As we adapt to the new post-COVID world around us, new opportunities to interview bands/musicians have opened up and it is our great pleasure to announce our latest incarnation Wall Of Sound – Virtual Hangs!
This series will be based around online interviews/hangouts we have with artists with the purpose of taking you into their lives and getting you up close and personal in a way that’s not your typical question and answer based interview. We like having fun here at WoS HQ and as we grow, we’re constantly looking at new ways to get you involved, so stay tuned for more.
Kicking off this new venture is the one and only YUNGBLUD who joined me via Zoom for a chat about his upcoming sophomore album weird! (our review here) which is set for release this Friday (December 4th) via Universal Music Australia. The album title alone described the wondrous world of YUNGBLUD (real name Dom Harrison) who we’ve seen on stage, in music videos and the media as this energetic, “no fooks given” larrikin who is hellbent on leaving his mark upon the world and reminding us all that it’s okay to be ourselves, no matter what we look like.
When quizzed about how his latest opus differentiates from his everyday persona, it turns out (as expected) there’s not a lot of differences really, as Dom revealed:
“This album is about my every day life. This album is about the weirdest years of our lives… I wanted to write a record that is so full of fookin’ truth, it might make you squirm at times. I wanted to write a record that’s just got no bullshit to it. I think at some point, when you come to your second album, people almost want you to go poppier, but this album is punkier and louder and more guitars and more fookin’ noise.”
An example of this can be heard in his latest single ‘Mars‘, which was inspired by a transgender fan whose parents didn’t accept her for who she was. Dom wrote the track as an anthemic ballad for taking a stand against transphobia, homophobia and standing strong with the LGBTQIA+ community. A group he has been fighting for since day one (and doing a bloody impressive job at it might I say).
For the naysayers who don’t see Dom’s punk influences, you only need to look back into this guy’s life to know it’s always been around him, since a very young age might I add:
“I grew up in a family [where] I was surrounded by rock & roll music me whole life. I literally grew up in a guitar shop, me old man ran a guitar shop… there’s literally a picture of me about six hours old in a car seat on me dad’s counter, with a fookin’ Beatles ukulele across me legs…”
“Rock & Roll is legitimately in my water” – YUNGBLUD on early rock roots.
But put all preconceptions aside, because this new album, weird!, might be an album by YUNGBLUD, but it’s an album dedicated to those who have supported him over the years and the impact they’ve made on his life by sharing their stories and struggles:
“[weird! is] about my fanbase, it’s an album about the people I’ve met… I’ve been all over the world and it’s about every person of every shape, every size from every continent, every sexuality, every colour and every point of view and the way they’ve impacted my life. I just can’t wait to get it out”
And at 23 years of age, he’s in the prime time enjoyment part of his life, but according to his close ties with blink-182 member Travis Barker, this is the age when nobody likes you (RE: ‘What’s My Age Again‘) as I cheekily pointed out to Dom, to which he grinned like a Cheshire cat and replied:
“That’s so funny that you say that, cuz everyone says like ’23, nobody likes you’ when I turned 23 [and] I was like ‘uh-oh I should have dropped me album earlier then shouldn’t I!'”
Talking about his friendship with Travis, he’s also best mates with Colson Baker – who you might know as Machine Gun Kelly – and this morning, the trio have teamed up yet again for a surprise collaboration out of nowhere called ‘acting like that‘. This fresh AF song follows on from their critically acclaimed single ‘I Think I’m Okay‘, (released in June 2019), and heads more in the pop punk direction as opposed their pop ballad released last year.
Our reviewer Heather McNab shared her thoughts on the track for this piece stating:
“The vocal combination of MGK and Yungblud is phenomenal. I love that it’s not too pop punk, it’s not too rap based; it’s just a super clean song and it shows off what I would say is the best of both singers’ vocal abilities.”
Steam on Spotify here
When I asked Dom about how this second, last-minute collaboration came about, he was more than happy to share insights on the rush release revealing it’s earliest conception first dated back to pre-COVID times:
“The last one went so well, because it’s just best mates making music like Kells [MGK] is me best mate; Travis I had on my wall, you know what I mean, I’ve been obsessed with Travis [for years] and, I don’t know man, we just got in a studio last time, made ‘I Think I’m Okay’ and it just felt right and it blew up…
At the start of this year, we were all in LA recording… and I’m telling you, it was like the 70s, we call it the dark month… Everyone was at each other’s house before the pandemic hit… Me, Kells, Travis, 24kGoldn, blackbear, even Marshmello at times was popping his fookin’ mad head round.”
“Everyone was just drunk for a month. It was like, we were all just making the music we wanted to make in the company of our mates. It just felt like a [rock] scene was happening again…” – YUNGBLUD on where his plethora of songs/collaborations stemmed from during the “Dark Month” in early 2020
And if you’re wondered how many other tracks these musicians managed to make, YUNGBLUD revealed he’s got a pretty full bank of new material that’s going to come in handy for his own future releases:
“I have legitimately about 60 songs ready to go… this is what we can do now, there ain’t no rules anymore… At the end of the day, everyone was on a creative tangent. Every single one of us were, it was so amazing to be apart of it. It was amazing to kind of look at your best mates going ‘You’re making insane shit right now!”
Insane is definitely one way to look at it when you see the quality of music these talented musicians have been producing together, not to mention Dom’s dive into heavy music world with his collaboration alongside Bring Me The Horizon for ‘Obey‘ earlier this year. The man fits the sound perfectly whilst bouncing off frontman Oli Sykes like two mates bantering in a pub, but would he ever head back in that musician direction on his own releases?
Well, it turns out he already has and he’s bringing along a big name in the process:
“Bruv, you have no idea, there’s one song… that I’m gonna bring out after weird! That is, I can’t believe it, I literally have a complete rock icon on there, that, it’s pretty unfathomable, to be honest, to kind of even comprehend…”
“It’s fookin’ heavy as fuck!” – YUNGBLUD on the special heavy track he’s been working on behind the scenes…
We honestly can’ wait to see what this talented mind does next. His latest album weird! is out on Friday, his fresh collaboration with MGK/Travis Barker is also out now and you’ll be able to get up close and personal with Dom in September 2021 for his Life on Mars – Australian Tour. You better believe we’ll be lining up early too!!
Enjoy the full chat below, give YUNGBLUD a crack and delve deep into his weird and wacky alternative world, you never know, you may find yourself becoming a die-hard fan in a matter of minutes!
Virtual Hangs/Words by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown @brownypaul
Pre-order weird! here
Yungblud – weird! tracklisting:
2. cotton candy
3. strawberry lipstick
6. love song
7. god save me, but don’t drown me out
8. ice cream man
11. it’s quiet in beverly hills
12. the freak show