With a distinct sound that has continuously developed over the years, The Underground Youth has crossed from their unique brand of darkly cinematic psychedelia to a raw and blister style of post-punk. With their new album ‘The Falling’ coming out, we wanted to find out more about their inspiration or writing process. More in the following interview.
Hello! And first of all, thank you for the time to answer my questions! Can you introduce the band to the public who may not know you? How did it all start?
The band is The Underground Youth, started back in 2008 by myself, Craig Dyer, and still going today, 10 albums and countless world tours later. The genre of our music has taken on some changes over the years so I prefer not to specify myself what kind of music we create. Maybe that’s something for the listener to decide. Anyway, we’re now based in Berlin and with me in the band is my wife Olya Dyer on drums, Max James on bass, and Leonard Kaage on guitar.
What can you say about your latest release? Does this pandemic affect somehow the way you wrote the lyrics? There is a change in your music?
The lyrics of the new record were written before the pandemic hit, but the music we planned to record took on a slight change as we finished the record during the lockdown. We had to turn our homes into small recording studios and send tracks back and forth between us. There is a change in the music with this record for sure, but that was a conscious decision by us, not the pandemic.
Can you tell us a little about the band’s songwriting process?
It’s different with every song we create. It can be lyrics or a poem I have written that I come up with a musical idea for, or it can be the whole band in a room playing and writing music together. There’s no perfect formula for any creative process in my opinion, so it’s nice to experiment with different approaches.
How do you feel about the state of the music industry today? There is no doubt that there is a massive change underway; how do you see it?
I don’t think the music industry has been in a good state during my lifetime, but I appreciate the movements away from large businesses controlling it. I think now with so many independent labels and DIY artists, with music being so easily accessible across platforms, there’s a move in a positive direction. There needs to be a reassessment of how the money is distributed to the artists, but this is a conversation people are already aware of, which is a good start.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration from everywhere really, it’s not just about what other music you listen to and like, it’s literature, film, art in all its forms. But also from the people around you, everyday life and the things you see and do and hear in the streets. Inspiration can and should really come from anywhere.
Are you being nostalgic about touring life? What is the most beautiful memory during the years of touring?
Oh very nostalgic, it’s the thing we miss the most at present. I mean there are too many beautiful memories to name here, the sheer amount of intense and wonderful experiences you have crammed into these periods of touring, and with the company of your closest friends, it’s a magical thing to perform live every night also. It’s the reason we do what we do, for the love of that experience.
What do you listen to lately? Are there any songs you can recommend to us?
Olya’s been listening to a lot of Baxter Dury’s last record ‘The Night Chancers’. Also really enjoyed the last record by Fontaines D.C. Other than that just a lot of old favorites, a lot of jazz and hip hop also. The lockdown has provided a bit more time to listen to music than I normally find I have between touring and everything else.
Did you make some plans regarding touring in 2022? If so, is there a chance to come back to Bucharest? -fingers crossed-
Well, we have a tour booked for later in 2021, so fingers crossed that can go ahead. But for sure, if not this year, the next. And Bucharest is always a favorite place to play so we’ll make sure it happens as soon as it’s possible.
Thank you so much for this interview! The epilogue belongs to you!
Thank you! My epilogue is empty but for a recommendation to listen to our new album, ‘The Falling’.
Cover Photo: (c) Miriam Marlene Waldner