INTERVIEW: Blood Youth (14/02/2019)

Credit: Olli Appleyard

The sinister and chilling Blood Youth are gearing up for their brand new album cycle with the release of sophomore record ‘Starve’ via Rude Records, that sees the Harrogate band take a darker and heavier turn.

Talking about their single ‘Keep You Alive’, frontman Kaya Tarsus explained that it’s “the darkest and most diverse song we have ever written as a band. It shows a side of us that has never been seen before, something that we are very excited about.”

We caught up with the vocalist who filled us in on everything there is to know about the dark and chilling ‘Starve’, and all about the different direction the band have taken since the release of ‘Beyond Repair’.

DP!: ‘Starve’ is almost upon us! How excited/nervous do you get going into the release of a new record?
KT: There’s always a few nerves before we release new material, but I think there’s probably a few more this time considering this album is so different from what we have done before. Overall we’re all just really excited to get this era started!

DP!: Last time we spoke at Reading Festival, you told us all about the different direction that you have taken on the new material, and how it has evolved since ‘Beyond Repair’. Now that you’ve been sitting on the songs for a while, how would you compare the record to what you’ve done in the past?
KT: This record is definitely darker and heavier than what we have done in the past. We never really took many risks with our music, so it’s really refreshing to have a really diverse collection of songs to work with. We love ‘Beyond Repair’ and what it did for this band, but that record was really an extension of our EPs. ‘Starve’ is a completely different beast that will take you to an entirely different place.

DP!: What influenced this change into the heavier, metal Blood Youth that we are hearing on ‘Starve’?
KT: We got really tired of this “small town hardcore underdogs” title that we had been given. We really wanted to shed that skin and just really shake things up. We all love heavy music and want to create heavy music, so it really felt like the right time to start doing what we wanted to do.

DP!: The album has some creepy interludes throughout, especially the outro ‘Exhale’ which has muffled dialogue and whimpering? What’s happening there?
KT: I’ve always said that ‘Starve’ from start-to-finish sounds like a nightmare. We were locked away on a farm for the entirety of the recording, so we really wanted to get that claustrophobia across. Everything on ‘Exhale’ is 100% genuine. The microphone was still recording and it just felt like the right time to get everything out. That was all done in one take and it’s still really difficult to listen to.

DP!: As a whole, the album has a chilling tone and aesthetic similar to the nu-metal scene of Slipknot, Korn and the like – is this what you were aiming for?
Kaya: I don’t think we ever really sat down and said “let’s create a nu-metal album” but we are all influenced by so many of those types of bands. It was going to come through eventually. Chris is the main riff writer of the band and he loves everything about that world. We loved all the riffs he was coming up with, so we just rolled with it and ended up with something extremely heavy.

DP!: ‘Keep You Alive’ is the new single to be released from the album, and probably the darkest from ‘Starve’. What’s the meaning behind the song?
Kaya: When I was writing the lyrics for the album, I realised that at some point we all go through trauma/pain, but nobody has ever taught us how to deal with it. We just have to figure it out ourselves. The longer we hold on to this trauma, the longer we keep it alive within us.

DP:! What are your favourite moments on ‘Starve’ and why?
KT: I love all the twists and turns. I think ‘Nerve’ is one of our overall favourites, because it’s so different from what we have done before. I feel like the entire record is a big step forward for us both lyrically and musically because it’s all so real and intense. We want people to really go on a journey and experiencing something.

DP!: Who do you think is going to enjoy the album that didn’t get on with your previous material?
KT: I think there’s a big section of Blood Youth fans that have always wanted us to go heavier. I’ve already seen a lot of comments and messages saying that they are glad we went down this road. Hopefully, they are even happier when they hear the entire record. There’s also a lot for people that enjoy our more melodic side, the choruses and melodies we love are all still there.

DP:! You’re off on your biggest UK and European headline tour in March, what can the fans on the road expect compared to the last tour?
KT: A lot more thought and effort has gone into our overall show. We learned a lot from the bands that we have toured with, and we want people to walk away from every show having really experienced something. There’s going to be something for everyone, we’ve put together a set that makes sense and visits each era of Blood Youth. We can’t wait to get it started.

The band’s new album, ‘Starve’, is out on February 22nd 2019 through Rude Records.

You can pre-order it online now from the band’s official webstore here and iTunes here.

You can catch Blood Youth out when they hit the road on the following dates.

MARCH 02 – LEEDS, The Key Club
MARCH 04 – NEWCASTLE, Think Tank
MARCH 06 – MANCHESTER, The Star & Garter
MARCH 07 – BIRMINGHAM, Mama Roux’s
MARCH 08 – LONDON, Camden Underworld

You can keep up-to-date with the band and what they’re up to online via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.