“If you have ever wanted to knock out the high school bully on graduation day, then make out with his girlfriend at the podium, Native June is the soundtrack to your life”.

That quote from Native June’s MySpace page sums up my feelings better than anything I could ever come up with.

Listening to their first full length release “Whisky & Walnuts” it’s easy to see why Native June has become an LA favorite, having by now played every major venue on the Strip at least twice. Heavily influenced by bands like Kings of Leon, The Stokes, Sublime and the Killers, Native June’s upbeat tempos, moving baselines and distinctive leads are hard not to like. And after listening to tracks from their upcoming album “Ocean to Sunset” (which includes a rocking version of “Summertown”), it’s easy to imagine them reaching the same heights as those very influences.

Native June is definitely a band to watch out for.

Here’s what singer Gabe Watson had to say about the band, puppets, and polar bear wrestling:

GORILLACOUSTIC: What should the world know about Native June?

GABE WATSON: Native June is a Grit Rock band based out of Los Angeles, CA. The band formed in June of 2005 and released their first full-length album, "Whiskey and Walnuts" in 2007. We have just finished tracking our second album, "Ocean to Sunset," which is set to be released in late Spring 2010. The current lineup of the band includes original members, Gabriel Watson (vocals/guitar) and Tristan Hendy (bass guitar/keys). The band has recently added Martial Chaput (guitar) and Scott Eley (drums) to the lineup.

GA: Native June has played just about every major club in LA. What's been your favorite place to play?

GW: We have played at all of the popular venues around LA and surrounding cities including The Troubadour, The Roxy, House of Blues, and Whiskey A Go Go, to name a few. NJ has also played at some of the more local, seedy venues around town as well. But bottom line, Native June loves to play music as much as possible, anywhere! Our favorite place to play is the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip. The room is small and intimate; the sound is amazing, and the history of the venue brings out the goosebumps!

GA: Any particular reason you chose to play on the pier?

GW: Native June competed in a Battle of the Bands on the pier during the Winter/Spring of 2009. We've spent a lot of time out there performing and promoting the shows. We actually wrote the song, "Summertown," through those months of competing and performed the song there for the first time during the final round of the competition. We won the Battle of the Bands contest, and it was one of the best nights of 2009. It was great perform the song acoustically on pier, since it was in fact where the song was born.

GA: If you could choose anywhere else in the world to play, where would it be?

GW: Ideally, we want to travel abroad and present Native June's, grit rock sound, to the rest of the world. Our first choice would be to perform for the troops stationed around the world, especially the men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our band also has an international background: Martial Chaput, our new guitarist, moved here from France in September 2009; and our bassist, Tristan Hendy, is dual citizen of the United States and Great Britain, where most of his family resides today. We're currently planning a European tour for the Summer of 2010.

GA: You feature an elephant on both your album and logo. Any particular story behind that?

GW: We started using the elephant a couple of years ago when we were promoting our song, "Circus," and doing a carnival-esque theme at our shows. Jeff Streitel, who co-founded the band and played drums on both of our albums, designed the logo. We sat down with him to design something that encompasses the direction of a Carnival Rock band who's going to make it big. We decided to choose the biggest animal, the Elephant, and giving it a Gibson Flying-V guitar to wave in the air was the rock cherry on top! However, we're still looking for a name for the elephant... does anyone have suggestions? We would also like to send a shout out to Jeff who left the band in July 2010 to pursue grad school at the University of North Carolina. We still consider him a part of the NJ family.

GA: Your new video for "Daisy" brings the puppet love. We're big fans of puppets.... especially the Muppets. Who's you favorite Muppet?

GW: It's very strange you ask this question because I was having a conversation with someone on how much the Muppets have influenced my early up-bringing. The Muppet Show was the first TV program that I can remember watching as a very young child, and Kermit the From is my hero! My screensaver is actually a picture of Kermit, sitting on a
log and playing his backwoods banjo. I believe it's the opening scene of the “The Muppet Movie”, in which he performs, "Rainbow Connection." As a matter of fact, that is actually a Native June cover song, maybe we'll break that one out at the next show, hmm...?

GA: In honor of the Winter Olympics... which event do you think your music would be the best soundtrack for?

GW: I would say, Polar Bear Wrestling!

Now that I would like to see!

Purchase Native June’s latest album “Whisky & Walnuts” now on Amazon, iTunes or CDBaby.

: “Shambles”, “Circus”