INTERVIEW: PARIS YOUTH FOUNDATION
Described as “The Strokes meets Wolf Alice” by NME, Liverpool’s Paris Youth Foundation have surely had an extremely exciting 2017 and this year has started off pretty well for them too. After securing a spot at Reading last year, shortly after releasing their debut single, they’ve played many major new music festival. Don’t worry if you missed them: they will be coming to London on April 4th to play at Camden Assembly alongside Safe to Swim & Austel.
We chatted to the band’s frontman, Kevin, about their music, past and upcoming releases, and live performances to come.
KM: You’ve had a pretty meteoric rise so far – in fact, you played your first show at Reading Festival two weeks after releasing your debut single. How did that come about?
Kevin: Yeah that’s true. We had a song that we decided to record and put online. We uploaded it to BBC Introducing and within two weeks we’d been invited to play the introducing stage at Reading and Leeds and played on BBC Radio 1 as their introducing band of the week. I think we thought the BBC were joking when this happened. These stories you hear from your favourite bands about how they just ended up on Radio 1 overnight and at huge festivals we thought were always a little far fetched but then it happened to us.
KM: Were you surprised by the swift reception to your music?
Kevin: Yeah absolutely. I think we started making music with no expectations and always did it for the right reasons. We just enjoyed playing tunes as mates. Maybe this took the pressure off us a little and allowed us to just concentrate on what mattered rather than get caught up in it. But we were definitely surprised that anyone listened at all never mind the reaction we did get.
KM: As a Liverpool band, you’ve enjoyed a lot of support from the likes of BBC Merseyside. Do you find the music scene in Liverpool particularly encouraging in that way?
Kevin: The BBC have helped us massively since day one. I don’t think we would be where we are today without them. From everyone at BBC Merseyside all the way to Radio 1. Dave Monks who heads up BBC Introducing in Merseyside, in particular, has helped us more than we could ever thank him for. He’s the reason us and many other Liverpool bands have been given the chance to have our music heard on a national level. We can’t speak highly enough of him and all involved in the BBC Introducing programme.
KM: Your last release ‘London’ is all about the difficulty of a long distance relationship – can you tell us about what inspired you to write the track?
Kevin: Yeah London’s a song about a long-distance breakup. I guess it’s inspired by the line in the verse ‘does London love you as much as I do’. I guess that line says pretty much everything about the song. It’s a song that focuses on the difficulty the distance causes during a breakup. Inspiration wise I only ever seem to listen to The National. I think they tell the saddest and most honest stories and that’s what I tried to do here. I didn’t want to hide anything.
KM: The song almost sounds orchestral in the way the melody is accented with chimes and triangles – have you ever been inspired by classical music or music for film?
Kevin: I don’t think so. I mean I could pretend to be really cool and say we’re all into classical music but I don’t think we are. I think we’re very open in the studio and the recording process. If we can do something a bit different we will always try it out. I guess we came across the idea and if it sounds good (which I hope it does) we don’t really over think it.
KM: Word on the street is that you have a new single dropping on the 4th May – can you tell us a bit about it?
Kevin: Yeah that’s right. It’s called “The Off Button” and it’s released Friday 4th May. It’s a song that definitely carries on the Paris Youth Foundation theme of heartache, breakups and late-night miss calls. I guess it’s something that I think we’ve all been through at one time so it always plays a huge part in my writing. No one wants to admit it, but you only have to look around on a night out and someone’s texting an ex they shouldn’t be. The Off Button is a song about not being able to switch off. Whether it’s your head or your phone. But yeah, I hope you like it.
KM: Soon after the new single drops, you’re set to play Liverpool Sound City. It must a be a great feeling to play a festival in your hometown. Are you excited?
Kevin: Yeah Sound City is such a highlight for us. We all grew up running around Liverpool seeing our favourite bands so it’s a huge deal for us to be asked to play and be a part of such a special festival for our city. If you haven’t been you should definitely come and check it out. We play on the Sunday night with Night Cafe, Jaws and Peace.