What happens when two punk rock veterans meet in Austin, Tex- as and, with a roll of the dice, decide to head west to Los Ange- les? The birth of Junkyard, a band with a sound like Godzilla in a foul mood tanked up on cheap wine.
In 1986, David Roach (The Streppados) and Chris Gates (Big Boys, Poison 13) joined forces and made the fateful journey to California in a shitty car that came to rest behind a bar called The Soundcheck. Enlisting Patrick Muzingo (Decry, Pirates of Venus) on drums and Clay Anthony on bass, Junkyard got down to busi- ness and went to work unleashing their blend of blues/rock/boogie/punk on the world. In a city awash and drown- ing in a sea of hairspray, lipstick and power ballads their appeal was immediate: one writer insightfully pegged them as “a swag- gering mutation of Motorhead and ZZ Top.”
Junkyard built on this reputation in the sweaty, beer-soaked dive bars of East Hollywood. Soon the band was packing them in like sardines, attracting the attention of major record labels. After a show at LA’s legendary Scream Club (with Jane’s Addiction and Green River), Geffen Records pounced. To produce their debut album, Geffen brought in Tom Werman (Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Molly Hatchet, Motley Crue), and punk rock guitar legend Brian Baker (Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, Bad Religion) was wel- comed into the fold.
The band’s self-titled debut was released in 1989 to significant acclaim. Both its singles, “Hollywood” and “Simple Man,” received major MTV airplay, with “Simple Man” hitting #47 on the Billboard rock chart. It garnered rave reviews, capturing four stars from Rolling Stone, who wrote:
“Junkyard blares with a total lack of self-consciousness. Their songs about good-time habits veering out of control put across a sullen, double-edged desperation accurately enough to give you the shakes, while the band’s distorted guitars and churning, nearly arrhythmic punch never let up. You either hear it—or, if you’re too precious or self-serious— you don’t.”
Junkyard spent the next two years crisscrossing the country, play- ing with the likes of the Black Crowes and Dangerous Toys. The constant touring and heavy support from radio and MTV yielded debut album sales exceeding half a million units.
The next year, Junkyard released its sophomore album, “Sixes, Sevens and Nines.” Produced by Ed Stasium (Motorhead, The Ramones), the album featured songwriting collaboration with country legend Steve Earle (“Slippin’ Away”). “Sixes, Sevens and Nines” ushered in a new era for Junkyard, with bassist Todd Mus- cat (Decry, Kill for Thrills) joining, followed by a tour in England opening for The Almighty, then ultimately a North American arena tour with the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd.
After the success of their first two albums, Junkyard went back to the drawing board for what was to be their third release. But changing musical tastes led to recording upsets:
Patrick Muzingo (Drummer): “We weren’t bitter, fans were tired of having crappy hair metal power ballads shoved up their ass from lightweight, over-hyped bands with no balls or substance…We were glad they blew it up, you need shit to burn down to make room for new growth.”
But time crept up on Junkyard, as it has on all of us.
In 2000, the band issued a live album titled “Shut Up, We’re Tryin’ to Practice” on Cleopatra Records, closely followed by a tour of
Japan and a 6 song EP in 2004 titled “Tried and True.” Tim Mosher (Broken Glass, Suckerpunch) joined the band on guitar. In 2014 “Sixes, Sevens and Nines” was re-released after a 22- year hiatus. Junkyard has toured Europe twice and co-headlined the Serie Z festival in Spain, performing to over 10,000 fans— many of which had waited years to get a glimpse of the band live and in action.
In 2015, Junkyard signed with Unison Music Group and soon will be releasing a new 7” single, as well as preparing a long-awaited full-length record to be released in 2016.
High profile shows are being booked in the U.S. for summer 2015 and 2016 and a tour of Spain is booked for the fall.
David Roach – Vocals Brian Baker – Guitar
Tim Mosher – Guitar Todd Muscat – Bass Patrick Muzingo – Drums