JunkBunny is young and spirited rock revival band taking the world by storm. The trio hails from Houston, Texas, and shares the same record label (Lava Records) as Greta Van Fleet. The band has already gained traction from well-known rock acts, opening for legends like Jon Bon Jovi.
We caught up with Mac Johnson (lead vocals & guitar, 18), Cayden Diebold (vocals & bass, 17), and Jake Douglas (drums, 17), about the Louder Than Life Festival, their beginnings, and the meaning behind their first single, Sedona.
You guys are from Houston – Would you guys say you’re “Texas Strong”?
MJ: [laughing] I think so, yeah. I think we’re pretty strong up there on stage; I think we represent our state well!
How’s the Texas music scene for rock and roll?
MJ: This vibe in Louisville – Louder Than Life – actually reminds me of Austin. It’s pretty cool – there are some good rock bands in Houston.
CD: Yeah, there’s a bit of a rock scene.
How is traversing the rock scene as young talent?
MJ: It’s funny, we started small in Houston playing shows for nobody in super dive-y types of places, and now we’re here.
Tell me a little about your origin story: how’d you meet, how’d you start playing music?
JD: I started playing drums when I was two, and Mac moved to where I was living right down the street when we were 8 or 9. So we met and found out we both liked music, and we both played guitar. So we hooked up and started playing together and jamming. We met Cayden and just started playing more shows and playing and getting out there more.
Was the original sound different than now?
MJ: I would say no, [our sound] has definitely evolved a little bit. We were thirteen, fourteen, writing super shitty songs and stuff [laughing]. But we’ve evolved a little bit. I think we’re still really true to ourselves.
What’s the meaning behind your debut track, Sedona?
MJ: I went to Sedona when I was a little younger, and when I came back I had this cool riff which is the intro of the song. I wanted this song to feel like the vibe that I felt in Sedona, just a total “road trip-y” kind of carefree song and Sedona was born. We wrote that when we were fifteen, and it’s stayed the same ever since. We’re super proud that it’s our first single.
You have a phenomenal video for Sedona with all of the mannequins. How’d the video come together?
JD: [Having the mannequins] was pretty much the idea that we were all thinking. So just to bring it to life was awesome. That was a cool vibe with all the mannequins. It was tough to tell who was real because all the mannequins were around and the people walking around.
How did the idea come of the mannequins come about?
MJ: We worked with a great director named Adam Rose Levy, and he had the idea with the mannequins. It was almost exactly what I was envisioning. A cool spot in the desert outside of LA. A big, long road to drive down. And he added the mannequin thing in there and I think it fits really well.
With the road trip vibe in mind, how has the road trip been to Louder Than Life?
MJ: I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a road trip, man, we had a bunch of flights yesterday [laughing]. It was definitely cool getting here. It’s our first show outside of Texas, so it was cool traveling a long ways to go somewhere new.
Who’s the Dreamboat of the band?
MJ: I mean, I’ve got the hair and stuff, I think some of the ladies might like that [laughing]. But I think all three of us are strapping young men.
What’s next for you guys?
CD: Next is our EP that we’re going to release – three songs in addition to Sedona. A week after that we’ll be playing BuzzFest, which is a local radio festival right down the street from us. Spring of next year is when we’re going to be releasing the album hopefully.
MJ: Maybe, hopefully [laughing]
How’s the album going to be?
MJ: People are going to have to wait and see, but I think they’ll enjoy it.
Check out ‘Sedona’ from Lava Records here, and be sure to stay tuned for JunkBunny’s upcoming releases.