It seems that New Jersey’s Youth In Revolt has had quite the year. After debuting with their EP Love Is A Liar’s Game, these post-hardcore newbies have been thrown into the exhaustive yet exciting world of constant touring and travel. Touring in support of Capture The Crown and For All Those Sleeping on the Not Your American Idols Tour, MEB editor Emma Guido was lucky enough to have a chat with guitarist George Shrouder as soon as she did. As they talked about their upcoming full-length album, experiences on tour, and future goals, it’s clear that Youth In Revolt are fully prepared for the bright future ahead of them.
MEB: Your debut EP came out earlier this year. What was it like writing and recording this EP, being your first formal impression as a band to the music world?
George: It was definitely a lengthy experience because the band went through a lot of different stages and it all came together when we got True [Arahill]. The band has a sound, but not the right voice to make it matter. When we got True it really caught the management and record label’s attention. We did the song “There For You” as a demo with him and sent it to Outerloop, which got them really stoked. They told us to record it with a real producer, and when we did that they signed us for an EP with Outerloop Records. Once we finished the EP, they offered us a full-length album deal with Outerloop/Fearless Records. I was really lengthy and took a lot of steps, but it all came together in the end for a real dream-like experience.
What were some of the most surprising ideas and inspirations that came to you while creating the EP?
I wasn’t surprised by any of my ideas, but True’s lyrics surprised me. A lot of times they seem like cheesy boy-meets-girl type of lyrics, but sometimes they have a lot of deeper meanings like family values and difficult times he went through with his father.
“For The First Time” is the only acoustic track on the EP and is a lot different from your harder, fast-paced tracks. Which style did you have a harder time putting together and why?
Definitely that acoustic style. It’s not easy for a band to make songs, but you start to get into a routine. You have a formulaic way of thinking when you write songs. With an acoustic song, True had already written the lyrics to the song and then we put guitar around the lyrics, so it was completely opposite of what we are used to. However, that track is my favorite song on the EP, so I was pretty happy with the way it came out.
When people listen to the EP, what do you want them to take from it?
Firstly, I want people to be deeply affected by the lyrics, but I think what actually is most effective is the catchiness of the choruses and melodies, which I guess affects more people on a long-term basis. People latch on to lyrics, but more so latch on to melody.
When should fans be expecting to hear your first studio album?
The summer of 2015. As long as nothing goes horribly wrong, that’s our current plan: to record in January and February and then put it out during the early summer or late spring.
Will it sound similar to the EP or do you plan on experimenting with something that sounds a lot different?
It’s going to be similar, but we are trying to sound bigger. We want to grow as musicians without straying too far away from our sound. We just started defining ourselves with our EP, so we can’t go all Pink Floyd with it yet.
Your band is starting to emerge in a music scene that is really centered on social media and the Internet. Do you think this a good thing or a bad thing?
It’s a great thing! The Internet side of the music industry is the whole industry, really. Playing shows is just a reflection of how well a band is spreading around socially, so that is all we can really hope for. The management and label were really stoked about how True already has a big YouTube and Twitter following going into it. They saw success prior to signing us; it was like we were almost there already. True’s social following really had a big part in our band getting picked up in the first place.
Now that in the past couple years you have been gaining exposure to the industry, what has been one event or moment that has changed your perspective of the music industry?
This year I went to Mayhem Festival and I got to stand on stage for Avenged Sevenfold’s set and there were seven thousand people there. It really broadened my view on how big things could be for a band. I’m used to playing shows with about seven hundred people on our average tour, but seeing seven thousand really made me feel small. The first thing I think of when thinking about events that changed my perspective is that show. That and seeing the ever changing styles of what gets popular and how. We were previously talking about social media and it’s almost like a sixth member of the band. The most important part is spreading yourself and your music.
What has been the best part of the Not Your American Idols Tour so far?
I love being with all the friends! Every single band on this tour we’ve toured with previously, so it’s cool that we know everybody and are just a bunch of friends out on the road. It’s not like we are competing bands or anything; it’s more of a big friendly experience. It’s very comfortable.
Being a newer band in the scene right now, how have your crowd reactions been on this tour?
It’s been great! We did a tour in May and August, and our following got a little bigger each time. Then we did a tour in September with Crown the Empire, which was all sold out, and it’s noticeable on this tour that we have a huge following that came back from that Crown the Empire tour. So many people found us and loved us on that tour and they are coming back now, and the turn out is us playing to returning fans rather than just new fans.
I can imagine how touring, on top of your new EP, has expanded your fan base. It must be exciting! How has it been interacting with fans?
Great! It’s kind of weird how now I’m starting to get familiar with some people. I got to Idaho and recognized some fans from previous shows. People are really friendly, especially now that I have blue hair (laughs). People love it! I did it just because I thought it was cool and I didn’t realize people would care, but they have really taken a friendly liking to it!
Well it definitely looks great. Do you have any memorable moments interacting with fans?
Sometimes girls cry and that always stands out. It’s kind of a weird feeling and I don’t know why they do (laughs). But I’ll take it!
How do you guys maintain healthy habits and relationships while being on tour?
We try to go to Planet Fitness everyday because that gym has the most locations across America, so we try to make sure we get to a Planet Fitness as we travel. I always wake up and workout. I also try to go to Subway or Chipotle a lot. Those are my two healthy options. As for relationships, we don’t get much space, but we try to respect each other’s space as much as possible. When you are living in close quarters with a bunch of guys it’s easy to get on each other’s nerves. It hasn’t been too bad.
Now that you are getting all of this great exposure as a touring band, what are you taking from these great experiences?
Everything you do matters. In the early stages it’s hard to gauge what’s important and what isn’t. The more exposure you get, the more eyes are on you, really. You realize that everything you do matters, every word you say matters, and every show really has an effect. Like I said, that Crown the Empire tour has given us so many returning fans from that tour and now I’m seeing that everything we do matters on the next tour.
And now with all of this knowledge, what are you most excited for in the future?
Our next step is recording a full-length album around New Year’s, so I’m excited to crank out a new album! I’ve done EPs before, but this is my first time doing a full-length, so I’m looking forward to having a new experience and seeing what we can pull out of ourselves. We will have two months to write and two months to record, so it will be four months overall. It’s a pretty big chunk of my life spent putting this together and once it’s out I’ll finally see the results of four months of work. Also, we really have our fingers crossed for Warped Tour. We don’t know if it will happen or not, but I’m excited to find out if that will happen or not. If it does, then that will be my new source of excitement.
Before we end this interview, is there anything you would like to say to all of your fans and supporters?
Thank you! We just put out the EP and launched ourselves in June with Outerloop Records, so it’s all been happening so fast. We’ve been on the road nonstop since then, so we want to say thank you for accepting us so quickly, because we weren’t necessarily one of those bands that took years to take off. Not saying we’ve blown up, but as far as getting where we have, it has happened really fast. Thanks for being so supportive off the bat!