Interview: Young Guns chats their new record ‘Echoes’!

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Fall is here, okay in a week, but it’s starting to cool down here in Boston just in time for touring to heat up right again. While the summer tends to be a little dry music wise, we are still swimming in interviews we did at Warped Tour this summer. The next one up are UK gems Young Guns and with their new album Echoes being released just around the corner, I thought it was the great time to post my chat with Gustav Woods, lead vocalist, that went down in Mansfield.
With Gustav giving us quite the scoop into the recording and writing process for their new record, dropping September 16th, I thought it would be best to drop this one now. The new video for their single “Mad World” just dropped and the countdown is on for the record to come out. Find out Gustav’s favorite tracks from the new album as well as a glimpse into what is to come for the band!

This is your first full Warped Tour?
It’s our first Warped Tour at all. We’ve spoken about doing it before with Kevin Lyman. We wanted to do some of it last year but he wanted us to do the whole thing so this is the first time that we’ve been able to do that. So it’s been really really exciting.

And obviously you’ve actively toured the US. You were last here with Breaking Benjamin last year around this time. Clearly you’ve been working on the record that you just announced. Maybe how long has that record kind of been in the making for Young Guns?
It’s the quickest record we’ve ever done. So we wrote it in eight weeks and recorded it in five. End of October, we finished touring the last album and we parted ways with our drummer who was the drummer we kind of started the band with. A friend of ours. Instead of it being a negative, it was a little positive for us because we felt like we had the opportunity to kind of have a fresh start. So me and the guys wrote the album and I think just because we were excited again, the chemistry was there and it happened really quickly. So we wrote it in eight weeks from like November to January. Then we went to record it with David Bendeth in February in a studio in New Jersey and that took five weeks. Then we went to LA on a holiday but met some friends of ours out there and me and John ended up writing like five more songs. I said, ‘hey guys we’ve written some more music, what do you think’ and everyone liked the new music so we then went back and redid three of them and put them on the album. So it was a bizarrely creative productive time and that was a really nice thing for us. It was really exciting so yeah it was relatively pain-free.

Then even though the band has been together for so long, do you feel that you still try new things in the studio, still try new ways of songwriting or do you think you fall into a pretty steady rhythm?
No I think it’s really important to try new things. We need to be excited about what we’re doing and be engaged by it. Inevitably for us anyways, that means experimenting with new things and trying new things because we really don’t want to write the same record again at any time. The last record was for us a little bit more of a broader, more experimental record. We wrote a lot around the piano and drum loops and stuff like that and this time, it was really fun to just refocus and be like a really guitar driven, riff heavy kind of melodic record. It was just really good fun for us. Writing it and recording it so quickly, we viewed the record with sort of a spontaneity and just an energy. I’m really glad we managed to capture it.

Then maybe for you, is there a track on the record that you’re particularly proud of? Like something you think fans are going to be really surprised by or maybe fans are going to be even confused by?
There are some surprises on there. That’s important for us. There’s a song called “Echoes” which is the title track that I’m really proud of because I think it’s just a really good song. It’s kind of a slightly new angle for us. Like a really driving heavy rock song but it’s fun to play. It’s got a really cool sense of a groove. There’s a song on the album called “Paradise” which is just me and a piano for the whole song and we’ve never done anything like that before so that was definitely bold and it will be interesting to see the reactions to that but I think it’s important that we push ourselves as songwriters. That was like this whole big song then the more we took away, the more we liked it and in the end we were like oh we’ve kind of taken everything away here but the melody was so good or we thought it was so good anyway. The more we added to it, the more we took away from it. So we thought let’s just let it shine and kind of really focus in on it. So that was fun.

Perfect then maybe to end it off, what’s coming up for Young Guns after Warped Tour with the record coming out? Are you going to be coming back to the US pretty quickly, touring Europe?
Both! All of those things! We finish this tour early August. We go home, we have a couple weeks of promotional things. Getting ready for the new record. Some interviews and little one off shows and stuff. Then we come back here in September. We’re doing a bunch of radio festivals and we’ll be doing some headliners and things like that to promote the release of the album. Then we go back home and do a tour with Billy Talent in the UK and Europe which will be really cool. Then we come back here again.

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Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.

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