L.A. post-hardcore trio QunQ (pronounced “kunk”) make volatile music for a volatile world. They find catharsis in scorched-earth guitars, heavy drums and angular arrangements that open themselves to fleeting moments of beauty, like the ones in the new single “Why Panic.”
The band — Ben Heywood, Sean Foye and Brandon Hardy — is prepping their third release and first since 2016. “Big Time” will be out Feb. 28 via the Chain Letter Collective (Facial, Jagged Baptist Club, Comanche Peak, among others), with streaming proceeds benefiting the Trevor Project.
Rachel Sawyer and Andy Cavanaugh star as people doing mysterious things with rocks in the “Why Panic” video, which was directed by Max Terlecki and Cavanaugh, aka Deyssi, and filmed by Kyle Deven. “The song is a sarcastic response to those who oppose sensible gun control and the media’s almost-gleeful coverage of mass shootings,” Heywood says. “The reality is that two-thirds of gun deaths in this country are suicides. I’m concerned about the factors that contribute to this number, and the many more people who are dying from drug-related illnesses, the hopelessness caused by decades of free market capitalism that values profit above people.”
It’s a snapshot of the larger picture QunQ draws on the new album — a bleak portrait but not one without hope. “‘Big Time’ acts as a reflection of American society in 2020, its fears and flaws, its struggle with violence, commercialism and hopelessness in the face of the climate crisis and nuclear annihilation,” Heywood says. “Ultimately, the album suggests a way forward in which we, as individuals, learn to ‘be the medicine’ by banding together with our fellow humans, regardless of race, gender identity or sexual orientation in opposition to bigotry, fascism and free market capitalism.”
The band is hosting a listening party on Monday at the Thirsty Crow in Silver Lake.
||| Watch: The video for “Why Panic”