PC: What objections, If any, did you have when you heard your music would be showcased on the reality series, “The Hills?”
None at all. Its one of the top shows on MTV, so no new band should ever really object to that unless they don’t want anyone to hear them. With MTV not really playing music videos the way they did in say, the early 90s, licensing is pretty much the only way to get your music on television. The exposure for us was great. It’s not the greatest show in the world plot wise, and a lot of the characters are a little shallow for my liking, but hey, you can’t have everything.
PC: What lead to your decision to leave Universal/Republic?
Universal/Republic is a great label, full of great people, many who I’d consider good friends, but the fact is that we weren’t getting the focus, attention and financial backing there that we deserve and need. So we decided it was best for us if we left. It was amicable, and they were very understanding of our decision and situation. It just became pointless, us being there, which is a shame.
PC: Do you have a preference playing in large festivals or smaller venues?
There are pros and cons of both – we just love to play period. They’re both different experiences and both are equally exhilarating. I do love the larger venues. We’ve played many, what with Lollapolooza, All Points West, Bonnaroo as well as a lot of the hockey/basketball arenas around the US when we toured with Duran Duran, and the feeling walking onto and performing on those stages is incredible.
It’s turning the wild far flung imagination of a 12-year-old in Otley, playing along to Nirvana in his bedroom mirror into reality. So I’d have to say overall I prefer the larger venues. The grandness and sound of our music also lends itself well to bigger arenas. Sometimes though there is nothing like rocking hard in a small, sweaty club. We’ve been on a club tour in NYC this whole summer.
PC: Will we see a big change from your first album to your upcoming one?
I don’t know to be honest. We’re in the demoing stage of album 2 right now. When we enter the studio to record it, we will push ourselves, our music and the sound as hard as we can. Always trying to make something different and new, always trying to better ourselves as musicians and a band. The thing that will always remain a constant is melody and song. The essential focus will always be on that. As far as the early demoing is sounding, we’ve been playing around with more keyboards and some of the songs are definitely very danceable. Like with the first album, its a very large sound.
PC: You’ve cited U2 and Depeche Mode as heavily influencing your sound and it comes through a lot in your tracks, was this a conscious decision on your part?
No, not at all. You maybe get ideas here and there, but when working on a sound and on a song, we listen to all sorts of music and pull influences from everywhere.
PC: Coyle, are there any plans on releasing those early acoustic versions of your songs?
Who knows. Maybe one day. We play acoustic shows around the City from time to time, so that is often a chance to hear the songs in this form. We also have a lot of acoustic songs that wont ever make a YV album, so it’d be nice one day to put them all on an album a release them.
PC: I’m interested in hearing from each band member how they work their contribution to a track and what is the thought process that goes into laying down, say, the bass, drums and keyboard.
I write the basic song, either from my head or from a riff Mat has written or a beat Mal has played with. We record it roughly with the guys adding ideas and their parts, then take it into the rehearsal room. It is fleshed out more. Worked on so it works live, then taken back into demo recording. Before a song goes on an album, it is re-worked again in pre-production and often will change further still. Its quite a process.
PC: How has the reception from fans of Duran Duran and the Bravery been? Positive, negative? For that matter, from fans of the Killers and U2?
Every tour we’ve done has been amazing, with an incredibly positive response every single night. Both Duran Duran and The Bravery invited us back out on the road with them, which is such a compliment, both to the reaction we had from their fans and to both band’s appreciation of our music. It was a real honor. We write great songs and create an intense, emotive and energetic experience live. We’ve never played with U2, or The Killers, apart from when they appeared as guests with Duran Duran in Vegas. They’re cool guys and dug our set.
PC: What one word would you use to describe your music to attract new listeners?
Something missing from a lot of modern music.
PC: What was the experience working with David Bendeth like and what did you take away from that experience?
It was our first ever record. It was an extremely intense experience. We learned so much, and our eyes were opened to so many things we had never even thought about before. David has a really great studio and a team of amazing people around him. It was fun, but a lot of hard work. An invaluable experience and such a thrill to be finally making a real record.
David is so in tune with the music and analyzes it in great detail. A perfectionist. I feel like we left the recording of that album as a real band, for the first time, we got it. We came out with a great debut album and a ‘chapter 1’, that we’re very proud of.
PC: Any overall goals for the band? Cliché but where do you guys see yourselves five years down the road?
To have released at least 2 more albums, getting better and better, pushing ourselves and our music. We want to make classic, timeless albums. Evolving as a band. Making a difference to people and to music. Selling lots of records, being inventive and fresh and continuing to blow people away with an ever more elaborate live show in increasingly bigger arenas.