"The pain displayed in art helped us find the tone of our new album" - In Conversation with Blood Youth
Blood Youth have been on quite a wild ride since we last spoke to them at Download Festival in 2017. Since then they have gone on tour and played everywhere, with everyone, most notably a short run of dates with Prophets Of Rage, consisting of member from Cypress Hill, Public Enemy and Rage Against The Machine. Having recently released their new single ‘Starve’ off their upcoming second record and having announced a UK tour for 2019 we sat down with them at this years Reading Festival to see where their heads are at.
I first had a chat with you guys last year at Download 2017 and the band have been super busy since then. How has been from the inside looking out?
Kaya - Its been pretty crazy, at the end of the year we were constantly on tour and people kept asking us for new music. So from September to January we were on tour, even right through Christmas. We’ve recently supported Stone Sour as well and we had to take three months out to write and record a new album.
Your debut record has been out for a while now and you' re thinking of new material with the release of ‘Starve’. Talk to me about its creation.
Kaya - It was very different from the first time. The first one we were comfortable as we used people and places we had safely used before. I recorded my vocals in a hotel in Harrogate, which is our home town, and I could go home and have a bath each night! (laughs), just chilling and watching Netflix, and then "oh, lets record some vocals!"
Sam - On the first record me and Chris went to Tetbury near Bath, and we stayed in a B&B and it was a bit of a grind.
Kaya - We recorded our two EP's there as well. On this one we wanted to write and record material that would ultimately scare people, and take them to an uncomfortable place. We as a group believe that the music industry isn't producing enough scary music. Like when we were growing up we listened to the first (self titled) Slipknot record and that would petrify me.
Yeah the opening track on that record '742617000027' sounds like a descent into hell!
Kaya - Yeah and as a 12 year old first hearing that it absolutely terrified me. On this record we isolated ourselves on a farm in the middle of nowhere. We were there for three weeks, didn't have any phone reception and the nearest town was a three hour walk away. All we did was watch horror films on Netflix.
Sam - I watched The Evil Dead for the first time during recording.
Kaya - We were hungry as well, in each others faces the whole time and you can hear it all in the album.
Sam - I think it made for an all round better recording experience though. We stopped tracking about 2am. Granted we didn't start tracking until 2pm but still it freed us up to be meticulous. We recorded with a very good friend, Robin Adams, who engineered the album and was with us from the start with demos and ideas.
How has the new song come across?
Kaya - People are saying its feeling like more in your face and with the video, its super dark. We went from being a clean cut heavy band in promos, I'm not sat here with long greasy hair or anything, and we haven't changed our sound but it is a lot heavier and darker. Before we started recording and getting ideas together we said that we could easily write our debut record again. We needed to push it forward and get out of our comfort zones
From the world of art, whether it be records or a painting or shows and movies, where did you get the inspiration for this new album?
It was definitely Slipknot, Deftones, 2000 era nu-metal but with a Blood Youth sensibility. We even took screenshots from things like The Machinist staring Christian Bale. There's a scene in that where he stares at his emaciated body in the mirror or American Psycho where he is peeling the skin from his face. I wanted to turn that disgust at what you are seeing visually into a sound.
With the bands you have toured with like Prophets Of Rage, have they ever given you words of advice?
Sam - When we toured with Stone Sour, Corey Taylor talked to our guitarist Chris all about the recording of Iowa. We lucked out, we were in a dressing room in the Netherlands and we walked out, heard THAT voice and we could see that Chris was stoked to be talking to him. Generally though we just observe and see how bands work from the moment they get to a venue. How they treat each other, the support bands, the people working on putting the show together etc.
Kaya - Most bands we have toured with have come up to us and that's something they don't need to do. Tom Morello (guitarist, Prophets of Rage) doesn't need to come over to us but he did and we were blown away. Corey told us how to make the most visceral album we could and he should know!
Do you prefer festival shows or indoor shows?
Sam - It's the first Reading and Leeds festival for us. We've played a few festivals and what we love is playing later in the evening when people a little bit more chilled .
Kaya - We always use festivals as a barometer to how we are doing, our first festival we had a half empty tent, last year at Download it was an overflowing tent. Knowing that now I've jinxed it and no one will turn up as it's such a nice day and they don't want to come into a hot sweaty tent! On the other stage is N*E*R*D so hopefully there's not too much cross over.
Blood Youth have just announced comprehensive UK tour for 2019, dates and tickets can be found here. You can like them over on their Facebook and follow them on Twitter.