Winter months have been a very busy period for your favourite independent A&R’s. We traveled to gigs, went to Indiecon conference in London, took pictures, filmed shows, handled merch, sent countless emails and wrote reviews and articles about our lovely Worcester Wave bands. The rest of March will leave us very little time to relax as well, but we love what we do!
Last time, we spoke to Lower Loveday – an exciting new rock group that makes a name for themselves on the indie circuit. Today we have something for lovers of young, hip and alternative rock with fuzzed guitars, wall of sound and catchy melodies.
Do we have your attention? Good – please read our conversation with a band that is quickly following the trails of Soeur and The Americas, leaving jaws on the (dance) floor and an insatiable craving for their full-bloodied debut album.
Growing-up in the spotlight
Almost a year and a half ago, when we saw Junior Weeb for the first time, we were not impressed. They played a short set and compared to other acts performing that night, we didn’t think the young quarter had any future. How wrong we were! In recent months, Junior Weeb underwent almost miraculous transformation. Their stage presence is electric, their writing improved to the point where their songs could easily conquer the Top 40. Everything about them is matured, sophisticated and exciting.
Luckily for us, the band do not hold grudges and we didn’t have to beg for second chances to interview them. Chris Phee and the company were a joy to talk about their humble beginnings, self-(re) discovery and their upcoming music.
Official bio: Junior Weeb are an indie funk/alternative rock four-piece hailing from Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire. With hard-hitting bass grooves, soulful vocals and sticky guitar licks, Junior Weeb take their influences from a catalogue of different genres hoping to create a finished product that pleases your ears.
Chris Phee (rhythm guitar and lead vocals)
Max Killing (bass guitar and backing vocals)
Joe Webby (lead guitar)
Quentin Hill (drums)
Junior Weeb’s official bio mentions that the band was formed at the beginning of 2016. Tell us more about the beginnings of your musical journey? Where did you meet and who is in the band?
Junior Weeb: We’ve all been close mates since high school. To begin with, we were in 2 different bands, one of our old bandmates had a house party where we all played in his kitchen. This brought us closer together musically so we formed a super group called Junior Weeb in around February 2015 and thus discovered our mutual love and trust in music. We have the soulful enigma that is Chris Phee on rhythm guitar and vocals, Max Killing slapping da bass and vocals, man like Weeb (Joe Webby) providing that sticky lead guitar and the big friendly giant Quentin Hill smashing the shit out of those tubs like.
The Press and your fans affectionately refer to you either as The Weebs or The Juniors. Where the name “Junior Weeb” does comes from?
Junior Weeb: (laughing) Our guitarist Joe has the nickname “Weeb”. We don’t refer to him as Weeb anymore because of the association with the band. He said that if he ever had a son he would want it to be called Junior Weeb. We laughed but never really thought of it as a band name. It wasn’t until many weeks of arguing and moaning about the band name that we referred back to what he said and we finally settled with Junior Weeb. It was something catchy, funny and relatable to the band. We also happen to be the first website that pops up when you type our name into Google. Mad isn’t it?
We have to admit, when we`ve seen you for the first time, we were not into your music. Watching the band for a second time, a year later – we have fallen in love with Junior Weeb. Yours is the biggest, most impressive musical development on the local scene in recent years. Can you tell us what drives you, what keeps you focused?
Junior Weeb: We’re very happy with the progress we’ve made in the last year or so. We all study music at Kidderminster College and the tuition we’ve received has definitely kept us motivated and driven. Our musicianship has developed, each player is learning their instrument well and we’re listening to all kinds of music at the moment which is driving us to succeed. Some of the bands we’ve played/become acquainted with are doing some really great things at the moment which is also inspiring and a gentle reminder that we need to get our arse in gear.
It’s the beginning of the year and 2018 looks very busy for you already. On 17th of February you played at Mr Wolf’s in Bristol, where you supported two other WorcesterWave bands: Soeur and HVMM. You have opened for Soeur before at a sold out home-coming gig at the Marr’s Bar. How does it feel to perform alongside your friends? Have they offered any advice?
Junior Weeb: Soeur has looked after us a lot over our musical journey and we couldn’t thank them enough for the support. We feel honoured to be playing alongside such talented songwriters who are so lovely and kind. We don’t think we’ve ever had any advice from Soeur but we know how dedicated and driven they are. They have put so much hard work and passion into their music, they’re probably the most organised band we’ve played with and they deserve all the recognition they are getting. Playing with Soeur has definitely inspired us to work harder and organize ourselves respectively. We love you Soeur! XXX (laughing)
You shared stages with many popular independent acts such as Muncie Girls, The Riscas, Ivory Wave and The Americas. How important, in your opinion, is the close fellowship between different bands on the indie circuit? Is the Worcester scene supportive towards new starting acts?
Junior Weeb: In our opinion, we think the fellowship between bands on the indie circuit is very important. We’ve had some great opportunities recently and as long as we’re all supporting each other, things are gonna keep ticking along. The Worcester scene is always supportive to new bands and we’re always excited to hear new music and meet new people who are keeping the scene alive. Seeing what all the other bands have achieved and the support we’ve received recently has really helped us out. Long live Da Woo Town scene!
On April 21th 2017, your debut single “No right” was chosen as the track of the week by This Feeling circuit and a month later popular website GigSlutz gave you a glowing review describing your music as “dreamy, psychedelic affair with just a hint of Oasis”. That’s very impressive review for a young band. Have you expected such warm reactions to your song?
Junior Weeb: To be honest we didn’t expect these reactions. “Not Right” was the first song we wrote together and it’s one that’s very close to our hearts. The main riff in the song was something that Max’s brother Sam came up with before he sadly passed away. We decided to write it as a tribute to Sam and his legacy. The reactions to this song have been very heart-warming and we hope Sam is proud of the finished product.
You are currently working on a new material to be published later this year. Can we expect an EP or a full blown debut album? We are curious where are you working and who is attached to the project?
Junior Weeb: We’ve had a lot of fun in the studio recently, we’ve been recording new songs at Kidderminster College with help from the Music Tech students who have made some impressive mixes for us. We thought it would be a good idea to record these songs live because on some of these tracks there is a lot of feel and groove. Hope that doesn’t give too much away (laughing). It’s great being able to record in an environment that we are all so comfortable with and the recording sessions have been fairly regular. We’re not too sure about an E.P or an album anytime soon but there will definitely be new music. Expect the unexpected.
You had to deal with incredible family tragedy. Do you feel confident to talk about it?
Junior Weeb: We lost Sam Killing in December 2015. After a long battle with mental health and drug misuse, Sam took his own life with unclear intent. He was a charming, intelligent and charismatic guy who inspired us a lot. We were all very shocked and upset when it happened but the legacy he left behind in his music and persona helped us a lot with our music. When you have to deal with a tragedy like that it’s hard find comfort when listening to music but we knew that music was the only thing that would help us out. Sam played lead guitar/backing vocals for Babypink and it’s not until you sit down and properly listen to Babypink that you understand the intricacy and beauty of Sam’s playing and writing. He has been a massive inspiration to all of us and one of the main reasons we formed. His legacy will continue to inspire us and live on through our lives as long as music will. R.I.P Sammy x.
2018 could be a breakthrough year for Junior Weeb. What are your hopes and fears for the nearest future?
Junior Weeb: 2018 is the year of the Weebs. We hope to gig as much as we can up until summer. The plan is to spend summer writing and working so that hopefully we make a fabulous return when we’re finished. None of us are driving yet so we hope to get on the road too. At the moment, we have nothing to fear, we’re going with the flow, taking everything as it comes. Big thank you to everyone who has supported us on our musical journey so far and we hope to see you all in the near future. Weebs out! Xxx.
Writing about Junior Weeb, we cannot omit Sam Killing, the incredibly talented elder brother of Max Killing. Hailed as one of the most talented musicians to come out of The Faithful City, Sam played lead guitar for a band Baby Pink along with Andrew Brooks (vocals, guitar), Jack Vaughan (bass) and Jack Cotterill (drums). Formed in 2012, Baby Pink very quickly gained a lot of attention and toured the UK without even releasing a debut EP. Their gigs in London and Manchester drew big crowds even with minimal promotion, giving the band very positive reviews from music journalists and comparisons to the American alternative rock legends, The Pixies. Baby Pink were featured in the New Musical Express (named as precious find) in February 2014 and toured with Jaws, Catfish and The Bottleman, Wolf Alice and many other. Baby Pink decided to call it quits in March 2014 and Sam went on to form Birmingham based quartet named Juice with Davis Armstrong, Matt Burdon and Damon Cox in September 2014. Tragically he lost his life three months later.
You can learn more about Baby Pink by listening their music online:
More articles about Sam:
Junior Weeb keep a tight schedule of gigs all over the West Midlands. They recently supported Soer at Night Bus in Bristol, played legendary Fleece, opened a gig for hugely influential Catholic Action at another iconic venue – The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham and will progress to 02 in Birmingham in April.
They will play Marrs Bar with Happy Bones and The Americas on March 30th. Its gonna be carnage and a sold out home show – we are warming you. So grab your tickets before they are gone.
As usual we will keep our hand on the pulse and will report all the action. In the meantime, you can follow Junior Weeb using the details below. You will thank us later for introducing you to the quality music and future rock stars.
All the best,
What can we tell you about Junior Weeb that we haven’t said already? They are a perfect combination of youthful indie, funk, blues and classic rock. They emerged victorious from a tragedy that would end much older and experienced bands. They improved their act to the point where they outgrew local circuit by a long distance and moved easily to play bigger venues in Bristol and Birmingham. They will be on a label and touring their debut album sooner than we think.
We look at Junior Weeb and see a new Viola Beach. A four piece made for biggest stages, a group with strong work ethic and resilience, talent , sense of humour and desire to succeed.
And they proved it on the night they supported The Americas. Jumping into crowd, singing their hearts out, being joined on stage by one of their dads for a hilarious blues piece. They are wild, free and unstoppable as soon as they are in front of the audience with their instruments in hand. There are no apologies, no fear when they play.
But see them back stage, sitting on a sofa in a front of photographer – huddling together, making sure that all of them are in the frame. This is a band that does not only play good music together. They genuinely like being in each other`s company, they treasure and respect one another. Junior Weeb are a bunch of close friends as much as they are the next big indie act.
And that is why readers you should see them when Junior Weeb play live.
Here`s some videos in case you missed the gig.
And some green room shots too.
That’s all for now,