MUSIC INTERVIEW: Blood Youth
Something has been brewing in the Blood Youth camp… Having released some huge new singles in the last few months, a new record is very much on the way. The band have also announced the departure of vocalist Kaya Tarsus, as well as bringing in a new drummer. However, replacing Tarsus is God Complex’s vocalist Harry Rule, who has been making waves in the scene for years. So, with all this momentum behind the new look Blood Youth, we caught up with guitarist Chris Pritchard on the last date of their UK tour to talk all things Blood Youth.
First and foremost, how has the tour been?
It’s been sick yeah, it’s been cool to test the new dynamics, and test the waters with Harry and Brad. It’s their first tour with us so we’ve been trying to wash off the cobwebs a bit coming straight out of covid, so I think a nice little warm-up tour is perfect for us. So, yeah, it’s been nice to get back in the van.
So how has it been touring with Harry Rule because you’d expect maybe it is going to take a bit of time for him to settle in, and for the dynamic to work live, so has it been pretty much smooth sailing from the off?
Yeah, we didn’t really have time to do that, because we had the announcements. We had to do press, we had Slam Dunk, so we just didn’t have time to do that because we only had 4/5 days to get people into a practice room and work out how this was going to all work. So we weren’t even prepared for it by the time we were packing the van, but it was the first show where everything went quite smooth and we were like this is going to work, and Harry’s been smashing it, and a couple times we’d have to tell him to reel it in. He comes from a very death metal, doomy world, and this is a different dynamic and he’s known that from the start, and he’s told me that he doesn’t want to do that. He wants to add to whatever legacy of whatever we’ve got going on, because he’s been a Blood Youth fan ever since our first EPs so that was refreshing to hear, so we knew that he’d be the right fit for us, and vocal wise, he’s probably the best vocalist we’ve ever seen so immediately we knew we wanted Harry. But we didn’t know how, and things happened in his world, and things happened in our world, so we asked him to join us, and it was perfect.
Yeah, I remember hearing him feature in Broken Vision Rhythm with Loathe, so as a fan, when he joined you guys, I was really excited, and it’s interesting because you did that concept in the music videos where you had him in the music videos, so how did that idea come about?
Well it wasn’t actually planned, when he was in Iron Lung, he was auditioning at that time so he wasn’t even in. He was auditioning, but we knew deep down he was in, it wasn’t really planned but before we knew it he ended up being in Cells, and it kind of made this storyline where at the end of Cells, he’s like burying himself. Then he wakes up and he’s burying a former self, and he’s getting reborn and that’s a great metaphor for what’s happening in this band as well. We’re not saying goodbye to anything but it’s kind of the sign of a new era for the band with new tracks, new abilities, and it’s all very exciting. Before we knew it, people were clocking onto the music video and were like hold on, and suddenly they were like yeah that’s pretty cool. So, it wasn’t us really being smart, it was just an accident which happened to work out pretty well!
So, with the new singles, were you tempted to re-record the songs with Harry’s vocals instead, because I imagine it’s a bit strange releasing new singles which don’t have your current vocalist in.
We tried to go about this the best way we could but unfortunately it all kind of happened with Kaya when the singles were mastered, the CDs were in production, the vinyls were already sent off to the warehouses, and factories, and shit, so it would’ve cost us multiple thousands just to do it, and screw up our timeline, our money would’ve been wasted. So, it would’ve just been a huge thing to do so it’s fine, the way we’ve done it is that it’s Kaya’s last record, so it’s a positive way to leave it, because leaving was something he had to do, not necessarily something he wanted to do. So, it wasn’t really a thing in our minds, like we thought about it a bit, and we knew our time with Harry would come so we’re writing for that. Harry’s killing it every night and sounds fucking amazing, we know he’d suit the album we wrote, and he’s smashing it live.
Yeah, I’m looking forward to it, so the last 18 months have been quite difficult for a lot of bands but especially you guys with all the member changes, and I mean this question in the nicest way possible, but what has kept you guys going because a lot of bands would almost be tempted to call it a day, but obviously with the line-up changes and tour you’re on, you guys are thriving now, but it can’t have been easy.
Honestly we’ve all questioned it, people drop off, and it wasn’t going to surprise me if at least one of us got cold feet during covid, and it happened, but with Kaya, it wasn’t something he wanted to do, it’s something he had to do. So, I think the main thing for me was the fact that this is what I am best at doing, why would I not want to pursue it. It’s the same with any job, if you want something to become a job, you act like it is a job, and jobs aren’t always easy and they aren’t always mentally easy but as long as you’re good at it, and you can try be your best at it, you’ll do alright. Like I’ll never be the best at packing a warehouse, like I’m not going to be the best at running offices and shit, this is what I do, and that’s the same with everyone else in the band, like this is what we do best so why would we not do it. We’re in a situation in life where we’re privileged enough to choose whether we want to do it or not, so just that thought alone is a reminder as to how lucky we are, and how we should keep doing it, and how it effects our fans, and fans coming out of lockdown have had a lot of issues and suffering, and they look to people like us and the music we make, and the tours we put out as something to look forward to. If we can add a little brightness to the shit time that everyone’s had, and even if it’s just one individual, then that’s all I can look for. So, if I’m able to do that, we’re going to keep doing that, because there’s going to be new generations of people coming up after those fans that are going to be dealing with the same problems. If not more problems than what we’ve had to deal with, so we’re going to keep doing it, because the pay-off is worth way more than what we are putting in.
That’s a great answer, and I can say as music journalist, the main reason I’m a music journalist is because I’m not in a successful band.
Oh dude, it is hard man, this tour especially because we’ve been like double dutying this. Our bassist is now our tour manager, and it’s all brand new, and it’s a lot of stress, because we’ve been trying to balance this with new dynamics in the band, and new members, and what not. It’s been a completely different shift in terms of what we’re used to so we’ve also got to remember that we are in control, so anyone that comes in has got to know this is a dynamic that makes us work best. That is kind of how we’ve been running it, so it has been a stressful tour, but we’ve also been forced into this tour back to back after having gotten used to a more comfortable dynamic. We’ve got this tour coming up in February, and we’re going to have some time off before that, when we’re actually going to be able to be a band off tour before we go back on tour and learn how to be a band again. It is hard and it’s not for everyone, it’s not always a very healthy thing mentally to be in a touring band.
Aha, I could see why.
Yeah, it’s not, it’s also good to have some time to breathe and step back from the smoke. You end up like hold on, I am in control here and look at what I’m doing you know, so it’s humbling, rewarding, and also very grounding, and it can also slap you a couple times aha.
That’s a great answer, so you’ve obviously released some new singles recently and been playing them live, so I was wondering what the reception has been like to them live?
Amazing yeah. So we open up with two brand new songs, and then we’ve got two more new songs in the set, and every night it kicks off, and the new songs are so energetic and its levels above the energy levels of our past stuff. We’re always a band that will write for the live environment, so with this next album we wanted to experiment with electronics, atmospheres, and all those listening sides of things. The enjoyment of that and getting lost in it and doing all these new sounds that not a lot of bands are doing these days whilst keeping the fans happy, and keeping the energy high so that when we play it live, it’s going to fucking go off. Every night it has been super fun, and the energy in the crowd has been super lively, and it’s been awesome.
That sounds sick, that actually leads me onto my next question about if you guys have got any news about when you guys are planning on releasing your new record, like any dates in mind or anything?
Yeah, there’s a new album. I can’t tell you anything, but it is very very soon.
Ah so are you guys going to be putting something out in the next couple weeks?
Aha ah well I wouldn’t say that soon… or not ahaha.
Interview By: Joe Loughran
See Blood Youth live at one of the following dates co-headlining with Cane Hill:
Mon 21st – GLASGOW, UK – G2
Tue 22nd – MANCHESTER, UK – Rebellion
Wed 23rd – LEEDS, UK – The Key Club
Thu 24th – LONDON, UK – The Underworld
Fri 25th – SOUTHAMPTON, UK – The Joiners
Sat 26th – BRISTOL, UK – The Exchange
Sun 27th – BIRMINGHAM, UK – Mama Roux’s
Tue 1st – PARIS, FR – L’International
Wed 2nd – BADEN, CH – Werkk
Thu 3rd – MILAN, IT – Slaughter Club
Fri 4th – MUNICH, DE – Feierwerk
Sat 5th – VIENNA, AT – Chelsea
Sun 6th – PRAGUE, CZ – Chapeau Rouge
Mon 7th – LEIPZIG, DE – Naumanns
Tue 8th – HAMBURG, DE – Headcrash
Wed 9th – HANNOVER, DE – Béi Chéz Heinz
Thu 10th – DEN BOSCH, NL – Willem Twee
Fri 11th – MAINZ, DE – Schon Schön
Sat 12th – COLOGNE, DE – MTC
Sun 13th – ANTWERP, BE – Kavka