Interviews

The perfect therapy – YOUNG MOUNTAIN interview

Were you drawn to the mystery and heart touching performances of bands like VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET and VIVA BELGRADO? Acknowledged as one of the brightest European post rock inspired post hardcore bands of 2014, Gothenburg’s YOUNG MOUNTAIN closes out the trio of similar-sounding group of artists that are really worth your time. You have no idea what these tunes can do to your brain.

Recently I caught up with YOUNG MOUNTAIN to dig a little deeper and find out more about their work, approach, experience, and plans for the future. Read the full interview below.

“We’re Drowning In Slowmotion” 12” is available via German label Through Love Records and Canada’s Zegema Beach Records.

The black and white top photo by Jakob Ivar Ekvall of Mockingbird Productions; the rest of the photos by Emil Agrell Photography.

So, finally we meet, huh?! :) How are you guys? How does it feel to be on the verge of the premiere of the new record after so many weeks of preparations?

Hey! Yeah. At this very moment we’re splendid. We’re in the beginning of launching our most satisfying release up to date and things are taking shape. It feels right and we got our two record labels, Zegema Beach and Through Love Rec, to thank for much of the good that is happening to us.

Are there any special plans and/or events for the grand premiere around the release date? How will you be celebrating this new release?

Sadly we don’t have any special plans for the release date. Most of us are scattered all over the country during this time of the year.

We will try to spread our music as much as we can and maybe grab a pizza if we actually manage to hang out with each other.

Other than that are planning to do some extensive touring in 2015 to promote our new songs.

YOUNG MOUNTAIN by  Emil Agrell

What is your fondest memory of the writing and recording process?

The whole recording process was quite an experience. We basically slept in an empty rehearsal space in a ghetto located in the outskirts of a town called Trollhättan.

Every day we would get up early head to the studio, record for a few hours at Fvck Life Studios with Fred (GUST, I AM HUNGER etc).

Then head to some odd place and eat a salad while some senior citizens gives us some strange looks, Record some more and back to the ghetto where we slept on a concrete floor without a mattress in sight. It might sound like a horrible experience to some but atleast some of us in the band had a really fun time.

Music-wise, could you explain what made you go in this direction of melancholic, post rockfish, yet very powerful blend? Was there anything in particular that turned your thoughts and actions toward this kind of post hardcore?

Two of us that formed the band are big fans of music such as ENVY, SIGUR ROS and THIS WILL DESTROY YOU so it kind of just went this direction naturally.

The other guys have other musical preferences which they take influences from when creating our songs, For example Jesper used to play bass in a Technical Death Metal band.

Wow. Nice :) So can you talk about the progression in your compositions? Which of the new tracks is your favourite and why?

A lot more experimental than the older stuff, and way darker. We kind of went with the whole mentality that we would just make the songs we want to make with a specific theme in mind.
We started to experiment alot with different kinds of pedals that would add more depth to the guitars, and we also tried to have a really heavy bass that would stand out in the mix. How the drums turned out is a real delight for us. We gave Eric 100% creative freedom and he blew us away, he really put alot of effort into the smallest little detail. Most of us like Arctic Smile the most, but it really depends on our mood :).

YOUNG MOUNTAIN cover

Who did the artwork for the record? Did you already have an idea of what you wanted it to look like, or was it someone else’s job?

The photograph was taken by our good friend Jakob Ekvall (Mockingbird Productions) and then our vocalist Kami designed the rest of the art work with the photo Jakob took.

We didn’t really have a solid idea until just a few days before we took the photo. We wanted a cover that would somehow represent the album title without explaining too much, It’s far more interesting when anyone can make their own interpretation.

Yup, but on the other hand there are your original concepts behind the lyrics. Which of the themes you feel is most important for you guys? What do you find attractive about these particular subjects?

“We’re Drowning..” is mainly about living with a mental illness and how overwhelming the smallest things in life can be under those circumstances.

It’s a collection of thoughts that I scribbled down in my “diary” during the last few years, Some sort of self-help/therapy..

There’s also some other subjects such as losing loved ones to cancer, families falling apart, losing friends etc.

Was it hard to incorporate such hard-hitting issues in your lyrics?

Yes very hard. I was never quite satisfied and I found it really difficult to express myself since it’s so personal.
I had a voice in my head constantly questioning if I really should expose myself in the lyrics or not.
In the end I just wrote it all down as I saw it without hesitation, and I’m glad now that i did it.
Music is the perfect therapy.

YOUNG MOUNTAIN live

In considering whether to extend this therapy, I figured that it would be great to take these lines on the road. Can you say a bit more about your plans for the coming weeks? You mentioned some touring in one of your previous answers – what live shows can we expect from you guys this Winter and this coming Spring?

Well for starters we’re going to head out for a small tour here in Sweden in early 2015 with some friends of ours in a other great band called CELESTICA.

There’s also a bigger spring tour in the plans, for that one we will hopefully pack as many dates as possible in mainland Europe. The wheels are currently in motion so if anyone out there wants us to come by and play just give us a shout haha :).

Ok guys, so before we end this interview, let’s reveal a bit more about your past. What’s your background in Swedish hardcore scene?

None of us actually played in anything hardcore related before YM. Some of us listened to it a lot and went to shows but we played other stuff like post-rock and death metal.

Kami and Joakim (even if they are too ashamed to admit it) also used to play metalcore with some guy’s that now play in ABANDONED BY BEARS.

What are your thoughts on your national and local music scene, in the broad sense of the punk genre?

Mostly dead, at least when it comes to people actually caring about showing up to shows, at least in our spectrum of the hardcore/punk genre.

We have a bunch of very good bands that are creating some amazing music ( e.g. DISEMBARKED and SHIROKUMA) but the general opinion is that it is better to play abroad if you want people to actually care about your music.

It’s quite sad actually since Sweden once had a flourishing hardcore/metal scene where people went to shows and had a blast, Now a days most venues are empty and many bands are lucky if more than 10-20 people show up. Nobody really knows why things have turned this way either..

It would also be very nice if more women got included in our scene, It’s very dominated by males.

Yeah, it’s among the hardcore scenes’ biggest ills, no doubt. I guess it’s all about certain periods of time and intermittence. It’ll get better :)

YOUNG MOUNTAIN live vocals

I forgot to ask you in the first place: how did all of you meet in the first place? Did you have anyone that strongly inspired you to want to form a band?

Kami and Joakim have played in two bands together before YM so they know each other from that. We met Angelo through a mutual ex-friend(he used to be in the band). We started to jam together and soon found out that we kind of needed a drummer so Angelo contacted a friend of his (Eric).

We played a couple of shows together and finally decided to search for a new second guitarist. Kami and Jesper became friends over Facebook of all places and somehow he ended up in the band.

And oh, well probably the bands we grew up with. Bands like SLIPKNOT, BLINK 182 and LINKIN PARK were like the coolest guys ever when we were teens.

Haha! Damn right ;)

Ok boys, so what are you up to when you’re not writing new stuff for YOUNG MOUNTAIN?

Working/being unemployed, partying and doing creative stuff like making other kinds of music and painting and such.

Jesper has his other project Nathan Aeli and Kami is currently working on some electronic/trip-hop/drone project.

We like to stay occupied with as many things as possible since you easily get bored in sweden during the winter months.

Ok guys! Thanks a lot, good luck with this new phase and be sure to keep in touch with IDIOTEQ readers! Feel free to leave some last words. Take care!

Rock on man!

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YOUNG MOUNTAIN Bandcamp
youngmountainband@gmail.com
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