[Shelby Loasby | Head of Print]
One man with a hat, three men with long hair, over thirty tattoos between them and a discography of music influenced by so many different styles; Youth Club are the kind of band that sound mesmerising in recording, and even better live. Their unique, mellow sounds combined with their energetic and flawless performance makes them ones to watch this year as they take to the charts and set to create the “authentic sound of summer.”
The Southend based, four-piece band only launched in mid-2013, but have had their fair share of success already. They recently signed to Lab Records, performed on the BBC Radio 1 Introducing Stage at the Big weekend in Norwich, and have charted at No. 7 in the Itunes alternative charts alongside the likes of Adele.
We caught up with two of the boys at Brownstock Festival last weekend and had a little look behind the scenes.
Who are they?
The band is made up of brothers Danny and Joe, both on guitar, and almost-brothers Gerrard on vocals, and Rees on Drums. Gerrard and Rees were originally part of another band until Gerrard met “the lovely young 17 year old” Joe and “took advantage of him.” Joe wanted to cross over into the summery genre that Youth Club encompasses, and Gerrard was the perfect person to introduce him into it.
The band was complete when Joe asked his brother, Danny, to join once he returned from his own tour. The boys clicked immediately and thus Youth Club was born.
Who inspires them?
Their biggest inspiration – and possibly the only music that every member likes to listen to – is French band, Phoenix. Gerrard said,
“They just blew my mind as soon as I heard them in like the 1990s.”
Whilst Phoenix are the type of sound they aspire to, they don’t just stick to one genre of music. Joe added, “We all have different styles of music that we all bring to the table. Some people will come in and say they’re really into hip hop at the moment. I’ll be like, I’ve just done this weekend playing and listening to garage tunes.”
Both Gerrard and Joe also grew up listening to old soul music like Ray Charles, and disco, motown and funk. “It’s just a fusion of so many different things.” Said Joe.
How does a record come together?
Youth Club write all their own stuff, from the guitar licks to the meaningful lyrics, and each member has something to offer.
Joe explained, “We’ve each got little home studios. Like Gerrard will record little vocal ideas at home, send it across, I send it back – It’s like bloody tennis.” He added, “And then if we think – right this is a tune – we get into the studio and then hammer it out.”
The boys work very much alone in the initial stages of songwriting, as they all have different kinds of jobs and have different times when they can sit down and work through an idea. Joe said, “I don’t sleep, nor does Danny, so we write tunes at like five o’clock in the morning. Gerrard will do it when he gets in from work.” He added, “It can’t be planned because its sorta unnatural to how we work.”
All their hard work has resulted in a plethora of tracks and an EP with Lab Records – Brothers.
What’s it like working with a record label?
Youth Club only signed with Lab Records last year on the promise of just producing an EP, but they are planning on possibly releasing another single with them.
Joe said, “They’re a really good label, they wouldn’t be offended, they’re the type of label who push you onto bigger labels, which is an amazing thing.”
This is not something that happens a lot in the music industry. Joe added, “If a label thinks you’re gonna be massive, they wanna sign you up, seal you in and it can be a bit dodgey.”
Whilst Lab Records cannot offer the band the “big time”, the boys expressed their appreciation for the label and were thankful for how much they have helped. “No matter what the plan is with us, we are always constantly working towards a plan and its been going really well.” Said Joe. “And now we’ve teamed up with [Lab Records], it’s gone really smoothly.”
Obviously signing to a label is never easy, but Youth Club explained that their background story, the way they worked and the fact that their music was charting, meant that quite a few people were interested in them.
“Hopefully we get picked up soon and we can release an album,” said Joe. “We have an album’s worth of material. We like the slow process at the moment and we want to get our music as ready as possible.”
What advice can they offer to budding musicians? What’s it really like out there?
Music is a hard industry to break no matter what you are pursuing in it. Launching a band, producing content, and booking gigs takes up a lot of time and commitment. Whilst none of Youth Club went to university, the boys humbly admitted that they could have gone but needed time and money to launch.
That being said, however, the biggest advice they had to offer was to never give up and to always take your time. Joe regrets giving up at college and strongly believes in perseverance.
“But remember,” he said, “the music business outside of university is a dog eat dog world.”
Gerrard echoed Joe and added, “One bit of advice is take your time. With the tracks and planning – just take your time, no rush. When it’s ready, it’s great.”
He joked, “If people don’t listen or like what you’re doing though, stop! You haven’t got it! Go get a job!”
What is their dream? Their plans for the future?
Youth Club are currently touring around the UK, headlining and appearing at a whole variety of venues and events. The boys admitted, however, that their dream place to perform is Glastonbury.
Although Joe expressed that he would love to travel to America and around Europe, Glastonbury is the dream for any English band.
“I’m, never buying a ticket. I’m only going when I’m, playing.” Said Gerrard.
Joe added, “I know there’s a certain charm about saying you won;t go until you play.”
The boys have really thought about their dream performance, from the epic venue to their supporting act; the mariachi band from the Doritos advert.
“If we did a headline tour, they could support. Hands down. Honestly they got the crowd going and we killed it because of them.” Said Joe.
The boys went on to praise the mariachi band, before we hit them with a round of quick-fire questions. Before we reveal the answers to some of the most mundane but cracking questions, make sure you check out their latest music videos, tour dates and more information about the band on their website, Facebook and Twitter!
Trident Media: Cats or Dogs
TM: Winter or Summer
TM: Night in or out
Joe: In, out, in, out
TM: Steak or Sushi
Gerrard: Sushi for me!
TM: Electric or Acoustic
TM: Boobs or Bum
TM: Hot or Cold
Joe: Nah, cold cold cold, i like cold
TM: Blonde or Brunette
Joe: I always date a brunette, I wanna go out with a blonde
Gerrard: My girlfriend changes her hair colour all the time, so i dunno
(Joe whispers “She’s blonde” and point to me)
TM: Yeah I am blonde!
TM: Everlong or Call me maybe
Both: Call me maybe
Joe: He broke his leg and cried about it, she didn’t
TM: Chinnery’s or Mayhem*
Joe: I’m a DJ in Mayhem, and I love it. I do love Chinnery’s but i think – which one’s got the stickier floor? Mayhem
*Venues/Clubs in Southend
Were you at Brownstock Festival 2015? Let us know at @TridentMediaUK