The Chicago Vibe


Importance of Aethetics - A Chat With whenyoung

Interview by Saloni Jaisingh

Indie-pop, London based trio whenyoung just wrapped up supporting The Vaccines on their European tour. Anticipating the release of their debut EP, Given Up, I caught up with them to talk about the beginnings of their band, aesthetics, and touring:

1. What is the origin of your name, and how did you decide on it?

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.

2. Your story of meeting through sneaking into a show at Costello’s Tavern is so cute, what was the moment where you knew you wanted to make music seriously with one another?

Our first bond was over music so I think somewhere inside there was always a dream of making a band happen. We were all infatuated by bands, the music, the looks and the scenes. But it never worked out for us until we all happened to move to London. We always believed in ourselves but it wasn't until last year that we thought this can really go somewhere.

3. I’m a big fan of visual/aesthetic adjunction with music, and I love your primary color trilogy - what inspired that? Are aesthetics and colors something you keep in mind while creating, or is it something you pair with your music after the fact?

We feel the same about the importance of aesthetics. All the bands we love have a strong look. Our primary colour theme came from a love of Mondrian, Eric Rohmer and French film. We love how strong use of colour, not in a bold or garish way, can create an identity. Its something that we tie in with the music but it doesn't necessarily shape the music we make. We use clothing, photos, artwork and video afterwards to give the music a physical form.

4. London’s music scene is so vibrant and eclectic. Would you say your move there from Ireland has changed or impacted your creative process?

Yes I think it has to some extent. We're Irish and proud to be so and that has largely shaped our music because of our upbringing and cultural reference points. But moving to London and starting a band I think made us work harder and grow a tougher skin. There is more opportunity but also more competition. There are so many artists and musicians who we've met that have helped us to shape our work by inspiring us and opening our eyes to new things.

5. What are each of you listening to right now?

We're in the van today driving to Hamburg. We're listening to The Sugarcubes, Lets Eat Grandma, The Vaccines, Frank Ocean, The Cult, The Ninth Wave, Horslips.

6. This is your second run of shows with The Vaccines, what’s it like touring with them?

Its great. They are the friendliest and most supportive bunch of guys. We're also big fans so its cool to even get to watch the show each night! The crowds are really engaged and up for it so we feel really thankful and lucky to be doing it with them.

7. The Whenyoung Book Swap is such a lovely idea! Have any of you found any good books from it, and is it something you’re going to continue doing on tour?

Between the three of us and our friends we are always reading and sharing books. So we wanted to try and do the same with our audience. To share some of our influences and inspirations and receive theirs in return. We got some really lovely books, one in particular was written by a fan's grandmother which was really cute. It was the first time we did it on our UK tour so hopefully it will keep building.

8. How do you approach your live show - any pre-show rituals?

It depends. A support show is different to our own headline show because we have less stage time. Also because the crowd doesn't necessarily know us already we like to keep it as engaging and upbeat as possible to warm them up! Pre-show we tend to jump around and warm up our voices to try and get rid of the nerves. Then it's into our boiler suits, have a big hug and go!

9. Your debut EP Given Up comes out November 9th, what is one thing you want fans to know about it?

That there's plenty more where that came from!  


Check out whenyoung’s tour dates here to see if they’ll be in a city near you, and make sure to pre-order their debut EP, Given Up, here!

Kelley Sloot