By Juliana Bergstrom
Since we last chatted with Youngblood frontwoman Alexis Young, she and the band have been busy, to say the least. They’ve toured and performed throughout Canada, Australia, and Europe, won one of three spots in the Juno masterclass, and Young headed solo to LA to write new songs — and enjoy some downtime.
The singer took some time out of her busy schedule to sit down with Loose Lips to catch us up on the past year.
Loose Lips: What was the most memorable part of being at the Juno Masterclass?
Alexis Young: I would say, well, one of the prizes of being in the masterclass was that we got to go to the Juno awards and that was definitely a highlight, that was really amazing. The actual class itself was really cool, it was really humbling to hear about a lot of different people’s experiences in the music industry and how there’s no real right way to do it. And also, make friends with the other two bands who were winners and with the people who organized the whole event. You really just feel like they’ve got your back for the rest of your career.
LL: Which tour stops were your favourite and why?
AY: Oh man, we’ve gone to so many places now! It’s so hard to pick one place… I would say that playing a medieval castle in Regensburg (Germany) was pretty freaking dope… going to Berlin was awesome, playing Sydney was really great. I think those are probably some highlights.
LL: So did you play inside the castle or was it your back drop?
AY: The whole city is kind of a castle… we played in this little grotto/cave area that’s also now a bar! So the building itself is hundreds of years old and it was really small. All the walls are made of stone and it was really, really intimate and also turned into a crazy party, so it was pretty awesome.
LL: Was that the unplanned show at a bar that you posted about on Instagram?
AY: No, that was different! That was at some dude’s bar that we stayed in the apartment upstairs. He just saw us carrying in all our instruments and invited us to play an impromptu show at his restaurant downstairs. That was Germany as well.
LL: What’s your favourite part about being on tour?
AY: Just being able to explore new places with a new perspective. I think going somewhere with a purpose, like playing music, instead of just wandering around for the purpose of exploring kind of allows you to see things that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise, things a little more off the beaten path, which is cool. And obviously meeting people who run all these venues who are all music lovers from different places around the world is really cool, and sharing stories with them has definitely been a highlight.
LL: Yeah, it’s like you’re not really a tourist anymore, you have that instant connection with those locals you’re working with.
AY: Yeah. I mean exploring for the sake of exploring is awesome because you don’t have a plan and you can just do whatever (you want) but when you’re exploring with a bit more sense of purpose, it kind of allows you to dig in a little deeper to each place and really get to know the people, and the places that you’re playing.
LL: All that said, what’s the most challenging part about touring?
AY: The sleep schedule! (laughs). It’s like, the most amazing thing ever but it’s also the most tiring thing ever and you definitely exhaust all of your adrenaline after. It’s just like, shell shock.
LL: With such a demanding schedule, what do you do to replenish yourself?
AY: Yeah, I’m big on the naps, I’m a big napper! I try, like at any spare 20 minutes, like in the van or at the corner of the bar or wherever, I’ll just throw a sweater over my face and just catch a couple zees wherever I can. I like stretching too, I feel like getting the blood flowing is a big thing because you’re so sedentary for like 23 ½ hours of the day and then for like a half hour you’re going balls to the walls onstage and then you’re sedentary for another 23 ½ hours, so it’s kind of funny.
LL: What’s inspiring you right now?
AY: What’s inspiring me? I’m inspired by this book I got my boyfriend for his birthday called Meet Me in The Bathroom. It’s a collection of a bunch of stories from the rebirth of rock n’ roll in NYC from the early 2000s to 2010. It has all these stories from The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The National, The Killers, and TV On The Radio and like all these bands that were a big influence on me in my teen years and learning about their stories and how they started their projects and what they did when they were first getting things going. That’s been really inspiring to know that they all started somewhere!
LL: That’s awesome because I feel like for stories like that, the focus is always on bands in the ’70s, so it’s cool that there’s something out there talking about more recent stuff.
AY: Totally, yeah. The ’70s were an incredible time for music but they weren’t the only time for music, you know?
LL: What are you most looking forward to in the next year?
AY: I’m really looking forward to putting out new music! Our EP came out a year ago so I’m really looking forward to putting some new stuff out there. It’s in the works and its happening soon!
LL: Side note! I love your Broken English video, it’s so good! And it really gave you credit for the lyrics.
AY: Oh thanks! Yeah, I like how nonsensical the lyrics are but when put in such an artful context it makes it feel more meaningful.
LL: When can fans expect new songs from Youngblood?
AY: I can’t say because it’s so up in the air, all I can say at this point is soon!
LL: How can fans stay up to date on what Youngblood’s doing?
Youngblood performs the Biltmore Cabaret Saturday November 25. Get your tickets here: biltmorecabaret.do604.com/events/2017/11/25/youngblood-nov-25
Juliana loves most Vancouver clichés — such as yoga, hiking and drinking tea with elaborate names — but what you wouldn’t guess about her is that she danced her way through 32 countries, is a die-hard No Doubt fan and cries when she is really excited and/or happy. Oh, and she loves a dry sauvignon blanc.