Rising from a fitful slumber, Youth Group shake the dust from their bones with a brand-new album 'Australian Halloween' – their first in ten years.
With a decade between releases, Youth Group guitarist/ vocalist Toby Martin says listeners might be excused for thinking the band hasn't been doing anything lately.
“It’s funny, because it is the first album we’ve put out in ten years so for people who are not in the band it looks like, ‘oh wow, they didn’t do anything with each other for ten years and then they put this record out’,” Toby laughs.
“But actually for us in the band, we've been making the album for the past couple of years. Because I’ve been living in England and Danny [Lee Allen] has been living in America, we were only able to record in really short bursts when we both happened to be back in Sydney at the same time. So quite consequently, we’ve been chipping away at it for the past couple of years.”
Though having recently moved back to Australia, Toby has spent the past years living in a village in northern England where he says Halloween has retained some of it Pagan connotations, leading him to recall his own memories of Halloween growing up in Australia.
“The [album] title comes from a line in one of the songs on the record – the song called 'Ol Glenferrie'. The song is about me growing up in the suburbs in Melbourne, and various memories of the '80s and '90s,” Toby explains.
“Without really thinking about it, all these pop-culture references popped in there and I was remembering how my parents didn’t let me go trick-or-treating because they thought it was American.
“So I ended up egging my own house as a middle class suburban revenge,” he laughs. “I was thinking about those things when I was writing the song; I was imagining Australian suburbia and kids being bored, roaming around trying to have fun.”
Youth Group will scare up a good time when they play a short run of east-coast shows in November.
Toby says that at this point, there's little point writing for Youth Group unless it faithfully serves the band's legacy, even if that means taking ten years to do it. “We definitely never broke up, we just took it very slow for a while,” he explains.
“In some ways it was very slow when we started the band in the late ‘90s, early 2000s – then mid 2000s we did things very fast; we toured a lot, we put out records quite quickly and now we've come back to the not-so fast Youth Group.
“From the first moments of writing the songs to actually the record being released, that’s always taken us a long time. These days too, I write songs for other things so I don’t write a lot of songs for Youth Group as such. So I want to make sure we get it right because these are the ten songs that Youth Group have, so we want to make sure they’re really great.”
'Australian Halloween' is out now.
Fri 8 Nov - Northcote Social Club (Melbourne)
Youth Group 2019 Tour Dates
Fri 15 Nov - The Foundry (Brisbane)
Sat 16 Nov - The Lansdowne Hotel (Sydney)