By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn
We caught up with YUNGBLUD at the Vans Warped Tour in Nashville, Tennessee. We thoroughly enjoyed talking to YUNGBLUD, getting to know how much it meant to see fans singing along, as well as where his style inspiration came from. Check it out.
Y: Hello, I am Yungblud! I am from North of England. I’m here at the Vans Warped Tour, WOOO!!!
NJH: We are in week three of the final Vans Warped Tour, how has it been so far?
Y: Crazy, man! I joined in St. Louis, this is my sixth show. It’s been so crazy. This is my first time playing Nashville. Having hundreds of kids standing in front of my stage singing every single word, it blows my mind! I can’t believe it!
NJH: How has the response been?
Y: It’s fucking crazy, I really can’t believe it. I put my debut album out last week, and now everyone is singing every fucking track. It is so crazy. Travis [We The Kings] came to watch my set yesterday, and so did Pierre [Simple Plan]. They said that they think what I’m doing is “so next,” and for me, these were my idols growing up, it’s insane. I always listened to them.
NJH: Being from England, do you prefer playing in England or here in the States?
Y: To be honest, I have been on the road for the past sixth months, and I will be on the road for the next seven months. I absolutely love it, going to all different places that I have never been. My favorite thing is connecting with the kids. Artists these days put themselves on such a fucking pedestal. I write songs about what I am mad about or what I am going through. I want my music to be an outlet for kids, kids who feel like they are not being heard, kids who are feeling like they can’t be themselves… How can I write that music if I am not willing to meet them all? They look up to me, and they are the ones that inspire me. All my life I felt like I sat in a dark fucking room, but now I can have a conversation with my fans. It is so precious to me.
NJH: I love that about you, and your music. Your lyrics are relatable, and I love how you can go from a political song to a song about anxiety, and I feel like that is so important and admirable.
Y: Wooo, thank you. I’m glad that we can be real and straight up. I want to be straight up, but no one has been today because so many people are scared to be straight up, because they are scared about the repercussions. I don’t want to tell people what to think or how to think, but I want them to hear what I’m thinking. Then they can say how they feel or what they are thinking. That’s all it’s about for me.
NJH: I couldn’t agree more, we appreciate you’re vulnerability and relatability.
Y: Thank you so much.
NJH: As a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass, piano, drums, and vocals), how is your songwriting process? Do you find it challenging to focus on vocals when you want to add so many other elements to a song, or does it help the songwriting process?
Y: I absolutely love it! When my songs are coming about, I spend five hours running around rooms playing all different instruments. I never want to be genre-defined. I love different genres of music. It is so much fun for me. I constantly want to mix things up, I never want people to put their finger on me. I want people to be like, “FUCK! Yungblud did that? I fuck with that!” I run around like a fucking nutcase, it’s fun!
NJH: Leading into my next question, your live shows are insane! On the K.Flay tour, you were smashing guitars and running around the stage. What do you do right before you get on stage to get hyped for a show?
Y: I actually don’t know. I don’t think that I want to know. I’ve always had this mad energy my whole life. As soon as I hear the crowd, the drums start, and I hit the stage, I am all in. So yeah, I don’t quite know… I don’t want to know...
NJH: What are three things you must have when you go on tour?
Y: Pink socks, Dr. Pepper, and Yorkshire Tea
NJH: Tell us about your style, it’s so “you” and perfect. What’s your inspiration?
Y: I love Northern Soul. Have you ever heard of the Northern Soul Movement in England
Y: So it was a Movement in Northern England, from the ‘60’s to 90’s. After the war, American GI’s would bring old soul records over since they were stationed in the UK. Especially in the North. The North was miserable in the 60’s. These American GI’s would flood and bring these soul records, and people would find them. It was the first time that everyone would come to work and dance to these soul club records. Bruce Lee was massive at the time in England. It was the first time that boys could dance on their own. Before, it was like, “hello madame, can I have this dance?” All slow dances. Now, boys would wear cropped trousers and show their socks. I thought it was really cool. My inspiration kind of came from that… I also love Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, the Sex Pistols, I love Lady Gaga as a fashion icon, Marilyn Manson, David Bowie… I want to be able to combine fashion and music, since they go well together. You should always be able to express yourself.
NJH: We’re in Nashville, “music city.” A lot of people here are either are aspiring musicians or are trying to make it in the music industry. What advice would you have for them?
Y: Be yourself. If everybody who is close to you hates what you are doing, then you are probably doing the right thing. People are scared of what they don’t understand. If you are doing something that people who are close to you do not understand, then you are probably doing something original. Be yourself, put your blinkers on, and work your fucking asses off.
NJH: What does the rest of 2018 have in store for Yungblood?
Y: So much touring, I am literally touring everywhere. Across the US, Australia, Europe. More music, too. I’m not gonna release the album and stop. Let’s fucking go!