YOUNG GUNS are:
GUSTAV WOOD – Vocals
FRASER TAYLOR – Guitar
JOHN TAYLOR – Guitar
SIMON MITCHELL – Bass
BEN JOLLIFFE – Drums
When High Wycombe based quintet Young Guns released their debut EP, ‘Mirrors’, in July 2009, they, as vocalist Gustav Wood states, “had nothing to our name, except the knowledge that we were in possession of an EP that deserved to be heard.” We Are The Ocean had agreed to take us out on tour at the start of the year, and save for that tour, a few favourable write ups and reviews of our single ‘In The Night’ and as many shows as we’d been able to persuade promoters to let us play, we were definitely under the radar.”
The singer admits that the initial pressing of ‘Mirrors’, at that time a self-released effort, totalled just 500, a release they hoped would “at least serve as a vehicle to enable us to get onto more shows and play to more people.” To support the release, the band embarked on a self-booked tour around theUK, playing for whoever would have them.
As the group gathered positive reviews and media coverage, the support slots they’d aspired began to come thick and fast, with shows alongside The Blackout, Lostprophets, Taking Back Sunday and Fightstar, as well as appearances at the Download and Sonisphere festivals. By the time August came around the band found themselves nominated in the ‘Best British Newcomer’ category at the 2009 Kerrang! Awards’, quite the contrary to Wood and his band mates initial modest expectations. By the end of the year the band had won the Rock Sound and Kerrang! magazine end of year readers polls for ‘Best British Newcomer’ and ‘Best New Band’. To date, following it’s re-release proper in August, the EP has now sold over 7,000 copies and counting.
As 2009 drew to a close, the bands whirlwind journey was about to really take flight, the time for the debut album was fast approaching. In January, the band chose to record the track ‘Winter Kiss’ ahead of their album session and make the track available as a free downloadable single, a gesture of thanks to the bands ever expanding, and passionate fan base. The track was met with great response, with Zane Lowe declaring it The Hottest Record In The World’ on BBC Radio 1. A Rock Show live session for Daniel P Carter at the legendary Maida Vale studios soon followed.
Having maintained total independence with Mirrors, the band decided to remain unsigned for the release of their debut album, with the help of the well-respected [PIAS] / Liberator Music inAustralia. As Wood explains, “We are control freaks and like to be completely involved in every aspect of the band, from merch to website design and so on. Our independence and hands on approach is the core of what makes us the band we are.” He continues, “we are interested in, and are always working towards, the idea of longevity and an honest and level connection with fans of our music. We also wanted to be able to freely write the kind of music we wanted to write without outside influence. The way we have operated as a band has worked far better than we could have ever have ever dreamed of, in no small part due to the dedicated passionate group of people we have working along side us, and we saw no need to change that.”
The band headed into Fortress Studios,Londonwith producer Dan Weller (who had also recorded Mirrors) to being work on ‘All Our Kings Are Dead’. “The album as a whole, is, by some subconscious act, a document of both where I am at this point in my life, the experiences I’ve had on my journey to where I am and who I am today, and the lessons I’ve learned,” he confesses. “Be it from dealing with death (After The War) to struggling with self worth and uncertainty (Stitches). I can only write about what is relevant to me, or else it feels fake. I grew up without my father, and it’s only as I get older that I realise how this has shaped me, and I in turn realised that in some ways I felt that the same lack of a traditional role model figure was also relevant to being a young person in our modern world.”
“From being a child up to now, it has always felt like there is an inescapable feeling of futility and inevitability, almost a direction-less resentment threaded through my generation. Aggression and nihilism is not just accepted but more and more glamorised, we have no religion to find solace in, no political leaders that inspire faith, and it’s easy to feel lost and somehow abandoned.”
Wood Is keen to point out however, that the album is by no means a negative affair, “though I guess a fair portion of the songs on the album deal with quite down-beat subjects and ideas, I like to think that there is an overall feeling of positivity and hope running through the songs, no matter what they’re about.”
He concludes, “I wanted to say, in my own heavy hand, that not having these pre-determined ideas of what we can do and who we can be can be a blessing because we can create our own future, and have to live up to nobody else’s expectations but our own.
‘All Our Kings Are Dead’
- Sons Of Apathy
- Crystal Clear
- Meter & Verse
- Weight Of The World
- Winter Kiss
- After The War
- Endless Grey
- At the Gates
- Beneath The Waves
- Daughter Of The Sea
- Weight Of The World (EP Version)
- There Will Be Rain
- In The Night