A spirited and irreverent deliverance spills from the speakers and all over the stage when JunkBunny comes around. Crafting rock hooks with an emotive resonance beyond their years, the scrappy riff-rock trio made their major label debut before they could legally buy booze.
JunkBunny is 3 young musicians – Mac Johnson (lead vocals & guitar, 18), Cayden Diebold (vocals & bass, 17), and Jake Douglas (drums, 17). Like their heroes in Green Day or Blink-182, these childhood best friends save the “serious” for their songs, offering up anthems with the scale of Foo Fighters without sacrificing youthful exuberance and good-natured mischief.
The Junk Rock EP is an impressive introduction to their sound, sizzling with big, raw, urgent, and relentless proclamations that wouldn’t sound misplaced on a lovelorn mixtape, a slab of vintage punk vinyl, blasting from any major festival stage, or shoving its way onto the radio charts.
“Groovebuster” opens the proceedings with melodic force. It’s the kind of song built for speeding down the highway, brimming with the excitement of a new relationship or the promise of a chance encounter. With a swinging groove and assertive pulse, “Sedona” is immediately both personal and universal, with sincerity bleeding from the vocals. The frustrated loneliness of unrequited love is reflected in “This Time,” a pensive, moodier track brimming with electric energy. “The Difference” closes Junk Rock with a thoughtful maturity, meditating on an unshakeable chorus, unyielding in its sonic yearning.
JunkBunny draw from a deep well of experience and inspiration that stretches back to when frontman Mac and drummer Jake first hit it off in the third grade. Jake began playing drums when he was two years old and Mac was already a burgeoning guitarist. As soon as they realized they both played instruments, a bond was formed. They would jam after school and kick around band names at recess. The duo had already established an early incarnation of the group by the time they met bassist Cayden, a guitar player since the age of nine. The trio’s first gig together was at a local talent show, where they played a Republica song. Early sets were filled with a diverse group of covers, from Nirvana to Rage Against The Machine, showcasing raw nerve and vibe. By high school, their original material gained the respect of classmates, local music press, and industry veterans alike.
The Montgomery County band planted deep roots in their native Texas with their tireless dedication to rousing performances in every area club that would book them, including some that would make them wait outside until stage time because of their ages. They coalesced into an unstoppable live force on the stages of Houston haunts like Rockefeller’s, Leon’s Lounge, and Warehouse Live, eventually earning them the patronage of the longtime manager for ZZ Top.
Audiences immediately respond to the trio’s musical chops and ferocious stage assaults, filled with flailing limbs, pouring sweat, and ravaged gear. The band’s easygoing attitude offstage is a key element of their charisma. There’s little decadence in the dressing room, as JunkBunny are more than happy with junk food - chips and salsa, hot wings, and Dr. Pepper.
Over the past few years, the trio’s live reputation has continued to grow, as they performed with ZZ Top, The Struts, Sammy Hagar and more, as well as at festivals like Louder Than Life. In 2018, when the boys were in tenth grade, Jon Bon Jovi personally signed a note excusing them from class after the rock superstar invited them to open for him at the same arena where the Dallas Mavericks play home games.
The trio celebrated 17th and 18th birthdays the year they entered the studio with Howard Benson, Grammy-winning producer of landmark rock records by My Chemical Romance and P.O.D., to make their debut album for Lava Records, home to Greta Van Fleet and Lorde.
On the eve of their ascendency to a hard-earned wider audience, JunkBunny still burns with the same fire that emboldened them as elementary school kids falling in love with music. They remain best friends bonded together through shared passions and hunger. Offstage they are as soft-spoken and polite as ever. On record, in the clubs, at the festivals, on the radio dial, JunkBunny transform into a raging blur of big hooks, bold swagger, and unbridled passion.