I (Abby) met Junkyard Fort (Olivia, Sam, and Will) in 2016 when I first moved to San Antonio. I had moved for school and met them at a show at the now defunct, “Imagine Books and Records”, a DIY venue and bookshop in San Antonio. I got to talking to them after their set, and it turned out we were all in recovery. Junkyard Fort disbanded before covid, as the members all moved and left San Antonio. Olivia, (she/her) moved to Seattle and is now in Austin. Sam, (he/him) moved to Denton for school and Will (he/him) moved to Connecticut for school and is now known as Folk Punk Dad on TikTok.
This is Junkyard Fort’s first show in about three years. They were kind enough to be interviewed before the show. This interview transcript has been cut down/shortened.
How did you guys meet?
Will: We met in recovery
Sam: Yeah, I met Will through a friend that said, “Hey! This guy does children’s music,m and since you are a balloon artist, you two should connect and make creative stuff together.
Will: So, Sam and I met up at a meeting and then same eventually became my roommate after just a few months.
Sam: Yeah, and we started playing kid’s music together, and then we started doing a lot more music and stuff together.
Will: All kinds of music together. And then, eventually Olivia came into the picture.
Olivia: Yeah, I met some people… Sam’s old roommate overheard me talking that I play music and then he invited me over one night. It was actually a very magical night, the first night that I met them. It was very off-putting at first. *laughs* But great. Like a weird contradiction. I walk in, and there’s like about eight other people there. Singing. You guys have to sing it.
Will/Sam: Oh. Oh. Oh. Olivia…Welcome to…
Olivia: And they all had flowers in their hands…
Sam: And then we all sat in this circle… and we were sharing songs, and Olivia had a song to share… And we got to hear Olivia sing and play uke for the first time.
Sam: At that point, Olivia added her own touch of magic.
How did you guys get into folk punk?
Olivia: Ah, let’s see. I’ve always been kinda into punk, and then…I honestly don’t know how I got into folk punk. I think I’m just born with it. I think it’s just, you know, in my blood. Just popped out of the womb… *laughs* … I am. I think it’s kind of a natural series of events. I liked punk and I liked folk music… I just started going to shows, and then when I started, like actually playing music…my solo music kinda resembled folk punk.
Sam: I was introduced to folk punk by Olivia. I think the first song I heard of folk punk was ‘Misanthropic Drunken Loser’ by Days n Daze.
Will: So close. ‘Misanthropic Drunken Loner’.
Sam: *laughs* Well I don’t think he says those lyrics in the song… call it whatever fits your mood. *laughs* I was introduced that way… I don’t know much about folk punk, but I like everything that I hear.
Will: That’s a really good quote. That’s perfect actually. That’s very well said.
Will: So, some people consider The Mountain Goats folk punk, or at least folk punk adjacent…so when I was in high school, as soon as I discovered The Mountain Goats, they became my favorite band. And the music I was writing started sounding a lot like The Mountain Goats even if I didn’t know it at the time… Oh yeah, I’m forgetting a very important piece of the puzzle. In 2011, I played a show with Days n Daze down at The Strip… I did my little set and then I saw Whitney and Jesse play. I think Marissa was still playing with them at the time. And I thought they were so cool, bought their CD. I still have their burnt CD… I ended up running into them again, like a few months later in Houston when they were busking.
We talked for a bit here about folk punk.
Will: It’s a community. It’s a subculture…It’s anti-capitalist. You know, it’s about caring for each other. It often is about helping each other through life’s struggles, which often includes mental illness and addiction…
Sam: It also is about finding a way to get by, despite, like, all of life’s crap and all the stuff life throws at you. Just finding a way to get through.
Will: Another thing I love about folk punk is how accessible it is… It is very much a community. Like the DIY community of everyone helping each other.
~ Interview conducted by Abby