Featured Artist – Young Philadelphia

24 06 2012


It’s always nice when a band confirm your every notion and thought you had about them. On Wednesday, Young Philadelphia did just that. They blew the roof off Bloc with a mammoth amount of sound, and did this with such little equipment I might add, which seriously impressed me and the boys from Without Aeroplanes I was with. I had listened to Young Philadelphia previously and was impressed by the demos they churned out but that was nothing compared seeing them live. They monstered through track after track and left me pretty much speechless and wanting to hear just a little bit more. As I have previously mentioned Young Philadelphia used very limited amounts of gear, drummer Graham uses 3 cymbals and a snare while Jason runs his guitars through 3 or 4 pedals and to create such noise as they did was amazing. I couldn’t help but compare them to bands like Hella, Bronto Skylift (except with key sigs and structured musical passages) and National Sunday Law but Young Philly manage to avoid heavily borrowing from these bands styles and carve out their own niche pretty succesfully.

As I mentioned, I had listened to Young Philly’s demo’s on their BandCamp previous to seeing them live (Young Philadelphia – Demos) and was very impressed. They kicked of their set with “The Bad Fire”, which yours truly managed to get a video of, and swaying through the rest of their set effortlessly. Every song was greeted with a cacophony of cheering and was an overly positive reaction throughout.

The 4 demos line up as follows – The Bad Fire, Ambitions Are A Joke, Not Even God Knows What You Are Doing! and Semantics. The Bad Fire is what can only be described as RIFF-TATSTIC. It puts me in mind of Death From Above 1979 for some reason, with its heavy hitting and relentless guitar and drum interplay.  It is just one of these non-stop songs that you love to hear. Ambitions Are A Joke kicks in with a droning, overdriven loop and jumps into a section that sounds like an alien making sweet musical love to a synth and a guitar and finishes with a very slugde-y finale (for those who don’t listen to the type of music I do, sludgey is a compliment). Not Even God Knows What You Are Doing puts me in mind of early Bastard Noise, which is an odd comparison, and its ebbs and flows between differing heavy repeated riffs that keep you hooked from the get-go. I have to say I’m pretty gutted I didn’t take a video of this song as it is my personal favourite. Finally we are onto Semantics. This is metal as fuck. This song shows you exactly why Young Philly describe their music as noise rock. It is catchy, simple and effective. It’s like a big, comfy cushion of loudness.

Every week I ask bands who we should be looking and listening out for. Let me tell you. Young Philadelphia ARE the band you need to be listening for. As a two-piece they are amazingly tight and skillful musicians and their music will not disappoint at all. Get listening folks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-7oMvKM_0k&feature=plcp – Check out my video of Young Philadelphia playing “The Bad Fire” live at Bloc last Wednesday.


Young Philadelphia!! Introduce yourself to the waves of fans who want you so much. What’s the background of your band and how did you get things rolling musically?

Hi ATWOS! Young Philadelphia is a 2-piece band from Glasgow, made up of Jason on guitar and Graham on drums. We’re brothers so I suppose we’ve always played music together in some format since we both started mucking about with instruments many moons ago. We had never really played in a ‘proper’ band together before YP though, despite having similarly bonkers taste in music.

Where do you guys draw most of your influences from? While watching your live set I picked up a few bits here and there as to where you may get them from but I don’t want to make any lazy comparisons.

We listen to such a wide variety of stuff it’s hard to nail it down, but we definitely take a lot from bands like Hella and Lightning Bolt. We’re also mega into jazz (which might not come across!) and have been threatening to record a noisy version of Coltrane’s ‘Ole’ for about six months now. Who knows if that will happen. Outside the obvious, we’re also big into things like minimalist stuff, drone, noise and post-rock.

You guys manage to create a massive sound with very little equipment, I noticed your drummer only uses a snare drum and 3 cymbals in his set up. How exactly have you managed to create such a massive amount of noise from so little? Give us a cheeky wee run through both your set-ups (for the tech geeks who read this).

I use: Fender Jazzmaster, Orange TH-30 head, 2X12 Orange cabinet, Behringer BX1200 Ultrabass (which is a placeholder till I sort out a proper loud bass amp). I run my guitar through a BOSS OC-3 Super Octave and take the generated tone through the bass amp. My other effects change depending on what I’m going for that practice/show, but stalwarts are my trusty BOSS DD-3 Digital Delay, an ElectroHarmonix Freeze pedal and a BOSS RC-30 looper. I have been known on occasion to play with a BOSS SYB-5 Bass Synth pedal as well.

Hammy uses a pretty minimalist set-up, yeah. He says: “I change my set-up quite a lot and try to challenge myself to come up with new shit using as little as possible. Right now I’m really into playing with just a bass drum and snare. Cymbal-wise, just now it’s 14″ New Beat hats, a stack of various broken cymbals I’ve amounted over the years and a 24″ Zildjian ride. I usually use a 14″ Tama Starphonic aluminium snare, Iron Cobra pedal and whatever bass drum I can find.”  

Was it always your intention to be a two-piece band from the get-go or was it all just a happy accident?

Not really to be honest! We had been trying to get something moving for ages and then eventually decided to start writing tracks with the intention of adding various people afterwards. After waiting about for ages, we eventually had enough confidence and material to try and play a show as the two of us, and it seems to have worked out. There is definitely a pressure we feel in making instrumental music as a two-piece to do things that are fresh and interesting. We really try and make our stuff feel like songs instead of just a collection of riffs accompanied by drums. I suppose all the time we’ve spent in the practice room has been in honing our sound, which to be honest is still amended on an almost daily basis.

You guys are relatively new to the Glasgow music scene, how have your first batch of gigs gone? Have they been well received and have you gotten any overly positive feedback?

Everyone we’ve met and dealt with have been awesome so far. I don’t think we could possibly answer for the folk who’ve had to put up with our racket while they’re trying to eat a two-for-one pizza, but the people who’ve talked to us have had nice words to say! Bloc gave us our first show, so we won’t forget that, and I try and repay them by consuming copious amounts of Blue Moon in their establishment. The guys at Pivo also have been the epitome of dudeness, and we cannot wait to be involved in some of the crazy shit they have planned in the future! Both these venues have got a lot going for them.

Have you guys got any big plans for the remainder 2012? EP/big gigs/Video/Foxy Boxing ring in your basements? 

We’ll be recording our EP with a super-duper new label next month that I’m not even sure I’m allowed to mention yet, haha! Oh well, we’re very excited about it anyway. We’re gonna call it ‘RESI’ for a variety of reasons, most of which involve Capcom’s survival horror series. While I have a public forum, does anybody else think that Resident Evil is fucking shite now?! The last decent game was Code Veronica. There’s not even zombies in some of the newer ones! Sake man.

– He is completely right about Resi. But I hated Code Veronica X. It sucked too.

Are there any bands you have played with or seen live that, in your opinion, we should be keeping our eyes on?

Rollor are always worth checking out if you’re into uncompromising noise rock, and they’re also top guys into the bargain. I was also really impressed with Suplex the Kid when I saw them at Breadcrumb Trail a bit back. Other than that, there’s so many great bands in Glasgow right now – too many to name. Bandcamp & Soundcloud pages in my favourites right now are Fat Janitor, Citizens and some band called Vasa.

– What a total sook. I should really plug Vasa here but I’m not going to. I am not that big a slut.


That’s me. Until next time




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