Exposure: You Animals
- John Johnston
- 18 June 2009
You Animals - Halfway to Heartbreak
You Animals have rocketed out of their home town of Derby with their energetic and intelligently crafted pop hooks. The band are infectious live as well, with the energetic and enthusiastic stage presence rippling through the crowd by the time the first chord’s reached the back of the room and now Glasgow and Edinburgh are lucky enough to be able to experience it. I spoke to Liza from the band.
How did You Animals start?
Well Stuart and Martin are twins and me and Ryan are cousins so we’ve known each other for a while! You Animals was an idea on New Year’s Eve 2008 though – we were all drunk and excitable, making daft plans like you do. We went and played together the next day with sore heads and naturally a little less excitable but it was so much fun and by the end of the day we had eight songs!
Where did the name come from?
It came from Stuart and Martin. As kids they used to brawl a bit and fall out and their mum would shout, ‘Pack it up you bloody animals’ and I think it was Stuart that said he always remembered that. They’re still at it so it seems appropriate.
How’s Derby as a home for the band? Is there a music scene to speak of?
Surprisingly I think there is. There’s a few coming from weird old Derbyshire at the moment. One of our favourites is Switzerland, who are all about sixteen and write the most incredible Kinsella/Cap’n Jazz scrappy punk songs. Also getting some of our love is These Waves, who sound like At The Drive-In scrapping with Minus The Bear. There’s a few good promoters around now so Derby’s getting some good acts, which means local bands are getting good support slots, but sadly we’re always touring nowadays and don’t get a chance to see them.
What influences have come through in your sound?
I don’t know what comes through in our sound but growing up it was people like Blur, Pixies, Bowie, Idlewild, Michael Jackson, Queen, Rival Schools...you know, tons of pop music and stuff. We exclusively just listen to The National and The Walkmen these days though.
You recently released 'Halfway to Heartbreak'. Is that a good idea of what we can expect from you in the future?
Who can say? As a band we have the attention span of a shoe, but right now we love writing noisy, rawkus pop songs, so I guess we’re going to do that for a bit. We’ve written some more gentle and epic pop songs too, and lots of darker, more intense stuff. It’s nice just to have the option, not be a shitty one-trick band. With six of us, ideas fly all over the place and the hard part is making it sound less schizophrenic. It’s all inspired by the bees in the roof of our rehearsal studio though!
Is there an album on it’s way?
We’ve already recorded an album sort of by mistake but everyone thinks it’s bizarre! We did a couple of Paris shows and after the second this guy called Marc came up to us and said he had a studio just outside of town and we could record there. We went there after the show and stayed for two days and nights recording and drink his weird home-made wine. We recorded guitars in his bathroom, vocals under a duvet in the kitchen and the rest was recorded by playing live in this barn-type thing with a furious goat charging round. It wasn’t a real studio by any stretch and the guy was fucking mental but we got the tapes and I think it’s great; just playing and segueing into different songs and sounds. We’ve never done that before, or since because it’s a little hippyish and I usually hate that sort of thing. Everyone else thinks they’re weird though so I guess they’ll never see the light of day but we’ll write a proper one, I promise.
Is it a bit strange, and well, smelly, touring with five boys?
Sometimes it’s a little strange I guess. And yeah, they stink a bit. But I don’t notice it most of the time. They’re pretty girly and I’m bit of a boy so we meet somewhere in the middle I think.
What do you hope the future brings You Animals?
Tour our arses off, put some records out, sleep on people’s floors and have fun and meet lovely people! Oh, and write the best album in the universe.
You Animals will be playing King Tut’s, Glasgow, Jul 6; Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Jul 7.