Monday 23 July 2012

Leeds Festival Preview // Young Guns Interview

With Leeds/Reading Festival Weekend just around the corner Est.1987 is bringing you previews of some of the best acts playing over the 3 days. We headed down to The Well in Leeds to catch up with Young Guns front-man Gustav Wood earlier in the year on the bands' "Bones Club Tour". To read what Gustav had to say about the new album, touring and how High Wycombe has treated him click below...

"Bones" the album
Hey Gustav! Is it nice being back on the road after being in the studio– do you go wild on tour or keep it tame?
G- Errr, I think if you were too straight laced on tour, you’d probably miss out on one of the coolest parts of being on the road. Being in a band is a big excuse to behave like a kid, more of a douchebag really. You have very little in the way of responsibilities and you’re on the road with your friends. So, yeah, we like to enjoy ourselves and have new experiences and stuff. You can never guarantee that you’re going to make any money in music, we get by, but if you can make sure that you’re having a good time and collecting memories then that’s good; so yeah, we have fun.

Can you tell us about your newest album, “Bones” 
G- The record has got a fair amount of diversity on there. I think there’s some ideas that we touch upon kind of sonically that maybe people are going to be a little surprised by. The last song on the album for example is kind of an acoustic proggy number, within the confines of still being one of our songs obviously; we haven’t turned in to the Mars Volta or whatever. I think within our field we’ve actually tried to push the envelope a bit and maybe not reinvent ourselves, but certainly keep it fresh and exciting. I’m really happy, I feel like there’s a real dynamic and ebb and flow on the album that maybe was missing from the first record a little bit.  

Young Guns

You’ve spoken in the past about how much of an influence you guys have about everything from your merch to your videos to who supports you on tour – is that still the same now, and do you think it’s important for bands to maintain that control?
G- I do yeah, and particularly in our case it is anyway and yeah we still have it, things are exactly the same really. I mean, the busier you get the harder it becomes really because you have to spin all these different plates and you reach a stage where are you compromising the quality of what you’re trying to do, by trying to do too much s**t. But, we’re lucky because we’re surrounded by a relatively small team of people that are just as passionate about our band as we are. Everyone allows us to be, not diva-ish, but to stick our oar in and I think that’s important because you feel more of a sense of ownership over the band and, if you put in extra graft, when you achieve something it’s just that little bit sweeter.

You guys are from High Wycombe? There are some good bands coming out of there it would seem- was there always a good music scene there growing there?
G- Well, I actually grew up in North London, but through chance and coincidence I met John Taylor, who’s one of the YG guitarists and I went out to Buckinghamshire to see his band at the time play a show, and I was like “Buckinghamshire, where the f**k’s that?” I went to see their band play and it was just a battle of the bands in High Wycombeand suddenly I was immersed in this thing that I’d never seen before, this local music scene. I think there has always been a really strong scene in High Wycombe and in Buckinghamshire in general. I don’t know why that is, but yeah there’s always been a strong atmosphere. There are a handful of bands from Bucks that have gone on to sign really good record deals – Venice, Futures. There’s a lot of creativity in the area and funnily enough there aren’t that many places to actually play in High Wycombe which is a shame; but yeah, it’s a great place that’s treated me well over the past couple of years, although I’m a London boy so I feel like I’m out in the sticks.

To read the full interview with Gustav Wood click HERE and want to know what you can expect from Young Guns' Leeds/Reading Festival live show?...

Here's what happened when Young Guns took to the stage at Leeds' The Well...

Gustav on stage in Leeds
Lead singer of Young Guns, Gustav admits how he likes a varied bill and tonight is no different. The prelude to Young Guns comes in the form of Polar, the heaviest band of the evening, who bring the crowd to life with their fervent blend of hardcore and punk. The Guildford quintet are definitely ones to watch. The second support act, Tonight Alive, mix things up a little with their lighter, but no less impressive catchy pop-punk, lead by singer Jenna McDougall.

The crowd bulges at the seams here in the tiny Leeds venue as Young Guns take to the modest sized stage. Newest single and title track from the second album, “Bones” opens the proceedings and things don’t stop from here on in. Young Guns live up to everything that Gustav promised when we caught up with him pre-gig. It is messy, intimate and sweaty- everything a gig like this should be! Powering through “In the Night”, from their debut EP, Young Guns mix up their set a little, bringing back fan favourite “Meter and Verse” and throwing in some newer material in anticipation of the new album hitting record stores tomorrow.

“Have a bit of this then- I wanna feel the room shake…” demands Gustav and the crowd don’t need telling twice, instigating a circle pit that nearly encases the capacity of the room. If it isn’t the fans getting into the crowd surfing spirit then it’s Gustav or bassist Simon. Young Guns demand high energy from their audience, but aren’t afraid to give it back. Their live show is none stop, coming to a close with debut single from the new album “Learn My Lesson” and “Winter Kiss” from their first. The new songs are laced with an exciting new taste, but nevertheless do not detract away from Young Guns vibe or indeed the songs from the first record. They just add testament to the fact that Young Guns can successfully mix things up a little, and aren’t afraid to take the risk and try a new thing or two.

& to read our Leeds Festival preview interview with Deaf Havana click HERE

For Festival tickets click HERE