The Junius Mystique

Moody and introspective, there is mystique and intrigue to be discovered within the compositions of Junius.   Their recent Prosthetic Records release Reports From the Threshold of Death is a stunning work of aural art that should appeal of fans of all adventurous types of music.  The band recent toured here in the States on a last minute call with Enslaved and Alcest, easily stunning the audiences with their intensive live shows.  After the tour, we caught up with Junius and attempted to unravel the wondrous mysteries of their visionaries tapestries of sound.   Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Junius, and how long the band has been together.
Joseph: I’m Joseph and I play guitar and sing.
Michael: I’m Michael, I play guitar. We started Junius in 2003.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
Michael: We started in Boston, but have since all moved to different places so we don’t have a sense of local scene anymore. Our “scene” is basically our fellow friends and bands around the globe who we play and tour with, like Constants, Circle Takes The Square, Caspian, InAeona, Irepress, City of Ships, Tombs, Planks, Herra Terra, Adai, and Rosetta, to name a few.

How did you wind up being signed to Prosthetic Records? Your band is so different from many of the other bands on the label.
Michael: They got in touch with us and came out to see us on tour. We were excited to get out of the “Post Rock” pigeonhole that people had started to put us in. We are definitely the odd band out on the roster, but the Prosthetic team are some of the best people we’ve worked with so far.

Is there any story or concept behind the title Reports From the Threshold of Death?
Joseph: The title refers to Near Death Experiences… people who have died and come back. The album is based on these “experiences.”

Select two songs from Reports From the Threshold of Death and what inspired the lyrical content.
Joseph: “Dance on Blood” is about the experiences of people who have encountered demons. The tibetan book of the dead speaks of encounters with devils or demons who tear away at your former material life until you are free of its grasp and then you can ascend to the next realm. So in reality the demons are angels freeing you from your former self. So the lyrics are from the devil’s perspective.

Haunts for Love” represents what many NDEr’s call the Panoramic Life Review. It’s where you review every moment of your life on what many say looks like a panoramic movie screen. So the lyrics are about what I would see or more specifically, what I would not want to see.

How did the split with Rosetta come about and have you ever toured or played on the same show as Rosetta before?
Michael: We’ve known those guys for years and have played with them a bunch. They asked us a while back if we’d be down to do a split and of course we said yes. It took a year or two to actually come to fruition since we were both so busy, but we’re all really stoked on the final product.

Junius at The Troubadour

What could one expect from a live Junius show?
Michael: Loud, epic music, bright lights, and sweaty dudes in black t-shirts.

First of all, how did you wind up on the Enslaved US tour and how difficult was it to be a last minute addition to the tour?
Michael: It was kind of a whirlwind. We were asked to do it 10 days before the tour started so we really had to scramble to get our shit together in time, but everything worked out. I can’t say how much we appreciate Enslaved inviting us to join them.

What was it like touring with Enslaved and Alcest? They seemed like a lot of fun to be with on the road.
Joseph: They were great! We had such a good time. You couldn’t have asked for a nicer group of dudes.

What did you think about your show at The Troubadour in particular?
Joseph: Very exciting. We’ve always wanted to play there.

Any strange or unusual happenings while out on the road?
Joseph: Watched someone shoot up heroine from our van in an alley in Vancouver. That was a Junius first I believe.
Michael: Our van broke down en route to the last show of the tour… But I guess that’s neither strange nor unusual.

What’s up next for Junius now that the Enslaved tour has concluded?
Michael: More touring in 2012!

Any final words of wisdom?
Michael: Umm… Carpe Diem, or something.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
Joseph: Thank you.
Michael: No problem!

(Interview and live photo by Kenneth Morton)

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