Albany, NY Pop/Rock act Young Culture have the honor of being our #WeeklyDiscovery for this week.
We recently caught up with Young Culture in Hamilton, ON on the last night of their Canadian EP Release tour.
Well, thanks guys for taking some time to talk. How is everything going tonight?
Great! Happy to be here tonight!
For our readers who may not be familiar with band, can you give us an elevator pitch describing the history of Young Culture? How did you guys meet?
Young Culture started in 2016. There is four of us: Alex, Gabe, Troy & Nick. We make music, whatever feels right!
Your latest EP “(This Is) Heaven” has been out just shy of a month. Where did the inspiration come for the lyrical content of this EP? Is there a lyrical theme to it?
You could pretty much say there was a theme to this EP. Alot of the songs are written about struggles that I was dealing with in 2018. The whole theme of the EP is taking those bad situations and turning them into something good! That the reason why the title is “(This Is) Heaven”.
With all the different musical tastes that band members typically bring as influences, do you feel that helps bring a lot to the table when it comes to song writing or does it make it difficult because everyone wants to go in different directions?
This is the first record we all had our hands involved in creating together. It was probably the best time we’ve had creating music! It’s the best product because we’re all being creative, and taking our time. There really isn’t any butting of heads, as we all ultimately have the same goal in mind. It always works better together. The songs tend to come naturally, instead of us trying to force them.
You worked with Derek DiScanio (State Champs) on your previous releases. Was he involved with this EP beyond co-producing “Drift”?
He wasn’t involved. We did some demos with Nick, he actually has a home studio. He’d come over & hang out, but that’s more because we’ve become friends, being all from Albany. This was the first EP we did without him being there the whole time. I mean, he had his hand in co-producing “Drift”. Its weird, we missed having him there because he’s a homie to us. I think he was proud with what we accomplished as musicians. I’m stoked that it was just the four of us in the studio with Sam Guaiana. It was a good time!
Do you feel that the success of State Champs in the early 2010s influenced you to start Young Culture? Do you feel that they had any impact on that?
I wouldn’t say inspiration, but it was definitely cool for me to see a band from Albany, a band from here, being able to do such awesome things! They’re like big bros to us now. There definitely was a big scene in Albany, even before State Champs. A big hardcore scene. We hope that’ll come back some day!
You signed to Equal Vision Records last summer. What led to the decision to join EVR?
We had talked to a few other labels, but Equal Vision just felt like a family vibe to us more so than a business relationship. The label being local was also a huge thing for us too! They’re easy to get in touch with. I think as we were building our team of management, booking, etc we were looking for individuals who had the same drive/work ethic as us. That’s the best fit, no matter what!
Ambition is something that is the driving force behind many successful acts. Just how big do you want to Young Culture to get and what do you want to achieve?
OMG! The biggest band ever, bro! It’ll happen some day, it will! You can never cap yourself, there’s always something bigger to reach.
True! I mean, every band has to plateaus or career goals they want to reach. What would be that next plateau for you as a band?
That’s a hard question to answer. Obviously more + bigger tours, we’ll probably put out a full-length. We’re going to push on & do everything that we can! I’m happy to see the slow growth & progression, I think that’s the coolest way to do it. You get to see it as it’s happening, and you’re able to follow along with how it pays off in the end. We’ve been at this for almost 3 years as YC, not including our previous projects. This isn’t our first rodeo. Haha! It feels good to see where we are at now, and we know it’s just the beginning.
Do you find that since you’ve signed to Equal Vision, that you’re seeing a bit more notoriety when touring, especially in places you’ve maybe never played before?
A little bit. I think Equal Vision has given us a bigger platform to get our name out there. People take us a lot more seriously. We are stoked and appreciative that we have that platform to help get our music out.
Being from Albany, you’re obviously accustomed to this cold. How has this Canadian tour been?
It has been fucking freezing! It has definitely been our coldest tour yet! Most of us are sick coming off this USA tour, so that didn’t really help much! We’re ready to get home! I mean, it’ll still be cold when we get home too! Just a week ago we were in California. We’ve went to Ottawa and Montreal on this tour, and we couldn’t believe how high the snow was in those cities. All the roads were iced over, and Nick was having a hard time finding a place to park our van. I mean, we love Canada. Like Six/Seven months ago, we spent a good chunk of our shows playing in Canada. The fact we get to play Doors Pub in Hamilton for the fourth time is sick! I think we’ve played this venue more often that some of the venues in Albany! Every time we come play in Canada, they treat us like family! We have tons of great friends up here. It really feels like a 2nd home. We love coming to Southern Ontario, so the five hour drive is nothing to us!
How does creativity inform or alter your happiness?
That’s everything, especially with stuff like this! The more creative you can get, the better it is. When you’re proud of something, it definitely drives your happiness. When we finished this EP, we were all so fucking happy! I mean, sometimes you hit roadblocks and get frustrated, but one you get over that roadblock you feel much better. With our band, we’ll get to a place where we can just keep things the way they are, or tough it out and see what we can do to change it. It may take more time, but we are willing to do it for the reward it may bring to us.
We’re big on indie artists at DigiSpun. Any hidden gems you’ve been listening to lately?
Oh! The Band Camino is for sure one! One of the band on this tour, Romancer, they’re probably one of the Most Slept on Bands out there! They’re from Waterloo,ON. They’re all super incredible musicians. We just finished touring the States with a band called The Happy Alright, they have great people and great music/sound!
What’s next for you guys? What does the future hold for Young Culture?
Soon we’ll announce our biggest tour yet that we’ve done as a band! (Editor note: Seaway tour announcement details below). New music, probably a full-length. This shit is just getting started, and it won’t stop anytime soon!I think people who are hearing us now are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. It’s going to be something really big I think!
Their latest EP, (This Is) Heaven is available now on Equal Vision Records wherever fine music is sold!
YOUNG CULTURE Announces Spring Tour With Seaway
Albany, NY – February 13, 2019 – Fresh off a month-long run with The Happy Alright, pop rock band Young Culture is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. The band has announced that they will be back on the road this spring supporting Seaway. The tour kicks off on April 18th and spans the east coast and midwest. Tickets go on sale this Friday, February 15th at 12pm local time.
Last month, Young Culture celebrated an incredibly successful first week following the release of their new EP, (This Is) Heaven, available now via Equal Vision Records. (This Is) Heaven, the band’s label debut, secured the #22 spot on the New Artist chart, as well as #53 Indie. The EP has been heralded by Billboard, New Noise Magazine, Indie Mixtape, idobi Radio, and more. Fans can stream (This Is) Heaven via Spotify and Apple Music, or purchase it online at youngculture.merchnow.com.
It’s not often that a rock or punk band will make a hip-hop style mixtape just to clear their creative cobwebs. But that’s exactly what Albany-based four-piece Young Culture did. Formed by school friends Alex Magnan (vocals) and Gabe Pietrafesa (guitar), who have been playing together for a number of years, Young Culture put out their debut mini-album, You, in the summer of 2016. It was followed up with a five-track EP called Blue. The former had a song, “Bedroom Floor” that featured Derek DiScanio from State Champs – a fellow Albany band – on backing vocals. The latter was co-produced by him and Seth Henderson, who’s worked with the likes of Real Friends, Knuckle Puck and Sleep On It.
Young Culture – completed now by guitarist Troy Burchett and drummer Nick Cavin – toured those songs and began to build up a solid following, which remains strong today. But instead of working on new material for the band, the pair, fuelled by an inherent restless creativity, began to experiment, Pietrafesa sending Magnan different beats to write lyrics over just to keep their inspiration and creative juices flowing.
That influence is very much evident in songs like “Drift,” co-produced by Derek DiScanio (State Champs) and Sam Guiana (Like Pacific, Coldfront). “Drift” not only redefined who Young Culture is as a band, but also reshaped the perimeters of pop-punk – although it should be noted that they’re very wary of being confined to just that genre. As they should be, because there are many more layers to this band.
2018 ushered in a brand new phase of Young Culture’s existence, evident in the their latest single “21 Days” as well as the rest of new EP (This Is) Heaven. They might now be just 20 years old, but both Pietrafesa and Magnan’s attitude and songwriting ability display a maturity way beyond their years. And while this isn’t an entirely new beginning, it certainly marks the start of something that’s thoroughly unique, electrifying and engaging.
Young Culture released (This Is) Heaven on January 18th, 2019 via Equal Vision Records. To purchase, please visit: youngculture.merchnow.com.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
4/18 – Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall
4/19 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Loft
4/20 – Hartford, CT @ Webster Underground
4/21 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
4/23 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bazaar
4/24 – Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
4/25 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
4/26 – Virginia Beach, VA @ The Bunker
4/27 – Charlotte, NC @ Amos’ Southend
4/28 – West Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
4/30 – Jacksonville, FL @ 1904 Music Hall
5/1 – Nashville, TN @ Exit / In
5/2 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
5/3 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee
5/4 – Bloomington, IL @ Nightshop
5/5 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
5/6 – Burnsville, MN @ The Garage
5/8 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Stache
5/9 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hoosier Dome
5/10 – Toldeo, OH @ Frankies
5/11 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s