By Elisa Garcia
Photos by Charlotte Friend
For Austin natives Chris and Paul Grant, music isn’t just a pastime — it’s a lifestyle. After watching their father book gig after gig when they were children, the Grant brothers aren’t too surprised to find themselves co-running Junocat, a show promoting company that hosts local music events.
Junocat has been in business for four months, and the Grant brothers have already managed to run three events, including The Velo EP Release on March 7 at Empire Control Room & Garage, and they have no intentions of slowing down. “We’re just so invested in the music scene. It just makes sense to book these lineups and bands,” Paul says. “We want to give these bands the opportunity to rise in this scene where they may not have had the chance to.”
Paul says part of the motivation of creating Junocat came from both his and Chris’ experience with their own bands. Paul also had gained experience as the record label manager for Raw Paw Records.
Junocat’s first show at Cheer Up Charlies this past December featured artists such as Acid Smoker, Chipper Jones, along with Chris’ band Secret Daughter and Paul’s band Eyelid Kid. While they are no strangers to playing in front of crowds, both Chris and Paul admit learning the business side of the industry is different. “The feeling of throwing a good show is pretty validating,” Chris says. “And when everyone is having a good time and everything is going good, Paul and I will catch each other's eye from across the room and give each other this look and we both know exactly what we’re thinking, which is, ‘We just put on an awesome show.’”
After Junocat’s debut, the Grant brothers have reinforced their appreciation for local musicians. “The appreciation comes through when we pay the bands out,” Chris says. “So many bands play in Austin for free, so I’m proud that [Junocat] is an entity that actually pays out bands.”
Curating talent, booking shows and running events is a lot for two people to handle, which is why Junocat enlists the help of some of the Grant brothers’ closest friends. Paul Grant says keeping the business close to home with friends by their side allows them to work together to help form where and how the music scene grows. “We aim to promote a new environment with each show, so people can walk into the same venue and feel like they’re in a new place each time,” Paul says. “We want to put on shows that build in a way from garage bands to electronic ones, and not some random band playing.”
The Grant brothers admit a huge part of what keeps them going is the day-to-day relationships they make while working. Their business motto reads: “We put shows together, promote them, and get drunk with you at them.” It’s easy to see that the Grant brothers want to have just as much fun as the crowd. “Being involved in it after all the work is done, and seeing it unravel and everyone is having a good time is what makes us have a really good time," Chris says.
The Grant brothers are optimistic, but regardless of what the future may bring, Junocat focuses day-to-day on supporting bands and giving them the kickstart they need. “We just want to focus on letting [Junocat] grow naturally," Paul says. "Whatever [Junocat] needs to be, it will be.”