Interview: Yungblud

Dressed in all black with high pink socks, Yungblud’s energy filled every inch of the stage as he opened up for K.Flay’s Everywhere is Somewhere tour at the 20th Century Theatre. While his wild dance moves, flinging himself and his guitar every which way, make for a fun show, if you take a moment to really listen to what he’s singing about...there’s quite a message. That’s the whole point of Yungblud, Dominic Harrison’s, career. Backed by just a guitarist a drummer, YungBlud raised the crowd’s heart rates with songs including Polygraph Eyes, Anarchist, King Charles and his hit song, I Love You, Will You Marry Me.

Amongst all the madness between set up and meet and greets, I was able to sit down with Yungblud to talk about the meaning behind his music, touring and new music.

How is tour going so far?
Surprising, actually. Since this is my first time in the states, going to every place and people being there for me and stuff is just mental. Like, there are people in the front screaming my lyrics. Even at the merch tent, I always go and hang out and talk to people. It’s been so crazy. That’s what has made it so amazing. I mean overall my whole career that’s been the best thing so far. F*ck the hype. Like yeah, it’s good to get that but right now it’s just the connection. Like on my instagram and DM’s–because my message is about social sh*t and about real issues and kind of young oppression. The crazy thing is people dm’ing me on Instagram saying “you’re providing me with answers,” and “you’re the only one that gets me.” I get like 60-70 of those a day and I try to get back to as many as I can. That’s just the best thing because that’s what I’m doing it for. The world is just a mental place for people. I’m just saying what I think, I’m not trying to tell people what to think. I just want to encourage people to say what they think because that’s how we change and are able to provide answers for others.

How has it been being able to tour and hang out with K.Flay?
Yeah, we’ve been chillin’. The whole team is great! What’s so sick is she shares the same ideologies as me. And she’s just cool AF.

What’s your favorite song of hers?
“I’m already high enough”. That one.

Is there anything you HAVE to have while on tour?
Pink socks. A necessity.

So, is there a story behind the pink socks?
100%. Growing up, I’ve always had ADHD and have been very energetic. I’ve always loved pink so it just symbolizes me, it’s like BAM in your face. But there was a movement that happened in northern England throughout the 60’s to the 90’s. After the war, American GI’s would bring blues records and soul records over to various parts of England. The North was miserable because they had always been neglected anyway. But in the 60’s, can you imagine, it was even worse. It was the first time these soul records were being played and it created a whole movement. It was the start of dance culture. It was the first time that boys started dancing on their own and Bruce Lee was MASSIVE. Before, they’d would walk across the dance hall and go “Madame, may I have this dance?” But boys would dance on their own and they started wearing high-waisted trousers and started to show their ankles and socks off. I loved that and wanted to do it in a modern way.

Do you have a drawer full of pink socks then?
Yep, about 25 pairs. Everyone always says like, ‘do you wear the same ones?’ I’m like, they’re sewed to my ankles.

Yesterday, you made the time on tour to join in on Atlanta’s for March for our Lives. How was it?
Incredible. Young people are so underestimated right now. People believe we’re just going to shut up and sit quiet in a corner because that’s the way it’s always been. But right now, my generation, we are so smart and so opinionated. Yesterday gave me goosebumps because we saw the power of what we could do. We are a smart generation because we see the future we want to be a part of but it’s been held back by a generation that doesn’t understand us or just aren’t quite ready for the world to go to that place yet. I think that’s f*cked up and that’s why I write about this in my music because I just don’t agree with how the world is right now. It’s such a crazy world right now and I can’t believe no one is talking about politics in pop music right now.

In your interview with TripleJ you also mentioned that it’s a confusing world to live in right now and i completely agree. Thinking about everything going on right now, why do you think pop music isn’t really talking about it in their music?
No one’s got balls anymore. Everything is so safe. No one wants to talk about it because people do it in the wrong way. They preach. People get scared that singing about politics is going to be you in a Def Leppard t-shirt in the pub screaming about Margaret Thatcher with some sandwich in your bit. That’s just not the way it’s got to be done. I love London Calling by The Clash because it was so political but it made me want to jump about. People are like “ooh, don’t go near politics. The kids can’t relate to that.” because it’s all entitled 40 year old white men inside the studio telling you what to do. To me, that just doesn't make sense. If it comes from a real place that’s when it will work. At the end of the day for me, if it’s real it will resonate.

I think that’s what you did with Polygraph Eyes. It’s relatable and makes people think “Wow, I’ve seen this happen before”
Yeah, that’s what I wanted to do with the video. When we did the video, I didn’t want it to be smoke and mirrors. I wanted girls to be like “oh my god, I’ve been in that position before.” and boys to think “Oh my god, I’ve done that.” It’s not just a black or white thing. It’s not just taking advantage of someone, or forcing them to have sex with you against their will. Just because a girl wants to wear a short skirt, it doesn’t give you the right to take advantage of that. It’s just something I saw growing up and the f*cked up thing was that it didn’t resonate until I was older how fundamentally wrong it was. We’re brought up in this mentality that’s so widely accepted in our society.

That’s what I want to do with my music. I want to make people think and talk. At my shows, it’s crazy because we just have a good time. That’s the way it's got to be done. I don’t want to preach to anyone because if anyone preaches to me I just say fuck you. I get bored.

Now, onto some lighter things…
Lighter things. What’s your favorite food? Oriental!

You’re on tour with K.Flay, performing on late night shows, being announced on festival lineups. Did you ever think you’d be here at 19?
Hell no, hello no. Are you kidding me? When we played Seth the other night, it was hilarious because literally a year ago to the day we played to the Social Club in London to 10 people. To put a song out independently in April with my management company and to be here less than a year later...are you f*cking kidding me? We’re already planning a headlining tour in the Fall in the U.S. Like, what? It’s just crazy. It blows my mind. We’ve just got to keep our blinkers on and keep doing our thing. I don’t want to sound arrogant but I believe in what we do and it’s connecting to people. I just hope more people can connect.

The lollapalooza lineup was just announced and you’re on it. Who are you most excited to see while you’re there?
Arctic Monkey, Post Malone, Jessie Ware, Lewis Capaldi.

Can we look forward to new music soon?
We’ve got an album. Because of corporate bollocks I can’t tell you much more...but the next couple of months.

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