As The Fest gets closer and closer, it's time to start getting stoked. One reason to do so would be the opportunity to catch Young Livers play the festival. The band released The New Drop Era last year, and more recently released a split 7" with Army Of Ponch. Our very own Dante 3000, whom you will also be able to catch at The Fest, recently talked to Young Livers' Matt Farrell and Dave Hall.
Can you give me a brief history of Young Livers (how you got started etc.)? Matt: Chris and I moved to Gainesville to play music about 3 years ago after residing in PA for sometime (Chris was born and raised there and I grew up in NY) and Dave moved to Gainesville around the same time from Southern California. Dave was in Glass and Ashes and Chris had met some of those guys a few years prior when they were on tour. After some extended "talk" of playing we actually got together and it just clicked. When we started it was just us three sweating profusely in the Florida heat, drinking abundantly and playing to 5 or 6am due to our work schedules. We all had some serious frustrations being recently transplanted and we took that into writing music. Drew Martin (of FIYA) helped us write "The New Drop Era" and played locally and regionally with us for awhile. Since then we have had a few bass players fill in for tour and local and regional shows (Jason Day, Chad Darby) but as of our last tour we were fortunate enough to have Mike Carter (Glass and Ashes) with us and we have written and recorded new material with him. This is looking to be the new and permanent line up for Young Livers. We have been trying to tour a lot and get together material for the new record along with several 7inches as we passed the 2 year mark.
Sharing members with Glass and Ashes, were you worried about the comparisons? Dave: There are two members of Glass and Ashes writing and recording new material in a new band. I think people would compare us even if we sounded nothing like Glass and Ashes. We are compared to many of our Label mates as "sounding like A Gainesville band", which is appreciated and we are grateful but all of us were rooted deeply in music scenes elsewhere with our own influences . . . Stylistically there might be some comparisons but, we all played in previous bands which play equal parts in Livers songs, there are a lot of elements to Young Livers that are new to all of us. It should set itself aside of those comparisons in time we hope.
Matt:I think that is always at the forefront of our thoughts when we are writing as most musicians never want to repeat exactly what they were doing before but it hasn't been to difficult to keep it separate. Also Glass and Ashes was/is a rad band so a comparison would be fine with me as long as it was a comparison and not a "sounds just like."
You guys recently released your first proper release, The New Drop Era, in conjunction with No Idea and Kiss of Death. First, did you guys do a lot of recording before that record and how did it come about that it was released by the two labels? Matt: Prior to The New Drop Era we recorded a three-song demo which we gave out at shows and to No Idea and Kiss of Death. Brian from KOD approached us first about doing a record. Brian is awesome so we were all excited. Shortly after Var approached us about doing something with No Idea which we were also excited about. We wanted work with both so Var and Brian worked it out and then we got the KOD/No Idea logo combination on the back of the record. Which is what the real motivation was.
Dave: the "drag face?!!"
Additionally it's eight songs long, so would you say it qualifies as a full length? Matt: That is something we have definitely gotten criticism for is short songs and short sets. The whole idea was to record the songs and capture the context of that moment. We had just reached a year of playing and the motivation and feelings put into the songs were cohesive and we felt as though if we wrote more songs they may not tie into what we had then. Does it qualify as a full length? Well depends on what the criteria for a full length is I think it's a great representation of the first steps of the band. It may not be as long as other records but I think it's adequate.
Dave: Short sets are so much more moving and straight to the point. For us to do a traditional full length would have taken away from the live shows we were playing at the time. We were practicing three to four late nights a week and playing as much out of town as we could.. I think we realized that the next record would sound a little different and were excited to capture the 8 tracks we had in a friends living room.
What motivated the name The New Drop Era Matt:The name ties into a lot of what the lyrics are about. I got the name from a time period in Great Britain's history in which they introduced a new form of capital punishment. It was an improvement to the traditional noose for public execution. This new method involved the noose and a platform in which on mark the bottom would drop out to more effectively execute the accused. How it ties in is that most of the lyrics are about the thought that more over people are becoming increasingly disconnected and act in such awful ways towards each other. Mostly it seems that people have no real regard for others whether it be acquaintances or close friends even family it's become strange and obscure to truly care or be passionate. In a sense it relates because there is a similarity between that new era and now as both are a more effective means of cruelty.
The lyrics of the album definitely have a sense of weary desperation in them (ex: "Breathless, Gasping as the days are swallowed. Rundown and followed by the indecisive"). Was that an intentional theme throughout the album or just a reflection of the current mood while writing? Matt: I would say they are both. Mostly the lyrics are supposed to be somewhat ambiguous although they are certain direct stabs at certain ideas or thought for the most part it should apply to the reader as deemed fit. There are personal matters in the lyrics but not entirely. When writing lyrics every member gets to read them and make sure that agree with the message as it will be representing all of us. Dave writes what he sings I write what I sing and more recently Mike writes what he sings, Chris has also helped in the process of writing lyrics.
Dave: It's only so often that i feel passionate enough about something that i will write about it and It is almost always something so intensely personal that I feel awkward putting it into words for everyone to hear. A lot of times I feel like it is inappropriate for a punk/ rock band to be negative because It could be perceived the wrong way, and this medium is highly scrutinized. I never want to give anyone the wrong idea but i do want people to know it is meant to be nasty or angry.
You mentioned earlier that the album was kept short partially because you had a certain batch of songs done and partially to capture your live set. Will subsequent albums be short as well? Matt: We have been planning the next record and writing for it. I think it will be longer but it all depends on how the feel is as we write new songs. I would rather the record sound cohesive and energetic than long and forced.
Dave: I'm a big fan of the 12 " EP but i don't see us releasing anything short for our second record.
Also mentioned was your knowledge that future songs would sound different than these. How has writing been since this album? How would you compare the material? Matt: Writing has gone well it has been a little slow but it is soon to pick up as Mike Carter ( Glass and Ashes) will be with us for a while before tour so we will be putting all our ideas together. It will be different because we will be writing the majority of the album with a bass player, something we didn't do on "The New Drop Era". On that record we wrote a lot with Dru but for the most part it was Dave, Chris and I practicing and writing. Also writing with Mike will bring a different influence, style and new vocals.
Dave: " The New Drop Era" kind has the same feel the whole way through to me. The tempo never really lets up. I think that is another reason it was good to leave the album short. So I am looking forward to having all four of us collaborating and writing. I think we are being forced to be more creative as time has gone on and the band keeps evolving. The first record was essentially riffs that the three of us had stashed away and brought to life. The new record isn't going to be as straight forward.
You guys recently released a split 7" with Army of Ponch, how did that come about? Matt: We did the first of the Live At The Atlantic 7 inch series with Ponch. It came about because the employees at the Atlantic (Joe,Matt and Tom) decided to get together and start putting out records and they thought it would be cool for the club and for the bands to capture some of the energy and excitement of the shows there. So they approached us about doing the first one with Army of Ponch and we were stoked to do something with those guys and it happened. They have some really exciting 7inches planned that series should be awesome.
What are your plans for the upcoming months as far as touring and recording? Matt:We are getting ready to do a week in August with the Grabass Charlestons up best friends day. After that in September a week to NYC to fly to Europe for a month back to NYC one week back down the coast in time for FEST!! and some pre-Fest shows. As far as recording aside from the Live 7 inch we have two other 7 inches coming out. The first is a split with Bridge and Tunnel on No Idea which is at the plant and should be out by August. The second is a split with Attack Vipers!! from the UK on Yo Yo Records the song should be done this week and then off to the plant with hopes that it will be out in September. Lastly after the Europe trip we are hoping to be ready to record a new full length. Trying to stay busy.