About Juggernaut Stomp
“That jazzy kind of funkiness that makes you want to get up and move to it even if you might look like a fool doing it; that southern, grit-in-the-groove, bluesy sound that’s just as much at home in the dim, smoky corners of some backwoods joint in the wilds of Nowhere, Georgia as it is under the arc and strobe of stagelights in any You-Name-It bar in downtown Memphis or uptown Nashville; that headrush of rapid-fire lyrics that you “feel” more than understand…That’s Juggernaut Stomp.
Founded in July of 2016 and featuring the dynamic rhythms of drummer Eric Cunningham, the expressive vocals and masterful guitarwork of Christian Troutman, and the crazy mishmash of melodic and punk lines of Brandon Hale’s bass, Juggernaut Stomp emerged onto the flourishing Knoxville music scene and has quickly gained an impressive following without ever needing to perform a single cover in concert, relying entirely on their own original material.
“Christian writes most of our songs, ” says Cunningham. “He’ll bring them around to us to see if we dig them, and if we do, we’ll add what we want to them. We just work together on whatever genre we want– jazz, hip-hop, blues, rock, metal; just whatever we’re feeling at the time.”
Cunningham believes that because the three band members have known one another since childhood, they enjoy a freedom of opinion that benefits the quality of the songs the band creates, like the groovy/funky “She’s Electric” and the quasi-metallic/ rap-like grind and bash of the band’s namesake song, “Juggernaut Stomp,” among other crowd favorites. He thinks their honest critiques of one another’s ideas and performances are the impulses behind concert-goers’ energetic reception to the music. “I met Christian in church when we were probably eight or nine years old,” explains Cunningham, “and I met Brandon when we were both in the fifth grade, so, yeah, we three grew up together for the most part. Really, it feels like we have always been playing music together. And it’s great that we’re all best friends, because sometimes you just have to say, ‘Nah, I think that song’ or ‘that part’ or ‘that drumline sucks,’ ” he says, laughing. “It’s tough love, but we’re brothers. We might argue, but in the end we love what we put together.”
That love manifests itself in kinetic, powerful performances that the band promises will please.
“Every show,” adds Cunningham, “we want audiences to experience some high energy partying, we want to give a live performance that kicks a recording’s ass any day,” he stresses. “I hate it when a band sounds killer on track, but when you go see them live, you’re like, ‘Yeah, that was a disappointment.’ That’s one thing I assure you won’t feel after a Juggernaut Stomp show.”
Cunningham finds the confidence to make such guarantees from his belief that Juggernaut Stomp is comfortable with its groove, its sound, and that, unlike many newly formed bands, the three know what type of performers they want to –and can– be. “We’ve found it, We’ve mixed a lot of sounds together; it’s like a musical chef salad,” he says, grinning.
Despite the surety in themselves, Cunningham also claims that the band is not above innovation, learning, changing, trying something new. “We can always be better, you know, ” Cunningham observes. “We’re never too content. We’re always looking forward.”
At the moment, ‘forward’ means tours and albums.
“In the next five years, I want Juggernaut Stomp to have a couple of albums out there,” says Cunningham, “and I want to be touring. So far, we’ve only played in the East Tennessee area and then in Asheville, but we are looking beyond that.”
Cunningham believes those goals are attainable because of the band’s commitment to its music and its fans, and also, and perhaps most importantly, because of the belief they have in one another. “Christian has the grit of Page with the elegance of Hendrix. And Brandon — The Groove Shark– can lay down some funky hard riffs you just don’t hear anymore;” he states, “I love to play with these guys, couldn’t ask for better. And we love to play for our audiences. We are all focused on getting this thing going, making it a juggernaut, something no one can stop.”
– Brian Long