INTERVIEW: NaiveYouth

NaiveYouth are ready to make the leap to recording and releasing original songs they have written – they took some time out from their busy lives to chat to me, before the hard work for the band begins.

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1. Why did you decide to name the band NaiveYouth?

Pretty cliche; standard 15-16 year old lads tryna be edgy I guess haha. Nah, we were all talking about how one day we were gonna just become massive and sell out venues, and I remember Steff was sitting there with his shades on thinking he was cool as fuck, and was like ‘bloody hell, the youth of today are naive as fuck mind’ and yeah it kind of just stuck from there – we all thought yeah that’s the one.

2. How many members are currently in the group, and what role does each member have?

There’s 3 members currently – so there’s Josh, Ed and Steff. Currently we don’t have a drummer, so at the moment it’s me (Josh) on lead vocals. Then there’s Ed on guitar and vocals, and Steff on bass and vocals. But when we record I’m probably gonna have to wing playing drums as well!

3. Before NaiveYouth existed, you guys were all firm friends beforehand – has the dynamic of your friendship changed since you decided to start up the band?

We’re 3 mates, all completely different, with some different interests and stories and all that shit, but we all obsessed with music. I (Josh) remember meeting Steff on the first day of college and him thinking I was an absolute wanker, and the friendship stemmed from there really haha. (Deep down I knew he proper loved me though). We all kind of got closer through mutual friends and then kind of just stuck as a group. With that in mind NaiveYouth has sort of been around ever since we met so it’s quite a cool concept and exciting for us all.

4. You’ve all busked as a group before NaiveYouth – did you decide to busk as a way of promoting yourselves, to travel around the country or for another reason? More and more bands, including Glass Caves, have used busking to gain exposure and awareness of their music, and appears to be becoming a more popular route to go down.

Glass Caves are brilliant, and what they’ve achieved from where they started is definitely something a band like us aspire to be like for sure. Steff was in Ibiza living the dream whilst we busked (Ed and Josh); I (Josh) was supposed to go Ibiza aswell, but we won’t get into that story right now… but me not going to Ibiza resulted in travelling through a different city every night hoping to make enough money to pay a B’n’B for the night in wherever we were at. It was a mad week, one that was an eye opening one for us and we should have really got the ball rolling then. But here we are 2 years later, trying to pick up the pieces.

5. The band have some music written which you’re looking to record soon – can you tell us anything about the songs i.e. if they’re on any specific subjects, and what kind of genre they are?

Yeah we’ve written a fair amount of songs. The subjects change from each song; you’ve got the cliche break up song, an anthem for the youngsters, a rebellious song, and one that makes no fucking sense. It’s going to be an interesting week of recording when were all together at home, probably with a lot of chopping and changing to perfect everything.

6. Speaking of genres, which one do you think your music will fit into predominantly, or will you experiment with several genres?

To be perfectly honest, it’s very hard to put them in a genre; I suppose some songs could be deemed alternative and then others blues. We’re trying to be experimental. Basically if it sounds right we’ll record, whether that’s pop, rock or just weird noises.

7. Where would you like to see the band in a year’s time – do you hope to have had played live shows in certain venues, released your first single/EP/album etc?

In a year’s time I’d like to see us playing at Clwb (Clwb Ifor Bach, a well known venue in Cardiff); we’re setting ourselves short term goals rather than being that prick who expects to be playing Glastonbury after learning 4 chords. We’re gonna take everything as it comes and fingers crossed Steff will still be alive by then.

8. The music industry has experienced a lot of change in recent years, from the rise in free music magazines (including that dramatic change in NME), to streaming becoming a major factor in the charts – do you think these changes have made it easier or harder for new bands like yours to break?

You’d expect music platforms would make it easier for small bands to break through, but look at Spotify and how little they pay bands for the streams they get. It’s hard to pursue a career in music when all you get paid is 6p for the 10,000 streams you get. NME are a complete farce – ever since they made the magazine free it’s as though anyone can write for them. Smaller blogs are the pathway for up and coming bands as the smaller blogs are the only ones who’ll give them recognition. I suppose though you can’t expect anything to be handed to you on a plate – you’ve got to grab everything by the balls, so we’ll try that one.

9. Did you guys get up to anything fun for Easter?

We were all apart sadly, probably the first Easter apart since we all met. Steff went to the races and got smashed to the point when he was thrown out in his finery! Ed spent the week sunbathing in sunny Tenerife and burnt like a crisp, and Josh is still in India, so we were all dotted around the globe.

10. Where has been the best place to busk / go for a night out in the UK so far?

Ed – For me it’s probably got to be Lincoln; I had a hell of a laugh there after busking, and it was probably one of the best nights of my life.

Steff – As long as I can’t walk by the end of the night I’m sound.

Josh – Best place for a night out is probably Bristol, but it depends on who you’re with; I haven’t had a bad night out with either of these two!

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You can keep up to track on when the guys will next be busking/performing, and when they will have their first songs out, by following their Twitter account. They are also in the process of setting up a website.

As NaiveYouth said, small blogs such as mine are one of the only ways up and coming bands are getting recognition; I’ve done a number of Q&As with fantastic emerging acts and you can read interviews with bands right here, including:

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