Hailing from the South West of Ireland, but settling in London, Whenyoung are a brilliant fusion of alternative meets pop. There is no doubt they are fronting the UK’s up and coming modern indie-pop scene and despite being on a current tour of the UK, they took some time out to talk to us about their music, their influence and what music means to the world.
Tell us about yourselves
We’re Whenyoung from Ireland but living in London. We make pop, punk, rock ‘n’ roll music.
You grew up in Ireland, but now live in London. How do the two compare?
Limerick is a small city in the south west of Ireland. It has a lot to offer musically and culturally but it’s a smaller city than London. London never sleeps. It’s chaotic, busy, vast and sometimes it’s all a bit too much but it’s addictive for its endless creative opportunities.
What was the Limerick music scene growing up and did it influence you at all?
I was most heavily influenced by the music my parents and sister listened to which was rock ‘n’ roll and alternative music. My sister introduced me to the Pixies and my parents showed me The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Neil Young. Then when I met the guys, they introduced me to more contemporary bands of the time like The Strokes.
What are the best things about living in London?
Being able to visit your favourite painting in a gallery for free, Sunday roasts, constant gig listings, the royal parks
What are the worst?
Transport can be a nightmare and so tiring. The cost of living is so high. Being away from my family in Ireland
Tell us about the new album ‘Reasons to Dream’?
It’s our debut album. It’s a collection of the songs we think represent us most as a band. Lyrically the album's themes are human similarity, connection, finding a place in the world where you feel you belong.
What is your favourite track on the album?
I have two favourites. One is called Blow Up The World and the other is called Something Sweet.
Your new single ‘Future’ tells a very personal and sad, yet hopeful, story. Do you find that writing can be therapeutic in helping with your thoughts and feelings?
Yes, writing is definitely a cathartic process for us.
And how do you think music helps people in general?
Songs can be a more honest expression of human emotion than a conversation. You can learn a lot from a song or a piece of art that you may never learn from chatting with someone. It’s more considered.
The music video for ‘Future’ shows youth in a very raw way. Why did you decide to make a video like this?
The story relates to the lyrics of the song. The boy is struggling to cope with his actions and behaviour but with guidance and hope he changes for the better.
You have also spoken about how the video was influenced by New German Classic cinema. What else in terms of culture influences what you do?
I love French new wave cinema, the films of Jim Jarmusch, architecture, gardens, reading autobiographies, poetry. I like getting lost in other artists work, there’s a lot of guidance to be found in other artists thoughts and experiences.
And who influences you musically?
Björk, Patti Smith, The Sugarcubes, Pj Harvey, Blondie
The video was directed by Michael Baldwin. What was he like to work with?
Michael was great. He had a great understanding of the song and displayed this with great sensitivity in the direction of the video.
Is there a message or a voice you are trying to get across in your music?
Human similarity. Understanding. Kindness. Gentleness.
You have spoken about there being such a gap between rich and poor in society. What do you think we can do to help this issue?
We can value people more, avoid classism.
You are in the middle of a tour now. What are the best and worst parts so far?
The best part are the shows and the energy from the audience. The worst bit is the selection of food at service stations on the road.
What does the rest of the year hold for you?
We are currently on our U.K. headline tour. Our album is released on May 24th and then we will be playing festivals across the U.K., Ireland and mainland Europe.
To find out more about Whenyoung, check out their Twitter and Facebook.