Loving every link in the chain

With confidence and a never-waning thirst for creation, it’s blue skies ahead for The Junction

A decade into their career, The Junction trio are more brothers than bandmates.
A decade into their career, The Junction trio are more brothers than bandmates.

Brent Jackson isn’t one to sweat the small stuff. With 10 years of experience under his belt as the front man of Toronto-based three-piece The Junction, he’s overcome his fair share of obstacles given the trials and tribulations that come with life in an indie band.

With compadres Matt Jameson (bass) and Michael Taylor (drums) by his side, it’s no wonder they’ve managed to stay honest, grounded and keep their passion afloat during their time together.

“We’re best friends, we love and respect each other, we’re basically to the point where we’re just brothers,” he said. “We have ups and downs, it’s really emotional at some points, you’ve got to keep people’s heads in check and make sure you’re always on the same page and that no one takes a hierarchy. Everyone’s free to do what they want … we’ve gone though all the bumps in the road, were older and know ourselves better.”

Though Jackson said that in his time as a musician he’s noticed a certain distance between band members is desired for some groups, the closeness between the guys of The Junction is pertinent to their success.

“For me personally, it’s important to be as close as you possibly can to someone,” he said. “Writing music with them and being with them for so long, I don’t think there’s any other way … it’s important that there aren’t any closed doors. We have to say what we want. Good or bad.”

The group has been drumming up attention with their radio-friendly indie pop rock since the release of their 2004 EP And With This Comes Tomorrow and their 2007 self-titled LP. Their 2009 full-length Another Link In The Chain brought with it a new obstacle when they were faced with being dropped from a major label.

“That was really the biggest point of our career,” Jackson said. “The team that we had didn’t believe in us anymore so we were faced with being in our mid-twenties and figuring out what was going on … that’s usually something that might break up a band, you might just sit back and say you know, these are our hopes and dreams and now we don’t have them anymore … for me it just showed me how strong we are.”

Undiscouraged, the trio’s love of music gave them the motivation needed to push past their break with Universal records and continue the pursuit of their craft.

“Music has always meant more than anything else to us and ultimately we just wanted to be around real people, the people who care about what we do” Jackson said. “The label was like a big machine, we aren’t the types to play a game just to make something work … that’s not what music has ever been to me. I hold it so high, it’s like the love of my life, it always will be. I just want to treat it with respect, be real with it and not change for anybody.”

In a sea of struggling acts, the chips decorating the shoulders of so many in his industry are bound to be encountered, but Jackson said he has little patience for those who can’t see past the materialistic aspects of band life.

“The worst is when people have egos and when people are assholes, I don’t like to be affiliated with people like that,” he said. “Pretentiousness and all that garbage, a lot of that happens in this industry, playing with people who are like, ‘I’m in a band,’ it’s like, ‘Fuck you! I don’t care, do you know how many bands there are?’ It doesn’t make you important. Just do your thing and have fun.”

Such an earnest outlook is refreshingly relevant and speaks to the band’s longevity in such a fertile music scene. It’s clear there’s little to nothing that could bring them down.

“My view on the world, in a nutshell, I just love life. I love it,” he said. “If you have existence then really you’re already winning every single day … I don’t really fear anything because I enjoy being here. I enjoy the realness of ups and downs and imperfection in everything … Life is simple and there are simple things you can do to feed your soul. As long as I’m creating and keeping my sanity and the love I have for music … I’m just so thankful to be able to do that.”

The Junction play The Mansion with Pelt, Politique and Songs From a Room this Saturday Nov. 13 at 9 p.m.

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