Many songs have been written about New York City, from sources as diverse as Frank Sinatra and Jay Z. But after living in the city for three years, only one song has come close to capturing the physical feeling of walking down Broadway in the middle of the night and looking up, only to see the city surrounds not just you, but the stars. And it might surprise you to learn that this song comes not from a Manhattan band, but from British rock outfit Young Guns, who just debuted the track “Infinity” in preparation for their third studio album Ones and Zeros¸ due out June 9th.
I recently got the chance to talk to Young Guns' Fraser Taylor about Infinity, writing, and their new album.
Before you start, could you please introduce ourselves?
I'm Fraser, I play guitar and keys in the band.
What Was The Writing Process Like for Ones and Zeroes?
For the first time ever for us it was a lengthy process. We started writing some of the songs back in the beginning of 2013. Aside from time and travelling to different places it was relatively similar to writing our previous albums. Either John or myself will usually start off with a rough idea, be it a riff, a progression or a beat. Then, we'll take it to the other guys and let everyone add their stamp to it. We've always written in quite a democratic way and we generally don't use something unless we are all happy with it.
You've Mentioned in your release of "Infinity" that it was inspired by being in New York-- do you think that grounding music in a physical space makes a difference in how the song sounds?
I definitely think travelling has had an impact on how these songs sound. We spent a lot of time in New York recording some demos in a studio basically above Time Square and I think it would be difficult not to feed off that energy. However we wanted a British sounding record so we finally settled in Bath in the UK, probably the most quintessentially English place you'll ever go.
A Lot of your songs- not just "Infinity"- conjure up a feeling of being somewhere when you listen to them-- is this intentional?
There wasn't any intention to make our songs ground the listener in a certain place. The chorus lyrics for Infinity were written by John and Gus sitting out of the window in the apartment we were staying in and it was very much centered around that moment. I would say rather than wanting to conjure the feeling of being in a certain place it's more about relating to a moment and the emotions you get from that.
Young Guns have been compared to The Killers and Rise Against, and I would definitely say Interpol-- a lot of bands try to avoid being compared to other musicians, do you shy away from the comparisons or embrace them?
People will always have their own opinions on what a band sounds like. If comparing us to another musician gives someone a way in to listening to our music then it can only be a good thing. The Killers and Rise Against are two very different bands and we've never been compared to Interpol before and whether I agree or not, I'll gladly accept all three.
When writing an album, what are you hoping the listeners will get from your music?
I always remember back to the way albums made me feel when I was younger. Music can be so powerful and leave such a lasting impression on people. On a basic level all I want from this record or any of our previous ones is that people connect with it. It's so rewarding getting messages of how a song has helped people through a hard time, inspired them to do something for the first time or even just knowing it's playing at a house party thousands of miles away. That's what it's all about.
What specifically do you hope Ones and Zeros will convey?
I can't speak for Gustav from a lyrical point of view but for me the overall feeling of this record is a positive one. We've spent the last 5 years touring the world with everyone and anyone of all different genres and no matter what the show is people just want to come away having had a good time. There's a song on the record called 'Memento Mori' which means 'remember you will die'. So in other words make the most of every moment you have. That's something I hope people will take away from listening to this album.
Do you have a favorite track off of the upcoming record?
My favourite is a song called Lullaby. It's probably the most intimate song we have ever recorded. We started writing it in 2013 but we didn't actually decide on the finished version until we were in the studio in Bath. So it's been a real labour of love - countless different chorus and beats to get the right one but I'm so happy with the way it turned out.
What are your plans for after the release?
The album comes out half way through the UK headline tour we are on at the moment after that we head back to the states for a tour with Three Days Grace then back for a few European festivals and a show in Taiwan. That's about all the information I can divulge at this point in time but we just want to be out on the road seeing all the fans we haven't seen in a while.
Ones and Zeros comes out next week, and if you want to keep up with Young Guns you can check out their Facebook, or watch more of their videos on Youtube.
After months of radio silence following the departure of original lead vocalist Danny Worsnop in January, Asking Alexandria have returned with a new singer and a new song.
Denis Shaforostov (formerly of Down & Dirty and Make Me Famous) taking over vocal duties seems to herald a new start for the band, as "I Won't Give In" sounds fresher and freer than AA's previous releases. Even with the harsh screaming that the band is known for, the sound overall feels more like willingly jumping into a pool of cold water than being drenched in a violent rainstorm.
If the new single is an indicator of Asking Alexandria's future, it's brighter now than ever before.
You may have already seen the full article but I'm too excited not to scribble in the flyleaf-- last month I won the opportunity to go bowling with Sleeping With Sirens. Buzzfeed was going to do a quick writeup of the night, but the article slowly evolved until I was sharing my recovery story and how it intertwined with my relationship with SWS. I then got to interview Kellin Quinn. I had already met him but I was shaking on the phone call. It was like every dream I could possibly have was coming to fruition.
This past month has been the most amazing time of my entire life, and I'm looking forward not with anxiety or trepidation, but with eagerness and excitement. One of the things that Kellin told me while I was interviewing him was that he wanted Madness (Sleeping With Sirens' new album, which dropped today!) to be a soundtrack to a part of somebody's life. And that's what it's become for me. The soundtrack to the greatest part of my life so far.
You can read the article here
When Twenty One Pilots burst onto the scene in 2012, it wasn't just their aggressive, spoken-word, hip-hop influenced pop rock that made people stand up and take notice. It was the stage presence of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun, the manic shows, the exploding energy, the height-scaling and death-defying of every single show, that really grabbed their audiences.
Coming off of their first label-backed debut, there were (as always) concerns about a sophomore slump (despite Vessel not being their first album, only their first after being signed to Fueled By Ramen). But every concern has been alleviated, evaporated, and disintegrated, as Twenty One Pilots debuted a new single and video tonight that is both musically and visually visceral.
'Fairly Local' is the first single off of the forthcoming album Blurryface (due May 19) and it is dark and dense and at the same time tears the weight from your shoulders. Like Oli Sykes if he had gone the route of hip hop.
Twenty One Pilots are a shining example of what modern musicians can be if they stay honest and make the music that is in their blood and their bones and their fingertips, and I'm counting down the days until May.
Twenty One Pilots Facebook | Twitter
Let's say, hypothetically, that the Museum of Modern Art's more avant garde rooms (the ones that we were always told on field trips not to go into) became sentient beings, fell in love with disco and 80s electronic pop, and decided to start a band. What you would get, in the best case scenario, is The Young Professionals, an art-pop band from Tel Aviv that has broken down the walls between visual and performance art.
The Young Professionals caught their first break when their cover video of D.I.S.C.O. (a song originally performed by Ottawan in 1979) went viral, and it's no wonder that it did, considering how many levels of artistry it climbed in just a few short minutes.
I got the chance to talk to the band about their upcoming release, their roles as artists and musicians, and their plans for the future.
Before anything else, please introduce yourselves and let everyone know what your role in the band is.
I’m Ivri Lider, and I am the lead singer of the The Young Professionals.
Let’s address the obvious first—your music transcends a simple sonic experience, the visuals behind your songs add so much depth to the music you’re making. Was it a conscious decision when you started the band that you wanted to take on more than just the “hearing” part of music?
Definitely yes, we always felt like the visual aspect is very important and is a great way to help music and lyrics get to the heart/mind of the listener/viewer. we feel like these days we not only "hear" music , we actually "see" it at the same time usually and that makes the visual aspect really important.
Your springboard came from your viral video for DISCO, do you feel that the videos you make now have to live up to that first phenomenon?
When you do well with your first video it usually becomes a reference to theory stuff you create after. We try not to imitate it but to take the fun creative spirit that led to it as a way to handle all our projects.
Your musical influences (70s disco and 80s electronic) are usually considered to be the lesser side of music, especially when you consider the Disco Demolition in 1979. But you’ve managed to take genres that are normally thought of as sort of brainless and make them dark and thoughtful—where do you draw that darkness and lyrical intelligence from?
We feel like the combination between something that’s "light" and "simple" and something that is darker and deeper to be interesting. combining different styles and moods is interesting for us.
The artists that I would consider to be your contemporaries are Lady Gaga and The Scissor Sisters— but your work is very distinct even compared to them. Who would you consider to be your contemporaries in the modern music scene?
we are honored of those examples and we'll def add the Pet Shop Boys , LCD Soundsystem , Stromae , Justice, NIN
You’ve performed at Tel Aviv’s Museum of Art, would you consider an art museum to be the ideal venue for experiencing the type of music you make?
It's def one of them, we had a great time creating that piece for the museum with the music and video and we really hope we'll get to do a lot more of those next to the more "regular" music venues
You’re releasing your new single “All Of It But Me” on February 20th, what are your goals for this year following the release?
We're finishing our new album these days, we're really proud of it and we hope that we'll get to release more songs and vids from it soon so people all over can connect to it. We had a lot of fun writing and recording it, and there's some really cool collaborations on it so we hope people will like it.
If you want to keep up with The Young Professionals, check out their Facebook page, and visit their Youtube for more exceptional videos.