Alas, the news was officially broken today by Homicidols as well as Pure Idol Heart: To the sadness of many, super-fun punk-pop-idols THE SPUNKY have announced they’re disbanding. THE SPUNKY never really got the wider audience they deserved, which is our loss. They had catchy songs, a refreshing positive spirit, and the group was also notable for making a real effort to reach out to Western fans.
One such fan was Jim Mcmonagle. Jim is a founding member of the Philly-based punk band Flag Of Democracy. He’s been ripping up stages with fast n’ loud punk rock since the 80’s (The band’s first gig was on the same bill as Minor Threat and Agnostic Front!) and F.O.D. have earned a following that only comes from hard work and passion. (Y’know, one thing I’ve been aware of for some time now, a LOT of punk-rock and metal fans LOVE jpop. And I mean LOVE it. One could write an entire dissertation on this.)
Jim took his appreciation a step further and reached out to the group’s producer via SPUNKY super-fan PR machine ZAC and discussed writing some music for the idols, and they were intrigued with the idea. Jim got to work, recorded demos, sent them to Yuki Kitamura (Their producer/songwriter) in Japan, who in turn got as far as working on Japanese lyrics for at least one of the demo recordings. The ball was rolling and gaining steam right up until the unfortunate and difficult decision to end THE SPUNKY’s activities was declared.
The songs that were worked on have since been shelved, but Jim has uploaded several files to his soundcloud page. Listening to to these is a interesting glimpse into the songwriting process, and it’s also a fascinating peek into what might have been. Jim said about the collaboration:
“We were going to record the instrumental tracks here in the US as a full band and the girls were going to do the vocals in the mix down was going to be done in Japan. I think it would’ve turned out really cool.”
Aside from some great music, this was potentially a fantastic crossover opportunity to bring two international genres together.
“It was really a dream come true sort of situation for me… It was a good experience though working with another song writer… coming up with a lot of different songs quickly.“
But let’s not despair completely. Jim was telling me that he’s considering finishing up these demos with vocals and perhaps releasing them on his own at some point. (Allow me to drop a hint here, DO IT.) I don’t know if he’s going to try to ever try this sort of collaboration with a pop group ever again, but I sincerely hope he does.
In the meantime, go check out that soundcloud page. THE SPUNKY demos are named as such, and there’s other great audio explorations uploaded as well. You’ll find plenty of stuff to like. And check out his band, Flag of Democracy as well!
As for THE SPUNKY girls, I don’t know what their plans are yet. I understand at least one them is attending school, so I don’t know if any of them will be returning to music. But that’s sort of what this idol business works. They chase this dream for a little bit, and then return to being normal people. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I have no doubt there’s a bright future awaiting them no matter where the path takes them.