With a mellow mindset, good laughs and hectic experiences, RUNK. are the unique band of funk infused rock, punk and rap hailing from South West Victoria. Coming together just over a year ago, the guys are quickly making a name for themselves in the music world.
Melting a pot of genres stylistically, taking key influence from artists like Arctic Monkeys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sticky Fingers, Wu Tang Clan, The Smith Street Band, La Dispute and Kendrick Lamar, bassist Harry Johnson says their different musical interests have influenced the core sound of RUNK.
“We all listen to completely different music which is what brings it together. Tom’s favourite band is Radio Head, Jacob only listens to hip hop, I listen to anything except country, and Matt listens to Paul Kelly and storytime Bob Dylan. I think that’s why our music is so diverse – we’ve all got different influences that brings it all together and somehow we are just lucky that it works so well,” he says.
Since their debut single, ‘Speed Dealer Sunnies’ which climbed to number six on the triple j Unearthed Charts within a week of its release, and with one member still in the midst of year 12 and the other three juggling full time work, Johnson along with Jacob Pugh, Tom Bruckner and Matt Murray have already released their first seven track EP ‘Y.E.T.I’.
“We probably owe most of our success to our first song Speed Dealer Sunnies. Down here [South-West Vic], it was our hit song, number one. It was the one song that everyone knew and we’ve had it played at parties we’ve been to,” he says.
One track the young bassist notes is the EP’s title track ‘Y.E.T.I (You Envy the Ignorance)’, which is the hard-hitting song that has almost reached 2000 plays on Spotify, and with an official music video that was filmed at a house party hosted by Johnson himself. Not only did the track gain wide attention on social media, but it was also the song that marked the beginning of the bands current approach to their music.
“Ever since we wrote that song, our writing has just been on that emotional level but still going hard at the same time. You have to find that balance between emotional music and something that people can connect to from experiences, but also be a song that people can listen to without thinking about it too much. And I think that we have found that medium ever since we wrote YETI. We’ve found what works for us and we’re on that level now.”
Now the guys have taken their band to new levels and are heading on the road this winter in promotion of their sweltering new single, ‘Rush Hour’, travelling to Adelaide, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Rye, Ballarat and Collingwood and the guys cannot wait.
“It’s really just a dream come true that it is actually happening and the fact that it is just around the corner is mind blowing for it to actually happen, and the fact that we are playing in a different state and that we are the headline is just craziness,” he says. And this is just the beginning for the young group of men and their place in the musical world.
“I think once you tour once, even if it’s not successful you just need to keep going. Once you do it, you get five people at each show, cool beans, you lost a lot of money, it doesn’t matter – you had a good time with the boys. Then if you have three people that went that tell their friends and then next time the each bring someone else, it’s worth it. By the time, say two years down the track and we go back to Adelaide and there’s like 20 people there, we’ll just play to those 20 people at the show who like our music. It’s insanely worth it. That’s the dream right there, to go to a different state and play to 20 people.”
When & Where: Music Man Megastore, Bendigo – June 23; The Loft, Warrnambool – July 1 & Karova Lounge, Ballarat – July 28.
Written by Talia Rinaldo.