London 3 piece Whenyoung is a pop-driven rock band that has been making a mark with their new album Reasons to Dream. The band is Aoife Power on bass and vocals, Niall Burns on guitar and Andrew Flood on drums. They first hit the scene with an EP called Given Up. Their new album was produced by Al O’Connell and features singles “Future”, “Never Let Go”, and “The Others.”
The band has toured in the US and have shared the bill with Shane McGowan and Nick Cave. FEMMUSIC was able to talk with Aoife Power about the new album. For info visit https://www.whenyoungband.com/
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge in making Reasons To Dream?
AP: I think the biggest challenge was not the song writing or recording process but actually the mixing. You get so absorbed in the tiniest details and frequencies, we found it mind-numbingly stressful. But when you realise something is going to be final you really want to make sure it’s right. So, that took us a while!
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest difference in making Reasons to Dream vs Given Up EP?
AP: The idea of recording an album is far more daunting I guess. When we did Given Up, it was only 4 tracks which we recorded over a period of time. But Reasons To Dream we did in one sitting pretty much. So I guess the main difference was the amount of songs we had to record, we actually did 15 of them but put 11 on the album.
FEMMUSIC: What made you sign to Virgin EMI? What benefits do you see signing to a label? How are they to work with?
AP: They seemed the most genuine to us, like they really wanted it as much as we did. That was what made us sign. I can only speak from our experience but being with a label has been really helpful for us. You get support and representation in areas of the industry that you haven’t a clue about!!
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about the production on Reasons to Dream. Did you work with a producer? Why or why not?
AP: We did yes. We worked with Al O’Connell (ALALAL). We wanted to truly bring to life the ideas that we had in our heads for the songs and we felt a strong connection with Al, having tried out a track with him. We wanted our album to be the best it could be and for that reason, we went into the studio with him.
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
AP: It’s hard to have a formulaic approach to songwriting, sometimes it comes and sometimes it doesn’t. Aoife is the main melody maker so we usually build around a core vocal melody in the studio all together. Some songs come easy but some require coaxing and attention until you get them in the right place.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
AP: Hard to say one definite song. But one that springs to mind is “Blank Generation” by Richard Hell. I remember when we all heard this song, we were together and we were all just like, “what is this!?”. It is perfectly imperfect. The guitar parts are barely in tune, the vocal is ramshackle and it’s all over the place but that’s the good thing about it! The delivery and the meaning of the song is something we love.
FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the music industry? And how did you overcome them?
AP: Occasionally I meet people in the industry who expect me to present myself in a certain way because I’m a woman. Archaic thinking and gender role expectations are challenges we have to fight daily in this industry and many other industries.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
AP: Blondie. Because, it’s Blondie!
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
AP: I’d like to see the artists paid more for streaming!