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INTERVIEW: Paris Youth Foundation

Introducing the Liverpool indie band with sad songs you can dance to, Paris Youth Foundation.

As part of our introducing feature, we were lucky enough to catch up with Kev from Liverpool indie rock band Paris Youth Foundation to discuss their latest single ‘The Back Seat’. This catch up on Zoom lead to us talking about their debut album, the modern day break up and how important random graffiti in Paris can be.

Your new single ‘The Back Seat’ was released last Friday, can you tell us what the track is about?

It’s one chapter of a story that will be the whole album, it’s basically about a breakup. I know that sounds really cliche and dumb but that’s the truth. It’s all about the 21st century and the way we break up, which is so warped. Like 50 years ago, if you broke up with someone you ran the risk of never seeing them again unless you lived in the same place. Whereas now you can break up with someone on the other side of the world and still be living their life through their social media and they’re living yours. I was quite interested in the way we were obsessed with our phones and how technology makes breakups so much worse these days. Mainly the fact that you can live a sensible life Monday-Friday but then on a Saturday between the hours of 10pm-6am you kind of lose it all and you think contacting this person is a good idea. I was just fascinated by that. Socials have become your own worst nightmare.

You just mentioned the fact that this single is part of an album, do you know when the album will be released?

I think the plan is like July, there will be a few more standalone singles off it but they’re going to come quickly now. We finished the album last year but we learned quite quickly it just wasn’t the right time. If I’m honest I’m not sure if this year is going to be much different but we have to kinda try to carry on. I think singles will be coming every 6-8 weeks until we drop the album. 

You had your debut headline tour in February last year, which just finished in time before COVID struck. How was that for you guys?

It was amazing really, we’ve been going for a few years now. We’ve played dream festivals like Reading & Leeds, we’ve also played alongside bands we love like The Magic Gang & The Night Cafe but we realised we had never done our own headline tour. The difference when it’s your own show and playing to 100 people that are there for you is always better than playing to 1000 who’s there to see The Magic Gang. It baffles me that we can go to Scotland and there are 100 people who are singing the songs I wrote in my bedroom when I was crying over my ex-girlfriend. It blows my mind. We were very lucky to squeeze them in before the madness.

 

Paris Youth Foundation – ‘The Back Seat’ (Acoustic)

How would you describe your sound to anyone who hasn’t heard of you before?

We’re an indie guitar band, we’re not really doing anything you’ve not heard before. We’re not ALT-J but like there’s depth to the music and lyrics. I always say they’re sad songs that you can dance to. All my favourite artists write the best sad songs ever and I just lean towards that. Unless you’re really listening I think you might not realise these are actually sad songs. You might just think this is another indie band trying to be catchy but underneath it there are definitely a few layers.

How’s lockdown been treating you?

It feels weird, it’s like I’ve become numb to it now. I don’t know if I remember pre-lockdown anymore. I think the first 6 months, I was scared of it you know like we all were. You’d watch the news and you didn’t know which way it was going to go. Like now we’re on our third lockdown and it doesn’t cut as deep as it did the first one. Still have to keep perspective in terms of there’s people dying but there’s steps forward with the vaccine. In terms of day to day life, I live a pretty quiet life anyway. Really all i do is go into the band studio everyday and write songs & walk the dog.

You’ve previously recorded with the great Rich Turvey, what did you learn from that experience?

You learn loads really. When you’re in there and you’re doing it every day you’re probably not realising how much you’re learning. Someone like Rich really opens your mind and then blows it a lot of the time because he’s your mate but he’s there to do his job. We’ve done it so many times now it’s just an enjoyable experience, especially with Rich, his resume speaks for itself. It’s a privilege to be in there following the likes of Blossoms. Anyone that’s had a couple of number 1 albums is not to be messed around with. It’s a privilege to work with him and we are proud to have recorded our album with him.

 

What would you say is your greatest achievement to date?

That’s a tough one really. I think the most romantic story is that our first gig was actually Reading Festival. That’s one that you’ll definitely tell the grandkids. There has been a lot of highs and definitely lows too, I think you’d be stupid to think being in a guitar band means you’re walking around every day like Liam Gallagher. I think the hard times make you realise how lucky you are going around the country with your mates performing music. 

Is there a story behind your band name?

Yeah, so when I was younger I was in Paris and there was just some graffiti on the metro, obviously, it was in French and I just put it into my really old iPhone. About 4 years later we started the band and we were thinking about band names, for some mad reason it just came to me and it just felt right. To this date I still don’t know what it actually is so it could be some racist cult in Paris but who knows.

If there’s anything you can change about your band, what would it be?

That we were the size of Oasis. All jokes aside, we’re very lucky to be in a band and to write and record songs with your mates for a job. That’s the dream really. 

What’s next for Paris Youth Foundation?

Like everyone we’ve had so much time over the last year so I’ve probably got the next 5 albums written already. We just need a normal world to come back to start releasing more. We’re really keen to get back out on the road as that’s where a band belongs really. We miss festivals so much as a fan and as musicians. We’ll have new music and tour dates as soon as we’re allowed. Praying we can get back to it.

Billy Fitzjohn
Writer and promoter

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