Years Young are a relatively new band. But in terms of experience and enthusiasm, they’re ready to take on the world – and here’s how they plan to do it.
When the announcement came in 2014 that Scunthorpe four-piece Ameira were splitting, many fans were sad. But two of the members came back better than ever: in the shape of Years Young. Vocalist Luke Colclough and bassist Gary Butler left Ameira, excited to start their new venture. “We knew straight away we wanted [Years Young drummer] Ollie, and he was just as excited to get started as we were.” Butler said, and so they joined forces with another local musician Danny Binnington. So far, Years Young received nothing but critical success. Drawing influences from all across the board – from heavier bands such as Bury Tomorrow to pop roots like Paramore – has helped Years Young create their own unique sound.
Years Young originally met in November 2014 for what they described as a “jam session”. It was mostly to experiment for their sounds – with all the different backgrounds inspiring the band, they had to compromise: “We spent most of that time writing one song, actually. And that became ‘The Sign’.” It was from there that the first style was set for their debut EP ‘Hiraeth’, released January 15.
Each member of the band prefers something different, musically: Guitarist Danny is a fan of metalcore with one of his favourites being Memphis May Fire. Drummer Ollie enjoys a bit of everything – from ska to jazz and punk rock to alternative rock. Vocalist Luke and bassist Gary are the most similar – they both love pop rock bands like Twin Atlantic and Mallory Knox, although Luke prefers the rockier side and Gary prefers more of an upbeat pop track.
Hiraeth, a Welsh word, describes the feeling of missing a home that you cannot actually return to. “I stumbled across the word since before the band was even a thing,” Butler explains. “It’s unusual and it’s portrays the lyrics perfectly.” As well as an especially fitting title and their perfect alternative sound, the recording process was also one of the most exciting things they’ve ever done.
Working with producer by Roni Szpakowski at Peak Studios – the producer they’ve always worked with – and the process took little over a week. Five of the tracks that made it onto the final cut were recorded within the first week, and the next few only included the sixth song and some finishing touches before being sent to LA for the final mixing. They say that recording in a studio is one of the best parts of being in a band: “It’s such a good feeling to hear the demo you recorded in your practise space turn into a professionally crafted song!”
As for the EP itself, it reached the ears of many – including Kerrang!, who gifted it with a modest 4/5. It’s not hard to see why, with every track on ‘Hireath’ being good enough to release as a hit. “All the great feedback we’ve received from journalists up and down the country is unbelievable. It’s given us the buzz to play the EP live at every chance we get!” Personally, Years Young are proud of their debut record – the best part is being able to share it and knowing that other people actually like it too.
When asked if they have a favourite track from ‘Hiraeth’, they say: “It’s almost like choosing your favourite child! We love them all equally.” However, if forced to choose, Luke’s favourite would be ‘Electric’, Danny’s ‘The Sign’, Gary’s is ‘Paper Mountains’ and Ollie’s prefers ‘Miracles’.
As for touring, well, they describe themselves as ‘fun and energetic’. Their music wouldn’t be out of place in an arena, with powerful anthem-style tracks filling all corners of the room. They’ve managed to adapt to playing live by making sure all tracks pack a punch without straying too far from their studio recordings – although it probably isn’t that difficult, considering the energy that you hear just listening to EP.
“There’s one show that stands out for me, personally,” Butler explains. “And that’s when we were asked to fill the support slot for Funeral For A Friend. It was an absolute honour to share a stage with them!” At this point, Years Young only had six live shows under their belts, and were quite nervous. Welsh quintet Funeral For A Friend were a band that Years Young had grown up with, and have influenced their music majorly.
Another one of the band’s favourite shows was the launch show for their single ‘Sleeping Easy’. Coincidentally, it was at the same venue as the Funeral For A Friend gig. “It’s easily the most fun show we’ve ever played.” Butler said. All of Years Young’s friends and family were in attendance, and as is the case with most bands, hometown shows are always a favourite.
As for the future, well, watch this space – Years Young are going to blow up. “We live and breathe Years Young,” they admit, and you can tell. With the dedication and hard work that went into the making of ‘Hiraeth’, there’s no doubt that translates into the rest of their careers. “We would love to quit our 9-5 jobs. Years Young is the dream.”
This next year is going to be the busiest yet for the Yorkshire boys. They have some upcoming shows in February, and they’re currently in the process planning a full UK tour, as well as many bookings for the festival season. Alongside the promotion of ‘Hiraeth’, they’re also writing for their next release. For the band, it’s going to be an exciting ride. Just make sure you’re there with them.