On their trip down to the capital to celebrate the release of their debut album Beyond Repair, we caught up with Blood Youth frontman Kaya Tarsus (and briefly the other two) to talk recording the album, touring with While She Sleeps and dislocated knees…
How are you doing?
Kaya: Cool actually thanks, a little tired. Yesterday was really intense because the show got called off… We had three songs left of the set – the three bangers left – and all of a sudden we finish playing a song and there’s just this hysteria at this absolutely ram-packed show. It was nuts. Everyone was looking really worried and crazy, and it turns out that some guy had dislocated his knee which we didn’t know at the time. Everyone was just signalling that he’d broken his leg or something. Our tech came onstage and said to us “let’s just go into the dressing room and let them sort it out” so they put all the house lights on, and [the injured fan] was just getting seen to so we just decided to call it there. It didn’t make sense to say “we’ll play after this is done” – we had to let the paramedics have as much time as they wanted. There was an announcement that the show was over and everyone was really cool about it, they got it. [The injured] was actually in really good spirits about it all, and I gave him a hug getting into the ambulance and apologised. I felt so bad but he was really cool about everything too. I saw him tweet today [Monday] that he’s off to Parkway Drive later so he’s obviously okay now [laughs].
Back in September you mentioned having parts of the album sorted but it seemed to come together quickly. How did that come about?
Kaya: Straight after that tour, we thought we definitely had to finish recording the album in 2016. We had the While She Sleeps tour following Closure tour, but we got in the studio pretty much straight away when we got back. Chris (Pritchard, guitars) and Sam (Hallett, drums) went into the studio and recorded all the music then about two weeks later I recorded all the vocal stuff. I recorded it all with our sound guy Robin who is one of my best mates so it was really cool but pretty intense. Chris was going through some pretty tough times personally and the fact you can hear that emotion, all those sounds we left in there, was really intense for him. Beyond Repair speaks to all of us but for him especially it is a real marker of how he was going through some seriously bad stuff. It was really easy though, really smooth and we just got on with it, then it was released Friday.
How was it doing European dates with While She Sleeps?
Kaya: Well, we’ve done some with Architects before, but I think it was our first time out there apart from that.
Sam: Yeah, it was our first trip out there. We didn’t do any “one-offs” because we did [German festival] Destruction Derby around that time.
Kaya: It was. The Sleeps tour was great though, we knew they were going to be great guys because they live really close to us. The first show was in Paris and we went direct there, and they hugged us meeting us for the first time. I used to listen to them literally all the time when I was going to school, on the bus and everything. Loz [Taylor, WSS frontman] asked me to do Crows with him which I did nearly every night, and doing that was just mad. We would just talk and sit with them, it was always that moment where I thought “I really really listened to you guys, I was such a huge fan”. Obviously I didn’t say that but… [laughs]. It was kinda weird in a way. The best show on that tour was in Madrid which was a sold-out show on my birthday. It was the loudest, rowdiest crowd we’d ever played to. We were playing places like Serbia too, and Romania, there were people there that knew the words to our songs. Playing in Serbia, people were singing Closure back to us. We were all looking at each other like “what is this…?”. It was honestly amazing to experience.
How do you think the band has grown then?
Kaya: That’s a tough one. I still consider us a baby band even though we’ve been going two years. People are still finding us, plus the album, touring with people like [While She] Sleeps and everything like that. I feel like we get more pro every tour, every single show. We know how to act onstage now, how to talk to people. Every show is a learning process and that means we’re still growing every show.
What was the rationale behind the three release shows as opposed to a Beyond Repair tour?
Kaya: We just wanted it to be a bit special. We only did our last UK tour in September so we decided to do three exclusive shows coming down the country. We’ve never been a band who’s toured for the sake of touring, we’ve turned down plenty of tours because our question is “would that help us at this stage?” and any doubts mean we don’t go. Everything is really carefully planned out.
What would you say is the show you’re most looking forward to in 2017?
Kaya: Of the ones that are announced, probably Download. It’s quite a “big boy” stage, plus it’s nearly exactly two years on from when we did Download for the first time. We had no songs out then but now we have the three releases with Beyond Repair, so it’ll be good to see what the turnout and reaction will be like. We’re the type of band that don’t bank on anyone turning up and just assume nobody cares!
What’s your album of the year so far?
Kaya: I’ve been listening to the new Mastodon one [Emperor of Sand] so maybe that. The Code Orange one is cool as well and honestly Stormzy‘s new album is good. Really, really good. Erm… Yeah, I’ll stick with those three. I can never ever choose just one when people ask me. I really like the new Emmure album as well. Oh, and Beyond Repair.
Have you had any discoveries of other bands or artists to listen to or tour with?
Kaya: I’m really really into LANY at the moment. I’ve fallen in love with blink-182 recently, been listening to them a lot. I watched a documentary Tom DeLonge did speaking about how he wrote certain songs driving around California saying “I did this here and this there” and started listening to them thinking “oh these songs are so good”. Nobody really new exactly, just a lot of LANY. Kinda sunshine happy stuff.
Last question: what would be in a Blood Youth cocktail?
Kaya: For me, has to be whiskey. Really like whiskey… Diet Coke too, but Chris would have to put Jager in it.
Chris: I want to get on that Black Tooth Grin vibe, the Pantera one. Crown Royal whiskey, Seagrams 7 and Coke.
Kaya: Yeah, that…
Sam: I’d probably go with some gin-based thing. Little dash of Sprite maybe.
Kaya: Basically the grossest drink you will ever have. It would get you pumped up and make you feel pretty good though.
Sam: Ready to make some waves…
Kaya: Yeah it would be called Making Waves.
As always, huge thanks to Blood Youth for taking time out to talk to us yet again. The debut album Beyond Repair is out now on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and physical media.