Wanting to start a music career can be exciting but incredibly daunting. On the one hand the fantasy of writing and releasing your own music, doing live shows and meeting a multitude of people, maybe even including your idols, can be appealing, but sometimes you forget about the darker side of it which includes long, gruelling hours, the stress of touring and the pressure of figuring out the direction of any upcoming release. Perhaps the biggest detail that might be overlooked is the people who you surround yourself with, the team you’ll be spending all that time with and the band members who are meant to stand by you through thick and thin. You hear the stories of bands falling apart due to internal tensions and fights, but we have one group who refuse to fall into that stereotype. YOUNG CULTURE are rather fresh-faced in the pop-punk scene but have many years of love and friendship between them.
As we speak to them through the rather unreliable highway signal as they travel to the next tour-stop the band spoke fondly of each and the bond they share. “The journey is incredible and we’re all just best friends, we’ve stuck together for so long. It’s such a natural progression and everything that we’ve done moving forward, and continuing to move forward, is so organic and natural. That’s just one thing I love about being in this band, we do it because we love each other and we love being with each other.”
“That’s the number one reason we love making music and that we want to keep doing it. We’re pretty inseparable. You find your people in life and we definitely found ours. I know bands that aren’t like that and I always find it strange as it’s such a tough thing to do (being in the music industry) and if you do it with people you don’t live and die by then I don’t understand why you’re doing that.”
“But we’re very fortunate. Our entire team is people I would trust with my life.”
That bond was likely to be the main thing that held them together throughout the last few years when it came to writing, recording and releasing their EP Godspeed during lockdown. But now that the restrictions have been lifted YOUNG CULTURE were finally able to sit together in a studio to write and record as opposed to sitting in separate houses. At this point they were gearing up to release their second record You Had To Be There, when looking back to the time of production they noted the difference with recording of the two releases. “This album is a way more focused project; I think that the approach to the both of them (Godspeed and You Had To Be There) were pretty similar as we were writing a lot of the stuff during the pandemic, and when we recorded You Had To Be There in January things were still going on but we finally able to get into a room and not have to do it separate. Godspeed was a quarantine project and this was a very focused one, we got in and we knew what we wanted to make a pop-punk album. All bangers, no low energy songs. We wanted to go in with the idea of ‘what songs can we make that would be awesome to play live?’”
For a lot of artists, it can be daunting to releasing a follow-up to a debut full-length. There’s the pressure of what to do next and how to make it better, but in turn that can make things come out rather unnatural and forced. For YOUNG CULTURE they were able to break that trope that create something that, in their words, felt incredibly organic. But it didn’t always feel that way. “Coming out of the last two years and having a difficult time, putting out our first album (Young Culture) in 2020 during the pandemic and then the four of us really not knowing if we want to slow down or not. We didn’t want to quit and we started to think of what to do.”
During Godspeed we weren’t the type to sit around, we were all writing and thinking ‘we have songs we want to put out’, and then of course it was time to do the next album. We were able to get together and spend a month with Anton Delost [STATE CHAMPS, MAYDAY PARADE, SILVERSTEIN] who engineered and produced it. We made a really focused record, we wrote a lot of the songs in the studio and we were able to hone in and really concentrate. It was all effortless, we ended writing 70% of the album in the first week of pre-production, it just happened organically as we didn’t plan to do it that way. It just came very naturally and it was a very easy process, I think we had a really no thrills approach to it and just thought ‘let’s just make the music we enjoy making and not try hard to please everybody except for ourselves’.”
You Had To Be There is out now via Rude Records/Equal Vision Records.
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