Plymouth locals, The Poet Junkies – Brendan O’Neill (vocals,guitar), Thomas Archer (guitar), Jon Blanchard (drums), and Matt Xhapman (bass)- resurface familiar traits of indie-rock that were last heard in the early 2000s, with bands like The Arctic Monkeys. Despite drawing the obvious comparison to the Sheffield band, The Poet Junkies aim to become their own brand of sound, as they draw from each member’s influence to the band’s advantage, and cultivating a diverse sound within the Indie genre. Tracks like “Drinkers of the Yellow Brick Road,” showcases this diversity, with prominent bass riffs, flawless drumming, and softer edges within the chorus, which balances the band’s “loud” rock sound. Whereas on their latest single, “Sex and The Crazy Parade,” the band’s evolution becomes audible within the lighter and sultrier track. With such tracks having distinct sounds, The Poet Junkies never strayed from what cultivated their identity; a trait that makes them an artist to definitely watch as they grow.
With 2015 being a great year for the band, they also found success with Tradiio, The Artist Accelerator, being on their “Watch List” for December, and gaining traction in the form of investments,accumulating over 9.4k plays. With an EP, album, and a couple of music videos under their belt, the Indie outfit leaves 2015 with their strengthened friendship, and determination of continued success into the New Year. Announcing that they will be back in the studio the 2nd of January, The Poet Junkies continued journey to “be themselves” will surely shine upon their future release, with the expectancy of “sounding big.” The band’s overall love of making music, which fuels their drive, has become the ultimate reasoning behind each album’s evolving sound. Luckily, Blanchard set some time aside to answer a few questions about the future sound, and offers some advice for aspiring musicians as well. Read below and be sure to support The Poet Junkies on Tradiio.
I feel that this year has been a good year for your guys’ exposure- did you feel the growth as well?
Musically as a band we have felt a massive growth, we have grown as musicians and friends! We got to play in more new places than this year than any other. Playing the Mtv Crashes stage was a great experience to be on such a huge stage! Tradiio has been a great help, when we go to new areas we always get people saying they have come down to see us having heard us on the site!
You recently played your last gig of the year at Exeter Cavern- how was the overall tone of that performance?
It was the first time we have played in Exeter it started empty but it filled up and we won the crowd by the end!
What is something that you gentleman gained from 2015, that you wish to carry on with you to 2016?
Getting on well as friends is the best thing. We want to keep our feet on the ground but to also know that we are good enough to get recognised if we push hard enough.
Compared to your EP, and album, the single “Sex and the Crazy Parade,” is polished lighter in tone. Is this the direction you aim to take on to the new material? You mentioned on the band’s Facebook that the tunes are sounding ‘BIG’- what exactly is big?
We are trying different sounds we don’t want to sound like anyone else. The new songs are an evolution of the Ep One of Those Day in quality. We get referenced to Arctic Monkeys quite often so we are always searching to be The Poet Junkies. It’s bigger choruses, Bigger sounds and dirtier!
In terms of influence, I hear the Arctic Monkeys as a whole- Yet, are there individual influences that each member brings to the table?
- Matt’s from a Metal background he was a Front man and Guitarist before stepping into the band on Bass. We don’t use Metal as an inspiration but it will always show through his playing.
- Brendan grew up with Stone Roses and Oasis but he is always looking to what works now. He spends hours and hours Focusing on song structures and lyrics!
- Tom’s main influence is Kings of Leon and Indie music as a whole. The Poet Junkies is Toms first band but he has bought a lot of good ideas to the table in his knowledge of the genre!
- Jon is a very versatile Drummer having played in a few different projects. He has a very broad music taste which he uses as an inspiration when putting Drums on the tracks.
Every music that has ever been has been has had influence from something else, it’s whether you got the ability to make it your own… And we have!
What continues to be the drive behind The Poet Junkies?
Money 😉 Nah but on a serious note just to create organised chaos And ultimately to do what we love as a job!
Since the beginning of the music journey, to now, what has been something that the band had to overcome to get to this point?
Well the biggest hurdle to get to this point was Brendan having to reform the band from scratch. The Band originally had a totally different line up but it didn’t work out. So Brendan spent time looking for the right line up where we all got along as friends and as musicians. The other thing is when you first start, playing venues with nobody in them!
With that said, what would be some words of wisdom you would pass to other aspiring artists?
Keep your feet on the ground is a definite.
No one ever got anywhere in life by giving up.
Make sure you get along and enjoy bands company or it won’t work.
Don’t listen to many opinions.
Don’t be a sheep be a leader.
Most importantly write good music!
Is there anything else that you guys would like to add?
We just want to thank anyone that has listened to our music. (Also) we would like to thank anyone involved in the new EP which will be out into 2016!
Basically just come check us out!’