Los Angeles – Over the past few years, Sydney, Australia quintet Gang of Youths have been producing incredible singles, but it wasn’t until just last month that they finally released their highly anticipated debut LP, The Positions. I reviewed the record for Best New Bands noting, “The Positions will haunt you, but console you. It will strike up fears and anxiety, but pacify your worries. It will paint a picture of darkness, yet also is capable of shedding lightness. Most of all, it will provide the listener with hope and that’s the greatest achievement it can offer.” It’s a powerful piece of music that needs to be heard by many. I recently caught up with lead singer and songwriter David Le’aupepes, whose band is about to embark on a small tour in Australia.
This album (The Positions) is an exceptional debut release. Can you discuss the process bringing this album to light?
Hey thank you so much — and that’s a really fucking nice way to start this, hahaha. I started writing The Positions in 2011 when I was 19. The girl I was with was told she had stage 4 cancer — we’d been together for a year prior and although she was technically fighting cancer before then, we were under the impression that she was “stable” at the very least. At the time we got the news I was working shit jobs and avoiding anything related to writing or composing music, because at that stage I’d decided that it wasn’t what I was going to do with my life. After the news, I felt like I wanted to just start writing shit that she could listen to. I enlisted my best friends to play on some recordings and now we’re here.
What prompted you to define the band as Gang of Youths?
I ripped off Gang Of Four. Not ashamed to admit it.
Where did the inspiration and influence derive from while crafting this album?
James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Tom Robbins, Born To Run, The Joshua Tree, Daydream Nation, The Monitor, Hospice, Let It Be (The Replacements)
If you were to select another artist’s work, who’s artistry (album) has had the most impact on you?
This is going to be a split between Leslie Feist, Wilco, and Slayer. I can’t decide who I love more.
Bonus track “Still Unbeaten Life” is stunning and chill-worthy. The lyrics seem very close to home. Can you elaborate on the story behind the song?
Yeah, I feel like they are pretty stark and confessional in many ways — I wrote the song after I moved to the states to live with my former partner — we were living together and trying to function as this happy couple with this god awful hell hanging over us. It’s about the importance of emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy when dealing with crisis and grief and trauma.
If Gang of Youths could play anywhere in the world, where would that be? And why?
In my parents’ garage. Those days were golden and pure. You should come hang out. Bring some beers.
Check out Gang of Youths’ website for more information on the band and tour dates.
Latest posts by Sean Kayden (see all)
- Gang of Youths Put On An Epic Performance In Los Angeles - June 22, 2017
- Cigarettes After Sex Show Off Strong Debut LP - June 12, 2017
- Beach Fossils Comeback With ‘Somersault’ - May 24, 2017