A songwriter, producer, instrumentalist, and vocalist; YOUNGR has achieved a vast amount of success during his time in PICTURE BOOK, and also as a solo artist. VULKAN sat down with the musician to get the deets on his progress, life as it is currently, and what we can expect in the future!
Prior to starting Youngr you were releasing music as “Picture Book”, a collaborative effort with your brother Lorne. Was it difficult to disband Picture Book given that it was a family effort?
No, it was cool. Me and my bro actually started another band right after picture book called ‘STONY BROWDER JR.’ this amazing 8 piece band singing about revolution. They’re still going now, with my brother at the front. And we still come together to write music for each others projects etc. And i also bring my bro on tour with me to play guitar. As sly and the family stone said, It’s a family affair.
You’ve previously said your father August, who is also a musician, is your biggest critic. Safe to say that is still the case? Is it stressful showing him new tracks you’re working on?
Yes that’s definitely still the case, and no, I have no fear playing him new music. Because of how close we are and how much we connect musically, i can’t wait to send him my new music, i love his replies. They’re so brutally honest!
Fans of Picture Book were no doubt excited when both you and Lorne decided to start new projects. What prompted you to start Youngr? Had you always wanted to do do a one-man band type of project?
I had made a loop video about 6 years ago of a Calvin Harris track ‘flashback’ and i put it online just for kicks. So the idea has always been there. And my middle name is younger, so i have had the alias of Youngr for years. So it got to a point where me and my bro decided to focus on different things. It was a natural progression.
Presumably you have a lot more creative control with Youngr, how has that been? Was Youngr born out of a desire for more personal experimentation?
Funnily enough it’s actually less creative control cause I’m now working with songwriters and producers and mix engineers around the world, everybody with their own opinion. It was a lot simpler when it was just me and my bro creating the music. Youngr was born out of me needing to do music and only music, all the time. It was the only outlet that made sense.
Do you still seek creative input from Lorne at all, or vice versa?
You can really hear that you’ve grown musically and lyrically in Youngr, have you found that your creative process has changed at all?
As i said in the previous answer, I’m working with some amazing writers around the world now, so yeah the process has changed a little. And it’s nice to get all my crazy stories into songs. It feels a lot more personal now.
What artists are inspiring you these days? Are there any other one-man bands on your personal radar that we should check out?
Nah, one man bands are boring! 😝. I just love live music and musicianship to be honest. Check out Stony Browder jr. And Son of Kong, they’re doing some cool stuff atm. Also the new incubus album is cool. I’m a huge incubus fan.
Surely you’ve been experimenting with some new sounds and instruments with this project. What’s your favourite new “toy” to use in studio?
My new toy is the prophet 5. It’s so warm and lovely. Also, bought a new tambourine. It’s fantastic.
When you step into your studio, do you find your gravitate to one instruments over others first, or is it different depending on the day?
Always starts with chords. Piano or Rhodes or a synth. Always chords.
You perform with usually five or more instruments at any given time, how long does it take to get your set-up just right?
Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike 2 hours! It’s really boring. Ha
Would you say you feel right at home surrounded by a variety of instruments?
Absolutely, i wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve heard you consider yourself more of a “band guy” – might we see more musicians joining you on stage more frequently in the future? What is it about the band experience that differs from being solo on stage? How do you feel when it’s just you?
Yeah, absolutely. You can expect to see lots more musicians. I’m all about musicians playing together. There is nothing more magical. Solo is fun, it’s qwerky, but it eventually gets boring (i find) … I just love the power of multiple musicians on stage.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Mathew Guido
RETOUCHER: Chris Corridore
STYLIST: Amber Watkins
GROOMER: Rosanna Villani
Post expires at 1:12pm on Sunday January 14th, 2018