The Love Junkies


The Love Junkies launch their second album, Blowing On The Devil’s Strumpet, this Saturday, September 6, at the Rosemount Hotel with support from Mt. Mountain, PUCK, Horror My Friend and Sprawl. BOB GORDON checks in with singer/guitarist, Mitch McDonald.

We described it as being agonising and delicious at the time. And oh, it really was…

Back in early April, the Nedlands Foreshore played host to The Love Junkies making a guest (closing) appearance at the Ampfest band competition.

As the trio tore into the decidedly un-romantic Blowing On The Devil’s Strumpet, a newlywed couple posed for pictures on the jetty, embracing for the camera and pondering a loving life together.

With a bone-rattling, heart-shredding soundtrack to remember it by.

“God, I feel still feel terrible about that,” says singer/guitarist, Mitch McDonald. “What was funny was that we actually had no idea what was going on until we finished playing. We were just watching everyone in front of us laugh whilst we screamed, ‘She sucked the life right outta me!’

“What a horrible way to start the rest of your life together. I mean, if you had any doubts in your mind to begin with then perhaps that whole scenario could have come off as some universal joke. Standing on the edge of a jetty in a tuxedo, wondering if the divorce will be as expensive as the ceremony.”
It could certainly be said, that The Love Junkies write, shall we say, saucy songs. That’s admirable and possibly ambitious in these PC times. Talk about making things harder for yourself…
“I guess it could potentially rule out what is appropriate single material,” ponders McDonald. “Some stuff on the new album I thought was catchy enough but the content could’ve offended people. This album is a little darker than the first and though I am proud of all the lyrics, I still don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Unless they deserve it.

“At times I feel like I intentionally go out of my way to make people feel uncomfortable, but that’s not for attention’s sake. it’s just to see how far you can push an opinion. To be real fucking honest about something that is generally inappropriate or too hard to talk about.”
McDonald, Robbie Rumble (bass) and Lewis Walsh (drums) have been collectively known as The Love Junkies since 2009. They’ve been lively from the get-go, but since 2012 they’ve delivered a debut album, Maybelene and this year’s Flight Test EP, which featured the aforementioned song, Blowing On The Devil’s Strumpet, a title that also graces their second album, released this Friday.

This year the trio have notched four national tours, performed shows in Singapore and Vietnam, signed with German-based label Siiick Records for European releases, which will no doubt require touring in that region before too long. Amidst all the activity, the band dynamic remains nicely intact.

“Nothing has changed too much,” McDonald considers. “We’re all still best buds writing music. We’ve all been doing a bunch more solo stuff so I’m excited to see how the dynamic is for the next record. I think everyone is slowly becoming more confident as songwriters, so perhaps there’ll be more collaborations in the future. But for now it’s still the same. Smooth sailing.”
So, who brings what to the band to make it what it is?

“Well, Lewis hits shit real hard,” McDonald states. “That’s what everybody keeps saying. The ringing in my ears always likes to remind me in the night times. As soon as it’s silent, Lewis bleeds his way into my sleep in the form of a mosquito… and just starts hate fucking my ear drums ‘til morning. He also runs the accounts. I love that guy.

“Rob brings in a few tracks as well as a great smile. He’s also got strong hands, which is good for bass. I write and record it all at the moment.”

As songwriter, McDonald’s plans for the new album, beyond and above what they’ve released before, was simply for it too sound more natural.

“I felt like our previous efforts (Maybelene) came off super rock sounding and though we’re proud of that record it still hadn’t quite captured the sound I had in my head when I think of us on tape.” he says.

“Doing it ourselves gave us a chance to spend more time on the tonal elements and production we wanted. I didn’t want it to sound polished. I just wanted it to sound interesting. I’m still learning as well, and doing our own records means that we can continue working at a pace we feel comfortable. Which I think means regular releases. Which means more touring. More fun. We also want to try and take this record overseas at some point. Hopefully the States. We’re not sure yet… it’s a big decision and it ain’t cheap, so…”
And so it is, that as ever, the next step up merely paths the way to forward. If 2014 has been a big year for The Love Junkies, then 2015 is already calling for its share.

“Keep touring, keep writing, keep recording,” McDonald says of future times. “We’ll try and get overseas. I guess we’ll continue working on this thing because there’s nothing else to do. Nothing as exciting anyways.”