Label: Fueled By Ramen - 7567-86652-2 • Format: CD Album • Country: UK & Europe • Genre: Rock • Style: Alternative Rock, Indie Rock
U nderstanding identity is more relevant and important now than perhaps ever before. Home of the Strange — Young the Giant. That unity may, in part, be due to a common story-line threaded gently throughout the record. Home of the Strange can be whatever you want it to be: A collection of killer rock anthems, driving jams, and hauntingly sweet ballads; a protest; a cheer. Alternatively, it can be all those things and more. What do our Amerika - Young The Giant - Home Of The Strange mean, and how can we overcome them in order to come together?
Atwood Magazine: Great to meet you, Sameer! Where are you right now? Sameer Gadhia : Nice meeting you too, over the phone. First of all, congratulations on the release of Home of the Strange! Gadhia : You know, every album is different, and it kind of reflects the musical environment of where we are.
It kind of happened halfway through the cycle. Most people were illegally downloading, and some consciousness people were using iTunes to buy the singles. By the second album, streams had become an important thing, but no one really knew where it was going. Now this time, streaming is everything! That landscape is completely Groovy People - Lou Rawls - All Things In Time (Vinyl, Album, LP) between a year or two from now.
We decided to share a lot of this album beforehand, and I think that was a smart decision for where we find ourselves now. It constantly feels like a brave new world. Streams are great! Something we think about is if we had started the band now, how much harder it would be!
Do you feel some responsibility there? Is Young the Giant trying to bear some of that burden, as a current rock band? At the same time as technology has changed, Young the Giant's music maintains its integrity. And you're still going by the album format. Gadhia : Yeah, I mean I think we still believe in it. I think that comes from maybe just being ideological, or… just coming from a different time. We can afford the ability to have that. We know that we have fans who will listen to the whole thing.
I feel like there's something different about the third album. What was the mindset going into this third cycle? I think finally, after the second album cycle was done — I think the end kind of was when we were on tour with Kings of Leon; I think that was the very end of — that we felt a little bit more relaxed.
At the end of the day, we just wanted to continue to write the best music that we could, and that was it! It's interesting that you talk about how you were able to put yourselves in a bubble, because so much of this Amerika - Young The Giant - Home Of The Strange is about self-identity. Gadhia : Most definitely. The great thing about this band is that we all write everything together. We share the load, and every time we write, we have a slightly different process.
Amerika - Young The Giant - Home Of The Strange think that that constant search, especially at our age, is prevalent, and in modern times, I think a lot of people feel lost and unsure of where to Amerika - Young The Giant - Home Of The Strange their feet. I find a dichotomy on the album between appreciation and love for this country, but at the same time total disillusionment and a jaded sense.
Gadhia : Yes. We wanted people to take their own thing from it. So the recording process for Home of the Strange started in early ? We were just going around in studios when we had days off. It really made sense — that really stuck. We started thinking of this character of Titus, and how he was the main person Another Un Song - The Electric Company - The Electric Company all this stuff had happened to, and I think it kind of rolled from there.
I love the duality - the misspelled 'Amerika' and the 'Home of the Brave' wordplay. It ties everything together: Before you even listen to the record, you sense these sociopolitical undertones. I feel like Young the Giant took more risks this time around. Do you feel that Amerika - Young The Giant - Home Of The Strange We just became more elegant with the moves that we wanted to make.
You can see some of those things in the seeds of what we did on the extended album for the first record, some of the B-sides, and kind of even on unreleased demos of the second album. I think for us, those risky, left-field moves have always felt like the more comfortable thing to do. I'd say if anything, Home of the Strange is the least cohesive record that you've made, which makes it feel that much more honest. Gadhia : Thank you. That feels Amerika - Young The Giant - Home Of The Strange something new.
Gadhia : Acoustic [music] has always been a big part of who we are from a really young age. I grew up with a lot of Elliot Smith, Nick Drake, and even Bon Iver — those guys are still doing it right now — and I love that folk tradition.
Some of the best love songs are also on this album. I think I felt more comfortable with it this time, and more comfortable with the layers you can have in a love song. At the end of the day, love is really the most universal thing that everyone can feel.
What is the album's highlight, for you? So my attention is moving towards those songs that have just now released. Which means it's time to make more music. Gadhia : Yep! Your catalog is more expansive now. What do you find, from the first album, that you love going back to? Are you going to try to update some of those songs to make them fit into the Young Destroyer - Destroyer 666* - Violence Is The Prince Of This World Giant of ?
How do you decide when and where to break into falsetto? What type of touch does it need? Does it need me blaring, or does it need me yelling? Do I need to be more emotive, or is it something a little bit more elegant? So this is Titus' Home of the Strange? Gadhia : Yes laughs. Is Titus an immigrant? Gadhia : Yeah, to a certain extent. I was born in America, but my parents are immigrants; they came here and they had a lot of Indian friends.
Did the story of Titus inspire the songs, or did the songs inspire Titus? Gadhia : I think the song ended up inspiring Titus for that one. And so, Titus would grow Taller and strong as an oak Rainwater stuck in his head It filled him with words left unsaid Of all the things he might be Drifting at sea At night he would dream.
As a first-generation American born to Indian immigrants, your background has given you a unique window. You've been touring the world for the past four to five years now, and you've seen a lot of this country. How has your experience changed? How has your identity changed? In a good or bad way… I always felt very close to my culture, and I give major props to my parents for not wanting to whitewash themselves.
My parents were really good about dancing that line, but when I grew up… I grew up in Irvine, which is a melting pot of these different ethnicities, and actually a lot of immigrants.
At the end of the day, these parents are coming here so that their kids can have good schools. Then I went to school at Stamford, which was a very liberal school… I could still, at that point though, I did know.
Those are the kids from the South, or from New England, who are just not used to you being around. Then, I think when we traveled a lot, we could really see that! Were people off-put at first when they met Young the Giant? Did you ever sense that? That's good. People will bring it up. I think your album forces the conversation now, too. Gadhia : Yeah, exactly.
Are you excited for this upcoming tour, for that reason? Sep 29 : The Pageant, St. Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. In his Various - Danse Party Chez Annette Vadim hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite I Love Being Here With You - Diana Krall - Live In Rio (Blu-ray) for Atwood.
Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring.
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