While Houston-area band Market Junction has found success in their beloved home state of Texas, they are ready to show the rest of the world what they can do. Their new LP Burning Bridges does just that. Each of the 10 tracks on Burning Bridges comprise a story, one of a young man learning about love and its consequences. Sometimes the heartbreak spurs the traveling, and other times the traveling is the cause of the heartbreak.
I got the chance to talk to the band’s frontman Matt Parrish about how the band came together, where the name Market Junction came from, how long it took for them to record Burning Bridges and so much more. Keep reading to see what he had to say!
For those who might not have ever heard of y’all, can you give us a brief history of the band and how it culminated into what it is now?
The band was formed in 2011. It was born out of a strong bond between Justin Lofton and me, along with a love for folk/Americana music. Taylor Hilyard played bass for Justin’s old band and so when it dissolved, he came along and joined our new band. We had a couple of drummers through the years but Michael Blattel has been with us for almost 4 years now. We’ve always made melancholic folk/country music but with most of our opportunities to play live coming from dance halls and bars across Texas, we’ve learned to do a little of everything.
Where did the name Market Junction come from?
Justin was the frontman for his own southern rock band, while I was in a contemporary rock band. Both bands played a local festival called “Country Market Days.” It wasn’t long after that that we both quit our own bands and joined forces. It was Taylor’s idea to take “Market” from “Country Market Days” and “Junction” as the coming together of two things, and so we ended up as “Market Junction.”
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey to listeners with their music so if you had to describe the music you make without using genre names, how would you describe it?
For us, it is less about conveying a message as it is connecting with the listeners. We want to tell a story or mention a detail that evokes a common emotion between us. We can all be so different and yet still feel the same kinds of things. I like for music to be a tool used to bring that commonality to the forefront.
Kind of going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
Townes Van Zandt, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ray LaMontagne, Guy Clark, Vince Gill, Ian Moore
Let’s talk about the new album, Burning Bridges. What was the recording process like for this album? How long did it take to come together from start to finish?
It took 18 months from start to finish. That included a restart and a hard drive crash. The process we used for this record was more organic and nuanced. We looked for the magic ingredient for each song and wouldn’t finish the track until we felt like we had found it.
Each of the 10 tracks on Burning Bridges comprises a story, one of a young man learning about love and its consequences. Where did the idea for all the songs to be somewhat connected come from?
It was something that began to happen subconsciously. When we had 4 or 5 songs that fit that theme, we realized how the rest of the puzzle needed to fit together. I can’t say for sure why that story became the one that needed to be told on this album. However, I think it has a mix of unresolved feelings of the past, and a bit of fear about the future.
As a result of all of the songs all comprising a story, are there any songs that didn’t make the album that you now wish you included?
There were songs that didn’t make the album but I think we are all happy with our decision to leave them out. We’ll likely use one or two of them in future projects.
Do you feel your approach to your music has changed with this album compared to your first one?
Our approach has taken a 180 degree shift. As we’ve spent more time in the studio making music and feeling more confident in our abilities, we’ve learned not to settle for things that are okay, but to really squeeze out the best part we can write or play. We had a rule going into the studio for this record; if it didn’t inspire us, we wouldn’t track it.
Is there a track, whether it’s one on this album or one you’ve already released prior to this album, that you feel best represents you and who you are and who you are as a band?
I think everyone in the band would pick a different track but for me, it’s “Nebraska.” That song has all of us doing what we do best and I think it shows folks who we really are.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
I’ve been nerding out about fishing lately. COVID has allowed for a little more time on my hands so it’s been a fun way to get out of the house. Justin has been nerding out with the weights. He’s been getting up early every morning and hitting the home gym. We’ve enjoyed a little time at home but we’re ready to play shows for real audiences again soon!