whenyoung have just released their debut album Reasons to Dream which we described as “summer 2019’s soundtrack” which is a bold statement to be making May so after much conflicting of schedules we were fortunate to get the band huddled round their laptop whilst away at festivals where we had a fascinating email exchange with them all. If you haven’t managed to catch whenyoung yet think anthemic singalong indie often encasing serious topics creating an album that screams of fun whilst not feeling disposable. For these reasons the indie community have been following whenyoung closely with the band already this year having been jetted off to New York to be the secret set at DIY Magazine’s New Colossus Festival, Texas to play SXSW and most recently The Great Escape festival; And that doesn’t even begin to cover their busy festival season ahead of them!
Hello, how are you? Reasons To Dream is finally out finally, how are you all feeling?
Yes it is! Just glad it’s out there and hope as many people can hear it as possible!
We described your album as “summer 2019’s soundtrack”, when you hear statements like that and the many other brilliant reviews about yourselves how does it feel?
“We want to grow as musicians and writers.”
It’s great to get the reviews but we try not to get hung up on them. They can elate or deflate you. We have personal goals and we are working towards them. We want to grow as musicians and writers.
Often music fans have a summer album that becomes their sound track (which is how we feel yours will be remembered); what albums/bands this year or previous years have been your soundtracks to summer? We’re looking to learn more about whenyoung’s musical DNA.
The Thrills – So Much For The City, The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds, Tame Imapala – Lonerism. Blondie – Parallel Lines. Rihanna – Loud.
We imagine that you didn’t write your songs with a ‘summer 2019 soundtrack’ intention; can you talk to us about the album and it’s themes?
“[Our album deals] with loneliness, adventure, naivety, loss, love and hope.’
Often the subject matter is serious or melancholy, but we try to make the choruses sound euphoric and hopeful. The album is collection of songs based on our lives as Irish people living in London, they deal with loneliness, adventure, naivety, loss, love and hope.
Talking about the album you’ve spoken about combing through old demos to make sure you got every gem onto the record; can you tell us a story about a song of your choosing?
Future was a song like this. We liked the melody and lyrics but we struggled to get it to a place we liked for a long time. This could be because the theme was about losing our friend to suicide and it felt heavy every time we approached it but we’re happy we stuck with it and included it on the album.
Costellos Tavern in Limerick appears key to your friendships as band members, it feels like your ‘Dead Poets Society’; can you tell us about that time for you? And are Costellos aware of whenyoung and what have they said about the band?
“Without a place like Costello’s [where we all met and hung out], I honestly think our paths may be different.”
Flan and the whole Costello family who run the place are like our Robin Williams. They were a key part of our musical education and friendships. Without a place like Costello’s, I honestly think our paths may be different. We went back there recently to film a little bit around the place and talk about it and they were so delighted to see us. They gave our album an unbiased 5 star review on their Facebook page!! They now play our songs on the dance floor there which is mad to think.
You’re named whenyoung and you are still fairly young but having made the bold move to move from Ireland to London and being in a upcoming successful band you have more life experience than many at your age; can you give a piece of advice you would have liked ‘younger you’ or your younger fans to have?
“Celebrate your idiosyncrasies.”
Trust your gut feeling, stay true to yourself, celebrate your idiosyncrasies, work hard and stay focused on your goal.
How did touring as a 4 piece come about? Who is the mystery bass player?
“[Touring with a fourth member has] added a whole new dimension to the live show.”
It was something we wanted to do for a while, but we were slightly apprehensive about bringing another element into our group. Playing the bass while singing the vocals was always a bit constricting, especially because many of our songs are quite relentless, rhythmically speaking. So, we did a couple rehearsals with our friend Nathan and then played The Barrowlands that same week! It just clicked immediately, I think playing such a large venue helped because we could all feed off the crowd. It’s added a whole new dimension to the live show.
Festivals, the album tour and much more; tell us everything we need to know about seeing whenyoung live?
“[After the upcoming tours] we’re working on the next chapter.”
We’re playing about 15 festival this summer across Ireland the UK and Europe. Then our biggest UK tour to date, followed by an Irish tour to be announced. And then we’re working on the next chapter. But we want to take our music as far and wide as we can. We’re really proud of our album and are excited to share it with new people in a live scenario.
Our final question on all of our Q&A’s is we want to know what upcoming bands have caught your ears recently?
Always keeping an ear out, recently it’s been: Orla Gartland, Weyes Blood, Plastic Mermaids, Leonie Pernet, Inhaler, Viagra Boys, Cate Le Bon.
Words: James Wadsworth