In ‘Did You Find Your Brain?,’ the three members of the exhilarating Auckland band Evening Is Youth—Connor Robinson Pierce on vocals, Luke Lattimore on guitar, and Jack Collin on drums—deliver two minutes and twelve seconds of brilliant music that confidently careens between the whimsical and the chaotic. However, the song “Did You Find Your Brain?” skilfully weaves together issues that are common to many adolescent worries, including mental health, identity, and self-worth. The band also incorporates electronic elements, evocative of MGMT, Animal Collective, and M83, into the tracks of their upcoming EP, sonically showcasing their borderline obsession with early 1980s post-punk and first-wave Britpop (seriously belying the members’ youth). Evening Is Youth craft subtly sinister lyrical themes around incredibly catchy alt-pop tunes to create songs that are punchy and tactile.
The latest single from the band Evening is Youth, known for their contradictory blend of aloofness and intensity, is titled “I’m Glad I Left.”The second song from the band strikes a balance between themes of optimism and pessimism, illustrating the opposing forces that steer our thoughts and deeds. I’m Glad I Left, which is accompanied by a video directed by Connor, has enough questions to keep listeners up at night.
The trio’s eclectic mix of influences draws from a rich history of post-punk, shoegaze, and independent electronica, resulting in a wide-ranging sound that is authentic and rooted in the counterculture. As frontman Connor Robinson-Pierce puts it, “Having a huge spectrum of sounds is more exciting to us than being just a rock band.” Check out the official video & the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
EVENING IS YOUTH: We are from Auckland, New Zealand. We all grew up on the North Shore of Auckland, it is very suburban and dull, it is made up of a lot of different small beach side areas. To a lot of people it would be a really beautiful place to grow up but it can get very boring and you feel very isolated. We started playing together in school. Learning our favourite songs and discovering bands together was a really important part of how we developed as musicians. Being friends first and then becoming a band is an important aspect to the band because you support each other, everyone is upfront.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
EVENING IS YOUTH: We all had lessons over the years and have basic knowledge but mainly it was just learning from the music we love rather than formal training.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘EVENING IS YOUTH’?
EVENING IS YOUTH: We all have a love for classic bands, The Beatles, The Stones, Hendrix but bands like The Smiths, The Stone Roses, The Libertines, they were what really hit us. UK Music has and will always be a strong influence on us. Evening is Youth came from one of friends, he had this drawing of a mixtape called Evening is Youth and told us to call our band that. He had misheard a Nirvana song “Even In His Youth” as Evening is Youth. It was such a strong name, it was really eye catching.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
EVENING IS YOUTH: We are all young and really stupid, that often resonates with listeners, you hear a song about someone being just a mess and you think “well I am exactly like that”. It is a common theme that people can relate to. Not really knowing who you are, or what you are doing, making a lot of mistakes, it’s important.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
EVENING IS YOUTH:
Any form of art should be saying something, it doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it is important to you. Nothing good ever comes from pandering. Talking about issues of political injustice or mental health are important points, they need to be discussed but not if you have no direct feelings on them, it is about what is important to you otherwise it just comes off as ill-informed. A lot of our music draws from the experiences we have and have had so there is a lot of discussion about mental health and personal problems.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfilment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
EVENING IS YOUTH:
100% it gives back. Seeing even 1 person say they enjoy the songs is an exciting thing. A lot of time goes into the recording process for us so any reaction to them is amazing. Hearing a finished recording is a reward in it self, most people will never get to experience that, it is a privileged position to be in, you can’t expect anything otherwise you will always be disappointed.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
EVENING IS YOUTH:
It always starts with demos on a laptop, a lot of bands are kind of ashamed to say that. There is this stigma around bands not having had written songs in a practise room together. But for us it just doesn’t work like that, we have moments of it but for us it is easier to have a song written in a computer so we can see the foundations and hear it back, add synths and noises we like, change the arrangements. It is the easiest way for us to write and it helps us step back for a second and hear how different parts interact with each other.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
EVENING IS YOUTH:
We have really struggled with trying to find a place in music where we belong. We don’t really fit into the indie music scene where we come from and it’s quite hard for us.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
EVENING IS YOUTH: Signing to a label that really genuinely cares about our music and giving us every bit of support we need for releasing our first EP has been the most important and proud moment. We have worked so hard on making these songs exactly how we imagined them and the fact we pulled it off is success to us.
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Photo credits: EiY