The tour had taken its toll on lead singer Gustav who was resting up with throat pains. He looked like he needed to sleep for a few days to be honest. I managed to grab a quick word with Bassist Simon and Guitarist John just before they hit the stage at Leeds Cockpit.
For people who spent the summer of 2010 locked in their rooms and can you give us a quick background on Young Guns?
John: Back in High Wycombe we all used to go to the local shows at a venue called the white horse. Its quite renowned for shows in the area. But, myself and Simon werent even in the band at the start.
Simon: It was basically Fraser, Guss and an old guitarist called Tom who is no longer in the band. We were all in differnet bands, members came and left, but this current line up formed about 2 and a half years ago.
J: Simons actually been in the band twice!
Your album hit number 43 in the pop charts, which is a massive achievement for any rock band, how has that been for you?
J: So stoked and slightly gutted aswell!
S: I think it was something stupid like there were 50 sales between number 43 and and 40. We knew it wasnt going to last, getting towards the end of the week we could see the sales kinda dropping but we were still hoping. But in the rock chart I think we got in the top 10.
J: Yeah I think we were around 8 or 9. But its all awesome man. We couldnt be happier really from the response we got and stuff. The album is still selling reasonably well.
Has there been stand out moment this year thats really taken you back personally or as a band?
J: Definatly Reading Festival. Well, all festivals were the most surreal experiences ever.
S: Yeah, when we opened for Reading, I was so nervous for it, I was throwing up before we went on.
J: We’ve been going to that festival since we were little.
S: And Reading became the Daddy of all festivals for us. The festival that we’ve always gone too growing up. It’s always been the dream to play at Reading let alone the main stages. We actually got our invite to play through on April Fools day! At first we were all like, this is clearly a really horrible joke from our booking agent. It wasnt until later in the day when we found out it was for real.
J: We pretty much wanted to check everyone out on the main stage who played after us too. Especially Guns & Roses and Blink 182. We roled up early in the morning and Guns & Roses had all their backline set up and huge drum risers. It was really surreal.
S: Standing on that stage and looking out I was just thinking ‘Oh my god, we’re actually going to do this?!’, but when we actually came to play, it was a massive energy rush. The atmosphere was incredible and we just soaked it in. The time on stage just flys by, it was only a half an hour set, but it felt like 5 minutes. I just tried to enjoy every second of it.
When it comes to shows, nobody is safe. All audience types have been tackled from teens at Summer festivals through to the older rockers at the Bon Jovi shows you supported. Did you make this your intention or has it been a natural movement?
J: We’ve just been on tour with Danko Jones who sound nothing at all like us! The tour was hard and the audiences wern’t expecting a band like us to be on the bill but we really dont want to be pigeon holed. We want a really wide fan base. I think think its really important to your future career, your longevity on whether you appeal to one group of people or a wide variety. Its definatly what we’ve always wanted to do. We love our fan base, we love to get out and play as much as we can to as many different people as we can.
With the single ‘Weight of the World’ you returned went back to give it some studio steroids before its release as a single?
J: Yeah, thats one of the songs that we had on the E.P. that we never released as a single and we always wanted to. I can’t quite remember why we didnt? We always felt that song had more to offer and could potentially be a really good single for later down the line. So, instead of re-using the recording we thought we would go back to the studio and try make it sound better and a bit more real because the E.P. sounded a bit too processed. Since then its been one of the most succesful singles off the record.
S: And its really weird to hear your stuff being played on the radio, I cant get used to it. Whilst we were away on tour in Europe friends would be telling us that DJ’s like Fearne Cotton and even Chris Moyles have played our songs. That really took me by surprise. Really? Chris Moyles?! But its awesome that influencial people like them are into our stuff.
The lyrics you guys use are quite emotionally charged, do you guys have particular themes you write about or processes for making songs?
S: Lyrics wise, it’s all down to Guss. I know he likes to keep it as honest as possible.
J: As it was our first album Guss was venting what he needed to get out and being as honest with it. Maybe some of the subjects dont relate to us personally, but to Guss they do and we can really understand that which makes them more special to us. I am really happy with how the lyrics turned out.
S: I cant really speak for Guss about his lyrics but I do know we get a lot of letters from fans aswell as messages over facebook and twitter telling us how much the lyrics mean to them and how much they can connect with his lyrics. Its always a good thing when music comes and you can not only entertain but also have that connection with someone, its really flattering and great to hear.
You’ve been on tour all over Europe the past few months, have you had much time to check out the rest of the current music chart?
J: I really like that songs called ‘I Need Air’ by Magnetic Man. I’d really like to cover that, I think its a wicked song.
S: Thats a really tough question because we listen to so much music, pretty much everything.
J: I think the new Circa Survive album is amazing.
S: Yeah, ‘I Felt Free’ and ‘Frozen Creek’ are two really stand out songs on that album! Im trying to think of really stand out tracks this year. Katy Perry, California Girls!
S: We literally listen to everything.
J: During sound checks Fraser and Simon love to play the most disgusting songs I’ve ever heard in my life.
S: Childrens songs, from childrens TV.
J: They actually make me want to kill myself.
S: They are fun!
J: Not for me.
S: We just dick about for sound checks really!
Your touring through to the new year. What other plans do you guys have for 2011?
J: We need to record the second album. It’s one thing we are getting stressed about at the moment. Finding the time, balancing touring and writing. We’re still going to be focussing on touring though, try get out to Europe a bit more. We’ve got a couple of shows in Japan lined up, and we’re going to try get out to Australia.
S: It’ll be our first time out to Japan and we are playing PunkSpring 2011, it’s going to be awesome.
J: I’m hoping to return to play the UK too, to play Leeds and Reading two years in a row. If it happens then I seriously doubt we will be anywhere near the main stage, but i’d love to play the Lock Up.
S: Yeah, something smaller like the Radio 1 tent. Fingers crossed we’ll hear something early next year.
J: We’ve been demoing parts of the new album. We’ve all got our laptops on tour with us so we’re always kind of writing parts on garageband and stuff.
S: Its the only thing we can do really when we are on tour without having the time and space to be jamming at full volume.
All Our Kings Are Dead is out now on Live Forever Records, you can find out more about the boys here.Or check our the video for the albums lead single ‘Sons Of Apathy’ below.