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 [24-05-2012] On the Brink of Depression with Young Guns for Luna Magazine

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PostSubject: [24-05-2012] On the Brink of Depression with Young Guns for Luna Magazine   Fri May 25, 2012 8:19 pm

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A few months ago, London indie rock band Young Guns filmed their video for Dearly Departed. It was their first trip to the U.S. and four of the five members got the day off to see Universal Studios and do regular tourist things. Lead-singer Gustav Wood, however, was working hard “running around in the desert for a couple of days”. While he may have felt a “little bit jealous” that he wasn’t joining in the fun with his bandmates, for him, making it to America to film the music video felt like enough of an achievement.

According to Wood, Young Guns collectively “grew up going to small, rock [and] kind of hardcore metal shows”. On stage, they now bring with them a show that suits their story and who they are, aiming to have “that hectic atmosphere… and that kind of energy and that kind of chaos,” that will keep the crowd engaged.

“We always try and do that, you know, and [we] do have to be careful… I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want anyone to come to our show and leave with a negative memory… we all have been known to still have a little cheeky crowd surf now and again, though,” Wood admits.

Despite this sort of anticipation that was once expected at the shows Wood grew up attending, the frontman maintains that while the “notion of the 80s rockstar [and] that kind of world is dead,” the concept of the “rockstar” has evolved in a way that allows a “really different connection… between the band and it’s audience,” and that appears to be the most important aspect for the band: connecting with their fanbase.

“You know, in the 80s it was all about that aloofness and that mystery and being larger than life… it’s [now] about sharing something with your audience – sharing a mutual kind of passion – and I think that’s really kind of amazing in a different way.”

While social networks have obviously assisted in the evolution of the “rockstar”, Wood maintains that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“Fundamentally,” he explains, “I just like the idea that we can play a show and even if we don’t see or meet this particular person we can go home and they can get in touch with us… You know, we can kind of speak to them in that way.”

The communication between the band and their fans is another thing that Wood maintains is a perk of the There’s No Place Like Home tour. As opposed to playing a festival, as they did last year when they came to Australia for Counter Revolution, the band will be supporting Sydney-locals Tonight Alive in “small club venues,” which is something all members are excited about.

“This is really exciting because we get to play the small club venues. It feels like we’re really beginning… to make a mark [with] the intimacy and, you know, we thrive on that. It’s nice to be able to go out after the show and talk to kids and communicate in a really one-to-one way.”

It’s clear that this communication is highly appreciated by fans also, who can call the Young Guns hotline for an extra chance to talk to the band.

“When we embraced it, it really became a fun thing to do,” Wood explains, “we call people back and… we interact with them. With everything we do it’s really just about trying to foster a real connection with your fanbase… It can get a bit hectic… [and] it’s always a bit mad, but it’s good fun…”

Recently, a fan in Sydney showed the band her Young Guns tattoo. It’s not the first time a fan has been inked with a reference to the band and they see it as “an incredible thing, really”.

“A lot of them are lyric tattoos, and these are all lyrics where I sat in my room kind of angsting… and I’m very critical of my lyrics… so, they’re really important to me… and that’s on [them] for the rest of [their] lives and [they’re] just passionate enough about our band and our music to want to do that, so it’s a huge, huge deal. We always get a massive trip out of seeing them. It’s rad.”

Indelible ink aside, Young Guns still feel as if they are on ground level here in Australia. Originally, the band intended to visit Australia for a headline tour, but limited ticket sales wouldn’t allow it. Young Guns were not deterred.

“Those shows would have been really great, and we really wanted to make them happen but, financially, we were looking at making a loss that would have been so bad we would have not been able to tour once we got back home… and then our drummer, Ben [Jolliffe] has carpal tunnel, so we were really looking at a bumpy patch for us and we weren’t sure if we’d be able to tour for a few months and it was a disaster. Luckily, we were saved by our tour manager, Mark, who can also play drums… and Tonight Alive also offered us a chance to come out and support them so we were staring at the brink of a lot of depression and they managed to save us from that.”

So, while 75% of Young Guns are driving across the parts of Australia that are usually only seen through the windows of planes, Wood is once again left out as he sits in an office on the phone to LUNA, but he maintains that the life of a “rockstar” is still very fulfilling on an emotional level.

“We get to do something that we’re passionate about and that’s our job, and we make it work… so I think that’s brilliant in an entirely different way to the way I imagined it as a kid.”

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