Top Bunk isn’t just a band. With its devoted ten members and chant-like tunes, it’s a cult.
Although they’re fans of punk and indie rock, the West coast musicians create hip-hop/pop party anthems. Though their melodies are catchy, their vibe is still a punk rock “fuck you” with lyrics that scream things like “and I ain’t no bitch” or “I don’t wanna grow up, don’t give me that shit.” They’ve only released two singles, “Karma” and “Toothbrush,” but it’s already clear that Top Bunk is a wild time.
Formed this year, Top Bunk’s motto seems to be “the more the merrier,” since they usually have around seven to ten members and are somehow still growing.
The sole purpose of their music is to provide a banger of a time. “At our last show our friend in the crowd said he heard one person to his left say, ‘I don’t get it,’ while somebody in another group said, ‘this is incredible’—that’s kinda the dream right there,” frontman Petro Anastos-Prastacos tells BTRtoday.
Below is the premiere of their debut EP Karma. It’s five-tracks of the same song, “Karma,” but with different spoken word intros about how Top Bunk aint no bitch—this unique take on an EP instantly gives off a “fuck you, world” approach. The song has a “reckless youth” vibe with lyrics about being invincible and doing whatever the hell you want over a beat that’s danceable, chant-able and will definitely get stuck in your head.
Read the entire interview with Top Bunk below and find out who’s the 10-piece’s resident bad boy, funkmaster and hot one.
BTRtoday (BTR): So, riddle me this. I was raised on punk and still prefer punk. You guys are definitely more hip hop/pop and yet I think you guys are so fun. Why do you think that is? Is this a normal thing for you guys, to have fans outside of your genre?
Petro Anastos-Prastacos (PAP): Love that. We’re huge fans of punk and try to channel a modern version of that when we are writing these songs. We keep everything quick and dirty without dwelling on perfection. We all love pop and know what it takes to make a catchy song, but top bunk is about going against the grain and seeing how far out there we can go. At our last show our friend in the crowd said he heard one person to his left say, “I don’t get it,” while somebody in another group said, “this is incredible”—that’s kinda the dream right there.
BTR: There are so many of you, what does everyone contribute into the character of the band?
Symeon Tzvetkov (keys): I’ve got this. Ari [Berl] is Top Bunk’s resident bad boy and wild card guitarist. Each of his ripping riffs and “out there” ideas threaten to throw the crew off a cliff in a blazing fireball of glory and we love him for it.
I’m called Cult Spice, and I’m Top Bunk’s lethal rhythmic enforcer. Armed with a spread of synths and blood-red cowbell, I play by one rule: rock first, ask questions never.
Shab [Shabnam Ferdowsi] is Top Bunk’s all-in-one photographer and party-planning committee. A Persian belle that’s rad as hell, she uses an arsenal of cameras to chronicle the guys’ mischief with such nuance that your veins will burst with FOMO.
Alexander [Glantz] is Top Bunk’s funk ambassador. Beware, just one look into his eyes and you will find your foot tapping. Two looks and your hips will start to move. Three looks and, well, we don’t know. No one’s ever gotten to three.
He may dislike being called “the hot one,” but Joey [Orton] nonetheless wears the title with solemn distinction. He will teach you to salsa, write a piano ballad about it and then serenade your girlfriend right out the door.
Jeremiah [Durian-Williams] is the punk-loving mosh-pit-starting illustrator and videographer of Top Bunk. With an eye for the weird and a steady film hand, he may be the group’s only hope of documenting the enigmatic being known only as MOM.
As drummer and group “yes Man,” Ben [Roses] keeps a nasty pocket with a winning smile. He will say he does it for the love of the groove, but really it’s the only way he knows how to express the non-stop party that lives in his head.
Yianni [AP] is the warden and sonic guru of the cult’s studio headquarters, Hotel London (RIP). He meticulously crafts the sound of Top Bunk using equalization, compression, and distortion…. Always more distortion.
Finally, Top Bunk’s singer and founder is none other than the self-proclaimed king of Silver Lake, Petro AP. He put together this rapscallion collection of degenerates with only one purpose in mind: to wreak maximum havoc on stage, in the studio and every party in town.
BTR: You’ve got a link to a no longer existing Craigslist post on your Facebook, what was that to?
PAP: We had a post up asking people to join the cult of Top Bunk, but stupid Craigslist kept taking it down because apparently you can’t advertise your cult on Craigslist.
BTR: Tell me a little about this song “Karma” that you’ve managed to make an entire EP out of—if anything, what should the listeners take away from this song?
PAP: This song is about doing hoodrat things with your friends which, come to think of it, is what a lot of our songs are about. Also we are honored to join the exclusive club of musical compositions that have the “damn son, where’d you find this?” sample in them.
BTR: Why did you decide to do an EP like this, where it’s just different versions of the same song?
Alexander Glantz (guitar): Why did Picasso paint the Mona Lisa? Legends are legends.
Yianni AP (bass): It just felt right. When you know you know.
Ari Berl (guitar): We hope people have an immediate orgasm [when hearing it].
BTR: What does Top Bunk have in store for the future?
PAP: The year is 2043 and we’re backstage at the Wembley stadium on Mars. “Who the hell let this old man back here?” asks Ari “That old man is Bruno Mars” replies Alexander. “Bruno who?” Ari asks. “I’m a huge fan, please let me get an autograph,” begs Bruno Mars now an old man forgotten by society…Top Bunk walks off into the sunset.