Irish trio, Aoife Power, Niall Burns and Andrew Flood, have developed their sound with a DIY mentality. Hailing from Limerick, Whenyoung produce infectious indie-pop tracks and originally bonded over their shared love for cheap vodka and the sound of The Velvet Underground.
After a jam-packed summer of festivals, the band are now amidst their UK and European tour and are definitely an exciting one to watch. Their pop hooks, melodies and punky guitar noise makes for a fun listen, and they’ve just released their debut EP Given Up. We chatted to the band about how they formed, their creative process and why they moved from Ireland to London.
Firstly, how did the band form?
Despite being friends from Limerick since our early teens, we formed in London. We all moved over within about 6 months of each other and started playing together for the first time! We had always wanted to start a band together but it was just never the right time until then!
How did you decide on the name ‘Whenyoung’?
We decided on Whenyoung as our name because of a song called ‘When We Were Young’ by Whipping Boy. Its about youth and innocence and the first time you get drunk. It’s one of our favourite songs.
For those who may not have discovered you guys yet, how would you describe your sound?
It’s hard to describe our own music. In a broad sense I would say it’s euphoric and melodic, with a punk penchant but pop predominance.
And how did you find this distinctive sound?
It took some time and a lot of trial and error. We played many shows to very few people during that process. We always had a rough idea of what we wanted to be but I think it was through playing live and constantly writing that our sound kind of crept out and manifested itself.
How would you sum up the themes at the heart of your songs?
In summation I would say our themes are what is tangible in our day to day lives, what affects us and inspires us. We find it important to covey a clear idea in our songs and make it relatable to an audience. Quite often there is a light and shade in our music and a juxtaposition between the feeling from the music and the meaning behind the lyrics.
You’ve recently released ‘Given Up’, can you tell us a bit about the track…
We recorded the track earlier this year. It is about the moments when you burn yourself out thought your own misdemeanours. But then about the realisation afterwards that you are the one in control of your life and nobody will shape your destiny but you.
Do you have a creative process per se? How is the process split between you?
We don’t have a definite creative process, there are some songs that have been written differently to others. I guess its not a process you can define or put a routine around. Inspiration comes and goes. But generally, Aoife has a vocal melody in her head and we begin to work on that all together in the studio and flesh it out. Once we have a structure and can feel a connection to the song we add the lyrics.
You’ve had a jam-packed year with a summer of festivals and a string of tour dates – what is your stand out event yet?
We’ve been really lucky and thankful for the opportunities that have come our way this year. Our favourite by far was supporting Nick Cave and Patti Smith on a stage outdoors in Dublin over the summer.
And what do you think performing live has taught you guys?
Performing live has taught us an incredible amount. From the obvious things like becoming better musicians and controlling nerves to things like self-discipline and improving our tech lingo haha!
You moved from Ireland over to London, what was the reason behind this?
We always wanted to move to a big city at some point as individuals. London was always a big draw for us because of its musical history and we liked the idea of living somewhere new where you could be anonymous. Don’t know where is next yet. Ireland is still home though.
Finally, what is next for you guys?
Once we finish our European tour with The Vaccines we have some headline shows in Ireland. In November we record our debut album and finish the year in December supporting Blossoms on their UK tour! Then it’s on to 2019.