Little Junior started in middle school in Toronto, Canada. I had the opportunity to speak with the lead singer/guitarist Rane. Their first release is a dual song record called “Rat Face // Dog Face” that include songs “Cry Baby” and “Psychopath.” The band will be hitting the Grog Shop on Feb. 18 with band, July Talk. Rane Elliot-Armstrong, singer/guitarist/lyricist, spoke about Little Junior roots and going up against sexism and homophobia.
Q: You guys are on tour right now, where are you currently?
A: Somewhere between Kansas City and St. Louis [in the van]; we’re playing in St. Louis tonight.
Q: Have you been to the U.S. before this tour?
A: We played a couple shows in Detroit and Buffalo with July Talk (also from Toronto). They just got nominated for Juno, which is basically the Canadian Grammy [Awards]. This is the first time we’re seeing so much of the United States. We started in Portland, went along the coast and then went from there.
Q: What has been your favorite part of the tour?
A: We stayed in an [Airbnb room] in LA for a few days when they had a few days off. Venice Beach was insane for us because it’s a million negative degrees back home right now.
Q: Can you tell me the story of how Little Junior started?
A: Two of us are brothers—the drummer is my brother. Jackson and Lucas met in elementary school. We all met each other at 12-13 in our angsty period in middle school. So we’ve playing together for like 10 years, under different names. We sucked in the beginning.
Q: What was the hardest thing about starting a band in high school?
A: Originally there were two other people, so the hardest part was getting them to come to practice. So the hardest part was weeding them out. We had it super easy, cause our parents let us practice in the basement.
Q: If you weren’t a part of Little Junior, what would you be doing?
A: I would definitely still be playing music in some form or another. I would probably be in school? I do some graphic design on the side. I don’t know, I might be just working at a cafe in Toronto.
Q: What’s a song you wish you wrote?
A: Anything by the Pixies, specifically “Velouria” by them. Anything off the first Weezer record, anything by first album by the Strokes.
Q: In “Cry Baby,” the anthem of the song is “I want to destroy my reputation”, what did you mean by those lyrics?
A: We wanted to distance ourselves from people with less progressive viewpoints. You run into a lot of people who make gay jokes and call women “bitches” and it’s just wanting to distance yourself from them and just never talk to those people again.
Q: I’m interested in what Brendan [the publicist] told me about Little Junior going up against the sometimes homophobic and sexist pop punk scene, what can you tell me about that?
A: It’s pretty rampant, at the very least a lot of songs have lyrics that are like, “oh, why don’t these girls like me.” It’s about making songs that avoid that, and that women can listen to, that gay people can listen to, and want to buy.