“I’m fucking gassed mate,” says Dominic Harrison over the phone from London. Harrison, better known as Yungblud, has a new single, ‘Loner’, due for release in two hours (at time of interview). He’s temporarily returned to London from tour to premier the new single on BBC Radio 1 that night.
Harrison is an Edward Scissor Hands-looking, Disney Alumni with a thick Yorkshire accent who often wears pink socks. His politically charged punk-rap-ska anthems are short, fast and loud. Critics have likened him to Jamie T, and the Arctic Monkeys. Listen long enough, especially to the title track from his debut album, ‘21st Century Liability’, and you’ll hear the mashed-up medley sounds of the Beastie Boys – a “Shake Your Rump” type-beat reverbs throughout.
Coincidently, Harrison and Beastie Boys founding member Adam Yauch share the same birthday – August 5th.
Though the Beastie Boys chopped and screwed odd references with their punk personas and made something new, Harrison does something similar – turning tweet-able choruses into punk-anthems for the digital age.
Harrison takes his 21st century rock star persona to the brink too, putting in the hard-yards with his massive, loyal fanbase online and in-person.
“I speak to my fans man. I genuinely give a fuck about em’. This for me – ain’t about getting rich and famous and sitting in Los Angeles on a fucking boat.”
He replies to the DM’s, arranges meet-and-greets and even FaceTime’s his fans.
He also holds court in interviews that would make most publicists shake in their designer boots.
Openly chiding how Rock ‘n’ Roll is at the moment, Harrison emphasises that he’s bringing back some attitude and solidarity. Rock n Roll, in his words, “at the minute, it’s got no fucking bollocks.”
“Everyone’s just eating Guacomole (pronounced: GWACKAMOLEY), in their fake fuckin’ vegan leather jackets, fucking, from nine to five drinking voss water. It’s not Rock ‘n’ Roll man.”
The scattergun, genre-bending music, and filter-less interviews we associate with Yungblud could also be attributed to his ADHD.
“I think it’s just my head is scattered all the time. I kind of just go ‘oh I want to do this there, and this there, and this there’”. Yet somehow, it all sits together nicely, even still, just long enough to make sense. And then it’s on to something else, like a tin-whistle rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” – his party trick.
Back to the new track.
‘Loner’ is about, “feeling alone no matter how many people are around ya,” he says.
The video, which is out now, was filmed in Harrison’s Nan’s house with his best mates from school. It’s very reminiscent of small-town England – replete with Fred Perry clothes, tall boys, and fruit machines. Speaking on the phone before the record was released, Harrison told us that he wanted to tell the story of where he’s from, and to really amplify who he is.
“It’s a typical Yungblud record, big, boisterous, loud, and as dynamic as possible and I can’t wait to come back to Oz and play it bro.”
Harrison admits the track is a bit of a tease for a new record. “I’ve got so much music, just trying to work out when to drop it, when and where…. I’m going for the jugular this year man.”
As for what we can expect in Australia when he visits in February?
“Don’t you worry yourself, keep your eyes peeled cos Australia is going to be mental. There’s a big surprise, big, BIG in capital letters surprise for Australia.”
Catch the big surprise yourself when Yungblud tours Australia in February 2019. He’ll take over Croxton Bandroom in Melbourne on Friday February 8 for two shows (U18 Matinee and 18+).
Written by Darby-Perrin Larner