Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Hey everyone!

Earlier this month, I got to interview a super cool rock band from the UK for Faze Magazine (will be out online soon), who go by the name Young Guns. With a unique sound and killer stage presence, this five-guy group has gone from small club gigs in the UK to performing at Reading 2012 (the UK's largest music festival) and now touring throughout the US with Seether. Made up of Gustav, John, Ben, Simon and Fraser, the band played a show in Toronto at The Horseshoe Tavern before heading down to the States.

I got the chance to interview three out of the five band members - Gustav, Fraser and John - and they gave insight into their newest record Bones, how they've become a family, and what it's like to live a rock star life on the road.

Check out their new video for their single "Bones"

What went into the making of your latest album, Bones?
G: A lot of stress and pain. I think writing and recording an album is always a very stressful experience. I think if you’re doing anything creative that’s important to you it’s going to be a bit stressful. We wrote it last summer and then recorded it in a studio in Thailand, which was amazing. I think it’s our strongest collection of material that we’ve ever written. It’s probably the best summation of who we are as a group.

Why Thailand?
J: We got an offer to record there. Our producer that did the album previously has a studio in East London, this tiny little horrible studio, so dark and dingy and stuff. Long story short, we could get a studio for the same rate as we could in London, so it was a pretty obvious choice which one we’d pick. And it worked out for the best.

G: We were super keen on the idea of recording somewhere very different than anywhere else we’ve recorded up until that point.  For us, the second record was all about being a better band and trying to remove ourselves from everything. So going somewhere like Thailand was a good way to do that.

How did that influence your writing?
F: We wrote and pretty much completed 8 out of the 10 of our songs. We left a few songs open-ended so we could go and spend a few nights drinking and record it. Those songs in particular, I think Broadfields and Everything Ends, those songs you can really feel the energy of that place.

G: I don’t want to sound too hippy-ish about it but it was about being inspired by where we were and having a bit of that energy and enthusiasm make its mark on the record itself. So I think in that respect, we really managed to capture the way we felt in Thailand on the disc and that’s a really nice thing. There was a lot of writing that came out of where we were and lots of lyrical ideas that came out of memories that were triggered, like for example there was a tropical storm that reminded me of how I felt when I was a kid looking out my window at a storm one day. And that’s where all the lyrics of Broadfields came from, I re-wrote the entire thing in like an hour or something like that. It’s nice to have little features and little facets of the record that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the fact that we had gone.

You’ve done a lot of big festivals this year - Do you prefer doing festivals like these or touring?
F: It’s a really different experience. If you play your own shows, you know you have a crowd there that knows your songs whereas when you play a festival you have to work the crowd a bit more because there’s a lot of people who might just be passing by and maybe they’ve heard of you and they want to check you out. Festivals are some of the biggest shows we’ve ever done and recently we did Reading Festival and t’s probably one of our favourite ever shows. They’re both good, but they’re just different.

G: They offer their different things. We’re playing big-ish clubs shows at home, which is great, but that’s still theatre shows, and that’s really great to be able to have that indoor atmosphere where everyone’s sweaty and everyone’s together and unified and that’s a very certain experience you get at an indoor club show. And then going out to festivals it’s a very very polar experience, it’s very different. Huge audiences and lots of space on the stage, and that’s great as well. That’s kind of living the rock and roll dream a little bit more. It’s really nice to do both.

How do you keep touring interesting?
G: We are a very strange bunch of human beings, which I think is a positive and it keeps things interesting.  We have a very strong friendship and a great dynamic. You do become a family and there’s friction and there’s positives and negatives, but fundamentally we all just get on, and when you do get on with your mates it makes anything you do a little bit easier. And that’s really important to us. We used to always hear bands that fight and aren’t really friends and have their own lives. And that’s just not how it is for us. It’s really nice for us to spend a week apart if we’ve been together all year, but after that we’re just itching to get back together. So it’s not too bad. We go out a lot and have fun and soak up every city and get drunk and play hard, that keeps our lives interesting.

Check out their latest video, for "Towers" 

What is your favourite part of being in a rock band?
F: Travelling the world

J: Not having any responsibilities.  That’s not actually true, we do have responsibilities but we just get to ignore them.

G: We do have responsibilities, you have to take care of yourself, we have to be a good band and behave in a way that won’t damage you as a person, so we have responsibilities.  But we do get to lead a bit of a champ life and travel and see the world. You don’t get paid a lot of money, but you’re collecting a really great body of life experiences, which I think is worth a lot more. And I think also is the satisfaction that comes from doing something that you love. If it goes well, there’s a rewarding feeling that you just can’t get from anything else.  So it’s just the best thing in the world.

Highlight of 2012 so far?
F: Like we were saying earlier, Reading Festival is probably one of the biggest moments.

G: It’s the biggest festival in the UK and one of the biggest in the world. It’s kind of like Coachella or Warped Tour perhaps. It’s the big one. And we all grew up as kids and going camping there and doing all that shit.  This was the second time we’ve played there now and we played at 10 at night and it was packed and everyone was singing along, so that was just magical. So that was really up there.
Releasing the record was a big deal.

J: And releasing it again in the US, last week.

G: And also we’ve been to more new places this year. We’ve been to Thailand, Japan, China, we went back to Australia. So we’ve had a brilliant year in general.

What makes you stand out from other bands?
G: When we started we always found that we had problems fitting on the right bill. We’d be stuck on a bill with pop-punk bands or metal bands or classic rock bands or whatever and we never found a band that we fit in with, sonically speaking. The shows always worked because it was cool that we could leap-frog but we never fit in with anyone. That used to bug us for a long time but we’ve come to realize that that’s a good thing. We just write melodic rock that is the result of the music that we all listened to, we listened to a big range. And I think we just don’t really sound like anyone else, certainly not in the UK and Europe. Rock is a bigger deal in North America, so that’s different, but I just think we have an individual sound and we try to write good music that anyone can enjoy.

Any advice for other young aspiring rock bands?
G: I think it’s very important that you start playing shows as soon as you can. Everything is a learning experience. You learn how to play good shows and you learn how to write good music. But I always found the most important thing is learning to be confident in a band and that only comes from playing enough shows that you feel comfortable and confident. Once you feel confident I think you get better at writing songs automatically. That was certainly the way for us. We had four songs and we needed at least six to be able to play a show. So we chucked a few more in there and hit the road and played shows every day, as many as possible, as many as we possibly could. And we never gave up, and I think that’s the two most important things: Get out there and start playing shows and learn how to be a better musician because that happens over time.

L-R: John, Gustav, Fraser

Keep an eye out for the article on - and find more from Young Guns on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube!

Thanks again for the interview guys!

- Christina
Follow my adventures on Twitter: @christinaaa28

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