Phunk Junkeez and Jimmy Eat World do not have a lot in common. The Phunk Junkeez' major-label video was about "Me N Yer Girl" booty-shaking; Jimmy Eat World's was about two kids who fall in love and put their clothes back on.
Jimmy Eat World hit on the mixture of fast-paced pop and before-it-was-a-bad-word emo that dominated crossover rock for a large part of the aughts; Phunk Junkeez combined funky riffs with vocals that split the difference between nu-metal and everybody's Beastie Boys comparison-by-default.
But Phoenix is a big place. And for music fans of a certain age both bands are local-boys-made-good, which is why tonight's We Got The Beat! benefit show at the Crescent Ballroom -- featuring the Phunk Junkeez and JEW's Jim Adkins, with all proceeds going to young heart-transplant patient Kylee Geretti -- is an excellent time-traveling opportunity, if you're in the market for one. With that in mind, here are both bands in their own words -- from the '90s.
In late 1995, the Phunk Junkeez sat down with New Times for this exceptionally edifying feature story that captures the band at its major-label heights and actually does something with that Beastie Boys comparison.
Here are the Phunk Junkeez on...
Their origins: "I've never been a person to go, 'Oh, man, the Phoenix/Tempe scene rocks!' I think some of the newer bands coming up now are cool, but that Arizona format sound, the Gin Blossoms and all that, it's just boring shit. We never wanted to be run of the Mill Avenue. That's why we did it ourselves, promoting the band with warehouse keggers and whatnot."
The controversy surrounding "Devil Woman": "Our first album [the 1992 regional release Naked Language] was real happy as shit," explains Soulman. "But when we wrote the second album, we were real pissed off. We hated record companies, we hated girls, we hated everything."
"Retard chick writers," Soulman says, are behind most accusations of misogyny directed at the Junkeez. "They're like, 'These guys are a bunch of sexists, blah, blah, blah.' Whatever. Devil Woman's no worse than that Alanis Morissette song."
High technology: "We're moving up to a Sega Saturn so we can get Virtual Fighter," says Soulman. "We were out on tour with 311 and they had a Sega Saturn in their bus, and we were like, 'Fuck that, if 311 gets a Sega Saturn, then we do, too.'"
In August 1998, having just finished work on Clarity, Jim Adkins and Zach Lind talked with us about the record and the commercial failure of Static Prevails.
On major label machinations: "I think they were indifferent. We had the impression that they were going to be more excited than they were about it, and I think the president of the company had the impression that we were a guinea pig. The record was like preschool, which kind of made us mad, 'cause it's like wasting our time."
Read More: Jimmy Eat World announces an Arizona tour in 2013, but maybe not where you expect.
The benefits of being major-label rock stars: "[T]here's a lot of good things. Like they bought us a van that's probably gonna last us a long time; that's invaluable to us."
Whistling past the genre graveyard: "We're out to redefine emo," Adkins announces, then laughs maniacally. "Don't quote me on that, please."
Sounding, very briefly, like a Phunk Junkeez interview: "I think," says Lind, in a rare moment of salaciousness, "that's the new panty-dropper."