Norwich based indie rockers Youth Killed It have just dropped their second record ‘What’s So Great, Britain?’ as a follow-up to 2017’s ‘Modern Bollotics’. The Rude Records band are raw and passionate, yet benefit from their polished hooks and nostalgic 90s style riffs.
To celebrate the new record, we grabbed singer Jack Murphy for a chat about his favourite Youth Killed It lyrics, and the best and worst of lyrics out there.
DP!: How do you write them? What is your process either as a band or individually? Have you ever suffered from writers block, and if so, how did you overcome it?
J: I always write my lyrics when I’m alone as I find writing lyrics very personal. I prefer to bounce ideas off of the walls rather than people. That way, I find that there is way less pressure if I feel I’ve come up with something stupid. As with any creative process, I get writers block all of the time. I think how I get past it will depend on what mood I’m in as I can get distracted easily. What I can say is that if something isn’t working, I am more than happy to scrap it before I end up going round and round in circles with it. A good cuppa always helps as well!
DP!: What is the lyric you’re proudest of and why?
Jack: “I used to dream about doing something incredible, and now I’ll settle for doing something credible.”
This lyric not only sums up my last few years within music, but also in my everyday life. I’ve always loved wordplay and coming up with quirky phrasing since I was a kid, and I used to listen to a lot of spoken word/hip-hop, so take a lot of inspiration from that.
DP!: What themes and topics do you like to cover and why?
J: Anything that has had a direct impact on my life or of those around me. Being a kid growing up in the recession coupled with all the madness that has been going on in the last ten years politically has definitely inspired a lot of my lyrical content. I think though that every lyricist will have their own ‘go to’ theme(s) as we all have our own story to tell. Though you can’t help but tell the really good ones one in a few different ways.
DP!: Has anyone ever misheard, perhaps to comedic effect, or misunderstood the intention of your lyrics?
J: I wrote a song called ‘Molly’ and to many peoples’ surprise it’s actually about a cat and NOT a love/hate relationship with MDMA. I find it quite amusing though as lots of people presume incorrectly that I’m a big time drug user. I’d like to clarify that I’m not, haha.
DP!: Which of your own lyrics best sums up your band?
J: “I’m sorry, but you’ve got Millennial Madness.”
DP!: If you had to have any lyric tattooed on you, if you don’t already, what would you pick?
J: “Karma police, arrest this man.” – Radiohead. Beautiful song. Intelligent and poetic and I loved the subject.
DP!: What lyric do you wish you’d written and why?
J: “The drugs don’t work, they just make you worse but I know I’ll see your face again.” – The Verve
Every time I hear the lyric, I automatically just hear Richard Ashcroft’s voice singing it in the back of mind. Powerful stuff.
DP!: Who are your favourite lyricists or even writers for content such as film, TV, or even poetry?
J: Mike Skinner, Alex Wonk, Guy Ritchie, and Danny Boyle. They all have such a beautiful way of making poetry out of common conversation. They pay such attention to detail, which brings a sense of truth to what they are portraying.
DP!: What are the worst lyrics you’ve ever heard?
J: It’s subjective. I’m not going to say something’s bad because I don’t like it, but I must admit, it’s hard to find reasons to like Kesha’s poetry.
DP!: Finally, please sign of with some lyrical words of wisdom.
Say what you mean, not what you think people want to hear.
The band’s new album, ‘What’s So Great, Britain?’, is out now through Rude Records and you can purchase the album online now from various outlets (here).
Features Editor for DEAD PRESS | Based in MK