WAM INTERVIEWS: Young Robin
Indie youth pop band Young Robin have evolved from former trio The Eb Oreo into the well-formed, dynamic quintet they are known as today. Their music guarantees a fun rock vibe and a bit of a boogie, with their #WAMFest live performance and recent Gozzy Rock win evidence of this. Drawing inspiration from a variety of contemporary artists, the boys are making their mark, with the 2016 release of their first EP Tether featuring popular jam Faker Faker, which will be launched Saturday 3 December at The Boston. WAM‘s Amy Doherty chatted to Young Robin about the trials and tribulations of the all-ages scenes, dream line-ups, selling out shows and advice on getting them.
Give us a thirty second history of Young Robin:
Jed: We started as a 3 piece under the name The Eb Oreo and decided in 2015 that if we wanted to do more and take it more seriously, we’d need more members, so that’s when Ben and Hamish came along and we formed Young Robin.
Hamish: Since we began pushing the band we’ve had some incredible experiences. My personal highlights are having both the “Ferndully” single launch and our “Tether” EP launch sell out, it’s still so surreal to think about. Being on the Hyperfest lineup for 2016 and playing alongside Northlane and Ball Park Music was also a bit of a dream come true. We recently won Gozzy Rock, which I think we’re all still coming to terms with.
Ben: Yeah Gozzy Rock and also playing Amplifier Bar and winning the Swan River Run Battle of the Bands.
So, Young Robin was originally formed as part of a uni assignment. What were everyone’s first thoughts when meeting their new group? Did you guys get a good mark?
Hamish: I wasn’t originally part of the project, I knew the other guys from school but was actually in the crowd for the band’s first show, I remember watching them and thinking “I love this, I want to play with these guys.” Turned out they didn’t have an official bassist, and they asked me to come over for a jam, the rest is history! I’ve actually never asked about the mark they got.
You have had (and have!) members under 18…what thoughts do you have on the underage scene in WA, and the difficulties young talents face to make an impact?
Ben: Yeah we recently added Jarred, who is 17, to our lineup and it’s been great. The hardest part I think is the lack of underage venues and gigs that are out there. YMCA HQ is one of the only venues in Perth with a couple of other opportunities like Hyperfest, there aren’t too many occasions to play to all your friends if you’re underage. Only after your 18 do things open up a lot more for you.
Hamish: So far everywhere in Perth has been amazing in accommodating Jarred, which we’re so thankful for. The number of all ages venues and events in Perth seems to be a bit minimalist, so having venues allow us to play is awesome. Jarred usually has to stand outside before our set though, he’s a trooper, but we can’t wait for the day where he can be inside, away from the cold haha.
Jed: Being underage can be tough in terms of getting your music out to the public (eg playing shows, networking at gigs etc) and there are so many talented kids out there. But although it might suck now, you’ll eventually reach 18 and can go to town on the gigs, so don’t worry.
Congratulations on taking out the title at Gozzy Rock! What are the band’s plans for the prize?
Hamish: Thanks, we’re super stoked about it! Currently we’re working towards a single release in December which we’re going to record some bonus material for, so we’ll definitely be using some of the money and recording time for that.
Ben: We’ve been writing a lot and getting pretty excited to lay some tracks down in the near future.
Jed: We’ve also talked about doing more touring as well as getting more equipment to enhance our live sound.
What are some of the highlights that 2016 has delivered so far for Young Robin and why?
Ben: 2016 has been pretty good to us so far! We sold out our ‘Tether’ EP launch at Jimmy’s Den in March. That show went off, it was amazing to see so many people come down. We were pretty stoked to finally get our music out there for people to hear it too. The reaction has been unbelievable.
Jed: That EP launch was a huge step in our career as Young Robin and one of the best shows we’ve played. And Amplifier Bar supporting Salary was cool. Many bands that we like have played there so it was kind of an honour to be on that stage.
Hamish: Also playing Hyperfest alongside Northlane, Ball Park Music, and E^ST was mental, I love them all but I’ve been listening to Northlane since I was about 15, so playing on the same lineup as them was a dream come true. Obviously the recent Gozzy Rock win was great, the other bands were outstanding, to get picked as the winner… we’re still processing it haha.
How are you guys prepping and what should we expect from your set?
Jed: Just practicing and trying to get as tight as possible. We try to make our set as energetic and as fun as possible.
Hamish: We practice as much as possible, if we can’t practice together, we’re practicing alone. There are no superstitions as such, but I suppose our “ritual” is to just be together, have some food with a side of banter, we occasionally have someone start a huddle and a slightly over the top pep talk, it’s hard to tell whether that’s us being ironic or serious haha! Our music is pretty upbeat and fun, we like to show that in our performance, so we jump around and dance a fair bit.
Ben: Good vibes and some dancey tunes that will hopefully brighten your mood! If there’s room and if people are really getting into it, expect Ham’ to jump into the crowd with his bass. It’s a wonder he hasn’t hurt anyone yet!
We’re loving Ferndully here in the WAM office. What’s the process behind writing Young Robin songs?
Ben: Thanks so much! We’re pretty organic in the way we write.
Jed: We don’t really have a set process. Sometimes one of us has a riff and then we come together and work on it, sometimes we jam something out and something is created, or sometimes one of us has everything sorted out and they teach us the different parts. So it varies a lot but the common factor is that it’s a very collaborative process.
Hamish: Ferndully is a great example of that, we were rehearsing for a show in a studio and someone started playing the chords, in less than ten minutes the song was pretty well finished!
If you could play with anyone in history, who would be your three picks for your dream lineup and why?
Jed, Ben, Hamish:
1. The 1975- huge influence to all of us in the band and we love their creativity and uniqueness
2. The Beatles – The Beatles speak for themselves.
Jed: Queen- because they’re legendary, one of the best live bands that ever graced the stage.
Ben: And Wombats.
Hamish: Also, Red Hot Chilli Peppers. RHCP is the first band I ever properly listened to growing up, and as a bassist I’m more or less obliged to idolise Flea haha
What was the hardest part of cracking into the Perth music scene, and how did you overcome these challenges?
Hamish: Originally getting gigs was pretty hard since nobody knew who we were, but we just kept at it, kept organised and kept writing. We’ve also had a lot of help from Band Aide in the last year.
Ben: We’re fortunate enough to get invited back to some venues and sometimes promoters like us enough to include us on other shows. We usually try our best to get to know the other bands on the bill and they sometimes invite us to play other shows with them.
Jed: Since nobody knew about us it was quite hard to convince people to get us to play a show, but once the ball started rolling…
Hamish: It sounds cheesy, but it really comes down to how hard you work for it, we’ve been putting everything we have into the band and it’s paying off!
What’s happening for you in the near future?
Hamish: We’ve got a lot planned, including gigs at The Rosemount, Jimmy’s Den, and El Grotto.
Jed: We’re having another launch in December so that’s something to look forward to, as well as recording new music so that should be exciting.
Faker Faker Single Launch - Saturday 3rd December, The Boston, Northbridge