Interview Young Man: ‘I’d Love To Be In A Group That Doesn’t Require Me To Write Songs’

Kelly Betts catches up with Caulfield about live shows, record label parties and life after Young Man.

Young Man is the brain child of Colin Caulfield. Together with Emmett Conway, Joe Bailey, jeff Graupner and Darien Williams they make up the creative pop band from Chicago. ‘Vol. 1’, the second in the trilogy of Young Man albums, is out now on FrenchKiss records. Kelly Betts catches up with Caulfield about live shows, record label parties and life after Young Man.

If your music was a day out, what would it be and why?
A morning trip to a flea market that results in oddball purchases, for no reason at all.

Sounds like a good day! What’s the main ambition for your music?
We’ve all been given this really amazing opportunity to make music as young people. Considering our age, so much of the project is about making mistakes and learning from them, getting better at our instruments, and trying new things. It follows then that Young Man is about youth and the progression from it to adulthood.

You’ve told DIY before that Young Man is a three year project - why is this?
More than a three year project, it’s a three album project. I wrote a lot of the music for Young Man a long time ago and was able to plan far ahead in terms of releases and organisation. It’s about the departure from youth (a process I’m almost done with) and therefore I don’t want to be discussing the same concepts for all of my twenties. Three albums afforded ample space for the concept to be played out and I’ll ready to move onto something else once it’s all released.

What are your plans after Young Man?
I’m excited to do very different things after Young Man. I’d love to play drums again and be in a group that doesn’t require me to write songs. Recently, I collaborated with a chef in Chicago named Matt Joswiak for a musical dinner. I scored 17 courses that he brought to me, writing ambient and minimal electronic compositions for each course as determined by the plating and ingredients. We invited 10 people and it was a huge success so I’d like to pursue that as well.

That sounds amazing. You’re very creative… this is shown in every track of your new album ‘Vol 1‘. It‘s a beautiful mixture of Ben Howard, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, yet with your own sound entirely. How long
did it to take to write and record?
Thanks! It was written over the course of two years and recorded by John McEntire at Soma Studios in Chicago over the course of about four months.

What’s your favourite track on the album?
I like ‘21’ a lot. It’s probably the most experimental song on the record and we’re really proud of it.

What do you most enjoy writing about?
Writing is a very automatic and organic process for me. I rarely intend to write about something, instead fleshing out ideas bit by bit. I love writing in general, but don’t know if I have a favourite topic. Obviously, the focus is the Young Man lore right now.

You’re currently on tour, playing in Germany, France, Chicago. What’s a live Young Man live show like?
The live Young Man show is pretty different than the records. We love to rearrange and rethink songs for the live show because a lot of times it’s impossible to perfectly recreate a studio version. Basically it’s more energy, more noise, and lots of samples and found sounds going around.

And how does that go down in other countries?
So far it’s been alright, although we haven’t been overseas on the heels of a big release yet. We’re all really excited for this upcoming stint.

Your signed to the same label as Bloc Party, Passion Pit and The Drums -
 what’s a French Kiss record label party like?
The closest thing to a FKR party is the SXSW showcase they put on every year. It’s always a blast to meet other bands on the same label. Especially at Frenchkiss, there’s an implicit camaraderie shared between everyone involved. We’re just finishing a US tour with Suckers (another Frenchkiss band) and it’s been a blast.

In five words tell us why everyone should buy ‘Vol 1’…
You will not regret it.
Young Man’s new album ‘Vol 1’ is out now via Frenchkiss.

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