Young the Giant are set to release their self-titled debut next Tuesday, October 26th, and to learn more about what went into their first offering, ARTISTdirect.com sat down with frontman Sameer Gadhia. Discussing the writing of the album, LA's affect on the record (as well as Ernest Hemingway's), endless summers and much more, read an excerpt of the Q&A below, and go right here to see the full feature.
Did you approach the album with a cohesive vision for the start or did it all come together in the studio?
I think we approached it as a whole vision that transformed into something else. We really did want the songs to all fit together in a bigger context. It wasn't overly pre-meditated though. We wrote about 30 tracks for the album. We enjoy some of those B-sides; they just don't make sense for the whole idea of the CD.
Where do you typically come from lyrically?
It's a bit of my own experiences as well as others' experiences. When you live in a place really high concentration, you get to listen to other people's stories and find out what's ticking in the place that you're at. A lot of the writing we did was heavily influenced by the beach and us living in Newport together for a long time. I think that's where summer-y feel comes in, and the dreamy element comes later. That was all the writing that we did in Los Angeles. It encompasses the idea of the nighttime ruling all in Los Angeles as well as the indistinguishability between dreams and reality when you're trying to live the Hollywood lifestyle. Sometimes, I'll enjoy the emotions, personalities and the relationships between two characters in a book I'm reading at the time too.
If your album were a movie, what would it be?
Aesthetically and visually, I'd say the first half of the album carrying into the middle has more of a beach, daytime sunny feel of carelessness. It's the idea of the eternal summer. The Endless Summer helps a lot. Our guitarist Jake is an avid surfer and he does find a lot of his guitar tones to be synonymous with the sounds of the ocean. I think later on everything becomes a little darker and more of a cityscape. It's living in L.A.—the grimy parts of it but the real passionate elements as well. The general flow was that transition of day into night for us.