Some big things are happening for Blood Youth. They’ve just premiered their new single ‘Starve’ on BBC Radio 1, announced a tour with Crossfaith, and now they’re playing their first ever set at Reading & Leeds Festival.
We got a hold of and had a chat with guitarist Chris Pritchard and bassist Matt ‘Big Les’ Hollinson backstage at the festival to find out what we can expect from their upcoming and yet-to-be-announced sophomore album – apparently, they’re going in a brand new direction…
DP!: So, you’ve just released ‘Starve’. Tell us about that.
C: Well, it’s a completely new direction for us, and it’s the direction that we’ve always wanted to be in. ‘Starve’ in general is like a metaphor for people in this world these days being starved of humanity, people in so many walks of life getting abused.
M: We just sort of bit the bullet really and dived into what we’ve always wanted to do. We didn’t really have any reservations about it. We’re pretty happy with it!
DP!: The new video is a little… creepy, to say the least. What’s with all the scary footage?
M: Good! We wanted people to have that reaction.
C: I have an archive somewhere of useless shit that I watch! I find it all really interesting. A lot of it came from the Devonshire Institute, which was a facility for WWI and WWII patients, shellshock victims, mainly. I’m well into all that stuff, so I know where to dwell. That sort of imagery really encapsulates kind of what we intended it to be about. I wanted to include that sort of footage because that’s what the song’s about, it’s fucked up about how all this shit has happened in the past, and people can easily turn a blind eye to it, but it’s there right in front of you.
M: With the entire album, we want to make people feel uncomfortable. I feel like what we’ve released previously has been extremely predictable.
C: We were kind of catering to what other people wanted.
M: Writing in general has just become too easy. I’ve always wanted to do this kind of thing. If you ask me, this song encapsulates our personalities more than any other song we’ve released.
DP!: So this is your first time playing at Reading & Leeds Festival. How are you feeling about it, and what can we expect from your performance?
C: Very scary. Very hairy.
M: We got here today, we had a little walk around, got the vibe of the festival. Chris has been to Leeds like eight times. I went once like years ago. It was very… muddy, and there was a lot of alcohol and stuff. I don’t really remember it very well.
C: We’ve played so many festivals and we’ve always wanted to play Leeds & Reading. Once we got this offer through, we were just like YES, LET’S DO IT. We’ve got a really good spot as well, being fourth from the top on our stage, it’s completely humbling. Hopefully the crowd turns up!
DP!: So when you released ‘Starve’, you said this is just the beginning. What’s on the way?
C: The rest of the album, obviously.
M: I think that song was a bit of a shock compared to what we usually do. Everyone was like “This is very heavy for Blood Youth”, and we’re like… you have no idea what’s coming.
C: There’s probably one song on the album that’s a reference to what we’ve done in the past, but we just took a fucking leap with this one. We just did what we wanted. I wanted an album that I would want to listen to, and we’ve managed to achieve that and we’re super proud of it. ‘Starve’ was the one we wanted to lead with, because it’s current and people can relate to it.
DP!: It’s going to be very different from ‘Beyond Repair’ then?
C: Oh yeah. We wrote ‘Beyond Repair’ halfway through ‘Closure”s release, and that kind of music, as fun as it is and it’s nice to listen to, it gets old quickly. It’s not a challenge and it becomes like a comfort zone in the end.
M: A lot of key Blood Youth elements are still there, but we’re just really doing what we want to do now.
C: It’s cool that you can see the growth and the change, but this is a complete 180° turn for us, and that’s completely what I wanted for the band. We want to turn people on their heads, and I think this album is 100% gonna do that.
DP!: You’ve already toured with the likes of Prophets Of Rage and Stone Sour, and you’ve got a tour coming up with Crossfaith. Who’s still on the bucket list for you?
C: Slipknot. Korn. Deftones. Machine Head.
M: Yes! Machine Head. If that happened, I’d be like, “That’s it, I’m out, I’m done.”
C: All the bands in the beginning that we wanted to tour with; Architects, Every Time I Die, Beartooth, we’ve done that all, and they’re our friends now which is sick. We would never have believed we’d have done all that if you’d told us in the beginning. So now, we’re like, we can do anything! My dream band to tour with is Slipknot, because that’s like the end game for me. If I can reach a point where this band can tour with Slipknot comfortably, then that’s the goal achieved. That’s the one for me anyway, yours is probably Machine Head?
M: God, if they did an anniversary tour for ‘The Blackening’…
DP!: Lastly, who on the Reading & Leeds line-up are you hoping to catch?
C: I was really bummed that we’re not on the same day as Post Malone, ’cause I do like him.
M: I’d have really liked to see Stray From The Path, too. Trophy Eyes as well.
C: We saw Trash Boat open the main stage, and they killed it. We’re going to see Beartooth later as well. We’re sharing the same stage.
M: We’ll try and give a little wave to Kendrick too.
The band’s news single, ‘Starve’, is out now through Rude Records.
Lottie adores hardcore and is an ardent advocate for the emo revival. When she’s not writing for DEAD PRESS!, she’s occasionally scribbling away for her own terrible blog, but usually playing video games.