Download 2017: No. 41 - Junior - 50 bands in 50 days

By Eric Mackinnon



Download Festival

The Dogtooth Stage

Saturday, June 10



Chris Jericho and his Fozzy bandmates had better watch their step at Download after the boys in Junior threw down the gauntlet and teased a tag-team match between the two bands.

Pop-punk's Junior have earned a slot on The Dogtooth Stage this summer but bassist Mark Andrews, like Jericho, juggles his time in the band with life in the squared circle as a wrestler.

Andrews has wrestled for TNA and most recently for WWE NXT and he cites Jericho's famous dual life as a bona-fide rock star and one of the world's greatest wrestlers as a huge source of inspiration.

“Jericho is a massive inspiration for me, as he's the first person who's been able to juggle an awesome career in both wrestling and music,” Andrews tells The New Rock Times.

“So I'd definitely like to catch up with him over the weekend, and who knows, maybe a Junior vs Fozzy tag team match?”

“I mean it does seem like the perfect opportunity to work a double shift! (NXT are also at Download again this year. I'd love to perform both on stage and in the ring, so let's keep our fingers crossed!”

The Dogtooth Stage could present Junior with their biggest ever crowd and Junior are polishing their A-game and prove they belong on the grandest rock stage of 'em all.

“I think that festivals (and in general, support acts at shows) are a great opportunity to discover new music,” says drummer Si Martin.

“I stumbled on Polar Bear Club at Hevy Festival a few years ago, and last year I discovered Caspian at ArcTanGent. We’re gonna bring our A-Game to Download to win over any casual listeners who stumble upon our set, as well as prove to people who come see us that we deserve to be on that stage.”

Si continued: “I don’t think we particularly get nervous; we’ve all been performing in bands (or wrestling!) since we were young. I think we all just get a lil bit silly, and hype each other up. I suppose more towards the Connor McGregor swagger approach, but if he was like six years old and just ate a bunch of e-numbers. In general with our music, we tend to talk ourselves up, so that there will be a bit of expectation and pressure on us, so we have to push ourselves to live up to our own hype!”

Like so many bands on the bill Junior are more than keen to pitch their tent and make Donington Park their home from home for the entire weekend either side of their set.

Guitarist Mark Andrews commented: “We do plan on staying for the whole weekend and we're psyched about it! Not only are we playing our set on the Saturday, but NXT will be at the festival all weekend too, and Si is also DJing the silent disco throughout the 3 days, so Junior will be kept busy! I know we're psyched to see Biffy on the Saturday night, we definitely wanna see our pals in Holding Absense on the Friday, and then Four Year Strong, Sum 41, Creeper, and most importantly – Aerosmith.”

Junior released a track 'Veronica' which hit home in the musical sweet spot for a large number of fans but who exactly is the track about?

“Aha,” chuckles Matt Attard.

“I think Veronica is not so much one person but an idea of a person or group of people. Its that person you can just tell has an alternative motive and you keep your eye on, just in case!

“But it resonated with me because there were a lot of people who were like that around me at the time, and I think it was good way of venting the frustration.”

Matt adds: “I think our goal is to really refine our sound and focus on making a really good record. We've got a bunch of shows lined up which is gonna be rad, and could give us a chance to potentially début some new stuff!