Singer / Songwriter JC Connington (vocals/guitar/percussion) and ex-Fancy Dress member Anna Reinoso (bass/keyboards) formed the band Junkstar in 2009 after JC put an ad out in Gumtree (remember that?!) to start a band in North London with a creative and savvy female bass player. (They were all the rage at the time).
The two hit it off and then recruited Emy Santoro (guitar) and together, they set about writing their first batch of songs. Their influences were diverse. Anna was the Brit-pop girl, Emy had cut his teeth on rock music and metal with jazz leanings, and JC heavily drew on his 80's synth pop and electro influences as well as his affinity with psych-rock distant cousins, the Dandy Warhols, along with his ear for strong hooks and a pop sensibility which saw many song feature weaving and cutting choruses and guitar or keyboard lines.
The three amigos would be the permanent members of Junkstar for the next 5 years, while other members came and went. Needing to then get a live band together, they hired erstwhile Irish drummer Pa Lynch, who became Junkstar's rhythm and sweat for the most part of the bands time together.
Adeline Rozario, Poppy Edwards and later, Sinah took the keyboard duties, but much like the Spinal Tap drummer curse, the Junkies never quite managed to hold down a keyboard player for more than a few years. None of the keyboard players were traduced to a green globule of sputum, despite a few playing their instruments like one.
First Single and beyond
Junkstar's debut single MAGAZINE was released to a native London buzz in 2010 and the band toured the U.S.A. and Europe at break-neck pace on the back of it. The band notched up some great support shows with bands including Supergrass, White Rose Movement, Kate Nash, The Killers, Athlete, The Drums, Fight Like Apes and King Adora. Crowd favourite BLUEBOTTLES got a white label release and was backed by the BBC & KERRANG! - it also featured bizarrely on the BBC's Newsnight! Played by KISSY SELLOUT and PETE TONG, the release saw the band at the forefront of the electro fidget genre in the UK.
JC Connington was invited to be a regular guest on BBC 5 live's Monday Music Review, causing a near-riot when he demolished Prince's new album on air. The BBC, to be fair, thought this was pure radio gold, and from that point on, JC was a regular pundit.
The band also had endorsements from Roland and Rotosound, and were HMV's next big thing in 2012, con-inciding with their next single, written by JC Connington - KICKING K
JC and Anna then decided that Anna, who was enjoying writing and playing keys, would take up the keyboard role in the band, and so JC hired big shot Hungarian bass player, Katy Zee.
The not-quite 'big time'
The band's high point came when the single KICKING K (Genepool/.Universal) reached #2 in the UK charts in 2012, competing against Evanescence, Paul Weller and The Vaccines for the number 1 spot. The band toured off the back of this around the UK, Italy and Germany. The third track on the single called 'Inside My Face' was written for BBC 2 Comedy IDEAL (series 7) - and saw the band mashing up an oddly satisfying mix of MIA & The Fall. With a triangle solo. (Yes you DID read that right). The single was an example of how today's low-cost technology can yield world class recordings on an indie-band budget. Recorded in less than two days on a budget of under $900, "Kicking K," was described by Q magazine as: "a glorious racket (of) muscular pop power."
One more change
Due to personal reasons, Pa Lynch left the band before JC wrote Kikcing K, and was replaced by JC's old Active-M band mate, Simon Hartop.('Who are Active-M?' This was JC Connington's first band in London - with ex-Galliano and Paul Weller bass player, Ernie McKone and multi-instrumentalist, Paul Wheeler)
Getting the album together
JC, Anna, Emy, Katy and Simon then worked on the bands recordings which were being written to form Junkstar's first album proper. At the same time, JC was touring Europe with Omega - a huge super-group of epic proportions, along with Katy and was enjoying being just a singer.
The End and the Beginning
Tiring of the band politics that had plagued Junkstar for years, and feeling other members wanted to settle down or do different things, JC came to the decision to end the story of Junkstar and work with Omega for the next few years. Performing to tens of thousands every night, JC reveled in his role as showman so much, that he decided the solo route was something he felt more comfortable with.
After finishing the Omega tour, JC collected the material that was unwritten, half baked and left on the cutting room floor, and released the material as a collection of loosely connected tracks online, under the moniker 'bighouseburning'. The tracks featured Hollywood - the only decent recording from the legendary Dave Allen sessions. (The Cure) Dave produce the song, and the guitars were recorded on vintage equipment, in the dark. The track was always Junkstar's last song in every show for a number of years, and sometimes went on for over 10 minutes, depoending on the mood of the band. The collection did well and had a limited release on Helium Records to critical acclaim.
JC then began to write for film and TV, scoring a number of ad placements and having songs on TV shows such as Top Gear, Newsnight, The Night Manager, Holby City and ITV's Football coverage of the Championship. During this time, he became a proud Dad, to darling Iris-Mia, with Japanese actor, Gorillaz 'Noodle' character and CBBC Children's TV presenter, Haruka Kuroda.
2020 and Beyond
JC has begun work on a new single due for release later in 2021, with his new project, Electric Army Angels.
He is also working on a homeless benefit event where he will be performing with Radiohead, Nick Mason and other luminaries for a one off show.
Work on another project with old Junkstar guitarist, Emy Santoro, is also underway - watch this space for details.