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Wycombe band return to play Reading Festival
WYCOMBE band Young Guns are getting ready to rock Reading Festival on August 24, 25 and 26.
Here Victoria MacFarlaine speaks with drummer Ben Jolliffe about their successful second album and plans for the rest of the year.
The last time Freetime spoke with you was in January when your album Bones was due to come out. How has it been since then?
Brilliant. Definitely the reaction from the crowds and everything is a lot more than we could ever have expected. With the chart position and everything it is something that really exceeded our expectations by a long shot. Yes, we are really happy and we are getting a release date for the States so it is really exciting. On the back of the album we get invited to go back to Reading and Leeds and they are great festivals.
The last time we spoke you said hopefully after this next album your finances may improve and you could move out. Has that happened?
That hasn’t happened. However we are definitely more comfortable now, we can afford to live a bit better. To be honest it is more like we are never around. The thought of moving out, we are literally not here, particularly with the festival season, we go away for the weekend for a couple of days, back and forth and we are pretty much gone forever as we have gone to the States, Europe and back to the States. So at the moment none of us have really thought too much about it. We will probably look at moving out towards the end of the year, I’m sure.
Why do you think this album has done so well?
It’s kind of a mixture of things, with the first album obviously still a lot of people hadn’t heard of us and there is only a certain level it can take you. But with this, personally I think we are much happier with the album, it is a stronger album. Also Radio One have been brilliant to us, and also being able to have the support from good magazines and radio stations. Now that we are a bit more of an established band it is not so much of a risk to put us on the front cover of a magazine as we have had an album out. Before we were kind of nobody.
You have lots of tours planned for this year?
We did a few festivals and did China and Thailand, a UK tour and we went to Europe for one and now we are at the stage where we are doing all the festivals which is a nice breather. You go away for the weekend and come back for a few days, have a nice break and from September onwards we are going to push America quite hard and going out there and doing a UK headline tour. It is non stop for us and even if we have a few days off we are starting to get back into the studio to start writing for the next album so there is not much time off, so to speak.
Are you already looking at a next album?
Yes, just about. I mean we have a busy rest of the year, there is not that much time for writing and it is going to be one of those things that we need a new album, but we only have here and there in the coming weeks and it is obviously not a great deal of time. Pretty much starting today we are going to start thinking about our new record. It will be on and off gradually, hopefully it will give us a bit of a headstart when we start writing. It is always good to be ahead of the game. Between that and getting ready for festivals. We are trying to change a lot of our stage set up. With practising, there is always a lot you have got to do.
Are you looking forward to playing Reading?
I absolutely can’t wait. It was such an honour being able to play the main stage and the next time it comes up we want to. It is going to be absolutely brilliant we are trying to get pyro stuff and just see what we can do and make it as exciting as possible. We clash with Florence and the Machine but with our fanbase I don’t think that is going to be too much of a problem. So last time you played the main stage as the first band on, and this time you are on a smaller stage but higher up the billing.
I bet the atmosphere will be different for you this time round?
I think having that slot (main stage) it is the first band on Friday at Reading, it is very much a band that is on the up that gets to do it, and it’s a big deal. Being on that main stage has probably done so much. People are like ‘oh, I saw you at Reading’ and truly it did wonders for us, and it is great to see. Being able to come back and do smaller stages we kind of deserve to be there. We are not Reading virgins anymore we get to go back. Being first on is great but you are kind of rushed on, get on and get off, and let the other bands play. But this year we will have a bit more space to get on with it.
Do you have anything planned for Reading?
We are talking, although budget is an issue, sometimes you aren’t allowed to get pyro shooting bombs (laughs) there are certain levels you can go to and do a cover or two, just make it as good as possible. We have already been discussing it for a few weeks.
Do you ever go into Marlow?
Yes, all the time. Whenever we are back. Yes, we go down The Ship, I haven’t been there in a while but when we are around and stuff. It’s great as my best friends who I have known my whole life live in Marlow and work in London. Every now and then when I come back we will get together and go down The Ship and stuff and its always such a great laugh.
Do you get recognised?
It does happen. It’s not like at all an issue, when you are in an environment like you aren’t at a festival where people know you, it’s quite flattering when people recognise you. Particularly in an area like this – Marlow isn’t quite known as the rock capital of the world!
What do you want to achieve by the end of the year?
Touring in the States and getting an album out over there has always been a massive dream so we actually get to go over there so that’s a great deal for us. Basically start our next year writing and record a new album, and keep touring. It will be great to go out onstage and talking about doing a couple more one-off UK shows. Definitely keep doing what we are doing really.
Will you be playing back in this area again?
Yes, definitely we have a lot planned.
For more information see www.weareyoungguns.com
For more leisure stories go to the Freetime section of the website www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/leisure .
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