The Healthy Junkies – Interview – January 2014

Healthy Junkies

I was hoping to interview The Healthy Junkies at their gig at The Star and Garter in Manchester on 22nd December. Unfortunately there wasn’t time to do a face to face interview but, not one to be thwarted, I fired off an e-mail interview instead. Here’s what they had to say: –

To Nina and Phil – I believe you met in a Club in 2009? Was it love at first sight?

Yes we did meet in a club called Punk in Soho in 2009. It was actually hate at first sight, but love as you know is hate’s sister, so the transition between the two is possible.

What does being a couple bring to the band (in terms of songwriting/stage show)?

It brings a lot of arguments which in turn are inspiring, writing songs is often the remedy. On stage it is good for the chemistry, often the nature of the performance depends on our moods.

 To Nina – Punk has been mainly male dominated in the past but I’m seeing a lot of great female singers/musician emerging in the punk world (3 female fronted bands at STP Xmas Special).  What are the advantages/ disadvantages of being a woman in Punk?

The advantage is that there are plenty of men out there to help us along the way, the hard part is to be taken seriously for the music and not just the legs. Women have been singing for many years successfully and they have paved the way. Kurt Cobain said that women are the future of rock’n’roll and I think there is some truth in that, as you said there is a whole wave of female fronted bands happening right now.

To Nina – You have some fantastic outfits. How much planning and sourcing goes into your image? 

I used to think I had to buy a new outfit for every show but my wallet didn’t agree with this, I have accumulated so many things now that it is easy to get inspired in terms of what I will wear on the night. I mix and match from what I have and get creative .

 Your second album The Lost Refuge was released earlier this year (2013). What has the reception/feedback been?

The album has been received very well, we have sold out of the first run in fact. We have had quite a few reviews, which have been very positive and people who bought it at gigs are digging it.

There have been a few line- up changes since conception. At the moment you have Danny Fury (frontman for the Tango Pirates) on drums and Dave Renegade (also a solo artist) on bass. Are these guys permanent? If not are you looking for permanent members and how should any would be Healthy Junkies apply?

We had the same line-up for about 2 and a half years, Steve Nightmare on drums and Tjay Tarantino on bass recorded the new album with us. With the exception of one song called Cat Story on which Adam Lewis played drums. For the last 6 months Dave Renegade and Danny fury have been with us. Danny has his own projects on the go, as you mentioned, and so we do have to have another drummer to cover for him, Steve Granger (who also used to play with Tango Pirates) is that man. He played with us on New Years eve when we supported Vice Squad. If anyone out there thinks that they are right for us then send us a message on facebook.

Both times I’ve seen Healthy Junkies you’ve put on a good show with an interesting prop – Alan (the human doormat). Where/How did you find him?

We have played many gigs in the North of England, I think we found Alan in Manchester. Since then he has been to many shows in many towns including our recent London album launch party. Nina continues to walk on him and he seems to like it, as do the audience. Recently other people were seen being walked on too, so maybe it’s becoming a thing.

What has been the highlight for the Healthy Junkies career to date?

It was very exciting when were were first asked to headline the Rebellion festival new bands stage in 2012, we went back in 2013 which was equally as cool. Having the album out on STP Records also was very exciting.

What have the Healthy Junkies got in store for people in 2014?

In 2014 we already have many shows booked across the UK as well as a tour of Holland and Germany from Feb 13th to Feb 22nd.  Hopefully we’ll get back into the studio to record the newer songs too.

Any message for Healthy Junkies fans?

Come and see us play, come and say hi, or if its too far to travel then say hi on Facebook. Stay Healthy stay young in spirit. Form your own band, cause chaos and  noise pollution but don’t blame us when you get institutionalized in some form or another.

Read our review of the gig here:

In Blue Peter style here’s one I prepared earlier – The Healthy Junkies performing Rebellion at The Mad Ferret in Preston, 17th November 2013:

About Louise Swift

I first went to a gig in 1981, Gillan at Leeds University. I've been a regular gig goer ever since. I haven't kept count of how many gigs I've been to over the intervening years, but it's a lot! My favourite bands are AC/DC then, in no particular order, Anti-Nowhere League, Slaughter and the Dogs, Towers of London and Dirt Box Disco. I tend to like Glam/Punk and rude offensive lyrics, not sure what that says about me but as Animal would say 'So What!' The question was recently put to me - did I write for any online publications? My reply - No, but I'd like to! Planetmosh was suggested and I found myself offering to review Aces High Festival. Easy peasy I thought! Well not quite, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well! I had sixteen bands to research. I found I actually enjoyed that and it kept me too busy to be making lunatic comments on Facebook! ;) Then I felt a bit inadequately qualified. I mean, who am I to comment on others, when my musical expertise extends to being able to play a mean Greensleeves on the recorder and a passable Annie's song on the flute! Haven't picked up either instrument for years! What I do have, however, is over 30 years of experience as a gig goer, so I can comment on what I like and what I don't! It's only my opinion and, if I don't like a band it doesn't mean they are bad, just not to my own liking. I admire anyone who has the guts to get up on that stage and have a go!