Yung Life: ‘We’re Not Really Trying To Make “80s” Music’

We talk to the Knoxville band about their forthcoming EP.

If you’re like me and you spend countless hours imagining that you’re Ryan Gosling’s character in ‘Drive’, it’s worth following this simple routine: Open a pack of smokes, press the key that opens the door to your giant garage full of bikes and retro sports cars and take your pick. Don’t worry about the seatbelt. Finally, put on your favourite song: Yung Life’s ‘Breaker’. This track emerged at the tail-end of 2011, like some glorious burst of light in the dark. Its quintessential 80s pop style is a diversion from the Knoxville group’s early work; a much cleaner cut than the production on their ‘I Be Scared’ release. The band are set to release an EP of the same name early this year, with a full-length to follow shortly afterwards. So DIY, in full driving gear, thought it sensible to ask the band some pressing questions on their background and how well they take to these 80s comparisons…

Your latest song, ‘Breaker’, is probably your most immediate song to date. Is that an indication of what’s to come on your next EP?
Yeah, our sound has evolved a lot since the last release ‘Youth’s Hours’. We’re just upgrading our recording process which is really opening up a lot of room, like adding more guitar parts, and focusing more on vocals. The next release sounds like ‘Breaker’. We’re stoked about it.

Would you agree with people who compare your stuff to a lot of 80s music?
Sure, we’re not really trying to make ’80s’ music, but just music that we like. I just get a lot from all the music my dad played for me growing up. We’re not trying to make nostalgic songs, just our own songs that could be compared to that era I suppose.

How helpful has Bandcamp been in terms of exposing your music?
I think bandcamp has been helpful (except that they charge for downloads now) I guess soundcloud is another good one. We just wanna put out our music for free for anyone to download and I guess the music just spreads that way.

Is Knoxville a good place to be making music? Do you work closely with other bands/ play show etc.?
Knoxville’s a good place to make music, but it seems that it would be about the same as any other place. We just all grew up here so this is where we are for now. There’s a good scene here though and there’s some good bands doing good things, like Royal Bangs and my old band COOLRUNNINGS. There’s a lot of collabs and stuff going on between the bands here, but we just work mostly on our own with our music.

Would you consider coming to the UK and playing some shows at any point, if the opportunity comes up?
We’d def come to the UK and play over there. We just need the money!

Are there any plans for a full-length, following on from the next EP?
Actually, we may release a full length shortly after this EP.

And finally, do you have a sour relationship with the letter ‘O’?
Haha nah, we’re just a bunch-o-goons.