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 [23-09-2011] Gus from Young Guns talks inspiration, festivals and writers’ block - The Independent

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[23-09-2011] Gus from Young Guns talks inspiration, festivals and writers’ block - The Independent Empty
PostSubject: [23-09-2011] Gus from Young Guns talks inspiration, festivals and writers’ block - The Independent   [23-09-2011] Gus from Young Guns talks inspiration, festivals and writers’ block - The Independent Icon_minitimeMon Oct 10, 2011 10:40 pm

Quote :
By Ed Cooper

The past eight years have been remarkable for Gustav Wood. Ever since Gus – as he’s more commonly known – formed the band Young Guns in 2003, the many months gone by have seen them go from strength to strength. The band opened Reading Festival 2010 and has had supporting slots with Bon Jovi and Lostprophets. We sat down with frontman Gus for a chat about Thailand, Tempo and The Dillinger Escape Plan. I caught up with him to find out what he’s planning next.

Young Guns are starting to become one of the bigger players in the UK band scene – do you agree? How does it feel?

Well, I don’t know if I agree but it’s certainly nice to think/hope so. I don’t think I’ll ever have an accurate idea of where we stand in the pecking order, if you can call it that. There’s always a degree of competition I guess but we try not to waste our time thinking about what anyone else is doing and just get on with our own thing. We’re at a great place right now, we’re excited about the new album and just want to get it out ASAP! I feel like we’ve not scratched the surface of what we can achieve. Whether we will or not, is another matter and subject to a whole load of different factors, but the drive and determination is there. We love what we do.

You wrote the material for your second album in only a few weeks. Is this the norm for Young Guns?

Ironically, we took a few months off to write album no.2 as we’ve always been so rushed and have never given ourselves the time to really get into the writing process. The EP and album were both totally blagged under pressure as we had no time or money. We swore not to make the same mistake, so got to our blocked-off bit of time to write and found ourselves crippled by writer’s block. It was totally heart-breaking and really frustrating for me personally. In the end we figured out the kind of album we wanted to make, looked at what we already had and just went from there – luckily it all came together very quickly in a late burst of inspiration, so yeah I guess sadly it is the norm.

Your discography so far recognises a variety of different tempos, time signatures and even plays on different genres. There must be a range of different aspirations for each – care to name?

We listen to everything from The Dillinger Escape Plan to Katy Perry. Without sounding clichéd, music is music at the end of the day. As long as something’s well written and we like it, we take inspiration from it. We all like Slayer just as much as a bit of Paul Simon y’know? As far as our records, or more specifically songs go, we just never try to repeat ourselves. That’s enough for us.

If you could offer the experiences that YG have gone through these past years to another, smaller band, who would it be?

Good question. Maybe our friends in Jett Black, or the guys in Dangerous! A really cool band from Australia.

‘Stitches’ is a step down in tempo, and is less thematic than the rest of the tracks on AOKAD. Any reason?

We wanted that song to feel a bit more despondent and down beat, a bit melancholy. It’s probably my favourite track off that album. We wanted the album to have texture and ebb and flow, fast songs needed to be countered by slower tempo songs, more melodic positive songs to be tempered by songs with darker themes etc.

Going from recording in East London to recording in Thailand must be a welcome change of pace, surely?

You’d think! It was a beautiful place, and definitely an experience I will never forget. We all felt so privileged to be out there writing an album, was in many ways a bit of a fantasy we got to live out, but I find recording a very stressful experience and I always want everything to be as good as it can be so I tend to stay holed up in the studio all the time agonising over every silly little thing, so I only left the studio like 5 or 6 times in a month. Still an incredible place though, would go again in a heartbeat. Such a beautiful place, and the people that work there were so nice to us. We were absolutely gutted when we had to leave.

This is a little late in the game, but how was opening Reading 2010? A big deal, surely?

Yeah, definitely. We all grew up going to that festival so it was pretty mind blowing. We were lucky to have a little bit of training playing shows of that scale as we’d blagged a bon jovi support slot at the o2 a few months prior to Reading/Leeds but it still took our heads off. Not something we’ll forget in a hurry! Can’t wait to do it again – haha!

The footage of the HMV Forum is pretty special – how did it feel playing to such a large crowd, and so close to home?

It’s hard to take in… being in a band that is lucky to have some degree of momentum like we do, you don’t really notice things progressing as you’re often so busy doing one thing or another, playing a show, doing press, preparing new music or whatever… you live in a bit of a bubble, and it can be hard to step outside of that. It’s times like the show at The Forum that the enormity of what’s happened and is happening hits you. They’ve never been OUR crowd before. I couldn’t believe that many people were there for us. Really humbling. It spurs you on to try and be better and to achieve more, knowing that there are people out there that care about your band that much. It’s the best thing ever.

You’re about to start touring Australia, are the fans down under any different?

We’ll tell you when we get back!

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