Punky Tunes comes from France and they play a really good sort of punkrock. This interview was done in january-2024…

 

Tell me the short or the long story how you did come together as a band?

Matthias: One could say we are a Covid-lockdown-band 🙂After having finished a lot of videogames, watched more movies than I can count, and left a noticeable curve on my couch, I've decided that it was the moment to do something, before melting with the aformentioned couch! Starting a punk band was something we had discussed a lot with Loïc (guitar), which was my roommate at the time, but words didn't translated into actions... until that point! Since I previously had an hardcore band with Matthieu (bass), I asked him if he would be up to it, and he was! Then, I randomly told Laurent (guitar) that we had started a band with Matthieu and Loïc, and, boom, a second guitarist appears! Loïc, who plays in Beer Me Up with Giada, suggested she could be our lead singer, since she plays bass and does backing vocals in Beer Me Up. And that was the first three years of Punky Tunes. Giada and us parted ways since, and Marie is now the new voice of the Punky Tunes!

 

Tell me a little about every member, age, work and something bad about every one. Do you have any other bands on the side of Punky Tunes?

Matthias: I used to play in Hardcore bands (Nonsense, Make It Worse), Loïc also plays in Beer Me Up (Pop-punk), Matthieu plays in The Manky Melters and the Moorings (Celtic-Folk-Punk), Matthieu and Laurent used to play in Sparkling Bombs (Glam-rock) together, and Laurent played in a lot of bands (Pitfall, Ahimsa, Epsilon, Bridewell Hospital, Secretos Del Corazon, Sparkling Bombs). Age-wise, we cover a large spectrum in the band, but I'm not gonna give any specific number 🙂Let's just say some of us are young, and some of us are a little less young 🙂

 

You do a 7 Seconds cover on your record, do you play any other covers?

Matthias: Actually, we started as a cover band. It was probably the fastest way to start to play music together. We still have quite a few cover in our set, depending on the length of it. We also released "Take back the power (The Interrupters)", "True Believers (The Bouncing Souls)", "Fall Back Down (Rancid)" and "Living Daylights (Kid Dynamite)" as singles. Our first 6-track EP with original songs was released in early 2023 and we'll be recording with Marie at the end of the year. The next EP will be out in early 2024 🙂

 

I hear that you have influences of Rancid, Interrupters, folkpunk etc?

Loïc : Actually, our main influences come from the 90s & 2000s Punk-Rock & Hardcore scenes. For Laurent, Matthias & Matthieu, this is the music that they grew up with as teenagers/young adults and they (especially Matthias) made me dig in these genres and I immediatly fell in love with it. So yeah, Rancid is a big influence, The Interrupters too, as they are from the “new school of punk rock”. But there are so many other bands and artists, it would require an entire book to cite them all 🙂

 

Is Kanal Hysterik a good label? Have you done anything more that you have released on record?

Matthieu: Yeah it’s a good independant label that release mostly french punk bands records. They go to many shows with their old-school distro, selling vinyls and fanzines, we like that. Steph and Moutch from the label also promote shows and festivals (Solar Punk Fest).

 

What does punk mean to you , is it only music or is it a life style? How have your thought about punk changed through all the years you have been in the movement?

Marie : For me, punk is a whole. My punk lifestyle came with the music. As I discovered punk, I encountered punk lovers, and there is no denying most of them are closer to being “my people” than in any other environment I’ve been in. I’d say it’s about accepting yourself for who you really are and giving as little f*cks as you can, while respecting everybody around at the same time, so everyone can grow together and learn about each other and themselves. This is my take on punk right now, based on the fact that I recently joined the movement.

Laurent: Marie has just wonderfully summed up the essence of my punk philosophy & the punk rock music 🙂I'd just like to add that I have inside me the rage that built this vindictive punk movement in 1977. Punk attitude is a protest movement and will remain so as long as there is discrimination.

 

Is there any good punkbands around in France right now?

Matthias: The first that come to mind are Dead Krazukies, P.O. Box for Ska-Punk, and of course our friends in Escape!

Laurent: There's a scene in France like everywhere else! There are 100% autonomous and independent bands, but also bookers like ROCKIN' DOGS BOOKING, KICKING BOOKING, our label KANAL HYSTERIK or RAGE TOUR BOOKING who develop the scene.

 

Do you have any Swedish favorites?

Matthias: I think I equally grew up on the swedish Punk-Hardcore scene as on the american one, if not more! Here are a few I like: 59 Times The Pain, Abhinanda, Adhesive, Another Year, The Kind That Kills, Millencolin, No Fun At All, Outlast, Section 8, Raised Fist, Randy, Refused, Satanic Surfers, Skumdum, Venerea, Within Reach. I've listened a lot to the Hardcore For The Masses Vol. II compilation, from Burning Heart records. Matthieu: Pretty much all the bands from the labels like Burning Heart, Bad Taste, Ampersand, Desperate Fight, and also the glam punk bands like The Baboon Show, Backyard Babies, Hardcore Superstar, Hellacopters, Crucified Barbara, Babylon Bombs, Crashdiet…

Laurent: the same bands as Matthias and Matthieu 🙂but the Swedish HxC scene in the 90s was a revelation for me.

 

Have you been here and played anytime?

Matthias: No, but I'd love to!

Matthieu: No but I was an exchange student in Uppsala in 2005. I promoted a show at my nation (Kalmar), Stockholm’s glam-pop-punk act “Starlett Suicide”.

Loïc : No, but this is something I’d like to check on my bucket list

Laurent: No but… Pleaaassseeee!!! 🙂

 

How did the name came up? Which is your favoritbandname alltime?

Loïc : The name came up as we started as a simple punk rock cover band. We play punk rock songs, punk songs, punky songs, Punky Tunes! As simple as that 😉It’s also a little allusion to the first album of Millencolin : Tiny Tunes/Same Old Tunes

 

Could you feel that you have released a record if you only put it out digitally?

Laurent: At first, yes, because that's what's done today, but then you absolutely have to release an object like a CD and especially a LP.

 

Do you buy much records yourself? Do you have any recordstore left in your hometown?

Marie : I do buy records, I ask my friends to gift some to me and it happens sometimes that I bargain-hunt for some oldies. In Strasbourg there are still 2 or 3 recordstores.

Loïc : I still buy LPs from bands at their shows and sometimes in record stores. In our home town of Sélestat there is one record store, we even shot some parts of the Punky Family music video there!

Laurent: I still buy a lot of LPs and I often support bands by buying their records.

 

Are you listening to any other music than punk? Any band you really like but you “shouldn´t” like?

Matthias: I think that you can find good bands in (almost? 🙂every genre. Starting from punk, I can go anywhere from Ska to Metalcore I guess. I also listen to Hip-Hop and Electronic music. As for my guilty pleasure, let's say that there can be some Frenchcore/uptempo late at night 🙂

Marie : I’d say I also listen to a lot of metal, instrumental guitar and indie rock. I guess my guilty pleasure is Elton John…

Loïc : I’ve been listening to a lot of Emo music lately, from Midwest emo to Emo-Punk/Emo-Hardcore, but I guess that you could put it into the Punk/Hardcore spectrum still. I’m also a big fan of Ska music, which causes a lot of desperation to my music buddies ^^ And for my guilty pleasure (even though Ska could already be enough), I would say that Country music is the answer.

Laurent: I listen to many styles of music including punk rock, HxC, rock, pop-rock, reggae, hip-hop, metal, rhythm and blues, electronic music and i think Shakira is my guilty pleasure 😉

 

Which is your personal Punky Tunes favorite song and which is the audience’s choice?

Matthias: I really like Posi Care Bears Anthem, for its sing-along part, atypical structure, and positive lyrics!

Marie : HomoPoliticus is my favorite, very hardcore 🙂

Loïc : The aftermath because it starts with a guitar solo 🙂

Laurent: HomoPoliticus

 

Which is…. the album which make you wanna do music and play yourself?

Laurent: Minor Threat

 

How is it to live in France right now, political, bad economy, racists etc?

Marie : Our society is increasingly adopting the right-wing ideas, our politicians are suspected rapists, racism and sexism are quite bad… It looks like, as a society, we are not ready for a real change, unfortunately. Some alternative groups and movements are formed to combat the social oppressions we suffer, but nationwide, it’s not enough.

Laurent: We're not going in the right direction, and that saddens me greatly because our society is becoming increasingly radicalized.

 

If you have the chance to rule France for a week, which have been the first thing you have been changed?

Marie : I would’ve suppressed the idea of ruling people.

 

Do you think that politics should be in music? Which is your most political song?

Matthieu: Yes, I don’t agree with people yelling that punk-rock/music should’nt mix with politics. Art in general can help to spread the word, and why not a with a political message. We have a song called “Homo-Politicus”, and a new song, to be released next year, called “Eco-Anxiety”, talking about environment.

Loïc : To me, everything in art is political. And to say that you don’t want to bring politics in your art is a political statement. So, as there are people listening to our music and coming to our shows, we find it important to spread our convictions which are : anti-fascism, anti-sexism, anti-homo/transphobia, pro-feminism and many more.

Laurent: if we talk about our society, it will be necessarily a political discussion.

 

Best political band/artist?

Matthieu: Propagandhi

Laurent: Dead Kennedys with Jello Biafra and Propagandhi

 

You sing mostly in English, why not in French? Is it easier to write songs in English?

Matthias: I don't know if it's the same for every language, but I think that songs in French can sound really corny really quickly. Plus, most of the music I listen to is in English, so it was kind of an obvious choice when I started writing lyrics. .

 

Do you have any new songs on it´s way?

Matthieu: Indeed, a new 6 tracks EP coming up. It will be released in spring 2024.

 

Please tell me a little about the following songs?

-Punky Family

Matthias: It's your typical punk-rock friendship song!

-Posi Care Bears anthem

Loïc : This song is about taking care of other people, and rejecting individualism

-Homo politicus

Matthias: This song deals with the excessive ambition of politicians, who would promise you anything, as long as they can gather votes from it.

 

Future plans for the band?

Matthias: We're recording a new EP in a few weeks, and of course, as much gigs as we can!

 

I do beer myself and I really like beer. You haven´t any thoughts of doing a Punky Tunes beer, if you do it what have it been called and which type of beer would it have been? Or maybe you´re straight edge?

Matthias: Haha, Drunky Tunes, maybe? 🙂I would go for a german Hefeweizen or an IPA. Marie : Drunky Tunes is a VERY good name for a beer. Love it. I’d love a white fruity beer. Loïc : We’re only straight edge until 11 AM 🙂Yeah, Drunky Tunes is a good name, and I would also propose “Posi Care Beers Anthem”. A mix between an IPA and a white beer and a little bit acidic would be the best for me.

 

Wisdomword?

Yoda: Do or do not, there is no try

 

Something to add?

Laurent: Thank you for your very rich and pertinent questions, it was long but we love it! 🙂Thank you very much. Love & respect!

 

Pictures: Xavier Guiot