MOST of us yearn for a time when we were young; if tomorrow’s….
U.S. election results go the ‘wrong way’ – most of us will be pining for a safer, childhood time. Luckily, London-based trio Whenyoung evokes youthful spirit and hopefulness. Among that positivity come reflectiveness, fears and introspection. Following their debut single, See How They Run; a lot of eyes were cast in their direction. Actor is their latest track and proves they are a highly consistent and impressive band. I was excited to find out about the guys and talk about how London influences them; how the band came together and the inspiration behind Actor. They discuss their start in Limerick, what their plans for the next year are – with a little secret about each of the members.
Hi guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello. We’ve had a great week: rehearsed, wrote a new song; saw some shows – Crows at the 100 Club, Christine & the Queens in Brixton; Merchandise at The Lexington. Slaved at our day jobs, washed the dishes – just the usual stuff!
For those new to the band: can you introduce yourself, please?
We’re called Whenyoung. Andrew is on drums, Niall is on guitar and Aoife is on bass and vocals.
How did you guys get together? Did you know each other from way back?
We met in Ireland when we were kids – sneaking into discos and house parties. We all ended up in London, and through our shared love of music, we decided to start a band.
The band hails from Ireland? What is the music scene like where you are? Has Whenyoung had opportunities to perform and gain exposure?
We’re from a small city called Limerick that doesn’t really have a huge music scene – but some great bands and musicians have come from there. We played a gig in Dublin last month which went down really well – but we haven’t played in Limerick yet.
I know you are based in London now. What motivated the move? Is it easier to get reception and attention in London?
We started Whenyoung in London, not in Ireland. I think if you’re doing something interesting and engaging enough you’ll be noticed wherever you’re situated.
For us, London is the place to be for inspiration and excitement. With that comes a lot of competition but that just drives us.
See How They Run was your debut single. How would you say the band has developed or changed since the debut? Have there been any changes?
We’re experimenting more with weird, freaky (ugly) sounds. There haven’t been any huge changes. We’ve always known what path we want to take as a band. So, I guess we have a little bit more experience, lots more songs and a few live shows under our belt.
Actor is your current single. What can you tell us about the origins and inspiration behind it?
Actor is a comment on the world that our generation lives in. The song is about projecting artificial images of yourself through social media and in real-life interactions with others.
From doing that we receive temporary reassurance which keeps you going in the short-term but it’s a fake visage – and beneath it all, there’s a sinking feeling. It’s tiring: we need to find an honest existence. We hope it’s inspiring and uplifting. It’s also a great soundtrack for getting dressed in the morning.
You will be playing Shacklewell Arms on 24th of this month. Are you excited about the date and is it the first time (for the band) at the venue?
Yeah. we’re playing The Shacklewell Arms for the single launch of Actor. We’re really excited about this gig as it’s our local haunt and we’ll have lots of our friends (and hopefully) fans there.
Can we expect to see an E.P. or album in the coming months?
It’s probably a little bit early for us for an album.
There will certainly be lots more music.
You guys have been compared to acts like Honeyblood and Veronica Falls – with your short and memorable songs. Which artists inspired the band and are most important to you?
That’s interesting. I don’t really think we sound like them apart from the obvious female vocals. We share a love for Blondie, Television; Patti Smith, The Clash; The Modern Lovers, Merchandise and Marching Church.
Which new artists would you recommend we spend time investigating?
We’re really intrigued by Happy Meal Ltd. It’s always good to hear something different that catches your ear and eye.
You have achieved a lot over the last year. What have been the fondest memories for each of you?
Recording Actor was really satisfying and we were so happy with what we created. Also, making the video for Actor – with Daisy Finetto – was such an amazing experience. We played with INHEAVEN for their headline (London) show and that was crazy-good.
Even though it’s early days we still have to pinch ourselves sometimes. The kindness of people – who are willing to help us for the love of the art rather than the money – always makes us feel grateful.
What do you hope to achieve over the next year as a band?
We’d like to play to bigger crowds in bigger venues. We really want to get our music out to a wide audience – to be the band that can soundtrack a generation. There was a couple having a snog at the side of one of our gigs recently. Love that.
Can you reveal a secret about the band – something nobody knows? Is there a particular troublemaker in the group or someone with a secret talent, perhaps?
Aoife is a Francophile, Niall deals books and Andrew is a sommelier.
Any artists that are coming through right now: can you offer any advice or guidance to them?
Only listen to people who completely and utterly believe in you and who you know want the best for you.
In general, I think it’s important to go with your gut even if it’s scary or wild.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can select any song to play here (not your own as I’ll include that).
Je t’aime…moi non plus – Serge Gainsbourg