Interview: Young the Giant

15 Feb

Illustration: Charlotte Schofield

Young the Giant completed a trio of London dates earlier this month and recently did us the favour of answering a few of our questions via email. We really do hope the quintet can make it a UK-wide tour next time around. Young the Giant are on tour in North America until mid-March, catch ’em while and if you can!

Since you began writing, how do you think you’ve developed as musicians?

All of us have improved as individual musicians and song-writers. In a band where live improvisation is key, these two elements make way for far more lush and intimate writing. We feel very sunk in with our chemistry now.

What’s one lesson you learnt last year?

We’ve learned how to stay healthy on the road. It is surprisingly tough; with all the fast food, late nights, and drinking. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and still do, but we hope to stay alive for a while.

Once you’ve been on tour, what’s your routine when you get home?

An immediate bath. Sometimes an hour long. Complete vegetation. We live like senile men in the bliss of solitude.

How involved are you in deciding on artwork/making your artwork?

We have the final say for all art that is brought to us. For our next album, we really want to take a more hands on approach. Now it is just objective critique, and lyrical description. We want to be the hands that make it in the future.

What’s your favourite album cover from 2010?

Spoon’s Transference.

Were vocal harmonies something you’d always wanted to include in your songs or was it more of a development over time?

Vocal harmony has always been a focal point of our writing. In the beginning, i feel like it was almost overly conscious. Now, we try and use it where it makes the most sense.

You’re playing in London soon, have you been to the UK before, and are you looking forward to it?

It is an absolute dream-come-true to hop the pond. I have been to the UK once before, and all of us have our own relationships with England, some of whom (Jacob and Fran) have spent very intimate times, and others (Eric, Payam) who have never been. But the experience of playing in a band is novel to all of us. I don’t think words can really describe how much we are looking forward to it.

Photo: Young the Giant, London 2010 © Braden Fletcher

When you come into contact with legendary people, such as Joe Chiccarelli, is it hard to stay in a professional state of mind?

Yes, at first it was very tough. More than anything, it was hard to compare ourselves to such professionalism, as if our collective consciousness paled in comparison to these profound lives. I think it was with time that we realized that even legends take shits. Even legends were children once. Babies sucking from teets. So forth. It makes us more comfortable to be human.

What are your plans for 2011?

We are going to be traveling much of the world. 2010 was a year of much travel, but now we are moving to different territories, time-zones. We hope to savor the festival experience.

Check out the fantastic video for ‘Apartment’ below:

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