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Issue: March, 2016

Interview with Love Junkyard

Love Junkyard, photograph, 2016 interview; 500x260

The music of Love Junkyard, like all the best music, is a fusion of influences, musical and otherwise. Leesa, Rob and Matt make a unique sound that reflects the multi-cultural influences of Melbourne and the varied Melbourne club scene.

Why the name?

We chose LOVE JUNKYARD because a lot of the songs we write reflect life's experiences - the good, the bad and the ugly. The name LOVE JUNKYARD just seems to paint a picture that describes our music - songs that are like a junkyard of broken dreams and promises, all tangled up with heartaches, tears and joy. LOVE JUNKYARD is also the name of a song by one of our favourite artists - Rickie Lee Jones. It's a really great song and, when we heard it on the radio one night driving to a gig, we all suddenly new that LOVE JUNKYARD was the name we'd been looking for.

Can you tell us who is in the band? What is the background of each member?

LOVE JUNKYARD is Rob "Patch" Davies, Matthew Arnold and me. We originally met when we all joined a five-piece gypsy jazz band that played around our home city of Melbourne. When the jazz band broke up, Rob, Matt and I kept working as a trio. We started to write and play a wider variety of music that reflects our individual musical influences and out of that came LOVE JUNKYARD.

Rob plays electric and acoustic guitars, writes music and brings a background in blues, jazz and rock to the band. He provides the heartbeat that drives the band's sound and groove and, apart from driving our sound, he's usually the one driving the band-van.

Matt plays violin, viola and piano. His musical influences range from gypsy jazz to classical, folk and rock music, and he brings a particular love of the music of Eastern Europe and the Indian sub-continent to the band. Matt's the calming influence in the band - he's very zen.

And my background's in jazz, classical and rock music. My influences range from Stevie Wonder and Rickie Lee Jones to Ella Fitzgerald. Apart from singing and songwriting, I play a bit of piano and percussion, and provide the coffee and biscuits that give us the sugar-hit at rehearsals.

Love Junkyard, photograph, inteview 2016; 500x398

How long have you been together?

When I think about it, I guess we've been together now for around two decades. That just proves how much we respect each other as musicians and enjoy playing together! After all those years we seem to have developed a musical sixth sense - we just seem to play with one voice.

What kind of releases have you had out so far?

Our previous releases were mainly just for friends and fans and included an EP of mainly jazzed based songs we recorded some years ago at Nick Bomba's studio. But we're going back into the studio in April/May this year to record some of our favourite original music. We're really excited to be working with Greg Arnold from the great Aussie band, Things of Stone and Wood. Greg's an award winning musician and producer and he'll be guiding us through the process. Then we'll get out on the road and we can't wait to play the material live for the people.

What are the goals of the band?

We love playing at music festivals and we'd also like to do more concert dates. So our dream is to play at major music festivals and in concert settings around the world. And, of course, we'll continue to write together and build our recorded output - after the EP we plan to record a full album. We love to play and we love to travel, so taking our music to the world is the plan.

Love Junkyard photograph, Interview 2016; 500x376

Tell us about your past performances? Any regular gigs?

We've done a really wide variety of performances over the years, including festivals, radio and television. Performing on the Bert Newton and Ernie Sigley/Denise Drysdale morning tv shows was great fun and the festival scene just seems to be growing every year. We've also done some great residencies at smaller more intimate venues in Melbourne, like Gibson's Wine Bar and Bar Oussos, as well as corporate events and private functions.

One of our next gigs will be at Bridie O'Reilly's pub in Brunswick on Sunday 6 March. It's part of the Brunswick Music Festival and will be great fun. We'll be testing out some of the material we'll be recording in April/May, as well as a couple of classic rock hits from the past that we've reworked and re-imagined into our own style. Our website has more info about our gigs and you can also hear more of our music:

Is it all original music you do? Who composes?

We write a lot of our own material - sometimes we write as a group and sometimes we bring our own songs to the band then work them up together. One of the band's strengths is that we all bring contribute different musical influences. We also love to rework and play some of the great songs from the past. I think our sound and the way we treat those songs is pretty unique with one voice, one guitar and one violin.

Have any favourite musicians or songs?

Our list of favourite musicians and songs covers a really broad range - everything from jazz to rock to world music. But some of our strongest influences as a group would include the music of Rickie Lee Jones and Stevie Wonder, as well as the great twentieth century standards sung by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald. There's just so much great music out there and it's so much easier these days to get access to just about all of it!

LOVE JUNKYARD performs Sunday 6 March at Bridie O'Reilly's Brunswick as part of the Brunswick Music Festival.

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