EMURG Rock on the Range Special Interview Edition: Young Guns
Did you miss us? Do you think we forgot about all the great things that are happening with at Rock on the Range? Fear not because EMURG has another exclusive interview with one of the up and coming bands that are set to grace the stage at this year’s event. This time around, EMURG had the pleasure of speaking with lead singer Gustav Wood of the band Young Guns about the band’s recent efforts with touring the states after making a jump across the pond from London, England. Who is this band and what are they all about? Some of the answers may surprise you in this exclusive interview!
EMURG: What artist(s)/bands/songs/albums influenced you as a band?
Gus: As a bunch of guys, we listen to a whole range of different bands in different genres, right across the board. From Meshuggah to Michael Jackson. It’s always been this way really. If I had to pick a single band that was perhaps a touchstone of sorts for us all when we started in the band, it would probably be Thrice. We all love them and admire how they’ve evolved and progressed over the years. I wouldn’t say we strive to sound like them, but they definitely had an effect on us all.
EMURG: What are the members of Young Guns currently listening to right now?
Gus: Currently we’re all enjoying the new Fall Out Boy and Paramore records. The new Kvelertak record is great, and we really like the new Daft Punk single. We’re also listening to a lot of new Young Guns demos and song ideas as we’re in the process of writing our third album.
EMURG: What has been your favorite show/performance so far in your career as musicians?
Gus: Probably our last headline show at Shepherds Bush Empire in London. We’ve definitely played larger shows than that but it was a milestone for us as a band, being our biggest and most accomplished headline show to date. It was sold out and a few thousand people singing along to every word of every song was an electric feeling. It was a really important show for us and it went off without a hitch, which is rare for us. usually something goes wrong!
EMURG: Where did you come up with the name for your band? What’s the story behind Young Guns?
Gus: A few of us were living together when we decided to start writing songs together initially. We felt like a bit of a gang I suppose, young guys all living together in London and going out and getting into trouble and stuff. We wanted a name that was a tip of the hat to the bands we liked as kids, like G’n’R etc. We also wanted to use an 80s film as a name for a band and somehow on a drunken night out we decided upon Young Guns as the one to go with.
EMURG: If you want fans to remember one song from you it would be?
Gus: At this point I’d imagine it would be Bones. I definitely feel like we have yet to write our ‘big’ song, but we do already owe that one a lot. We are definitely better song writers now though so who knows what’s next.
EMURG: Can you give our fellow EMURG’ers a detailed history about how you formed as a band and what you actually encompass as a rock band?
Gus: We’re really just five friends that grew up going to punk rock and metal shows that have somehow ended up on the other side of the world playing shows each night. We’re not really even sure how it happened! I guess the short history is that apart from myself, everybody grew up in the same area outside of the city and met through the local music scene where they would play shows together week in week out, with their line ups evolving from month to month. I guess they kinda learned their craft in that way. I grew up in the centre of London and when I went to the university I ended up becoming friends with somebody that had been in a band with John (guitar). On a summer break he invited me up to where he lived to watch his band play, and when I went to hang out I met John and ended up becoming friends. We both flunked our university courses and ended up moving in together in London. I joined the band he was in, playing bass and as the years went by and the line up changed and changed again, we ended up as the Young Guns of today sometime in 2008. We’re just a band trying to write good loud anthemic songs that make people want to sing along and have a good time at a live show.
EMURG: Your latest release, “Bones”, is an album jam packed with an electrifying sound that delivers a blast of fresh, in-your-face music to listeners. Can you give our listeners/viewers more of an idea of the story behind this album and what the main concepts of the album are trying to convey to the listener?
Gus: I suppose the overarching themes are those of inner strength and the importance of seizing the moment. This band has really helped me to figure out who I am and what I want out of life and I suppose in many ways this record is all about that process and that realization.
EMURG: How does Young Guns differ from others bands that are scheduled for this year’s Rock On The Range? Where do you stand in an ever growing pool of rock bands and artists?
Gus: Well, for starters we aren’t from The United States. I think that fact has allowed us to approach a pretty well worn genre of music (rock) in a way that is hopefully a bit fresh and different to a lot of the bands that are on rock radio at the moment. I don’t know why that is, or why what we’re doing has connected to a degree over here, but basically we’re just an honest and genuine band trying to write songs that feel sincere and heartfelt. It’s no more complex than that.
EMURG: Young Guns have gained a lot of attention from fans in and out of the music business. How does it feel to be playing and exposing your material to large crowds such as the one for this year’s Rock On The Range in Columbus, Ohio? What do you want audience to take away from your music and your live performances?
Gus: It feels great! North America is a huge place and we’ve not even scratched the surface but we’ve definitely had some lucky breaks so far. We just want to get out on the road and meet as many people as we can. We’ve always built our fan base person by person and we want it to be no different over here. When it comes to playing live we just always give 100% and leave the stage, and hopefully the audience, spent. We work hard to try and get audiences involved and we want our shows to be like the shows we grew up going to. Crowd surfing, moshing, jumping, singing, whatever. We just like to make sure we make an impact in some way.
EMURG: What do you have to say to fans who have yet to discover your music? Is there anything you would like to convey to music fans worldwide?
Gus: I’d just say that whether you’re a big fan of rock music or not I think there’s something for you on our last record. If you really want to get what we’re about then come to a live show and say hi!