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Gang of Youths Talk Jesus Camp, Rebellion, Beer + More

Gang of Youths
Alex Forsyth

When Gang of Youths first met as teenagers at Jesus camp, they didn’t think their high school band would make it to the big time. However years later, the breakout indie outfit have not only been wooing fans in their home base of Sydney but also building a following in their new residence — Nashville. After playing their way through the CMJ Music Marathon as well as making their first-ever non-festival performance at New York City’s Mercury Lounge last month, the guys are ready to take the US by storm with their Springsteen and U2-inspired tunes.

Gang of Youths took a moment to chat with about how their “gangster” personas, their love for the Boss and longing for Victoria Bitter.

How did the band start?

Gravity, osmosis and divine intervention. We met in Jesus camps as teenagers with no intention of our bond developing into the current configuration of the GOY enterprise until one of us decided to quit their day job in an attempt to salvage the remainder of their early twenties from being engulfed in a 54-hour work week inferno. We want to provide for our families with careers that were in some way more fulfilling than the paths we had elected originally.

What’s the story behind the name Gang of Youths?

Every other name we considered was benign and fatuous or perhaps a little too niche. One of us had an affinity for the name growing up, so we just chose it instead of Slick Rick and the Slick Pricks or Balls Deep or the Ted Bundy Experience.

Do you consider yourselves a Gang of Youths?

Absolutely. In no way are we not a Gang Of Youths. Just type that s— into Google News and you’ll see all the bad stuff we get away with. We just ruthless.

What’s ‘Evangelists’ about?

Casting doubt upon a lofty, ethereal truth that one can perceive to be true, even though current circumstance is decidedly opposed. It might also about grief due to ongoing tragedy and disillusionment with a corrupt and vile community. I don’t know, I’m not Thomas More, I’m just an asshole with a laptop.

Who are you listening to right now?

Mostly Springsteen and Roxy Music at the moment. We like The Replacements too. We’ve also been listening to The Joshua Tree a lot because U2 were really good.

You’re originally from Sydney but are now are based in Nashville. Why did you decide on the relocation?

One of us got married and moved there, so we all did what any good friends would do; quit our day jobs, quit university degrees, packed up all of our shit and moved to Nashville as well.

What was the hardest thing to adjust to in the US?

Why is it so hot in July? It should be like, 40 degrees [celsius, 104 degrees fahrenheit] man, none of this Tommy Bahama and flip-flops bulls—.

What do you miss in Australia? What did you bring back or search for from home?

Victoria Bitter. It is sweet, sensuous nectar dripping from the titties of the Almighty Himself, flowing through the grandest and purest reservoirs scattered throughout enormity of heaven and straight into pints all across Australian dive establishments purely for our consumption, and ours alone. We have yet to locate it here in the United States. Only two of us are actually Australian, so that’s about all we miss.

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