a question he answers succinctly with: “Wembley Stadium, dogs only, sold out.” And as the owner of a retired greyhound, I can’t argue with that.

Trunky Juno releases Good Dog EP on 2nd July

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