Pages Navigation Menu

Junius Dishes on Inspiration, Tour, Future

Photo by Bryan J. Sutter (L to R: Joseph E. Martinez, Michael Repasch-Nieves, Dana Filloon, Joel Munguia)

Junius is a rock band out of Boston, Mass. that formed in 2003. The band is comprised of lead vocalist Joseph E. Martinez, guitarist Michael Repasch-Nieves, bassist Joel Munguia and drummer Dana Filloon. Their latest album Reports From the Threshold of Death was released in October of last year and they’ve been touring nonstop since then. Says Repasch-Nieves of the touring experience, “Right now, our focus is on touring extensively for our new album, which is very exciting and fresh to us at the moment.  We’re proud of the album and excited to be playing all these songs live.”

Junius Artwork

The band is named after Junius. The pen name of a political writer in the 18th century. Their first full-length studio album, The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist, was focused mostly on the life of Immanuel Velikovsky, who was the 1950’s author of numerous controversial books reinterpreting the events of ancient history. Songs on the album are full of Velikovsky’s quotes.

Reports From the Threshold of Death is about the soul’s journey after death, as a follow up to their previous full-length album. Martinez calls it a “guide for the afterlife.” That is exactly as I, and I’m sure many other people, perceived it as well. The track listing follows a storyline of a soul after death from beginning to end. Amazing.

The Spec had the opportunity to talk with Martinez and Repasch-Nieves about their current tour, past tours, how they spend time off and what they plan on doing five years from now. See what they had to say below… 

Who/what inspires you?
JOSEPH: I’m inspired by art, or rather what I consider great art. Movies, books, architecture, conversations all inspire me. Other peoples’ music actually rarely inspires me nowadays.
MICHAEL: Artists that have inspired us over the years include bands like M83, Failure, & Hum, contemporary composers like Philip Glass, Clint Mansell, and Danny Elfman, filmmakers like Tim Burton and Darren Aronofsky, and authors and visual artists that are too numerous to list.

How did Junius start out? Was everyone friends before?
MICHAEL: I met Joseph and Dana at a basement show. Their old band and my friends’s band were playing in Boston back when we were all living there.  I really liked what they were doing musically, we shortly thereafter started geeking out over music and bands we all liked, and it turned out that they needed another guitarist.  After I joined, we decided to take a different writing approach and thus Junius was born. We met Joel on the road a few years later when his old band opened for us and eventually he gave up everything he had back home to devote himself to being a touring band dude.  So, no, none of us were friends before; it was really music that brought us together.

Looking at your past shows, looks like you guys have toured pretty steadily since 2005. On the short breaks that you do get, how do you like to spend your days?
MICHAEL: At this point, we all have somewhat stable home lives when we’re not on the road…  I make art for other bands; Joseph spends a good amount of time writing music.  And of course we all have odd jobs we have to do to help pay the bills, on top of everything else.

I see that there have been many but if you could pick just one, who was your favorite band to tour with so far?
JOSEPH: Circle Takes the Square and Enslaved were great tours and even better people.
MICHAEL: It’s hard to pick a favorite, really! We’ve had some good luck in that category.  Our current tour with O’Brother is going really well.  They blow me away every night with their music and performance, and on top of that are some of our favorite people we’ve toured with already (we’re only a week into the tour right now).  Aside from that, friends/bands we’ve toured with in the past like Valient Thorr, Caspian, Constants, Battlefields, Irepress are all great, just to name a few.

As a band, where do you hope to be five years from now?
JOSEPH: Buying matching yachts.

Lucky for you guys, Junius will be here this week on Wednesday, March 7, at the Nile Underground in Mesa with O’Brother, Cassiopeia and Marriage of the Decade. Purchase tickets here.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *