Sometimes, musical talent on its own isn't enough to keep a band progressing. Now more than ever, bands are run like businesses as much as anything else - and there's nothing wrong with that, it's simply the nature of the beast in todays' hectic, competitive music industry. Not so much long gone, but much rarer are the days when a band can show reckless abandon in their approach to the future of the band, and while the music is still usually the determining factor in how far a band can go - it's become almost vital to have some kind of plan in place.
Harrogate's Blood Youth are an outfit that so far, seem to have it all figured out. Hard to believe that in the mere two years and change since their arrival - the band have toured with the likes of Beartooth, While She Sleeps, and Architects as well as playing a slot on the historic Download Festival, releasing two EP's and are currently just a few days away from releasing debut album Beyond Repair (April 7th).
Needless to say; it's been two years of having the accelerator pushed closely to the floor, but vocalist Kaya Tarsus remembers a time before the insanity, and before he was even in the band: "It's hard for me to speak about the guys' old band [Climates] because I was never involved, but I guess they just wanted to hit the reset button. I was living on my own in Barcelona at the time because I'd been in a bunch of bands that just hadn't worked. Eventually I got a Skype call from the guitarist Chris asking if I wanted to try something out, and we just took it from there".
2015's Inside My Head kick-started the Yorkshire-men's career in a way that few could have seen coming, making the band an instant hit with anyone that had a lust for throat punching pace and vigour, despite the writing process being described by Tarsus as "The first time everyone in the band had met each other" what followed was the catalyst to getting Blood Youth in front of the fans that would essentially be a part of setting them on their way to potentially conquering a genre.
Follow up EP Closure was an impressive foot-note for the band to have - not quite ready to write a full length album just yet, but still with plenty to say. However Blood Youth are already at the point now where they feel as if they are in the midst of a totally different era of the band, and their goals and expectations have changed accordingly "Obviously our bar is set higher with every single release, when I first sat down to write the lyrics for the album I thought, man, this is a lot of pressure, because I don't wanna let anybody down and I was done with writing about what was on the two EP's, I wanted to write about something new".
For an outfit that have spent so much of their formative years on the road, it would be easy to assume that the recording process would actually be a time that Blood Youth would cherish, however that's not quite the case. "I only say I hate recording because of that pressure, I'm the kind of person that will beat myself up and worry if I did something right or if it was okay, there was a real sense of cabin fever when we recorded the EP's because we recorded them in the middle of nowhere, and nothing was ever going on. So we were just locked away from everything".
The recording process seems to have differed on Beyond Repair however, with a much more laid back vibe being taken this time around: "This time I recorded my vocals with a guy called Robin Adams who is one of my closest childhood friends and it was a really easy experience, he would turn round to me after one take and be like naaa that was shit do that again, and it was just so chilled and obviously you learn every time you go in the studio".
Blood Youth are a band that are still so conceptually young, and thus haven't yet found themselves stuck in a routine that they are scared to break. A "risky" album for the trio isn't a possibility yet, but even with this freedom, Tarsus still insists that they make sure the pressure is high on them anyway "It does help that we're a young band but we still put pressure on ourselves like we've been going for 30 years, sometimes we have to remind ourselves to lay off us a little bit. We never wanna be that band that thinks, oh well, we've only been going for two years. It doesn't matter how long we've been going, let's just be the best band we can".
Beyond Repair is nothing short of an achievement for the band, and the continued growth on show throughout the record is almost starting to take on a life of its own. It's something that Tarsus claims the band felt themselves "We were honestly listening back in the studio and we were like wow, this is so sick". One of the more telling parts of the record though is how even at this young stage, Blood Youth seem to have found a structure to their songs that they can play around with and manage to keep fresh, and it's an element of the band that is incredibly exciting.
"That's one of the things I'm afraid of" says Tarsus "There's a load of bands that do the screaming verse and then melodic chorus, and we don't wanna be just another one of those bands. We wanted to write an album that makes you feel like you're continuously getting punched in the face, and if there's parts where people wanna sing along too, then job done." In essence - this seems like a particularly modest aim for a band as talented as Blood Youth to set themselves, but it's one that they more than achieve with Beyond Repair.
More than just a well managed, intelligent, articulate trio of musicians - Blood Youth are a band that caught fire so quickly, and thus could have burnt out even quicker. But through their ability to take a step back and look at the bigger picture in terms of what they are looking to write, and what they are looking to achieve; in Blood Youth we have come across a band that are more than capable of building a plan - and they're about to execute it.
You can catch Blood Youth on tour supporting their upcoming album Beyond Repair at the following dates:
8th April - Glasgow - The Garage Attic
9th April - Leeds - The Key Club
10th April - London - Boston Music Room
Tour support from Loathe (all dates) & Holding Absence (London & Leeds Only)