Young the Giant played Boston last night on their wildly successful North American tour, which has found them performing to almost universally sold-out crowds. In an interview with the Boston Phoenix, vocalist Sameer Gadhia talked about their slow and gradual evolution, learning to write songs, and how he chipped his tooth onstage in Texas.
According to Gadhia, the band "was kind of an idea in high school and then we kind of dropped it as we went to college and started pursuing academics a little more seriously... I seriously didn’t think about it until the end of my freshman year and even then I was still very sure that I was going to finish school. It only became kind of a passion at the beginning of sophomore year and then the conversations became more and more frequent and became serious, and I started bringing it up to my family and then I realized that it’s something that I really wanted. Ever since that I don’t know how I could do it any other way."
He explains that songwriting requires life experience, saying, "I think first and foremost, we try to have the most fun possible but I think every year it became more and more serious, and we realized that we wanted to write music that we were proud of and that people would enjoy listening to. We wanted to challenge ourselves as people and as writers. That motivation has taken us here. When we first started it was a struggle to write –- we were 16 or 17 years old and we didn’t feel like we had it in us and we didn’t have the experiences necessary to really to kind of get on the road before college."
The band has developed a strong stage presence and a powerful live show, but not every gig goes perfectly. Recalls Gadhia, "sometimes when we’re playing our big shows, I get this crazy adrenaline rush and I end up being stronger than I normally am so I have like this Hulk complex that happens and I think I can do shit that that I can’t normally do. We were playing Austin City Limits and it was the biggest crowd we’d ever played -- 47,000 people -- and so I thought that I could do this crazy dance move where I could jump off of my feet onto my shoulders and roll off of my shoulders and then jump back onto my feet again, so I tried doing that, but I ended up just hitting my head on the ground and my microphone punched me in the face and I chipped my tooth. I just kept singing while it all happened.