Echoes Of The Future 26 – Young Believers
York’s Young Believers make intricate, introspective and beautiful folk tinged indie; the sort of thing that is the perfect soundtrack to staring out of the window on a rainy May morning, wondering where the spring went. We had a chat with singer / guitarist / banjoist Tom Reeve to get the lowdown.
(((o))): How long has the band been together and how did you all meet?
We’ve been going since 2008. We met mainly through various previous musical exploits and random drunken meetings back in the day..
(((o))): Where did you get your name from & what does it mean?
I think it originally came from a line in The Clash song ‘Clampdown’…
“We will teach our twisted speech
To the young believers
We will train our blue-eyed men
To be young believers”.
(((o))): Describe your sound for us & who would you say were your biggest musical influences?
We usually describe ourselves as something like Folk/Beat which I think is a decent description of our sound. Basically most of our songs are built around acoustic fingerpicking riffs and hopefully well thought-out lyrics. Also we like to put a lot of effort into making sure the drum beats are right for the songs and try to make them sound as interesting as possible. Our man influences are stuff like Bert Jansch, Nick Drake, The Smiths etc…
(((o))): And what about non-musical influences?
Dogs, Meditation, Leeds United and Carlsberg Special Brew.
(((o))): Music can be a fickle mistress, what is your biggest high & low as a band so far?
A high point was probably when we went on tour, spending a few weeks sleeping in a van and just playing gigs, you can’t get better really. Also supporting The Mystery Jets was one of the best gigs we’ve played.
As for low points… Years ago when we were just starting out as a band we got asked to play at this outdoor gig by a friend of a friend, which sounded good. But on the day it turned out it was at an Army barracks and was the retirement ‘do’ for a Brigadier (which is quite a high rank), and we were the only band playing! On the morning before the gig we thought we’d better quickly learn some covers or something. So we ended up murdering The Beatles ‘Day Tripper’, and since we only had about 5 of our own songs at the time we ended up having to play a couple of them twice! It was totally ridiculous but luckily the Brigadier found it amusing and didn’t take us round the back to face a firing squad!
(((o))): What one fact about the band do you most want to share with the world?
Sometimes during band practice instead of singing we just make random animal noises over the music! We usually get some strange looks from other bands when we nip outside for a cig.
(((o))): The old model of record demo-do gigs-get signed-make millions is pretty broken these days, what’s your plan to deal with this?
Just try and write decent songs. I don’t think I’d enjoy being a millionaire anyway to be honest.
With the internet these days it’s great how it’s so easy for bands to connect with people from all over the world. So unlike a decade or two ago it’s probably less necessary to think about writing your songs to impress just a few people up in ‘Ivory Towers’ (ie. labels etc) in the hope that they will give you all that access and exposure you need. If you put the effort in all your potential audience are there to be reached directly already.
(((o))): We journalists like to use easy labels to describe bands, what’s the worst thing you’ve seen yourselves described as?
Everything written about us has been pretty positive. This one journalist did say our melodies hook you in, but they’re “not catchy in a pop music get up and dance kind of way”. But we think our songs are perfectly crafted pop songs that would put ‘The Biebster’ to shame!!
(((o))): We’re loving what you do but who’s floating your boat right now?
I really like a band from Liverpool called By The Sea, at the moment They sound a bit like a cross between The Coral and The Byrds.
Also Dog Is Dead and Bwani Junction are another couple of new bands that we’re currently quite into.
(((o))): What’s up next for you guys?
We’re recording a new EP next month which should be out soon, and we’ll continuing to gig as much as possible wherever we can.
Tags: Echoes Of The Future, Young Believers