Dave: Gang of Youths’ new album, tour coming this year

How’s this for some good news to start the year? Gang of Youths will be back in the spotlight this year with a new album, tour date, and this next cycle of activity will see the band staying busy into 2022.

That’s the word from Dave’s appearance on the Carry the Fire Podcast — hosted by Dustin Kensrue, lead singer of the band Thrice, and also a former worship leader. He and Dave spoke in mid-December (when the band was, as Dave says, on the second-to-last day of demo work for the new album), but the podcast was just published today.

At about the 75-minute mark, when the conversation was wrapping up, Kensrue asked Dave to talk about Gang of Youths’ upcoming plans. And that’s when he re-confirmed a new album, tour dates, and an activity cycle that will continue into 2022.

We will release something next year, swear to God … cross my heart. We are going to go to New Zealand in February; I’m going to visit some of my dad’s family. I don’t know what we’re playing or doing there.

We’ll be touring, not like tons next year, ’cause we’ll still be working on this fucking monstrosity [referencing the new album]. But yeah … 2020/2021 we’ll be doing stuff, into early 2022. And then I intend on retiring and becoming a pig farmer. We’ll see how it goes. [laughs]

Dave had previously told a concert audience in Los Angeles that there’ll be an album and tour in 2020, but that bit about a 2-year cycle is certainly interesting — it speaks to the level of promotion that the band and new label Warner Music are planning to grow the band’s footprint.

Earlier in the conversation, Dave also talked about the new album in terms of his own songwriting — and specifically, how he’s writing primarily about his late father. Again, it’s a topic he’s addressed before, but in this conversation he says his songwriting is “like an anthropological journey” because of what he’s learned since his dad’s death in 2018.

Now what I’m writing about is the death of my father — or attempting to fecking write about — is the death of my father, how much I fucking loved my dad, and then all the crazy, bonkers shit I found out about him since he died.

It’s kind of like an anthropological journey. My father was the most mysterious fucking man I ever met in my life, and sincerely from the bottom of my black heart, he was the greatest, most wonderful human I ever met. And so living without him now is a shit. I always tell Cort, this is as much about “What do I do now?” as it is about how fucking incredible and strange was this dude.

In reference to the previous conversation, it’s like … when my dad died, I felt like God died. And I had to just invent him again. ‘Cause my dad died, that was like, “Oh, okay, there’s no God!” Cause he’s dead now. Cause my dad was basically like, as close to that as I could ever possibly get, and I had to just reconfigure him from fucking scraps. I think I did an okay job.

It’s a fascinating conversation that runs more than an hour and tackles a lot of the deep topics that longtime GOY fans probably expect to hear in this kind of setting — philosophy, God, growing up in Australia, etc. There’s a lot of discussion about Go Farther In Lightness, which Dave says he hates now.

There’s a potentially interesting bit at the end of the conversation when Kensrue asks Dave for advice as his band, Thrice, is prepping to go into the studio. One of Dave’s suggestions is to “listen to monumental pieces of art that aren’t in your genre,” which Dave follows by saying he’s been listening to Terry Riley’s In C — a classical/minimalist collection of musical bits without a defined structure. It makes you wonder if that will have any impact on the band’s new songs. (You can listen to a performance on YouTube.)

Anyway, you can find Carry the Fire on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast platforms, or just listen online at CarrytheFirepod.com. It’s well worth the 80 minutes.

As always, keep an eye on our Gang of Youths new album page for all the latest news about the band’s upcoming album.

(Photo by Dave Jennings, used with permission.)

Max: Dave’s Dad Will Be ‘Huge Inspiration’ For Next Album

Dave Le’aupepe’s dad, Tattersall, is sure to have a big influence on the next Gang of Youths album. That’s the word from Max Dunn in a new interview out today from the US-based music magazine, RIFF.

“I know that our record that we’re about to start making will definitely be touched by what happened with his father,” Max says. “I think that will be a lot of the bigger issues. But it’s never small with David.”

The what happened is a reference to Mr. Le’aupepe’s death last summer from cancer at the age of 80. It forced the band to cancel appearances at several North American festivals, including big ones like Lollapalooza and Outside Lands.

Speaking with RIFF, Max says he expects Dave will write about his dad and the experience of losing a parent as a major theme on the next GOY album — just as the band’s first two albums covered big, serious subject matter.

“That’s probably what’s going to happen on the next album and you know, Tattersall, Dave’s dad, will obviously be a huge inspiration for us,” Dunn said. “Writing from experience is one of our greatest strengths and abilities — to kind of take these huge, fucked-up things like death … and go, ‘This is me being human.'”

Dave has been paying tribute to his dad in concert when the band plays “The Heart Is A Muscle.” During last year’s MTV Unplugged performance, he said “This song is for the man who taught me to love the best.” More recently, at the band’s show in Cologne eight days ago, he talked about his dad’s influence at length before the song began. Listen here:

The interview also serves, to some degree, as an introduction to the band for music fans who might be getting their GOY introduction this weekend at the Boston Calling and BottleRock festivals, where the band is due to perform tomorrow and Sunday, respectively. Max talks about the band’s formation, musical influences and the influence that Hillsong church has had on their development.

Check it out at RIFFmagazine.com.

And for the latest on GOY’s next album, see our dedicated Gang of Youths new album page.

(Video and photo by Bas Jensen for DeepestSighs.com.)

Gang of Youths describe “Bad Taco Night” (their worst live gig)

Gang of Youths has been making the rounds on Radio X in the UK this week and last week, drumming up interest in the band’s mini-residency at Islington Assembly Hall (that starts on Wednesday) and telling some interesting stories along the way.

One of those stories came up on Radio X’s Evening Show, when host Gordon Smart asked Max and Dave to talk about Gang of Youths’ worst live gig. There wasn’t much hesitancy as Max started talking about “Bad Taco Night,” with Dave chiming in to add more details.

As the story goes, it was a gig in Los Angeles with a lot of music industry-types in attendance, which made for a bad atmosphere from the start. There were sound problems. The industry folks just stood and stared at the band, or talked to each other, then eventually started leaving one-by-one. And after the show, the band went out for Mexican food “and that sucked” too, as Max said.


On the bright side, as Dave explained, that show ended up being a “turning point” for GOY and taught the band a valuable lesson:

“It was the worst gig ever, but it actually taught me the most about being in a band, and what is actually important and not, y’know? And it’s taken us more than half a decade, like seven years, to get to any kind of point internationally, but it feels like maybe that was a turning point for us, because of our attitude. It was one of the most profound lessons I’ve ever learned. I think for Maxy, too.”

You can listen to the segment below. Max talks first, then Dave, and host Gordon Smart jumps in, as well.

If I had to guess, Max and Dave are referring to one or both of the shows that Gang of Youths played in Los Angeles at the Moroccan Lounge — May 20 and May 21, 2018. I’m basing that on the fact industry analyst Bob Lefsetz flew in for the shows, and in his write-up he talks about various radio reps and festival scouts being there. Ian Cohen of Stereogum was also there and wrote that it felt “like an industry showcase.”

If you’re unable to listen to the audio, I’ve done my best to transcribe the conversation. That’s posted below.

Max: We have a gig we all call within the band, Bad Taco Night. It was in Los Angeles, in a place called —

Dave: — which, Los Angeles, for a lot of people, is a joyous, wonderful place filled with magical rainbows and fairies and movie directors, and then if you’re in the music industry just starting out, is a place where dreams go to die. It is a vacuum, a soulless void filled with people who are going to chow down on every dream you have in your heart.

That was at that stage, and now? L.A.’s great. But back then, it was bleak. Sorry, continue mate.

Max: Oh, it was just like we always … this group, it’s like running out of a trench or playing a game of football. Like, it’s always all heart. And I think that’s the only time we’ve all collectively got off [stage] and just thought, Man, we sucked tonight. It was just garbage.

Dave: The upper echelons of the Los Angeles music fraternity were there and they kinda started trickling out. [laughs]

Max: [laughs] It was the worst show to (???). Like, everybody — all the bookers. And I think we went out for Mexican, and then that sucked. So that’s why we call it Bad Taco Night.

Gordon Smart: What was so bad about it, like musically?

Dave: It was just paralyzingly stale inside the room. The sound was terrible. Like, Guy was screwing up. And playing in front of music industry types when you’re like a little band and you think that they’re gonna save your life? That’s real intimidating, so when they give you absolutely nothing in return? When it’s a sea of white faces just staring at you, drinking, talking and then leaving one by one? It’s pretty heartbreaking.

And so, like, we learned a valuable lesson a few years ago and now we’re the most light and easy, free, not-jaded people on the planet, ’cause I think we forgot how to care about that stuff. And it was actually … it was the worst gig ever, but it actually taught me the most about being in a band, and what is actually important and not, y’know? And it’s taken us more than half a decade, like seven years, to get to any kind of point internationally, but it feels like maybe that was a turning point for us, because of our attitude. It was one of the most profound lessons I’ve ever learned. I think for Maxy, too.

Max: Yeah, it was definitely like the only time everybody’s got off, and we spent like a day, like no one talking. It was like we’d lost a really important match. That’s how it felt.