“A little bit of liquid courage doesn’t go unnoticed…”
Personally I can never get enough of Shropshire, a beautiful combination of breathtaking landscapes and awe-inspiring industrial achievements. It’s also home to Young Braves (formerly Arcade Parade), a band who have already received some pretty favourable exposure through BBC Introducing and who have recently released their first single under their new name. “Youth” is out now and you can download it for free from the link below. Although their earlier material was good, “Youth” feels like a big step forward. It has a clean, crisp sound without being too polite: a little rasp in the vocals and some heavy use of cymbals in the chorus rough it up enough to dodge over-polishing. I heavily approve of the bass throughout; too many bands are guilty of a criminal disregard for the wider capabilities of this instrument: here it provides some lovely melodic underlay as well as a solid rhythm. The guitar lines are strong where they need to be, emphasising the chorus, but also sunny and inviting in introducing the track and the verse. There’s a really pleasing subtle progression in their employment – absent from the first verse but augmenting the synthesisers in the second. Look out for a further single release in early Spring next year and we hope to have news of some festival (!) bookings around the same time.
Although the majority of the band are at school/college at the moment, they took the time to answer a few questions for us…
Backseat Mafia: How are you finding it, managing band activity alongside studies ?
Young Braves: We’ve done alright up until now. The last few weeks have been a bit quiet with Elliot and Dan revising for exams. Ollie also has A level exams coming up too so yeah, we’ll have to be scaling down the gigs so they can get revision done…
BM: How much time are you able to put into practicing ?
YB: We practiced every Saturday for about 4/5 hours for quite a few years but now some of us have part-time jobs it’s proving to be a bit more difficult but we’re starting to get around it and get a practice in most weeks.
BM: How do you think you have been received so far ? Do you think people have been at all cynical about you because of your relative youth ?
YB: We always get a really good response, people are always amazed how young we are, especially Dan and Elliot (who are both 15). We tend to get the same response from most people. Obviously there’s gonna be a few people who don’t like what we do, but that’s just the way things go.
BM: Shropshire is one of my favourite places in the world; how much do you think the geography of your home area has influenced your sound ?
YB: Shropshire has definitely had an effect on our sound, although subconsciously. When we were writing “Youth” we didn’t think about our surroundings or anything like that, but when I listen to it now, I can just imagine the Shropshire countryside.
BM: “Youth” was recorded at the famous Sawmills studios in Cornwall, another area with incredible scenery. How was it recording there ?
YB: Sawmills was great. We’d definitely like to return although we’d have to take (producer) Gavin (Monaghan, who has worked with Editors in the past) along with us.
We’ve recorded there twice. The first time was around 2010 when we were just a 3-piece (Ollie, Elliot & Jakob). We went for 2 days and recorded 5 songs. They were some of the first songs we wrote together and though they weren’t the best they got us started. The second time we went Dan had only been in the band around 6 months. We went for 5 days that time which meant we were able to record 12 songs, it was one of the first things we did as Arcade Parade. It was a great place to record.
BM: What do you feel Gavin Monaghan brings to your music ?
YB: Both Gavin and Joe (who works with Gavin) are great, we love working with them. They add to our music in many different ways, whether it’s coming up with ideas for vocal harmonies or different instrument parts. His production style really makes our tracks come alive.
BM: How did you come to work with him ?
YB: We knew of a couple of bands that had worked with him so we emailed one of our tracks over and asked if we could record with him in the future. Obviously he said ‘yes’ ! He’s a top guy, we really enjoyed working with him.
BM: Lennon or McCartney ?
YB: Lennon hands down.
BM: Do you put any particular effort into how you come across on stage ?
YB: We are all quite shy so we do find it slightly hard to let our energy out in a performance, but as we are getting more confident in ourselves, we are starting to move and let that energy come out.
BM: Is there any band/artist in particular that you have learnt from or particularly impressed you ?
YB: Little Comets had a great impression on us, and they were really nice guys to talk to as well.
BM: What do you like to have in your dressing room before you play ? Any pre-gig rituals ?
YB: A little bit of liquid courage doesn’t go unnoticed…
BM: Have you gone BB King and named any of your instruments ?
YB: Well, Dan has a Snare drum named ‘Brenda’…
And Elliot calls his Bass ‘Shirley’…
Jakob names all of his with such creative names.
His Gibson is called ‘Gibby’, his Jaguar is ‘The Jag’, his Hofner is ‘The Hoff’ and his white guitar is called…’Whitey’…
And finally, some questions from our celebrity interviewers…
Madonna – Where’s the Party ?
YB (Jakob): My Nan’s house on Boxing Day. She makes a great trifle and the buffet is pretty impressive.
The Flaming Lips – Are you a hypnotist ?
YB: To some. If I am, you won’t know………
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- Interview: Amber Run (backseatmafia.com)
- Album Review: New Model Army – Between Dog And Wolf (backseatmafia.com)
- KURT VILE and WOODEN SHJIPS this week at The Brudenell Social Club (backseatmafia.com)