It’s been quite a while since we’ve had new music from the Australian rock band Gang of Youths, and we could not be more stoked about it. Four long years, but the wait is finally over! ‘the angel of 8th ave.’ is here, along with a stunning music video that was released last month.
Gang of Youths have been in the industry for a decade now and have gone through a lot of changes within the last four years. They moved from Australia to the United Kingdom, lost and gained a new member of the band, and now have their own studio in London, where they have unlimited creative freedom. That last part makes us incredibly happy!
We got the chance to chat to Dave Le’aupepe and Gang of Youths all about the major move to London and their new creative process! Read on to find out what has been going on in the Gang of Youths’ world since 2017.
You made the move from Australia to the U.K. in 2017. What is the one thing that surprised you the most from the move?
I think maybe just how life-changing the move was for us. We all lived together for the first time, which went surprisingly well. I found my wife here, Jung found his partner, we managed to steal Tom from another band. The whole process of becoming Londoners has been incredible.
Your new track, ‘the angel of 8th ave.’ is entirely self-produced. How much has this process differed from your previous albums?
We have always produced our music alongside incredibly talented engineers and producers. The change for this process has been gaining the confidence to hire our own space, bootleg the treatment, buy an iMac, and start making our own shit. We have worked extensively with Peter Katis and Peter Hutchings on the new music, and they feature throughout in different ways.
Craig Silvey, who worked with Arcade Fire and The National, mixed ‘the angel of 8th ave.’, what was it like working with him?
F*cking extraordinary. The man makes creative, risky, and delicious mixes.
It’s been four years since the release of Go Farther In Lightness. How has your process for writing and creating changed?
A big thing has been working on production ourselves more. Really sharing the process and working together with a lot of freedom to execute Dave’s vision. We’ve been making the new record for over two years!
What advice would you give to bands that might be going through large life changes?
Try to have gratitude and be present with sh*t. It’s so hard, particularly now with all this covid bullsh*t – but it’s easy to let the stress take you out of how great making music is with your mates. Communicate about everything.
Joel Barney directed the music video for ‘the angel of 8th ave.’ What was it like working with him, and how important was it to find someone who could make your ideas come to life?
Man, Dave hand-picked Joel. Was like ‘I want that guy.’ I think that’s what we’ve learned – we’ve got to find the person with the chops to make the sh*t in Dave’s head and then back them whatever the concept.
When you moved countries, you almost had to start from scratch. What was it like being able to play more intimate shows and reconnect with your audience in that way?
It rules. I cannot wait to play shows again! It’s been about two years.
Your previous guitarist, Joji Malani, moved back to Australia and was replaced with multi-instrumentalist Tom Hobden. How has the change affected the band?
Joji is an incredible musician and remains one of our best friends. Tom equally, is ridiculous. He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, musicality, and soul that are very much his own – that’s pushed the band in new ways. It’s been less about replacing Joji (impossible) and more about the whole band evolving to be the best version of itself with Tom as a key member.
You’ve mentioned that you don’t have set positions in the band any longer. How has that helped the collaboration and creative process within the band?
Man, it’s awesome. There’s just this freedom to come into our little room and try whatever you want, learn new things, and occasionally happen upon a part that really adds to a song. We want to enjoy the process and be open to it.
‘the angel of 8th ave.’ showcases Dave Le’aupepe’s beautiful way with words. What can you tell us about the new songwriting process, and what advice would you give to newer songwriters?
Dave’s writing process has a lot of variety. Sometimes a song comes in an hour at midnight, sometimes it takes a year. I guess good advice is to be patient with it and persist till you get there.
And last, but not least, what can we expect from Gang of Youths in the future?
A new record! We are working on it and I’m so excited because of where the music has been taken. It’s a new sound that we are really enjoying. Also – God-willing you can expect a sh*t ton of live shows.
Watch the music video for ‘the angel of 8th ave.’ below!
We want to thank Dave Le’aupepe and Gang of Youths for chatting with us. We loved hearing about the new track and their future plans. Who else cannot wait for even more new music from Gang of Youths? We sure can’t!
Featured Image Source: Amy Heycock | Edit by: Brittaney Penney, THP Graphic Design Team