Youth Killed It are set to release their second EP, Welcome to the Happy Girl’s Club, on 21 October. We spoke to the band’s guitarist Carlos Montero to find out more…
Norwich-based five-piece Youth Killed It released their first EP, Welcome to the Sad Boy’s Club, in April, and had the single Keep it Real played on Radio 1.
Their follow-up EP, Welcome to the Happy Girl’s Club, will be out in October, and the band have already released a music video for its first single, Molly, which follows the band as they romp around a grey seaside backdrop.”We filmed the video in the seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea,” says Carlos. “No, really, that’s what it’s called. Kind of obvious when you get there and you’re surrounded by the sea. But we have a lot of history in Wells and have spent a lot of summers there.
“We wanted the video to be fun,” he continues, “like going out on a date to a seaside town with your favourite person. That’s why we tried to recreate as many love tropes as possible. Unfortunately, the weather turned sour, so we weren’t able to hit up the tandem bike or pedalos, but we’ll save them for next time!”
Despite some ambiguity in the lyrics, Carlos confirms that Molly is a song about singer Jack Murphy’s pet cat – “We really love cats and animals in general, so why not dedicate a song to something a lot of people can relate to: loving your cat?” – although he adds that song lyrics are always open to interpretation: “People will always tie meaningful events or ideas to music as that is what art is really all about: taking something that someone makes and attaching your own thoughts and opinions to it.”
Other tracks on the EP will include reluctant grownup anthem I Ain’t Ready For It, and condemnation of the British education system FUDGE. “A lot of these songs are written entirely by Jack,” Carlos explains. “These are some of the things he’s gone through. We sometimes like to chuck in a lyric idea here and there, but for the majority, Jack is expressing his own childhood and his views of growing up in a small county in Britain.”
While they may relate to a specific experience, Carlos agrees there’s something universal about the sentiments expressed in the tracks. “I think specifically, FUDGE is a song that a lot of people can relate to. Especially coming from the British education system, a lot of kids either get left behind or are told that their dreams are stupid or unrealistic. For us, music is our reality, and we’re happy doing just that… I Ain’t Ready For It is about being pushed into growing up or seeing how others are moving on with their lives and settling down. It’s a long hard road of disenfranchisement but someone’s got to do it!”
FUDGE also resonates with Carlos’s own experiences. “I’ve gone through a lot of similar stuff growing up,” he says. “I had plenty of people tell me I wouldn’t amount to anything. Well look now, Mr Cook – I’m paying for an expensive flatshare in London and working in digital media whilst trying to juggle my life around music! Who’s the idiot now?”
“It’s about doing what you love despite that voice in the back of your head telling you that no one cares…”
Despite being released in the same year as the band’s debut, Carlos confirms that the new EP will cover very diffferent themes: “The first EP was more negative with songs like You Don’t Know or Popstar, whereas the new one is definitely a lot more positive.
“This new EP is about finding your voice in a crowd of people,” Carlos adds. “Songs like FUDGE sound like they’re about failing or not doing well enough, but really it’s about learning that everyone has their own goals and no one is too worried about anyone else’s. It’s about doing what you love, despite that voice in the back of your head telling you that no one cares or people think it’s shit – that doesn’t matter. These songs are meant to represent the fight against your inner monologue, about just letting loose and having a bit of fun!”
The band draw on a wide range of musical influences. “We’re very much influenced by early Britpop and punk… bands like Arctic Monkeys and Madness… we love Gorillaz, PUP, The Streets, Santana, The Smiths, John Frusciante, Wonk Unit, City and Colour… so a bit of everything! That’s why songs like Molly go from fast riffs to acoustic middle eights, I guess!”
Carlos also reflects on the differences between working with Youth Killed It and playing guitar in Bethan Mary Leadley‘s band. “It’s totally a different experience,” he says. “With Bethan’s music, it’s very much her baby and we stick to playing the parts we’re meant to play, whereas with the band, we all have creative input into what’s going into the mixture. Even then, Bethan is still super chill with us maybe improvising different sections or trying out cool things in her songs. Also, we get to do some wicked covers like Fall Out Boy and Kimbra!”
The band will be celebrating the release of the EP with a live performance in Shoreditch on 20 October, supported by Autumn Ruin and Daniel Dobbs, which they are hoping to follow up with a tour. As for the future, Carlos states: “We very much just want to keep on writing songs that we can put out there. Maybe when we’ve been in the game for longer and got a bit more material behind us, we’ll look into putting out a full-length!”
Welcome to the Happy Girl’s Club will be available from 21 October. More details can be found on the Youth Killed It website.