Young Guns are an infectious rock band who have been busy on the road for the past few months. AMBY had a few questions about their latest record Bones, and how the tour was going! Luckily for us, frontman Gustav Wood recently took the time to have a chat with me over the phone. It was great to find out what the band were all about, so have a read as we spoke about Wrestlemania, touring with Bullet for My Valentine, Bones, and more!
AMBY: What’s the band been up to lately? We know that you’ve been on tour, of course!
Young Guns: Yea, well we’ve been on tour pretty consistently since September I suppose in terms of the United States. We’ve been home for a few weeks here or there, but this album, we’ve been out here for a couple months now and just playing shows, and doing radio stuff, and you know. Just before this tour began, we were in New York demoing for the new album, so pretty busy at the moment!
AMBY: Great! You have a fantastic collection of songs which you’ve released. But which would you say are the quintessential ones that people must know?
Young Guns: I think probably there’s going to be an obvious few. Off the first record, I think it’s the song that did the most for us, a song called The Weight of the World. And then off the second record, which was the first North-American release, it would probably have to be Bones because it kind of captures our sound and the music kind of the best representation of who we are as a band.
AMBY: And there you mentioned Bones – an album which we love! Which tracks would you say are your favourite off it and why?
Young Guns: Well I love the first song on the record, called I Was Born, I Have Lived, I Will Surely Die. I really enjoyed writing that one, and it was a lot of fun. And from a technical point we had a lot of fun changing up the song structure and experimenting and that. There’s just a real sort of energy and it really captured where we were in the moment; we were really excited, and it felt like the beginning of a new chapter. The last song on the record as well is called Broadfields and I’m proud of that one.
AMBY: There you mentioned the album, and Bones itself was chosen as WWE’s Wrestlemania theme song this year! As a wrestling fan, I have to ask, are you guys wrestling fans as well? Or were you hyped about it?
Young Guns: It was a huge deal for us, I mean apart from anything, it’s just that fact that that kind of a show goes out to so many people, you know?
AMBY: Of course.
Young Guns: So the exposure was incredible. But as well, we all grew up loving wrestling and people like the Ultimate Warrior or The Undertaker, and they were kind of superstars. So that was really, really, cool for us and that was really exciting. You know, it’s just mind-blowing really. We didn’t get to go which was a bit of a shame though.
AMBY: I remember hearing it thinking “that’s Young Guns”!
Young Guns: Yes, very strange and very bizarre. We wrote that song pretty much in our bedrooms at home and now it’s on Wrestlemania! So it’s pretty bizarre how these things happen.
AMBY: And you’re on tour right now, recently actually playing in my hometown Toronto.
Young Guns: Yeah, cool.
AMBY: Yeah! So what’s been the highlight of the tour so far?
Young Guns: The whole tour has been fantastic; it’s been great because we’ve really gotten along well with the other bands and everybody is really good people. The Bullet for My Valentine guys we’ve always known a little bit because they’ve done the UK and we had the same management company then. But this has really been a chance to get to know them and become friends with them which has been awesome. Halestorm are lovely. It’s just great to be involved on tour with bands who are so talented, so that’s really exciting. If I had to say my favourite show, I’d probably have to say Arizona. The whole room was full, and everyone was just kind of singing along and that was pretty special.
AMBY: Well, we know that your shows can be extremely energetic! So as far as unwinding after a gig, what does the band do?
Young Guns: It’s a bit of a cliché, but unfortunately it’s the truth… Just probably a little drinking involved, hanging out, because we were so full of adrenaline and energy and stuff like that for the show it’s hard to sort of wind down and the only way to do it is- Well first and foremost though, what we do is we go out to the merch stand and we try to meet people that have enjoyed the set and who want to talk to us and once that’s done, we’ll kick back and have some drinks. We’re lucky that we get to travel a lot; it’s very rare that we get to see anywhere so it’s a blast to go on tour. We’re always trying to experience a little bit of the place we’re in.
AMBY: And we also know that the band have some really great music videos. I mean, The Weight of the World – the tour one that you had done– that’s one of my personal favourites. Which one would you say is one of yours?
Young Guns: Cool, well I may pick that as well because then again, it kind of captures that point in time for us when stuff was just happening for us as a band. So, that was good fun. I think as far as videos, there’s a song called Stitches, and we were able to do something that looked really cool, that was really intoxicating as well on a small budget.
AMBY: We were just talking about your own music, but as far as this year goes so far, which bands or artists have you been listening to lately?
Young Guns: Well at the moment I’ve been listening to the new Daft Punk album. Been listening to, sorry, just trying to find my iPod! I’ve been listening to a lot of The Swellers who are a punk band from Flint, Michigan too.
AMBY: On the topic of music you enjoy, what are some of your favourite releases, or bands you think our readers should check out?
Young Guns: For me, I’m a huge fan of Muse so that record came out last year now but I just can’t put it down. The last Deftones record was absolutely phenomenal. I’ve also been listening to a record by a band called Atoms for Peace.
AMBY: Oh, yeah!
Young Guns: Yeah, that’s a great record though.
AMBY: So, what does the band do outside of music for fun?
Young Guns: Well, that’s very rare that we have time to do that. We like to skate, cycle, I do a lot of reading. You know, we just try to keep active and keep busy. It’s kind of tough because you do end up thinking about music all the time. It kind of becomes a bit of a drug in a way… We’re all big fans of soccer, so we’re always talking about that, or watching that, or reading that. I think it’s the little things that are important to keep in mind.
AMBY: This year has been great for the band with all of the touring so far, but what has you excited for the rest of 2013?
Young Guns: Well, we’re going to finish this tour in the end of May. And then we’ll go home literally for a couple days and we’re back out again playing Ireland- we haven’t been there in a while. Then we are going to be back in the UK for a few weeks, just writing; writing material for the new record. Then we go to Brazil, and then we’ll be back in America demoing some material for the new album. And then we’ll probably try to do another tour towards the end of the summer. So we’ll be back again once or twice again this year.
AMBY: As far as the new record goes which you just mentioned, what can we expect from it?
Young Guns: I think you can definitely expect it to be a bit of an evolution again. We like the record Bones, but we don’t want to write it again. We really want to push ourselves to be a better band and try to write better song. But first and foremost, we’re always going to be a rock band with hopefully the big melodies, the big choruses!
AMBY: Perfect! We really look forward to hearing it.
Young Guns: Thank you.
AMBY: No problem. So, for our very last question, what’s something about Young Guns that nobody knows yet?
Young Guns: It’s a big secret, but we have no idea what we’re fucking doing. We’re all friends on the road playing songs, meeting new people… miles away from where we were born and raised. We’re having the time of our lives, but we’re just winging it by playing out shows and having a good time. But thank you to everybody that made the tour!