WONK UNIT are not so much a band but a way of life with their own brand of punk-rock, a DIY
attitude and a festival to name just some of their parts.
From Croydon Wonk Unit is all about Alex Johnson. The songs are his diary and he makes music for himself, just as he skateboards for himself and draws pictures for himself. He acknowledges its personal and I suspect this creativity allows him to handle the realities of life. “My original ethos which still stands to this day is that I would never ask for a gig or review or record deal or endorsement. Wonk only go where we are wanted and appreciated. I never needed the approval of others.”
Because of Wonk Units non-stop commitment to touring, their line-up has often changed. However 2020 had been shaping up to be a good year for Wonk Unit as they settled into a regular line-up and were due to support Less Than Jake on their European Tour. Instead they are currently working hard in the studio ahead of a European Tour all being well this year.
Their 7th studio album “Uncle Daddy” is due for release in the spring. The first single taken from the album “Strength” released at the end of 2020. The message is all about having strength at these difficult times. “The lessons I have learnt the hard way, makes me strong” but this is all wrapped up in fun punk, punk that immediately makes you bounce. I found it pretty emotional actually, the power of music when it grabs you. In these strange times this track sends out a positive message, that we can prevail, that we can fight for our loved ones and we can build resilience and move forward together.
Wonk Unit have BMX filming legend Mark Richards as their officialvideographer and photographer. The video for “Strength” was filmed by Mark at Alex’s own back yard skate bowl – yes seriously he has his own skate bowl in his back garden!
The band’s own festival, Wonkfest! is comprised of bands they have met on their travels. They invite bands to come and join them at their own festival. How blinkin cool is that!
Wonk Unit produces music full of meaning, with a punk rock delivery which is exhilarating, fun and thought-provoking – all at the same time.
The second single from the forthcoming new album was released at midnight on New Years Eve. Its the first track written and sung by the only girl in the band Vez Hawksworth and is entitled “RAISE MY GLASS”. its a song all about celebrating the passage of time and detachment from traumatic memories and with lyrics like “makes me want to peel off my skin and every year that passes on, raise a glass to another one without you” it’s a perfect punk pop ditty. For the accompanying video, the band brought a little New Years Eve party chaos to Alex’s Great Aunt Hilda’s perfectly frozen-in-time Victorian terrace. This latest track has already generated a lot of interest receiving number radio plays on the likes of Steve La Macq’s BBC6 Music show and on the Rodney Bingenheimer show Sirius XM in America.
In case you were wondering where the name of the band came from, Alex and guitarist Gavin
Kinch were laying a crazy paving driveway in 2005. It was miserable, cold and wet and Alex said;
“Look at us, we’re a right f**king Wonk Unit ain’t we!” What a great name for a band they thought
– and they were right. As Alex says “A description that sums us up perfectly in no way whatsoever!”
I need more Wonk Unit in my life…… they are most definitely a band to watch out for in 2021.
Words by JULIA MASON/SALLY NEWMAN