Interview With Young Guns - 15th February 2012

Photo Of Young Guns © Copyright Young GunsRunning late and close to the first band of the night hitting the stage, Neil Oliver managed to catch up with lead singer of Young Guns, Gustav Wood for a quick chat in the dressing room.

an i start off by saying you are the most predictable band in the world! When we turned up to interview you earlier, we were told you had gone for food. We thought to ourselves, if you were 'Young Guns', where would you eat? We thought it would be Wagamamas and we were spot on!
Not hard! We only eat like 4 things! Nandos, Wagamamas, Pizza Express….

Do you book the tour around these places?
Yeah, yeah, (sarcastically) we won't play anywhere without a Wagamamas!

Bones came out a little over a week ago, its been topping of the iTunes rock chart, how is it going down with your fans and the press?
The reviews that have come back have been incredible, we sold enough records in our first week that we got a top 20 record, its mad, and a proper achievement. The shows have been amazing, the crowds have been great, so i think they have been liking it. Our single 'Bones' has just gone onto the A list for Radio 1 today. It's exciting, it feels like something is happening.

Thats amazing. Bones is obviously the culmination of a lot of hard work. How did the writing process differ with Bones than your previous album?
Well, for the first album we had 4 weeks, to write and for this one we had 7 or 8. 8 weeks is still relatively nothing to write an album in, especially when you factor in that you aren't going to be productive 100% of the time. The process was very different this time, with a bit more time. We wrote the album in quite a few different places, we wanted to keep it fresh. We have written and rehearsed every piece of music we have ever done in the same studio, which is the rehearsal studio we have down the bottom of Ben's garden. For this one, we felt we couldn't go back there, with all of the baggage. We have been a band for 6 or 7 years in the room and we wanted this album to be fresh and new. We moved around a lot, Johns folks have a house in spain so we went there for a few days. Our producer Dan has a place in London that we stayed in for a couple of weeks. We tried to keep it interesting and keep ourselves energised. Finally we went and recorded it in Thailand.

Sounds like good fun. What is your favourite track off of Bones?
It constantly changes, but for me its the last song because for me its the most interesting thing that we have done. Its called broad fields, i wrote it about the house that i grew up in. Its starts off with a 6/8 acoustic guitar and it builds and evolves as the song goes on. For us it was just a fun way for us to challenge ourselves and keep it fresh.

Is that your favourite song to play live also?
We haven't actually been playing that track live yet, we are holding that back for the bigger tour, later in the year. Its going to be a special moment.

The album artwork is pretty interesting, what inspired the ideas behind that?
The one thing we knew was that we wanted a piece of artwork that wasn't predictable. We wanted it so that it wasn't scene and it wasn't anything, it was kind of ambiguous and provocative. We wanted a piece of artwork that people wouldn't expect us to have, because we wanted to defy what people were expecting of us. Sonically as well as visually. We have a friend called Paul Jackson who is a beautiful illustrator and fantastic painter and we wanted something that wouldn't look out of place on something like a Muse album, something that a little bit ethereal and unusual. We spoke long and hard and had a lot of different ideas and we bounced back different visuals to and from the artist. In the end, we knew that we wanted to call it Bones, so he ran with the idea that Bones was something intimate and deeply personal and private. What the image is, is a woman lost in a very private moment of illation. A window its this persons personal life, with the morning light coming through the window. The colours and stuff are amazing. We had it on a billboard in Camden and it comes out at you.

So you guys have been playing some pretty big venues, what made you decide to make this tour a small club tour?
In some ways it feels like we are… not so much starting again, but we have really just re-energised ourselves. We finished out last albums campaign playing the biggest shows we have ever done, the London show at the Forum was around 2500 people. So we loved the idea of the start of the new album coming back and starting again. Bringing it back to the small club shows that we started out playing. I think there is an energy and an atmosphere and a specialness that can come from playing these small shows that is hard to replicate on a larger stage. We felt like it would feel like a bit of an event playing these smaller shows. The connections with the fans has been amazing, with them singing along, sweating. It feels special, it feels like we are at the beginning of something.

You guys are heading out on tour with Enter Shakari next, are you excited about that?
One of the great things about this, is its going to be great fun doing this tiny kind of tour, and then going on to much larger stages like Hammersmith Apollo and places. Its really fun to be able to experience both worlds. So thats going to be really exciting, and they are great live bands and so i am looking forward to us having to step our game up every night, its going to be great.

So can we expect to see you on the festival scene this year?
Yeah, we should. You know we have done most of the festivals its physically possible to do and in the the UK now there are a lot of much smaller festivals too. This year i think we are going to try and keep it choice. Instead of trying to blitz everywhere, we are going to focus on key places and key shows. We should be pretty busy for the rest of the year.

So without upsetting your record company, what is your personal favourite festival?
Well, as a punter going to reading and leeds, especially going to Reading as a kid was a huge deal for me. We have a big soft spot in our hearts for that place. But there are a few european festivals that are amazing too. Pukkelpop in Belgium is just a joy to be a part of, its so well run, its a beautiful place, everyone takes so much care of you, everyone is so friendly. Thats one of my favourites in the world. We had some great experiences there.

Okay, so to break from the norm we thought we would throw a random question at you. If you could be an animal out of a zebra and a giraffe what would you be and why?
I think i would be a giraffe. Because….. when i was a kid (from the background another one of the band shouts "Because he's a gangly bastard), yeah thats right, its because i'm a gangly bastard. No seriously, when i was a kid i always liked giraffes. I always thought they were a bizarre, cool creature. I think we are all pretty strange in our own ways.

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. Before we go, is there a message you would like to send out to your fans?
Well, i would just like to thank everyone for being so rad. Whenever you release a new album, you are never sure on how its going to go down, so to get that kind of love back that we have had over the past two weeks has been mind blowing. Thank you!

Interview by Neil Oliver

 Band Members

Gustav Wood
John Taylor
Fraser Taylor
Simon Mitchell
Ben Jolliffe
 Latest Releases
Young Guns - Bones
Release Date - 3rd February 2012

1. I Was Born, I Have Lived, I Will Surely Die
2. Dearly Departed
3. Bones
4. Towers (On My Way)
5. A Hymn for All I've Lost
6. You Are Not
7. Brother in Arms
8. Learn My Lesson
9. Everything Ends
10. Interlude
11. Headlights
12. Broadfields
 Band Related Links
Young Guns Facebook