You’re all in for a massive treat on April 7th, as Harrogate melodic hardcore mob Blood Youth are going to release their debut record, ‘Beyond Repair’. Bigger riffs than the heaviest of the hardcore scene and sing-a-longs to compliment the best of pop-punk songs, Blood Youth can do it all on their new record, so we had a chat with frontman Kaya Tarsus who ran us through his thoughts behind the record and what the band have planned for the rest of the year.
DP!: Hey! Thanks for talking to DEAD PRESS! After two great EPs, you’ve stepped up to a full-length with ‘Beyond Repair’. Was it always the plan to structure your releases this way? Did the two shorter records form a learning curve to build you up to a ten track record?
Kaya: We always planned to do two EPs and then an album. I think with the two EPs we were still experimenting and finding our sound. ‘Inside My Head’ is a lot heavier than ‘Closure’; with ‘Closure’ we wanted to see how far we could push things melodically. I think we have the perfect balance on ‘Beyond Repair’.
DP!: In fact, it’s only been a year since ‘Closure’ was out, you must have been busy? How quickly did the writing and recording of the album happen?
Kaya: If you want to get anywhere you have to remain active, especially when you’re a fairly new band. All of the writing just happened very naturally, We didn’t want to rush anything. A debut album is probably the most important moment for a band so everything had to be perfect! It was a pretty hectic end of year with festivals and UK/euro tours but we managed to get everything recorded at the end of 2016.
DP!: I think it’s safe to say there are no surprises on ‘Beyond Repair’: it’s a high octane hardcore record with breakdowns and riffs for days, and infectious melodies to incite as many sing-a-longs as mosh pits, were you tempted to break the Blood Youth mould and throw in something left field and different?
Kaya: We wanted to write an album that felt like you were being punched in the head from start to finish. I think there’s a few heavy curve balls in there, there’s a track called ‘Man Made Disaster’, which is probably the heaviest song we have written! People are still finding out about Blood Youth, and a lot of people will be checking us out for the first time from this debut, so it was key to have a collection of songs that shows exactly what Blood Youth is about.
DP!: Some bands include some of their previous material onto their debut album, was this ever considered for ‘Beyond Repair’ or was this a full new chapter for Blood Youth?
Kaya: Personally, I’ve never really been a fan of that. You get so used to hearing a song a certain way, so a sparkly new version can sometimes ruin it! ‘Inside My Head’ and ‘Closure’ consist of different themes and ideas that wouldn’t really work with ‘Beyond Repair’, so it’s really cool to have 10 brand new tracks.
DP!: Your style of having heavier verses with softer more melodic choruses has seen some great success lately with the likes of A Day To Remember and Beartooth – have the two worlds completely overlapped now or do you still have people saying the heavy bits are too heavy or the soft bits are too soft?
Kaya: We have always been a band that enjoys both elements in our songs. Some people come to our shows to go crazy and circle pit, others get on their friends shoulders and just want to sing. We never want to restrict ourselves when it comes to songwriting. We like that we can put out a really heavy song, or something completely different and melodic.
DP!: Is there something in the water in Yorkshire? There seems to be a huge number of quality heavy bands coming out of the area, is there a budding scene and a local community of hardcore and metal bands? How has the kinship of the Yorkshire scene helped Blood Youth?
Kaya: We come from a small town in North Yorkshire that doesn’t have any sort of scene for bands like us, so it’s actually pretty tough to make any waves as a band when you’re first starting out. The Yorkshire cities have always had really good heavy music scenes, especially for hardcore. I spent so much time in Leeds going to shows and checking out new music. It’s cool that the live music scene is getting better and better.
DP!: ‘Reason To Stay’ was the first single to be released from the upcoming record, why did you decide to pick this song to be the first taster for the ‘Beyond Repair’?
Kaya: As soon as we recorded the demo we decided that ‘Reason To Stay’ was going to be the first single. I think it’s one of the best choruses we have written, and it showcases all of the things that we love about Blood Youth.
DP!: You’ve got a few acoustic in-store shows lined up, how do the new songs sound in this environment or are you just going to trash up the shops during breakdowns?
Kaya: We’ve never done anything like this before, so it’s going to be awesome to do something a completely different. We’re definitely not an acoustic band, but we’ve played in stores as a full band before and it just didn’t feel right at the time. We still riff it up, they’re just acoustic riffs!
DP!: You have Groezrock and Download amongst others booked in for Summer – what’s the best thing about playing rock festivals? Do you still have more festivals to announce?
Kaya: The best thing about festivals is being able to play your music to so many new people. We owe a lot to festivals like Download, they gave us a chance when we were a new band, we still have people come up to us at shows telling us they heard us for the first time there. Can’t wait to play again!
Blood Youth hit the road in April in support of ‘Beyond Repair’. You can check out the dates below:
APRIL 08 – GLASGOW, The Garage Attic
APRIL 09 – LEEDS, The Key Club
APRIL 10 – LONDON, Boston Music Room
And you can also see the band at their in-store acoustic shows and signings:
APRIL 08 – GLASGOW, Love Music
APRIL 09 – LEEDS, Crash Records
APRIL 10 – Kingston, Banquet Records
Interview by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)