Gang of Youths lands two albums in ARIA Top 2018 Vinyl Chart

Gang of Youths’ Go Farther In Lightness was the best-selling vinyl record by an Australian artist in 2018, according to the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).

To mark the launch of its new vinyl sales chart, the ARIA today revealed the best-selling vinyls of 2018, and GFIL came in at No. 6 overall — making it the top album by an Australian artist, and the only Aussie album to crack the top 10. Have a look:

  1. Queen – Greatest Hits
  2. Soundtrack – Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1
  3. Nirvana – Nevermind
  4. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
  5. Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
  6. Gang of Youths – Go Farther In Lightness
  7. Queen – Greatest Hits II
  8. The Beatles – Abbey Road
  9. The Beatles – The Beatles
  10. Original Soundtrack – Pulp Fiction

That’s not the only GOY album to make the list, either. The MTV Unplugged (Live In Melbourne) vinyl came in at No. 20 for the year.

The first weekly vinyl chart for 2019 will debut this Saturday in conjunction with the worldwide Record Store Day event.

Did Gang of Youths just sign with Warner Brothers Records UK?

Imagine my surprise when I was browsing through Instagram posts that had tagged Gang of Youths, and came upon the above picture in a post from Warner Brothers Records UK. (The same post is on their Facebook Page, too.)

The photo was posted Wednesday morning (London-time) and shows all of Gang of Youths, their manager Kurt Bailey, and at least some of the band’s significant others and friends — along with, presumably, several folks from Warner Brothers Records UK. There are lots of smiles and it seems like everyone has a glass of champagne in their hands.

It’s captioned this way:

We’re all very excited to welcome @gangofyouths to the @warnerbrosmusic gang.

That’s it; no other details. But reading between the lines — the smiles and champagne and that caption — it seems pretty safe to assume that Gang of Youths has signed some kind of record deal with Warner Brothers Records UK.

Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. I’m wondering if it’s a standard record deal, or perhaps just a distribution deal? What territory(ies) does it cover? How long does it last? etc. etc. Lots of questions, but no answers at this point — there’s been no announcement that I can find anywhere online. Hopefully one will be coming soon.

In any case, this sure looks like good news.

Gang of Youths isn’t listed on the Warner UK web site yet. But you’ll find the label’s other artists there — including the likes of Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro, Dua Lipa, Royal Blood and Michael Bublé.

(Photo: Warner Brothers Records UK)

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.

Ouch!

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.