the AU interview: Young Fathers (Scotland) talk Listen Out!

Getting set to play Listen Out – which kicks off in Perth and Sydney this weekend (limited tickets remain in Sydney, Perth is Sold Out) – Simon Clark caught up with Scottish outfit Young Fathers to talk about winning the Scottish Album of the Year, the history of the band, the anticipation of their first trip to Australia and much more…

How did the group come about? How did you all meet?

It was the Bass and F***, it was loud. The location was a dungeon in my eyes four walls soaking in the sweat of adolescence. We were just young boys, we felt the vibrations, acknowledged it and then we bonded, shook heads and started straight away. Catching the 37 bus to G’s house and letting it all out on a Karaoke machine. Something was born. We did not know what it was but it was something.

Who do you consider to be your main musical influences?

Quite often our influences come from outside music – we take what we can from everywhere, whispers, screams, laughter and cries – all the good and the bad goes inside the calabash.

Congratulations on winning Scottish Album of the Year for Tape Two, that’s got to feel pretty good?

We are not digging for diamonds, we just want to be heard. Like it or hate it at least you have listened. The award just means more people are aware of us and it’s about time too, we never wanted hiding in the shadows.

What is the story behind new album Dead?

Dread Dread Dread Dread Dread and more Dread. With all that there is hope, We have had to kill the past to make way for our future. We throw some dirt on top of the memories. DEAD sums up the journey. The bad juju is now gone – we can all rejoice.

Did you find yourself approaching the writing and recording differently to your previous releases Tape One and Tape Two?

For us to approach DEAD the same way as Tape 1 and 2 would be sinful. Like a sponge we can clean things up and soak in the dirt at the same time. We understand there are no rules. Let the demons out, have no fear is our mantra. What ever Voodoo is in us reveals itself when we enter the basement even if it means we have to force it out. Whatever is necessary. There’s no way of knowing what is going to happen. Even worse to plan it. All we can do is take it as far as it can go.

What are you looking forward to most with your visit to Australia?

Brand new ears to listen.

How familiar are you with the rest of the line-up for the Listen-Out Festival? Anyone you’re keen to see?

We have not checked the line up yet.

For those not in the know how would you describe a Young Fathers show?

What we have is special, and we are giving offerings.

What’s next for the group once the tour is finished?

It’s never finished. We learn to keep learning and with this we are never fighting the same battles twice. We keep growing.


Get tickets to LISTEN OUT festival:

Young Fathers’ album DEAD is available now:


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Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.