Gang of Youths

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Gang of Youths

“I come alive in winter, my god, my nipples are hard just thinking about it.” Intrigued? Gang of Youth’s front man Dave Le’aupepe answered the phone during production rehearsals and within seconds I had learnt unfortunately I was missing out on the ‘full’ experience, confessing he usually does phone interviews in his underwear…alone…at home… in his bed. Luckily for me the weirdness didn’t stop there.
“We’re a bunch of assholes playing instruments, there’s nothing about us that screams a recipe for success,” says Dave. Yet here they are.
You might expect this Sydney band to be a bunch of rebellious adolescents – as the name suggests – instead what you get is fully grown men, with their melancholic tunes of heartache and sorrow. In theory they should have you reaching for a box of tissues, instead these boys will have you singing along, flipping the bird at anyone who has ever broken your heart.
Having met at Sunday school, Dave says the closeness of the group really reflects through their music: “Our mutual sense of disenfranchisement brought us all together. We fostered love of creativity in that place, then gravitated towards each other.”
For those of you who have listened to the band’s debut album The Positionwill understand these guys leave no stone unturned. “Long story short I was with a girl who had cancer, married her, she broke my heart, we got divorced and so I wrote my songs in between that,” Dave says.
“I’m not saying we’ve made anything that’s so substantial it’s going to be written about throughout time, but we risked something and that’s all I can really say about the music. It meant something, meant something to us and the band.
“I was writing things that were really asinine and fucking garbage before I met this girl. I was writing things that were satire and superficial and not really good, but I feel like the songs after meant something. It’s not that I wrote better music but I think I wrote music that was a risk and put my balls on a table – which I think is all you can really ask from a decent artist.”
With only great things in the future to look forward to, Dave said: “Our music has become less about me and my relationship with a girl, and more about my best mate’s, because they’re really good people; picking me up and dragging me through life kicking and screaming.”
“I went through a really shitty stage where I was addicted to drugs and addicted to alcohol and I went to rehab,” Dave says referring to the dark period in his life which occurred in the wake of his relationship turmoil.
2015 has already been a packed year for the band, with a top five debut on the Aria charts and a recently sold out national tour. As of August 5thGang of Youths will embark on a 24-date tour, hitting venues in both regional and capital cities, wrapping up the tour mid September in Tasmania.
“It’s hard to adjust to people giving a shit about what you do for a living – it felt tremendous. I was able to tell my mum I did something with my life, I can’t really express the elation we had when we found out and we partied like fucking animals. I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t totally stoked,” he says of the bands Aria chart success.
Joining Gangon tour will be five-piece, ’70s inspired pop dream outfit Sydney-siders, I Know Leopardand Brisbane’s Zefereli – solo project from The Cairos lead singer .
Calling himself a “jack of some, master on none” and a self-confessed Carley Rae Jepsen fan, Dave said the band can’t wait to hit the stage in Geelong.
“I’ve been to Geelong before, it’s going to be pretty interesting to be going there as a headliner and see how people react,” he says.
“I just like playing… I love small shows. Small shows are my bread and butter. I’m terrified of playing in a room larger than the metro. I feel like there’s an internal conflict raging within me about selling out. I like that there’s an inherent democracy and a democratic element, a mutual exchange of ideas and adoration between artist and consumer, between the performer and the audience – I like that dynamic.”
These boys are said to be extraordinary live performers, so what can Geelong expect at a live Gang of Youths show? To put it lightly “My fucking crouch in their face as I thrust. And don’t expect me to say any nice things about the cats,” he adds.
When & Where: Corner Hotel, Melbourne – August 26, Tap House, Bendigo – August 27, Karova Lounge, Ballarat – August 28, Workers Club, Geelong – August 29 & The Loft, Warrnambool – September 1
Written by Jariah Travan