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Alternative rock band Young the Giant consists of Sameer Gadhia (lead vocals), Jacob Tilley (guitar), Eric Cannata (guitar), Payam Doostzadeh (bass guitar), and François Comtois (drums) and released its self-titled debut album in 2010 through Roadrunner Records. The band’s first two singles, “My Body” and “Cough Syrup”, reached the top five of the US Alternative Songs chart. Here, YTG sat down with Moves for a little industry enlightenment:
In a time when music is more accessible than ever, would you consider the effects of technological advances in the industry to have improved your chances of success or hinder them?
Absolutely improved our chances, without a doubt. We rely on advances in social media to communicate with our fans and foster a relationship in ways that wouldn’t be possible without these platforms. Technological advances have changed the way music is discovered.
That being said, what are your thoughts on illegal music/media downloads? In what ways can the industry adapt to these changes?
It’s changing the paradigm. We were mostly born in the 90’s and grew up in the post-napster world for most of our music consuming lives. Our generation consumes media and interacts in ways that differ from the previous generation and with Pandora, Rdio, and Spotify it seems that subscription-based models are becoming more prevalent than mp3 sharing.
Personally, would you say your talent or luck played a bigger role?
Well, it’s difficult to put your finger on the specific reason why we’ve developed a following at the rate we have but in the most basic assessment it’s because people have connected with our music for one reason or another.. We’ve been very fortunate, having the opportunity like the MTV VMAs performance which really put us in front of an entirely new audience.
There’s no question you guys have worked tirelessly and have sacrificed continuing your education for your music. Has that ever been a regret for any of you?
We are all studious people.It was a big decision for us to leave behind our studies to pursue music. At the time we thought we would give it a shot, take a semester off and see what happens. We haven’t really looked back since, but the decision to put your college experience, your friends and your college education on hold wasn’t easy for us. We all intend on continuing our education at some point. In the meantime, but we all aspire to challenge ourselves intellectually.
As a whole, in this country, society places a very strong emphasis on education and very rarely accepts deviating from the path. What is your opinion on this antiquated train of thought?
There have been so many success stories, people that never went to college or dropped out of school that have gone on to change the world. We’ve found a vibrant creative community that don’t necessarily think the same way as their parents and apply a different perspective.
With that in mind, what are your views on the current state of our generation in the country?
How does NYC stack up to others from the view of the stage?
Every city has a different vibe, and I think the New York crowd lets their guard down when they see us trying to get groovy. I remember the first show we played in New York as “The Jakes” to around 20 people. Selling out Terminal 5 was one of the highlights of our last tour. The crowd was electric and that put us in a great mood.
Would you consider yourselves a product of your environment and your music as having a distinctly California vibe?
We’ve heard that our sound evokes memories or thoughts of the beach or is somehow “coastal.” It wasn’t something we set out to sonically accomplish but our sound is the result of the five of us coming together creatively and for whatever reason we found it natural to write music that others happen to interpret as being very “California” whatever that means. We all love being at the beach, we lived there for six months in Newport Beach, CA before we wrote the majority of the record. The natural elements of the beach landscape are inspiring to us but so is the energy and liveliness of New York City. Our inspirations come from many different places and come in many different forms. More so than any physical surrounding our personal relationships and musical environment makes an impact on our art and our personalities.
Your first studio album has enjoyed incredible success, has any progress been made on a second one? When might we expect some new material from you guys?
We plan to record our second record this fall. We are looking forward to finding a house in LA and transform it into a studio to record more demos and prepare the new songs for recording. As of now we’ve been playing three new songs live. We definitely feel more prepared for this record evade of what we’d learned from recording the debut record. When we did the first record, we hadn’t even been out on the road for a few years getting to know the songs. We wrote most of the tunes in a couple months before the recording process started, and we were very naive to the whole process. Now after some good time on the road, we are far more prepared to go back into the studio and see how touring and playing countless shows together will translate in the studio.