Brooklyn –via- San Francisco’s post-punk trio Weekend released their highly-anticipated sophomore LP “Jinx” on July 23rd on Slumberland Records.
Shaun Durkan (vocalist/bassist/guitarist) and Kevin Johnson (guitarist) first met and joined creative forces when they were just 12 years old, as bassists in the middle school band. Durkan’s father, the singer in post-punk band Half Church, had exposed Shaun to venerable likes of Killing Joke and the Cure (evidence that both are heavy influences on this forthcoming release.)
Years later, Durkan and Johnson attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where drummer Abe Pedroza was Durkan’s roommate. Known within their inner circles for having a near-machine-like drumming ability and love for all primarily obscure bands, Pedroza was quickly enlisted into what would become Weekend (serving as the band’s second drummer, replacing Taylor Valentino who departed the band following the recording of the band’s debut album, Sports)
2009 to 2011
Weekend officially formed in 2009 and recorded the Sports LP throughout the year at Ruminator Audio, which belongs to long-time friend and producer/engineer Monte Vallier (formerly of Jet Black Crayon, Swell, and Half Church- with Durkan’s father). “When we wrote Sports it was an explosion of energy and ideas,” Johnson says. “We’d been talking about doing the band for 10 years, so when we finally got together it was a cathartic release of energy and songs.”
Throughout the next two years, the band found itself touring internationally with the Kills (Europe) and Wire (UK and US) and in Japan in support of the 2011's Red EP, which marked a sonic departure from the band’s initial signature addiction to noise over clarity. Red (which was also produced by Monte Vallier) saw the band embrace sweeter melodies that encouraged Shaun to display his vocal abilities free from any distortion overlap.
2012 - Present
The band spent most of 2012 writing, recording, and painstakingly mixing the 10 songs that comprise the album once again with Monte Vallier at Ruminator. As Monte was in Half Church and a close family friend of Shaun's, he had long ago offered his recording services since the very beginnings of the band. Despite the all-too-familiar time lapse of the recording and mixing process Durkan recounts the Jinx sessions as “the most trying though rewarding experience so far.”
During this time, Weekend relocated cross-country to the already heavily saturated Brooklyn music scene. The trio had collectively grown weary of the trappings of home. Durkan states, “Feeling at home is evidence of stagnation and so I’m happy to say New York still feels alien to me.” Despite the drastic change of scenery, he maintains “Geographically-based music scenes are for the most part defunct due to the internet but I don’t think we’ll ever be part of any scene. We stand on our own.”
When asked to describe the album in 3 adjectives, Durkan stated, “Volatile. Cathartic. Bittersweet. The record is a collage of inspiration and ideas from each member of the band. Shards of experiences, images, smells, sounds molded into something we can collectively call ours.” The album visually represents the music as well, through personal possessions of each band member that “had singular and emotional connections to which were then democratized through a physical process. Painting the objects black adds a new, collective ownership over the previous personal meaning. [There is] the coalescence of our individual art to make something new, stark, and powerful.” That Stark black visual sheen is compliments the songs that embody Jinx.
Memories and experiences have been reinterpreted and recalled into existence from haunting, beautiful places. Each song on the album charges through a polarizing emotion through an ebb and flow of sounds both ominous and soothing. Lastly, the LP’s presumably superstitious title compliments this body of work thematically. Shaun recalls his father’s stage name, “Jinks” which played a ghostly role in the creation of this album. That name, like all the inspirations, emotions and experiences has returned to haunt the band – this time delivered with a lustrous and magnificent black sheen.