Young the Giant storms Buffalo - INTERVIEW
blog by Kathryn Przybyla • July 20, 2012 @ 11:39am
This show was one for the books.
Playing fan favorites, “Cough Syrup,” “Apartment” and “My Body,” attendees were also treated to a few new songs that will be featured on the band’s next album.
Prior to the show, we got a chance to sit down with guitarist, Jacob Tilley—chatting about wing-induced food comas, marine biology and antics from past visits to the Queen City.
With a manager who actually hails from Buffalo, Young the Giant is no stranger to Western New York.
Tilley, originally hailing from England, moved to California with his family at a young age, was trained in piano and eventually found his passion playing guitar.
And although he wouldn’t divulge into detail on past late-night adventures in Buffalo, Tilley’s love for estuaries, José González and Disney songs certainly grabbed my attention. Take a look at the interview below.
So how was the trip up to Buffalo?
Jacob Tilley: We came from Wallingford, Connecticut, we played there. and then the day before that we played in Central Park and then came up here yesterday.
Our manager is actually from Buffalo, so we’ve been here a couple times.
Have you been having a good time on the headlining tour so far?
JT: After last year, we’ve had way more success than we could have ever anticipated. So this year, we took on the feat of doing a full nationwide tour. We booked a lot of rooms, those rooms sold out and we added more dates to those cities.
It’s been a complete blessing for all of us. it’s made us all a lot tighter as a band with the opportunity to have complete sound checks for once. I feel like we’ve grown a lot as a band.
Any good stories you can share?
JT: There’s obviously a lot of silly stories and a few cities that stand out in particular. But one thing we’re really in awe of is how responsive our fans have been. Their support is the coolest thing to take away from all of this.
We now have such a broad fan base and it’s kind of pushing us into the next part of our career and lots of excitement.
Compared to last year, what’s one of the biggest changes for you guys now?
JT: Probably just comfort. We’re not driving ourselves around in a van and trailer anymore and I think we have all acquired the skill set to tour nationally and what it means to be mobile at all times.
From what that requires for your personal health to staying healthy and keeping the mindset that you want to stay productive and grow as an individual is a learned thing. Falling into practices of debauchery is fairly common in this industry.
So what was the turning point for you guys?
JT: The VMAs really pushed us to the forefront of everyone’s attention. Until that point, I don’t think we had been given a chance to really show what we can do.
Thank god, MTV chose us to do that slot and I think we pulled it off really well, wasn’t too tacky. It’s put us in a really good place.
Besides “Cough Syrup” and “My Body,” what are some of your favorite songs off the album?
JT: Off the album, probably “Strings” and “Islands.” I honestly wasn’t very stoked on the album, I mean, a lot’s happened since we did it. Even now, the songs sound a bit different because we’ve learned how to play as a band better and care about things differently.
I wish we could re-record the thing now and have a proper live record. It would be a much truer representation of ourselves.
How were you originally introduced to music?
JT: My mum had us going to theatre productions since I was as young as I can remember. I used to dance ballet and played piano when I was a little kid.
I had always wanted to play guitar and eventually did that and stuck with it.
A lot of your fans will be at the show, but who are you particularly a fan of?
JT: That depends because I’m still very infatuated with José González. I played classical guitar in college so I like the stripped down approach to music, which I think we need to do ourselves for the next record.
But at the moment, yeah, José González is pretty much my sanity. It’s very easy to listen to, truthful and not too flowered and produced.
If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would you be doing with your life?
JT: I went to school for marine biology so I’d probably be doing that.
What was your goal with that?
JT: I kind of just wanted to be able to surf all the time and thought that would be a good way to go about it.
A great plan.
JT: I had always been interested in estuaries and ecosystems, how they work and what it means to really pursue protecting those gems. It’s on the back-burner for most people, knowing that it’s a problem but no one really ever addresses it.
Now this isn’t your first time to Buffalo. Do anything fun when you’ve been here before?
JT: [Laughs] We’ve got a funny story involving the police here once, but I’m not going to share it with you. We forgot to put our… no, I can’t.
Let’s just say we’ve had a couple good experiences here. Sameer and I, got Kelly and Drew—a couple of our friends—to take us out and we got way too drunk once too.
This city is not a bad place to come for a show it sounds like.
JT: We’ve been lucky enough to play some concert series on the east coast. I grew up in California, so I really know the west coast, but more and more I’m starting to harbor affection for the east coast.
You guys don’t have the same beaches, but you do have the lakes and it’s really aesthetically pleasing.
You’ll find a few new and shiny buildings next to the beautifully structured old ones here.
JT: Just given the age of of the city, it more rustic and tarnished in places, but that gives it a lot of great character.
Will you be having any chicken wings while you’re here?
JT: We actually went to… what’s the place called where it was invented—the Anchor Bar. I wobbled out of there yesterday, just so many wings.
We call it a food coma.
JT: Yeah, I’m more of a medium person when it comes to wings, but I’m working my way up there. I can’t do hot food, having a pretty bland palate.
And finally, what are your favorite songs to sing in the shower?
JT: [Laughs] I don’t know. Probably Disney songs, because I don’t sing very well. Disney songs for sure. I’m thinking stuff from Lion King, Mulan and some other melodies.
We probably won’t catch you singing any of those on stage tonight, but Buffalo is pretty stoked for this show.
JT: That’s awesome to hear. We heard Feist was just here too which is great too. I’m excited and looking forward to the crowd tonight.