With the blaring sounds of Hideous Sun Demon playing in the distance, Joe Wilson managed to find time at the Tav to catch up with local band Young Robin over a few pints to discuss topics ranging from the band’s formation to tips for aspiring musicians.
How was the set?
Ben: It was fun, good vibes today, good weather.
Hamish: We got in about an hour before the set we were just wondering around. It was just buzzing with activity—there is just so many people around. All the people were super happy—a nice sunny day.
How did you guys come together? Did you guys meet straight out of uni?
Jed: Well we were originally a three piece called the Ebb Oreo, and it was me, Mulch the drummer, and another guy called Jaris, but he’s left now. Eventually we thought we needed more instruments in the band so we enlisted Hamish and then Ben came later and that made Young Robin.
Are you guys a fairly new band?
Jed: Three years, we’ve been a band for a while but I feel like we are still new in a sense. We are getting around Perth and gigging a lot.
Hamish: It’s been about a year since we started taking it seriously: moving the band forward.
Are there big plans for 2017?
Ben: We have already got a few gigs planned up for the first half of the year and we hope to release an EP this year, and possibly a single – who knows we’ll see what happens. We’ll definitely be in the studio doing some recordings.
Do any of you study at uni? Is the music hard to squeeze in with other commitments?
Hamish: Squeezing it all in; it’s always kind of worked itself out in terms of where we were playing before this. We played all through High School; I started in primary school. I think we have all been musicians throughout our lives and once we got out of high school it’s just a lot easier to do something with it.
What are the bands musical influences?
Jed: Individually we all have different tastes. The influences are numerous; we just make what we like making, and then we change it to make it sound like a Young Robin song. That’s really what happens—we don’t have specific influences.
Ben: Common bands that we all like are Last Dinosaurs, The 1975, San Cisco; bands like that is where we all gel.
Did those differences in taste make it tricky for the band to collaborate?
Hamish: It’s kind of interesting, because the drummer and I are really into our heavy, heavy metal, and everyone else is sort of the same where they’re either one extreme to the other—but in terms of musicianship we work really well together and writing for Young Robin is just such a breeze.
In a couple of our tracks we actually we just sat down and wrote, and the tracks came together within ten minutes. We’ve got widespread tastes in music but we work really well as musicians; so it works.
Last year you released your first EP, how did you guys feel when the band passed that milestone?
Hamish: It was just such a massive relief—we had been in the studio for six months or so—so by the time we were done with it we wanted to get it out there. It was exciting but at the same time it was such a relief.
Ben: It was finally good; at that stage we had been gigging for a while but we just didn’t have any music for people to actually listen to, so finally being able to put some music out there people could identify with our sound.
Has the band matured since then?
Jed: We have definitely matured; as we said before our sounds are constantly changing and what we are influenced by changes. So with that we mature as a band; try out new things – which is a good process. We get to experiment a lot and we are braver to try out more things.
Ben: We’ve all improved as musicians I think; this is the first band I have played in. Once you start playing in a band, you just really accelerate your musicianship.
Before the band came together; as musicians did it feel like a massive leap when band hit the stage for the first time?
Ben: I did a little bit of solo stuff—get an acoustic guitar and you play somewhere: not much of that. I had played with other musicians a lot, but actually getting on stage at a venue and having people watch you and listen to you; I think that was a big step up.
Hamish: I had done some band setting stuff in primary school but after that there wasn’t anything there. So coming into the band, our second gig was at Hyperfest which was a festival—so for my second gig to be a festival, that was a big step up and it definitely threw me into the deep end. It was good though and a lot of fun. We’ve come really far.
How challenging is it for young bands in Perth to break through?
Jed: At first for us; we found it pretty hard because no one knew who we were, and we didn’t have any music up—but once you get in and once you start gigging; people see you, and people recognise you, and you get more and more gigs. So what I advise is record a demo, put it up on SoundCloud, and send it out to everybody; the venues – you’re bound to get a gig. It’s definitely getting friendlier in Perth I feel; the music scene is getting better.
Hamish: It’s not so much the fact that Perth isn’t a musician friendly city,—it’s not too bad establishing yourself in Perth—it’s more getting outside of Perth because it’s so isolated. I mean Perth itself is really quite small, so once you start up you start to know people quite quickly. But then getting outside of Perth is just a big step up which is something we are still trying to take out now.
What tips would you give to any young aspiring musicians who might want to start a band?
Jed: Like I said, record a demo, put it up on SoundCloud—put it up everywhere. Send it out to different venues and just keep working.
Ben: We just took any gig we could get our hands on—no matter where it was, or what it was, we just played it. From there you start getting better gigs. That’s how we did it—there is no one way to success.
Hamish: Mine would be to play gigs and talk to people—the music community is so friendly. It’s so easy to make so many friends through gigging, and soon enough you’ll have a network that’s big enough that you can make your own gigs. Start being on line-ups you want to be on,—that really helps.
Ben: We made friends with other bands we were on a bill with—when they had a gig they would sometimes ask us to play. Likewise we would ask them to play; it kind of just how it works – make friends.
Young Robin will be headlining ‘A Fun-Tastic Friday’ at The Boston on March 3