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Interview: Youth Man


After listening to their debut E.P ‘Bad Weather’, we decided it was a necessity to track down Youth Man, a three piece riot from Birmingham that have been causing quite a stir as of late with their full frontal attacks on the norm. We chewed the fat over other bands that are ‘doing it’, Henry Rollins and trigger happy music journalists.

So you’ve just played live at Leeds, how did you find it?

Kaila: It was good man, lots of fun.

Marcus: I didn’t expect these festivals to be as good as they are because we’ve never really played anything like this before.

Adam: I expected it to be a bit quiet like at the beginning of most of the festival days but the turn out has been quite good so far.

So you said you’ve not really done anything like this before?

Marcus: There are a couple of things in Birmingham that are similar but nothing as big as this. The whole city just seems to be buzzing and that does not happen in Birmingham.

Adam: Yea it’s one room full of people and the other bands don’t get any crowd.

Marcus: It’s because the councils don’t get behind it though, for example with Liverpool Sound City and this (Live at Leeds) it seems there’s a lot of support, not just from the councils but the city itself as well.

More so in the past couple of years there’s been a buzz about Leeds, you’ve caught it at a very good time musically. Anyway, can we start with the basics and the band name, Youth Man, is that symbolic of anything or is that reading too much into it?

Adam: I feel like that’s the best way to describe it really.

Marcus: This is always a really difficult story to tell, but its based around something Henry Rollins said. He’s got this character that he always alludes to whenever he’s talking about how he’s old but acting like he’s young, so he’s gone for a run and he’s forgotten about how he’s too old now to go for a run without feeling like shit. In that moment he’s like ‘yea youth man’.

Adam: It’s about expectations, either from himself or how someone else expects him to be the way he was when he was young, but he’s just not anymore. There were a few awful ideas before though, we had Sack Of Rats at one point.

Sack of rats? That’s brilliant, sounds like it could’ve been a member of the Damned or something! On that punk note, a lot of magazines and the likes have been describing your music as Punk, is that something you purposefully set out to achieve, or for that matter, would you even describe yourselves as punks?

Marcus: You know, you’re the first person to ask us that in an open ended way, normally everyone’s like ‘oh right it’s obvious your punks, now explain’.

Adam: There’s an overview of genres of music and there’s about 6 in that overview of popular music since the 50s and Punk is the closest one we align with, so its easy for people to label us as that. Though I think it’s not just what we fit with.

Marcus: We like to make hard-hitting music and we like to make our shows a visceral and physical experience, but it’s just the way we think about things, we don’t have any boundaries in that respect you could call us punks.

I reckon if you ask a few of the people that know what they’re talking about, they’ll tell you punk is more of a mindset than a genre and it seems you fit into that, which brings us nicely to our next question.  You said you formed initially as you were disillusioned with the bands and the music you were hearing around you?

Kaila:  Well, we’re all fans of music in general so we were going to shows and listening to loads of it anyway, but we weren’t quite hearing what we wanted to and found at the time it was all a bit tame, so rather than complaining we decided to do it ourselves.

Adam: There were a few bands that were doing it but not enough.

Marcus: Yea, you were either a Death Core band a Post Hardcore band or an Indie band and that was pretty much it. So you either sounded like Bring Me The Horizon or Throats or Arctic Monkeys.

Kaila: In Birmingham anyway.

More than a good enough reason to start a band if you ask me.

Kaila: Lots of bands have stories where they say they’ve listened to Pixies for the first time and decide they just have to make something like it but for us it was the opposite. It wasn’t something we listened to and thought yea, that’s really cool lets try and sound like it, we thought that there was nothing cool, we need to make something else.

Marcus: What’s missing, don’t know, lets find out!

Adam: Watching U2 at Glastonbury made me decide we had to try and change things.

(Laughs all around)

So you said there were a few bands that are doing it, can you tell us who they are?

Adam: For me it was Rollo Tomassi but they’ve lost two members that were pushing it in the direction I was enjoying and now they’ve gone it’s not the same.

Marcus: I think now, and not because were from the same city, but God Damn.

Kaila: Dillinger Escape Plan, Rolo Tomassi even M.I.A and just general weirdos really, weirdos that were and are doing their own thing with not much regards for what anyone else thinks.

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You can download Youth Man’s full Bad Weather E.P here and check out when and where to catch the band at their forthcoming UK shows.