Off The Record with Young Guns (REWIND)


This year (2018) marks the end of Warped Tour and to send it off we are bringing back some of the interviews we conducted that year to Off The Record form the previous site. In 2016, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Gustav Wood, frontman of rock band Young Guns. The band's first taste of success came as up and coming rockers in the London scene and they quickly made their way onto the UK charts. Some of their biggest success came from songs like "I Want Out" from their album Ones and Zeroes. Watching them take the stage at Warped Tour was fun, with their high energy and killer songs it made walking in the hot sun for hours worth it. The 2016 lineup of Warped Tour was stacked with great acts and Young Guns were a highlight. Here is our interview with Gustav from Young Guns (2016). 

Gustav (Gus) of Young Guns

OTR: Gus how are you doing today?

Gus: I'm thanks mate, how are you?

OTR: I'm pretty good, it's very hot outside. 

Gus: It is and you know what, it's hot outside but this actually one of the cooler days that we've had on the tour so that tells you how hot the rest of the tour has been. 

OTR: Yeah, surprisingly it has been pretty cool, I was here last week for Panic! At The Disco and it rained out so we had to evacuate this exact venue. 

Gus: Well, you guys... I find it fascinating because it's so different from the weather that we have in the UK, you guys have weather systems that seem to change on a dime. I can't believe that it'll be blazing hot and we're going, "Oh my god, how can it be this hot, this is incredible" it's mad and then half an hour later everyone has to evacuate because theres like a flash flood or a big rainstorm comes in and I love it because it's exciting and very different but it must suck if you're organizing festivals you know?

OTR: [Laugh] Especially in the midwest, so far how have you been enjoying Warped Tour? 

Gus: We've been loving it, it's our first Warped Tour so we knew a lot of people who have done Warped Tour in the past. Obviously we are friends with loads of different bands from all over the world and they're alway like "it's great, but prepare yourself because it's hard". I think we prepared ourselves so much in our minds that when we started the tour it wasn't that hard. Not to say it isn't hard cause it is but I think we were ready for it to be like the most grueling thing and it's been difficult. It's long and we just did 21 days in a row without a day off, thats hard but it's great, we're having a good time and we're surrounded by great bands and meeting new people all the time. I think it makes you feel like you're part of something when you're on the Warped Tour. It's a community here and we're all here cause we love music, it's great so I'm having the time of my life, this is the best summer that I've had. 

OTR: So far, when you're preparing for Warped Tour you obviously have to come up with a setlist that not only appeases your hardcore fans but also some new listeners. So how do you choose from the setlist that you usually have say if you're headlining a regular show to Warped Tour?

Gus: Lots of arguing, everything that we do involves lots if arguing. There's always a few song that you know you have to play you know because we have a couple of song on our set that they just demand to be played because whether people have watched us live before or they've never seen us before we can still see that those songs... there's something about them that connect with people so the last 2 songs that we play are singles from different records but one's called "I Want Out" and one is called "Bones", we have to play those 2. So we work back from that then we think, "alright, what next?" We can only do 6 or 7 songs, half an hour set. We want to play 2 from the new album which is coming out in September. So we pick 2 from that one which, one has been a single and the other is just a song we like, the title track which is "Echoes". That leaves us with 2 more so we sort of just thought like we'd pick one that always goes down with the last record and then just a fun old school song that we play as well. It's not been too bad but the problem is of course when you're doing 6 songs it is difficult to pick. When you're playing a headline set you have the benefit of doing deep cuts and more obscure choices cause you're playing to an audience that knows your catalog. Why we're here on this tour is to make new friends, and get our band out to people that don't know who we are. We do a signing after the show and people come up to me and say "I'm really sorry I haven't heard of you and your band before but I love them now" and I'm like "I appreciate that you're here but you don't need to apologize for not knowing my band". I want that, I want you to be a new thing a new person because that means we're building our audience. 

OTR: Speaking of your new album which comes out September 16th, (AVAILABLE NOW) Echoes, what has been the writing process for that album?

Gus: It's been very different, it was very quick. We wrote the album in 8 weeks, which for us and I don't know about other bands but for us that's light speed. The other albums took 2 years, obviously that's because we were on tour and different things were happening but yeah we basically took 4 months off of touring in like November of last year (2015) and we said we're done and we wrote the album in 8 weeks. We recorded it in 5 weeks with David Bendeth in New Jersey and just kind of came out super quick and that was a very different experience to us, it was very spontaneous and I think because of that the record has an energy. That spontaneity has kind of bled into the sound of the album which I'm really happy about, it just feels like a very honest not over thought record and I'm very pleased with that cause the last album was a very difficult birthing process. We wrote it in over 2 years when we were touring so by the time we were recording it some of those songs were 2 years old. We weren't in love with them as we were before, we still liked them but that enthusiasm for something new wasn't there. This new album is full of energy, up-tempo, rock music the whole way through with a guitar bass and I'm really excited about that.