Hello! Let’s start with an introduction. Who are you and what do you do in Wonk Unit?
I’m Mr Alex Wonk. Wonk Unit is my creative outlet. I write the songs, do stupid drawings, front the band doing really horny sex moves and steer the Wonk ship. It’s a full time job.
You’re playing at Manchester Punk Festival next month – what are you expecting from that show?
MPF is a brill gig for catching up with all our buddies. The DIY scene really is a family. It’s harder for us to gig these days as everyone lives all over the country so it’ll be nice to see everyone.
The line-up is incredible this year, as it always is. Who are you looking forward to checking out?
Iron Chic. One of those bands you see and go “ahhh so that’s why they are popular”. Soulful.
MPF falls during your tour with The Raging Nathans. Where else are you heading on that your and are there any stand out shows that you’re particularly looking forward to?
For this tour we are hitting places that we missed on the previous one in November. Excited to play Inverness, Sunderland and Workington which we never played before but all the dates are special and long overdue a Wonking! The Raging Nathans have driven us across 29 U.S States, we are showing them the mystical backwaters of the UK hehe. It’s gonna be awesome!
You’ve also got a new album, Terror, coming out around that time too. What can we expect from that?
Honestly, I think it’s the best Wonk album to date. To me, it feels more like Jap Flag than say Splashy. It feels like an album where we’ll play every track live.
This summer also sees the sixth Wonkfest. Could you tell us a little bit about how the line-up comes together for an event like that?
Wonkfest line ups happen very organically. We are a touring band so we meet a LOT of other bands on the road. It’s the ones that make an impression, the ones that I’m excited to share with our family that make the cut. The wait list is long. I’m still sorting out bands from 5 years back. The previous 2 years our line ups were insane and it was actually killing the fun for me to try and “up” the line up each year. As Wonk grow as a band, we get to tour with bigger bands so those bands make the cut. Unfortunately, those bands come with booking agents and big money and it was all becoming a stress. So this year I’ve been like, fuck it, we are going back to our roots. The line up this year is insane enough though. Gonna be a thrasher!
And other than twelve hours of ace punk music, what else do you have going on that day?
FOOOOOOOOOD!!! We’ve gone all out this year! 2 BBQs this time – vegan and regular – and we are moving Clare and Al’s famous Buffet where everyone brings something for it downstairs to the courtyard as well. Gonna be Fooooodmageddon! All free and super good quality. We served up about 800 awesome burgers last year, all free, all day. It’s so rad. Everyone’s eating, no one gets too messy. Such a lovely atmosphere. We serve breakfast for the those that come for doors in the morning, we do a live Wonkfest screen print for folk who bring their own T’s and we also work with anti sweatshop campaigners No Sweat who have ethically sourced T’s you can buy at cost. All proceeds to the folk who made them overseas. Lastly we collect for a local women’s refuge charity. We ask for sanitary products, baby products, health and beauty products, make up etc. Food banks are crying out for that kind of stuff.
In doing things like Wonkfest and touring around a lot you play alongside so many great bands that are somewhat ‘under the radar’. Who should we be checking out?
The Dopamines from Cincinatti, Clowns from Melbourne Australia, The Dub Righters from London, Aerial Salad from Manchester (who i think have a “classic” album on their hands), Calva Louise from London. To be honest I’m not really sure if these guys are under the radar any more, just my favs!
Hollywood calls, they’re making ‘Wonk Unit: The Movie’ and you’re in charge of casting. Who stars as the band?
Alex Wonk – Ron Perlman
Tommy – Kevin Spacey
Pwosion – Roseanne Barr
Kenny – Corey Feldman
Simon – Colin Farrell
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Life’s too short, pick your battles, love your neighbours, remember to have fun and don’t take yourselves too seriously.