Hype List 2019: whenyoung

It’s all-go for Irish indie-poppers whenyoung. 2018 saw them play Shane MacGowan’s 60th birthday bash, tour the globe, and be tipped by U2. They’re taking it all in their stride.

With a new year, comes the weight of expectation on a new batch of artists, thrust into the spotlight and expected to set the agenda for the twelve months ahead. That’s what The Hype List is about – a series of interviews, profiles and more highlighting who we think will be making a noise in 2019.

henyoung are one of the buzziest bands around right now, the Irish trio’s infectious indie is ridiculously catchy, and it’s easy to see why they’re in for a massive 2019. We caught up with  guitarist Niall Burns as the trio were heading for Amsterdam to play a big old show with The Vaccines. 

How does it feel to have your first EP finally out?
Yeah, good. We’ve been so busy, and we recorded it a few months ago, so we haven’t really thought about it, but we’re excited to get a body of work out there. We’ve just been releasing singles so far, but it’s kinda good to get it out of our heads.

When the band first started, did you ever think it would actually get to this point?
Yes and no, we’ve always had a belief in the songs we were writing, we always really liked them, but we were playing to no people for a while, you know? Things in the last year really kicked off and picked up, so I think we always did have a belief but the way it’s gone recently has been crazy!

Going into 2019, what’s the number one thing you want to do?
Get our album out! We’re on tour with The Vaccines at the moment, and then we do a little Irish tour and then get back in November. We go straight into recording our album which we’re really excited about. All the last minute preparations of songs and artwork is happening at the moment, and then that will be out March or April, a springtime release. We’re excited to get that out there, and we’re really excited about the songs. Half of it we’ve probably never played before live, we’re just super excited to get it out there.

That sounds great. If money wasn’t an object and you could do any one thing next year apart from the album, what would it be and why?
Does it have to be with the band?! I can think of lots of things… I’m looking for back up! Andrew would go to the moon, but me and Aoife would be too scared to go. Me and Aoife would headline Glastonbury. Andrew would be on the moon, and we’d just get a drum machine and headline Glastonbury, which we might do in the future anyway! 

“The album will be out March or April, a springtime release”
Niall Burns

That’s certainly something! You mentioned the album, what else can we expect from you in 2019?
We’re touring, and there’ll be loads of festivals. We’ll have a headline tour earlyish in the year, and it hasn’t been announced yet, but we’ll be going overseas again to places we’ve never been before. Then hopefully when the album comes out just lots more touring because we’ve done a lot of touring this year and we’re really enjoying it. We love being on the road and stuff like that and we just really want to travel as far as we can and hope people like it. 

What would you consider to be the wildest moment in your career so far?
Signing a record deal was not something we expected. We always strived for it, but we always wanted to be able to do this for a living and not have to worry about working day jobs. We did it for such a long time, having to go to the studio at like 10pm after work and staying there until 3am then waking up early the next morning. 

Considering the amount of buzz around you at the moment, is it hard not to get caught up in it all?
We don’t really take any notice of it, to be honest! It happens every couple of months doesn’t it, with a new band? It’s really nice people are writing about it, but when you’re in it, you don’t really notice. We’re just concentrating on playing the best shows we can play, and people do keep turning up which is really nice. 

We just wanna get more music out there. We don’t concentrate on the buzz or anything like that; we’re doing exactly what we’ve always done when there was like literally four people at the show. 

Playing enormous shows like Alexandra Palace was a bit… I dunno. It’s always been the three of us in a studio writing songs that we like and other people seem to as well, so at the moment it’s just really nice, but we’re not swept into trying to create songs that live off the buzz or anything. We’re just doing what we’ve always done.

What is the one question you’ve always wanted to be asked but never have? 
Somebody said to me yesterday, I didn’t really know what he was talking about, to be honest, but he asked me what my first experience of bread was like. Now that I think about it, I would never want to be asked that! I don’t think anyone’s probably ever been asked that before and I have no answer for it either. He was French and philosophical, so I guess he had a reason for asking that I just have absolutely no idea what it was. Is that a really stupid answer?

That’s stumped us, honestly!
I’m just as confused as you probably are!

Looking into 2019, you’ve got the album, the headline tour and everything else, is there anything else coming up that you’re really excited about?
Yes! We’ve got some shows in America next year which we’re excited about and a headline tour again. I don’t know; I can’t predict what will happen next year because if you’d asked me this question at the end of last year, I probably would have said release a single if possible. This year has been insane. Hopefully it continues, and the album will pick up even more. Just going to new places and stuff is such a buzz and we did have like ambitions as a band but actually when you stop and think about it, I never really thought about like going to Paris and playing a show like we did last night. Just going to new places and meeting new people it’s just fun, it’s really nice.

Taken from the December 2018 / January 2019 issue of Dork. Order a copy below.

Words: Josh Williams

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