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.)