We caught up with Kaya (vocalist) from Blood Youth to chat about the band’s formation, their debut album release for ‘beyond repair’ and signing contracts before live shows to not mention certain words at this year’s Groezrock festival in Belgium.
How did you come up with the band’s name?
Honestly I wish we had a cool story but we just threw some names together and we were like I think that could represent us but what I like about it is people have taken the name and been like “it means this to me” and “it means that to me” and I’m like “okay that’s really cool” than us going it means this…
We just kinda threw it out there and that was it. When we wrote the songs we were still trying to find a name and our manager at the time was like “what about this what do you think?” and we were like “cool, yeah”. So that was it, it’s open for interpretation whatever people want it to mean to them.
Did you think about how it would look design-wise for logos etc. ?
Yeah, literally things like that how does it look on merch how does it look on posters. We had things that just didn’t work on posters and to us, it means a lot to see our name and short and sweet is cool.
We like it! So how would you pitch your music to a new audience?
Aggressive music but you can kind of sing a lot to it as well, half of our audience is kids that come to mosh and half of it is people on their friend’s shoulders so we really like that.
When we play shows we have to sign a contract that says I can’t say words, I won’t say what shows it is but we’ve had to sign a contract and I’m like oh come on.
What type of words?
Just anything that will ignite a pit. But it’s fine, I’d rather sign a contract and everyone be safe. We played a show two weeks ago and a kid dislocated his knee and we had to stop the show five songs in. some people were mad at the show but there was nothing we could do, they literally had all the paramedics in and the kid was on a drip in the middle of the floor.
Now I understand blood youth and it’s meaning. Can we just discuss the band’s formation and line up changes?
The band started how it is and line up changes are just part of any band, most have gone through line up changes you go through back and forth who fits whatever. The spine and heart of the band has always been myself, Chris and Sam, we’ve written and recorded every single song so to us nothing has changed at all.
I guess to us when you watch the live show it just looks a bit different. But that’s it, its just life and it’s being in a band. You get different paths and opportunities. When we first started Sam (Neck Deep) was in our band and then he went to go and join neck deep, we’re like best mates with Sam, we see each other all the time but we had no ground to stand on when he got the offer from Neck Deep we had five songs written and we were playing in pubs and when you get that opportunity to play in arenas around the world who are we to go no you’re a dick, we were like dude that sounds sick do it. The main core of blood youth has never changed which is the best thing.
Your debut album ‘Beyond Repair’ has just been released. Would you say there’s been a dramatic difference in sound from then to now?
Yeah, I’d say with the two EP’s we were experimenting a bit cause the first EP is quite heavy and the second EP, well the first song is an acoustic song. So we were like how melodic can we go? How heavy can we go? and we found out and we realised what we like playing live and what people like seeing live and we created an album out of it. So it’s the perfect balance of what we like in music.
What’s the meaning behind the album’s title?
I always found it really tough, like a couple of years ago like expressing going mad. I didn’t feel good and I’d always been like that and I would just go out and get really drunk and hammered just on my own in bars, I’d be that guy.
‘Beyond Repair’ is about the conversations I had with people when I was in a bar. There was this one dude I was talking to when I was out on my own and he was out on his own and he was looking to start a fight and he wanted to start a fight because his girlfriend just broke up with him and it was the only way he could express himself, by fighting and being violent and I was like “Dude that’s insane!”.
I went home and wrote the song ‘Parasite’ (which is on the album) straight after I met him so it’s all just from that and it’s really fascinating how people express anger I was going out to get absolutely hammered, he was going out to start a fight and then some people do a bunch of drugs and that’s what the album is about, expressing yourself.
Who would be your dream tour companions?
Amazingly we’ve already played with my dream band, which is Every Time I Die. Everybody has an artist or musician you look up to and be like that’s my hero sort of thing and we did a run of shows with them and I wasn’t even cool the whole time I was like a fan I was requesting songs from them and I was like “You know when you played that show in 2003 Milwaukee when did that happen and what happened there?” and they were like “urm…”. I asked them to play a song and they were like “We don’t even play that anymore”. Yeah I was that guy but they were really cool about it.
But we’ve been really lucky to play with some bands we look up to, we’ve only been going for two years but we’ve done tours with Architects, While She Sleeps, Every Time I Die, Beartooth and it’s been really cool.
I know Chris and I would love to do a tour with Slipknot, that would be sick! we’d love to open up for them one day, it sounds crazy but whatever. I want Blood Youth to play Wembley someday, it sounds crazy. But I don’t believe in saying we can only get to this level, I wanna headline Groezrock!
How does it feel to get recognition from fans?
When people come up to me and I’m just like shopping or whatever, that makes me sound like I’m Craig David or something. When someone comes up and says “Oh, you’re from Blood Youth” that’s awesome if we can leave something behind to inspire people.
Whats your favourite 90’s jam?
It’s gonna have to be Red Hot Chili Peppers. I have a RHCP tattoo that inspired me, Fun fact when I was 13 I was in a RHCP tribute band called ‘One Hot Tribute’ and we used to hire out our village hall near our house and we didn’t know what bands did for sets so we used to like play the full set like two hours and our friends were like “oh my god this is so long!”.
If you could switch genres what would it be?
R’n’B. Justin Bieber style, like sexy R’n’B.
Whats the most important life skill that you have?
I’m a pretty good cook. I love food so I think to be able to cook is pretty good.
What’s your signature dish?
I make a really good vegan mac n cheese. But I can make anything.
Are you more of a hunter or gatherer?
I’d say hunter but I’m a vegan so it’s kinda weird to say that so I’d be the guy gathering fruits, I’d be the forager.
Whats one question you’ve never been asked?
Urr… probably that one! I’m not sure, I’d be here a good half an hour.