Edmonton cowpunks Jr. Gone Wild are back together.
“We took about an 18 year hiatus and got back together two years ago,” said frontman Mike McDonald.
“It’s been a whirlwind two years,” he said, adding pressure from a persistent superfan encouraged him to reform the band.
“ A couple of years ago a guy asked me if I’d be interested in reforming the band. I said ‘No way, I’m not interested in doing that.’ A couple of months later he asked me if I’d given any thought to what I said and told him, ‘dude, I said no.’ He came back a few months later and asked again, so I quoted him an outrageous amount. Or what I thought was outrageous amount and he said ‘no problem,’” he continued, so he contacted former band members, bassist Dave ‘Dove’ Brown, drummer Larry Shelast and multi-instrumentalist and producer Steve Loree to play steel guitar and lead guitar.
“So we got together and rehearsed for like eight months for the reunion show, May 31, 2013, which we thought was going to be a one time thing. We played a three hour set,” he reminisced.
He was pleasantly surprised with how many people remembered Jr. Gone Wild.
“When we started there was no social media or smart-phones or Facebook. If you wanted to do a newsletter, it would cost you like $300. You’d have to print it up, then buy envelopes and stamps and send it out. Now you can write a note and post it on Facebook and everyone knows about it in two seconds,” he continued.
A variety of well known artists have covered Jr. Gone Wild songs including folk musicians Carolyn Mark and NQ Arbuckle and going back a few years, ’90s rockers the Doughboys who recorded a Jr. Gone Wild song on their first EP.
“ That was before they became a Much Music band and became famous,” he said.
More recently, Calgary rockers Napalmpom recorded their song “Cosmos.”
“ I actually like what they did with the song. There's guitar harmonies and vocal melodies we never thought of,” he said, adding he is honoured when other musicians record his songs.
“As someone who knows how much work it is to put out a record, I’m flattered. It’s like we’re part of folklore,” he said.
“As a songwriter probably the highest compliment you can get is for someone to cover your song,” he said.
Jr. Gone Wild got to cover a song by one of their idols/ friends — Edmonton born Canadian punk icons SNFU.
They just released a video for SNFU's “ Cannibal Cafe.”