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A Love Song to Brantford

Sun Junkies testament to the Telephone City.

Maichina Veri, March 28, 2022 // Brantford, Ontario

Sun Junkies (L-R) Nick Stacy, Issa Mohammad, Noah Carmichael & Ethan Silver maxing out.  Photo credit Paul Smith, Photohouse Studio. 

 

Positivity and good humour radiate through the kitchen. The comradery is palpable as Sun Junkies gather around the table. Their energy elevates the room from a regular kitchen to an exciting space that these young men fill. Noah Carmichael, Issa Mohammad, Nick Stacy and Ethan Silver are not only Brantford musicians, but also good friends who are humble, talented and fun. These adjectives may seem simple, but in their presence, they are followed by joyful exclamations. It’s the early afternoon, but the kitchen feels like a small party.

On stage, as of 2018, you will find both Noah and Ethan on guitar and vocals, Issa on bass and “moral support” and Nick on drums. These Brantfordians, whether born and raised or affectionately adopted, make music that is unanimously described as angry, fast, loud and fun – but that is also a “little sparkly,” according to Ethan. Their music is inspired by the city and is even reflected in the title of one of their first hits “(519) Reprise.” Brantford itself, Noah says, has pent-up aggression, which can be heard in Sun Junkies sound. Ethan describes this place as having a chip on its shoulder “in the most charming, wonderful way possible. I think everyone here has a drive to do something, to make something cool.” That too is found in the band’s music. As art imitates life and vice versa, so does music and hometowns.

 

Sun Junkies.  Photo credit Paul Smith, Photohouse Studio. 

 

Though they have played outside of Brantford and as far as Canada’s east coast, there is an appreciation and affection for home. Compared to other cities, Issa says of Brantford, “It’s smaller, it’s grimier – it’s very fun though. You can feel personality shine through the town at its core.” Nick admits they might be biased due to the positive experiences Sun Junkies have in town, but, as Noah chimes in, there is a sense of community and family. Ethan adds the audience is full of friends “and friends of friends, and it’s pretty much the best spot to be in ever.”

As the band goes on about Brantford, it begins to seem as though their subsistence is, in part, a love song to this small city. Despite the territory Sun Junkies have covered together as a band, they are constantly attempting to draw other bands back home, especially to the bar Two Doors Down. “Two Doors is the one,” Issa sincerely expresses, “That’s where I personally book shows.” He goes on to say that this is “wishful thinking,” but he hopes that the community and bands that go there are inspired to continue to grow from their experiences at the venue.

 

"As the band goes on about Brantford, it begins to seem as though their subsistence is, in part, a love song to this small city. Despite the territory Sun Junkies have covered together as a band, they are constantly attempting to draw other bands back home, especially to the bar Two Doors Down."

 

“We definitely have a lot of hometown pride,” further emphasizes Nick, “We all genuinely care a lot about the shows that we throw being a lot of fun and this being a fun place where people can come – especially people from out of town. We’re always pushing ‘you should come to town, you should come to a Two Doors show when we put one on.’” 

While a lot of people have the desire to escape their hometown, Noah respectfully falters as he tries to put to words his commitment to Brantford. He acts as though he doesn’t want to say they have the potential to outgrow the city, whether to not jinx it or to remain humble, but if that were to ever happen, he says, “We would still do our best to keep things going. Definitely remember the roots, set up some local shows, some secret shows.” Noah also states the band is “adamant” in correcting people who think they are from anywhere else but Brantford.

 

Sun Junkies. Photo credit Paul Smith, Photohouse Studio. 

 

The modesty continues as answers pour in when asked which bands Sun Junkies would like to play with as Ethan says, “We definitely want to be opening for bigger bands.” The dream line-up could be anyone, and in this dream they could headline. However, it’s as if the thought of headlining never crossed their collective mind. They want to open for Ontario acts such as The OBGMs and PUP. When pressed, they say American musicians and bands like Jeff Rosenstock and Surf Curse, and then even Lady Gaga (if they were asked).

Speaking of shows, Sun Junkies are ready to tour. They had planned on going to the U.S. in 2020, but due to the pandemic things changed. The pandemic wasn’t all bad though. Marketing for the band was stalled, but they were able to hone their craft and sound as well as figure out how they wanted to portray themselves. With restrictions lifting, and venues putting on shows again, Sun Junkies are making their way through the circuit again. Follow them on Instagram (@sun_junkies), Facebook (JunSunkies) and Bandcamp (sunjunkies.bandcamp.com) for updates on shows, music and more.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maichina Veri is a writer based in Brantford, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Montreal’s Concordia University and has a background in Journalism – Print from Niagara College. 

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1 comment

  • Such a well written article! I can sense the power of positivity and energy, not just from the charisma of the Sun Junkies, but also from the spirited expressions of the writer. And now, I would really like to come to Brantford and hear the Sun Junkies at Two Doors Down!

    Janet Veri

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