ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Indonesian Junk

An exciting night of rock and roll occurred at Bremen Cafe on Friday night featuring Milwaukee bands Floor Model and Indonesian Junk plus Lansing, MI-based band The Stick Arounds.

Indonesian Junk consists of vocalist/guitarist Daniel James, guitarist Adam Turetzky, bassist Johnny Cyanide, and drummer Mike Mattner. Bringing the power pop and glam rock popularized in the late 70’s and early 80’s but with refreshing style, the band’s name is a Cheap Trick reference. James explains how the project formed.

“Well, I’ve been writing songs for a long time since before the band started. I was playing in other bands but I wasn’t a songwriter in them so my songs were on the backburner until I could do something with them. Eventually I realized it was hard to start a band; I taught myself how to play drums, made a demo, and then right around then I started playing with Johnny and a different drummer…that was in 2014 I think. We started playing out, put out a lot of records, and went on tour as soon as we got our first 7″ out. Yesterday was actually Mike Mattner’s five-year anniversary in the band on drums. Adam joined on guitar last year.”

Earlier this year in March the band released the record “Living in A Nightmare.”

“I don’t want to call it a pandemic album because I don’t really sing about the pandemic, but it’s obviously influenced by the early months of it where I was sitting at home bored with nothing to do. I think they’re our poppiest songs. I was playing a lot of acoustic guitar in my room; I feel like that’s what everyone in the country did in the months of March and April (laughs). It came together really quick songs-wise. This is the first album we ever did where I didn’t have a backlog of songs, because if you remember I started writing songs years before we started, but this whole album was written pretty much in a two-week period of time. It’s an album that encapsulates where we were in that moment of time. The other albums kind of bleed into each other – and I mean we’re still the same band – but it’s really cool to make an album that’s just us, now.”

James shares a bit of what the band’s up to.

“We haven’t really been writing anything; our main thing has been trying to find a practice space, so we can’t really work on new material if we don’t have anywhere to play loudly (laughs). We’re trying to play as many shows as we can with all the limitations that are out there. We’re not touring this year but I think we’ll tour next year. I started playing in my old band Chinese Telephones again and I started making comic books too; we’re all very active right now but I think it might be at least a year before we make another record, which is weird because we’ve always been cranking out records. Now that we can play live again, that’s gonna be our main focus, especially because we have two vinyl LPs that came out during the pandemic and we need to sell those (laughs).”

Indonesian Junk play X-Ray Arcade on October 10th, as well as some out-of-town gigs yet to be announced.

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