What made you want to be in a band and who are your main inspirations?
When I first saw Green Day in concert, I clearly remember thinking that Billy Joe Armstrong was the coolest dude on earth with his low slung guitar and his punk stance. That moment made me want to start my own band and play shows like that. My music inspirations range from anyone including Michael Jackson and Prince, to the likes of Tim Armstrong, Travis Barker and to artists like Kanye West. I think it’s important to be open to all kinds of music and get as much inspiration from a variety of artists.
What preparations do you make before playing shows/going on tour?
When we’re off tour, we’re either writing or doing some form of band related stuff but it’s also our only chance to try and keep fit for tour so a few of us gym it most days. Pre-show ritual is playing Hatebreed, doing press ups, doing a shot or two and singing stupid melodies to keep us entertained.
What was it like writing an album in Thailand?
Was a really, really tough time haha. Not at all, it was paradise and it has to be up there as one of the best times of our lives – was certainly one of mine. It’s definitely one of those places where you can lose yourself in the surroundings and has a real influence on any creative ideas.
Did it affect the overall feel of the album?
Absolutely. There were certain aspects of the recording process where we would take advantage of where we were. Part of one song on the record was recorded outside so you can hear the wind, leaves, insects and all these noises combined really gave the song an added something we wouldn’t have thought of doing before.
What is your favourite song you’ve written?
‘Bones’. Think it has something special that grabs the attention and for me is the song that I don’t get bored of after hearing it a load of times.
And what is your favourite song to play live?
Playing live, probably ‘Weight of the World’. People seem to really get involved with that song which makes it that much more fun to play live.
How do you choose your set lists?
We try and keep our set lists fresh and different as possible. The usual thing is to look at which songs to put together, and also come up with new links and write little sections to make the gig more of a show and more appealing to the person coming to watch.
What is it like playing a smaller festival like Redfest?
I find them really fun actually, and because they’re smaller you can get around easier so you can actually go and see most bands playing on the day without missing much of their set.
Do you prefer playing smaller or larger venues/festivals?
Both are great in different ways. The smaller ones are great for intimacy and energy and the bigger ones tend to be more fun as there are more people to play to and to work with when we’re interacting.
Where is your favourite place to play in the world?
Japan is definitely a great new live experience if you haven’t played there before. The people are so full of energy and passion, and when we finish a song there’s a sea of complete silence. Our biggest fanbase is here in the UK, so really our best and favourite shows are always here.
Finally, what is the most unusual item you’ve ever requested from a venue?
To be honest, I don’t think we’ve ever requested anything that unusual apart from requesting copious amounts of alcohol which for one night is completely unnecessary, but no, nothing too whacky or unusual has been requested from a venue so far. Maybe this may change.
Young Guns, will be headlining the staunchly independent festival Redfest this year alongside Missing Andy, Foreign Beggars, Modestep and Kids in Glass Houses. With a reputation for championing emerging bands and conveniently located in Redhill, Surrey, Redfest will take place 20-22nd July, and is set to be one of the best smaller festivals of the summer!