London’s Young Guns are currently out on the road experiencing their first time on the Vans Warped Tour. Before the tour kicked off, we chatted with Fraser Taylor, guitarist for the band. We talked with him about the band’s new single, their upcoming LP, “Echoes,” as well as the excitement around the Warped Tour.
Modern Vinyl: What were some of the influences for “Bulletproof?”
Fraser Taylor: I guess from the lyrical standpoint, I don’t want to speak for Gus but, it’s kind of about when things don’t always go your way, which is quite often the case. You just have to brush yourself off and go on with things. I guess we wanted to match that kind of sentiment with the guitars and everything else. Everything’s quite upfront and in your face. There was no real musical inspiration that I can think of for the song, but we just kind of felt like it had that vibe to it.
MV: The new album’s coming out in August, so could you give us some insight as to what the new album is like?
FT: First off, it’s probably our best-sounding record I think we’ve ever done. We did it with David Bendeth from New Jersey. He just captured the right sort of vibe. The mixes we’ve been getting back…we’ve probably been the happiest with we’ve ever been of any mix. It’s a great thing for us, since it’s never normally like that.
I think we wanted to keep the energy up throughout the record. I don’t know how much I can say really, but I think there’s moments where it mellows out a bit and stuff like that. Mostly it’s about the kind of energy, maybe similar to our first record.
MV: You mentioned that you recorded this in New Jersey, but what else went into creating this new album?
FT: Most of it was written by myself and Gus and John. We used to live in a house together. It was all written really quickly, six weeks I think? Not that we were ready to record when we went in. We all lived together and wrote every day. That’s kind of the writing process.
We went up to Jersey, and we spent another two weeks actually writing the record. There were so many things that we needed to finish up when we got there. We had such little time, and it was quite stressful, but we work well under pressure.
MV: You are performing at Warped this year! Is this your first Warped experience?
FT: It will be! I think Simon went to one in New York when he was a teenager, but other than that, none of us have really experienced that. We’re looking forward to it. I think the heat’s going to be a problem for us, but we’ll get through. Our British summer it’s…absolutely pissing down with rain right now. It’s been freezing as well. That’s our summer, we’re not used to it.
MV: With Warped, what are you looking forward to most?
FT: I think apart from playing, obviously, we’ve got a lot of friends on the tour. It’s one of those things I’ve always wanted to do since I was a teen. I think just watching those bands, and bands I don’t know yet but have listened to for years…I think the hangout aspect of it will be great.
MV: Who are you most excited to see?
FT: We’ve done a few tours with Yellowcard, and they’re just the best guys. The boys love watching them. Our friends Tonight Alive are playing. There’s so many that they all just go out of my head. We’re sharing a bus with a band called Cane Hill. I’m looking forward to seeing them. I’ve never actually seen them; just hung out with them a few times. New Found Glory are playing. There’s just so many bands that I just lose track of them all. Every Time I Die is another one. There’s just that many!
MV: And they always put on a great show!
FT: Yeah. We toured with them in Australia. It’ll be good seeing them again.
MV: Since this is your first Warped Tour, I know you have played some festivals in the U.K. Do you have a specific “survival plan” of sorts?
FT: Not really. I’m just hoping that the AC on the bus doesn’t break, and that’s going to be my whole plan. I think we’re gonna take it a little bit easy. Getting up early and not knowing what time you’re playing is going to be a bit confusing. And we don’t want to play at like one P.M. and be really hungover. I’m sure we’ll get into the swing of it.
MV: And lots and lots of sunscreen?
FT: Yeah. We’re gonna have like a bar in the back of the bus full of it. Just dump it.
MV: SPF 100 will be your best friend.
FT: Yeah. I mean, we should be fine.
MV: How has 2016 treated you guys so far?
FT: It’s been great for us! Four months was writing and recording, so it was a lot of hard work in the studio, and then we released a song far off of that. The album’s only been mixed now. It feels like it’s going really quickly! We’ve managed to play a few U.K. shows, and have played new songs live. It’s been great for us. We’re looking forward to the rest of it because we have so much more coming up.
MV: Do you have any plans for a full U.S. tour following Warped?
FT: I don’t know about in the fall, or in the end of the summer I guess. We’ve got a few festivals coming up. I can’t remember how many of them are announced. I don’t want to say exactly which ones. I should really know this, shouldn’t I? But yeah. We’ve got a bunch of festivals we’re doing so we’re looking forward to it all. It’ll be great.
MV: Speaking of the States, since you are a band from the U.K., what do you like most about playing over here, as opposed to playing over there?
FT: There’s loads of things. Food is always nice. We always come back way heavier. I don’t know. The crowds are different there. People of all ages are a lot more open to rock music in the States. Whereas in the U.K., it’s more of the younger people in the audience. I dunno. They are very different, but I can’t put my finger on it. We like them both equally. They’re kind of nice to go back and forth between the United States and the U.K. Get those different experiences.
MV: Especially with the food?
FT: Yeah. Always. We like pancakes, but at the same time, we need a break and then we come back and do it all over again. Pancakes every day for breakfast.
MV: Do you have a favorite pancake spot of choice here?
FT: I’m fond of a blueberry, like a wholemeal one. One that’s not like too bad. And then shitloads of maple syrup.
MV: Clearly taking the relatively healthy route, compared to the loaded chocolate chip pancakes, so to say.
FT: I mean, you can’t deny them every now and then, but not too many times in a week!
MV: And lastly, is there anything else you’d like to add for the readers?
FT: Not that I can think of. Just to make sure that everyone checks out our new song, and we’re just really excited to get back over to the United States. It’s been too long. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in the summer.
MV: You said it’s been too long since you’ve played here. How long has it been exactly?
FT: Last year sometime. I think maybe October of last year? It’s been a very long time.
“Echoes” will be released on September 16th. Pre-orders for the new album can be found at the band’s website. There are various packages available, including individual CD and vinyl options. The vinyl pressing is a marbled black and grey record, almost to match the appearance of the LP’s cover.