It’s The Dead Boys, Ramones, and T-Rex all rolled into one band that goes by the name ..Indonesian Junk. This Meet The Band was made possible by our friends at Some Weird Sin Records, they will be putting out a 7 of “Crimes” shortly, so stay tuned in to their Twitter account for the official release date. Indonesian Junk understand the history of some very cool bands, and making that history jell into something that you can call your own, is no easy feat. It’s what it is…fun, glam, pop, a little punk, some rock ‘n’ roll , it might not be able to save the world from itself but Indonesian Junk will get you moving and smiling, and what the hell else could you ask for from any band….
Daniel James – Guitar and vocals
Johnny Cyanide – Bass and backing vocals
David Barootian – Drums
And our sound might be best described as….
Daniel: We get compared to a lot of more guitar driven early punk bands, like Dead Boys, Damned, Testors, Stooges, and Dickies a lot. I won’t take offense to any of that. I certainly ape Cheetah and Williamson enough to welcome the comparisons. We’ve also had more than one person compare us to ZZ Top, which is weird, but if that’s what people think we sound like it’s probably what we sound like. I’ve seen the word “sleazy” used to describe us a lot too, which I don’t really understand outside of the fact that we cover “Fuck Off” by Jayne County sometimes. I just try to write catchy power pop songs. My only criteria for bringing a song to the band is that I think it’s catchy. I think if we came out in 1979, we’d be considered a heavy metal band, but we’re probably too catchy and don’t sing like Cookie Monster or wear baggy enough clothes to lay claim to that term in 2015.
We are originally from…..
David: Racine, Wisconsin
Johnny: Born and raised in Milwaukee.
Daniel: I grew up in a trailer court in Plover, Wisconsin but have spent the last 15 years in Milwaukee.
Some that have had an influence on our sound…..
Johnny: Band-wise, definitely Hanoi Rocks, Ramones, Dead Boys.
Daniel: I listen to a lot of stuff, and it all kind of gets mixed up in my songwriting. The most prevalent influences are probably of the pop, glam, punk, and heavy metal varieties. Two completely different albums that are both equally important to what I’m trying to do with this band are Zombies “Odyssey and Oracle” and Judas Priest “Unleashed in the East”. Kiss has been my favorite band since I was in second grade and is so ingrained in my DNA that it just creeps into my songs without even trying. Some other bands that get me really excited to want to write songs are Thin Lizzy, Rockpile, 999, Blue Oyster Cult, Hanoi Rocks, Slade, The Knack, Hello, Ramones, Pentagram, Scorpions, Pagans, Prince, Cheap Trick, Dictators, Alice Cooper, Tom Petty, Johnny Thunders, Radio Birdman, Elvis Costello, UFO, Queen, Roy Wood, The Figgs, and Motorhead. We might be a pop band, but that doesn’t mean I don’t rip off Discharge.
David: In regard to the drums; When i’m not stealing from Simon Kirke I’m stealing from Bill Legend. When I’m not stealing from Bill Legend I’m stealing from Mickey Waller. When I’m not stealing from Mickey Waller I’m stealing from Graeme Edge. When I’m not stealing from Graeme Edge I’m stealing from David Twist. When I’m not stealing from David Twist I’m stealing from Cozy Powell. When i’m not stealing from Cozy Powell I just rip off Razzle and hope for the best.
What do you think about the state of rock ‘n’ roll in 2015……
Daniel: I think it’s a real exciting time to be a musician or a fan. The internet kicks so much ass and everyone has all of musical history at their fingertips. There’s so much out there to be influenced by and it’s all accessible. I love being able to just check a band out with the click of a button. You pretty much have no excuse to not be cool in 2015. On top of all that, it’s so easy to produce and distribute your own music now. There was so many hoops you had to jump through even ten years ago. I grew up poor as fucking dirt and it was so frustrating not being able to do anything with my early bands when I’d see all of this shit rock getting huge in the 90’s and early ’00s ’cause they had parents bankrolling their records and tours and stuff. And sure that still goes into play, but I feel like the playing field is a little more level now at least. There’s so many great bands going on currently, like Mama, Teenanger, Real Numbers, Tenement, Zex, Razor Fist, Nato Coles, Iron Pizza, and countless others. I feel like I’m going out more because I actually want to see the bands that are coming to town as opposed to just needing a place to get drunk that’s not my bedroom.
Johnny: As far as rock n roll in the mainstream culture goes, it seems to be at it’s worst point ever. But anyone who says rock n roll is dead is either a moron or too old or too lazy to search out the good stuff. There’s still a ton of good bands out there, and there’s always some kid discovering the Ramones or the Replacements or T Rex for the first time and being inspired to pick up a guitar. So there’s always hope for rock n roll. You just gotta search it out.
We knew we were going to be a band when………
Johnny: I was at an Alice Cooper show, kinda bummed at all the newer stuff he was playing, and i keep hearing some guy behind me yelling out all the cooler old song titles. It was Mr. Daniel James. We started talking and pretty much immediately decided we were going to form a band. I had to bribe him with Hanoi Rocks LPs, but eventually it happened.
Daniel: If I wanted to dig into my cellphone I could probably pinpoint the exact day that I wanted to start this band, ’cause I remember texting Kurt Baker about it the next morning. I’m too lazy to do that now, so I’m just gonna guess that it was January of 2012. I had just started playing in Ramma Lamma, and I wanted to write some songs for them so I took an Adderall one Saturday and just started writing songs. I wound up writing like ten songs in an afternoon and I thought they were all pretty good. The only problem was, maybe 2 or 3 of them would even kind of sort of work with Ramma Lamma, and I realized that I didn’t want to write a song and then have to play it on bass while someone else got to play all the cool guitar parts. Fuck that. I’m pretty sure I even came up with the name Indonesian Junk that day. A couple months later I met Johnny at the above mentioned Alice Cooper / Iron Maiden show and decided then that he’d be the perfect guy to play bass for it. But, I still had a lot of commitments with other bands and projects on top of the fact that no one wanted to play drums for us that it still took me about two years to actually get the band off the ground.
Our craziest gig ever was….
Daniel: Hmmm. We haven’t even been a band for a year and haven’t really played out of the Midwest yet, so our opportunities to experience anything super crazy are kind of limited. There was that one time we played with our friends Red Lions (WHO ARE FUCKING AWESOME! 2015 HOT BAND ALERT!) and Johnny smashed all of his shit on stage and no one heard from him for 2 or 3 days and I had to teach all of our songs to Eric Apnea ’cause I thought Johnny had quit the band and I didn’t want to cancel any shows. But then a couple days later I had Thanksgiving dinner at his house and everything was normal. I feel like I probably scare him 100 times worse than that every time I wrap a guitar around my neck though, so who am I to judge?
What we are currently listening to….
Daniel: I’ve been way into Starz the last couple months. Mama’s demo tape is pretty heavy duty hot shit. Some days I’ll listen to “Only Two Can Play” by Real Numbers 20 times in a row.
David: Whitesnake- Come and Get It, Dave Kusworth- Bounty Hunters, Mott the Hoople- Mott, Derek Bell- Carolan’s Receipt, Accept- S/T, Porsche Sound History (a Porsche documentary on LP with emphasis on the engine sounds), Tangerine Dream- Force Majeure, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends- Accept No Substitute
A few albums we could never part with….
Daniel: Cheap Trick “In Color”, Def Leppard “High n’ Dry”, Kiss “Love Gun”, Blue Oyster Cult “Tyranny and Mutation”, Alice Cooper “Killers”, Thin Lizzy “Bad Reputation”, Back From the Grave vol 3, Scorpions “In Trance”, Dead Boys “Young, Loud, and Snotty”, Nick Lowe “Jesus of Cool”, “Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks”, Heartbreakers “LAMF”, NWA “Straight Outta Compton”, Ramones “Rocket to Russia”, Vapors “New Clear Days”. I’m just gonna stop now.
David: Hanoi Rocks- Back to Mystery City, Circle- Paris Concert, any Jacobites, etc etc.
Johnny: A few?!? It’s hard to narrow it down to a few! The first 4 Cheap Trick records definitely! Ramones Rocket to Russia is one of my all time faves. the Replacements Let it Be or Pleased to Meet Me. Alice Cooper School’s Out & Killer. Too Fast For Love from Motley Crue is way good. I could keep naming stuff forever so i’ll just stop here!
For fun we like to…..
Daniel: Outside of rock n’ roll? I don’t know. I like comic books and pro wrestling. It’s always cold as shit in Wisconsin, so I like doing cool outdoors stuff like camping and swimming on the rare occasion that I actually get to do such a thing. I like hanging out with my friends and traveling, so being in a band is pretty much the perfect lifestyle choice for that.
David: Read, watch A-Team, and wash dishes.
Daniel: Wash dishes?
Our hopes for 2015…..
Daniel: Get our 7″ and hopefully an LP out. Tour as much as possible. There’s some cool fests we’re doing this summer like One Last Party and a certain gathering that we’re not supposed to announce yet. Whoop! Whoop! I think our biggest goal is to find a permanent second guitarist. Preferably one who isn’t a complete tool. Inquire within.
time for some tunes…..
You want a copy of one of our test pressings? There’s going to be seven copies available at each of the following shows. These are limit one per person.
Fri 4/3 – Chicago (Phylis’)
Sun 4/12 – Milwaukee (Cactus)
Fri 5/8 – Minneapolis (Triple Rock)
and don’t forget to visit our friends at Some Weird Sin R&R