Hey guys here's an interview I did with Sameer Gadhia, the lead singer of Young the Giant last year sometime. The band has really taken off in the last little while, after a solid two years of touring, so if you have the chance to catch them live, I definitely recommend it. Here's one of my favourite Young the Giant tunes to tickle your eardrums as you peruse the article.
It’s a Friday afternoon at around 2pm and most gainfully employed adults are wistfully looking out their 25th floor office windows at the sun drenched city, aimlessly pushing paper around their desks and dreaming about the weekend. And then there’s all those lucky bastards who are part of successfully touring bands. Like Sameer and the rest of the guys from Young the Giant who just got in from biking around Mansfield, Massachusetts having played a sold out show at the Comcast Centre with Incubus, the night before. “It’s a pretty great life right now” Sameer Gadhia the lead singer of the group gushes about the lifestyle the band is currently enjoying. “The other day I went to bed at 1 am and that was the earliest I had been to bed in a long time. Normally its 5 or 6 am before we are done” he says about the rigorous touring schedule. [[MORE]] Having just finished playing gigs down in Australia and Indonesia over the month of August, Young the Giant recently launched their second full North American tour with only a slight difference from their previous tour. This time they have a bus. A luxury compared to the van the boys were travelling around in for so long prior to being upgraded to the behemoth that they are in now, complete with its own mobile recording studio in the back. “ We are constantly writing and creating, so it’s great to be able to record in the back whenever we have a minute. The album has been out for almost a year now and we are always working on new material its really helping our sound evolve”. The album he is referring to is the group’s eponymous debut album released on Roadrunner records in 2010. Roadrunner Records who typically has more heavy acts filling up their roster, signed Young the Giant in 2009 and have seen tremendous success out of the group ever since. “When they first approached us we were like “What do they want with us? We aren’t a heavy metal group” but we are all fans of musicality in general, and who hasn’t listened to a little Slipknot every now and then? Roadrunner really took a risk with us and I think its commendable that they decided to go somewhere completely left field. We are fans of music and respect the diversity of the musicians in Roadrunner’s roster and being around all different kinds of music like that is only a good thing for us.” That deep appreciation for all types of music has led the band to release a really varied and exciting disk. From the arena ready (whatever that means) “My Body” to the decidedly low-tempo “Islands” as well as the last minute addition to the album, originally intended for the B-side “God made man”. Sameer likened the listening experience to watching the sun transition between day and night, gradual and slow but obvious. The mid-tempo, So-Cal, indie pop group has played the main stage of Lollapalooza, Sasquatch, SXSW and recently played live at the 2011 MTV VMA’s. Gadhia admits that that experience may have been the craziest thing that has happened to the band yet “at the VMA’s there’s all these artists that you grew up watching and getting the chance to meet them was really eye-opening”. A dramatic understatement that only makes sense once you find out that the group all hail from various locations around the stereotypically laid back American West coast.
Lyrically, melodically and structurally you can sense the California surf-pop vibe in their music. “There’s something subconsciously Californian about it. We lived together right on the beach when we were recording and writing so it’s hard not have had that influence our sound.” As a music fan, its always interesting to understand the creative process that goes on behind the scenes from some of your favourite bands. For Young the Giant, when writing the first single off the album “My Body” they didn’t know they had a hit on their hands, but their manager did. “You could say he has an ear for hooks I guess. We were just jamming upstairs and the whole thing was maybe 10 minutes and the lyrics just stuck. Our manager who had been downstairs and completely silent the entire day came running up and was like “That’s it. That’s the first single”. We really didn’t know it was going to connect with people the way it did.” Gadhia goes on to explain that the song was quite a departure for him vocally, and he struggled with mastering the more aggressive stylings of the song. “I actually struggled with the aggression in the song. My voice found it challenging to reach that level, but that song and that challenge is what makes us take our music to the next level, to keep evolving.”
The band recorded their album all completely live with industry staple Joe Chicarelli producing it behind the scenes. “I think when people listen to the album they’ll realize that while it is a production and it is a CD, there is a band behind it and that’s the same band you are going to hear and see at our live shows. We didn’t ever want to put something out there that is impossible to reproduce live, and I think we stick to the integrity of being a five-piece band.” If you want to experience some of that integrity first hand, check out Young the Giant this summer on the festival circuit. It’s a show that’s guaranteed not to disappoint.
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