With Young Guns - 15th February 2012
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.
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….
you book the tour around these places?
Yeah, yeah, (sarcastically) we won't play anywhere
without a Wagamamas!
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.
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
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.
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
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.
you guys have been playing some pretty big venues,
what made you decide to make this tour a small
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.
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.
can we expect to see you on the festival scene
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.
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.
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.
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.
Interview by Neil Oliver
Guns - Bones
Release Date - 3rd February 2012
1. I Was Born, I Have Lived, I Will Surely Die
2. Dearly Departed
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