ROCKING, RHYMING, & JAMMING WITH THE ICARUS YOUTH
THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY LONDON SUMMER JAM
London Summer Jam is thrilled to welcome British band The Icarus Youth to our booked lineup of festival performers. TIY slam dunked a slot at LSJ, having been selected among a tremendous array of applicants. Booked and braced for the JAM of their lives, this remarkable band of music-makers and innovators definitely have what it takes to transfix and engage an audience. They’re a band with a vibrant jam vibe, perfect for LSJ’s historic mass jam music event.
The band’s bio portrays them to perfection: "The Icarus Youth’s style, ‘Indie Rock and Rhyme’, is a crossover of British Rock, Urban, and Alternative sounds, conscious and quirky raps and three-part harmonies, on a bed of catchy and innovative instrumentation and live broken beats.”
Taste a sample of The Icarus Youth’s musical elixir of expressive sounds. No matter how many times you drink it in listening, it remains fresh and fluid. Tracks like "Falling," “Reach,” and “We Could Have It All” are refined yet exciting. The quintessentially British tones of lead vocalist, Will Whiting, slip trippingly off the tongue, creating a delicious lyrical experience. It’s completely invigorating how Will, with fellow members, Jam Lindsay (guitar/backing vocals), Jay Bone (drums/backing vocals), Tristan Hall (bass/backing vocals), and Jon Dear (keyboards/backing vocals) all deliver such artful synergy.
Lots and lots going on here, and it all works. Urban, hip-hop, rock, and indie styles converge and rise to the occasion. Even the organic sounds of live instruments meet, bond and balance perfectly on a digital edge. Collectively, their melodies, intermittent raps, riffs, broken beats, harmonies, synthy cool and more, all so intricately crafted, serve up smashing amalgams of original music. TIY’s sound is adventurous and inspiring.
Like London Summer Jam, The Icarus Youth appeal to a diverse audience, embracing a very wide variety of music fans and artists. The Icarus Youth and London Summer Jam are crossing genres, breaking barriers, and seizing musical moments in 2012.
LSJ: Tell our readers how you competed and won a performance slot at London Summer Jam, which also includes a six-month management deal with Clode E.M.P.
TIY: Will’s sister, Natasha Whiting, who works on events and promotions for OnePiece, told us about London Summer Jam. We just checked out the LSJ website and entered ourselves into the competition.
LSJ: What does it mean to you, on both a personal and professional level, to be part of the LSJ experience? As you know, we’re Britain's First Large-scale Music Jam Festival.
TIY: It means a lot to us to be a part of such an innovative movement in live music. That’s what we're all about.
As creative people we write almost all of our material together by jamming ideas in our studio. We record ideas on an iPhone, take them home and then write songs around the ideas. It's a very natural way for us to write. LSJ seems like the perfect way to adapt that process and bring it to a live environment, so we are really excited to see what happens on the day.
LSJ: Tell us more about the role jamming plays in your band’s group dynamic.
TIY: Jamming to us is a crucial part of our lives. It's a way for us to express ourselves. We are constantly messing around with instruments, even if we aren't all there. We spend the majority of our time with each other playing with ideas and recording them. We have a huge folder in our band drop-box which is full of new ideas that have all come out of jamming either as a full band, or guitars and vocals/drums and bass/ keys and bass. You can guarantee that if there's two or more of us in a room, we will be writing music.
LSJ: Could you share a particularly memorable jam experience with us?
TIY: One memorable jam experience was when Tristan was auditioning for the band. We all ended up jamming and within a few minutes had written a new song. It was really natural and a perfect example of how musicians gel and read each other to make a jam progress.
LSJ: You'll be some of the music artists leading jams at LSJ. Did you ever imagine leading a mass jam at a music festival? What are you imagining the experience will be like?
TIY: Being jam leaders is really exciting and also a little intimidating! We have no idea what to expect so we are just going to go with it - play some music, hope it’s good, hope people enjoy it and get involved!
LSJ: We’re really looking forward to seeing you on LSJ’s Mass Jam Main Stage! Help us get to know you even better. What's the origin of the band's name?
TIY: The Icarus Youth for us is about reaching for more in life; it is about living for love, passion and adventure in a world where people no longer believe in dreaming.
LSJ: Tell us about the phrase Indie Rock and Rhyme which you use to describe your sound. Really clever and right on.
TIY: 'Indie Rock and Rhyme' is a fusion of genres that make up some of our sound - live rock instrumentation with an urban twist, with conscious and quirky raps and harmony vocals. It’s the easiest way we've found to describe our sound to people who've never heard our music before, which is really hard.
LSJ: What/who are the musical influences leading you to create that artistic blend of sounds and styles?
TIY: We're all into a lot of different styles of music, and have very broad tastes individually which has helped shape our unique sound. Our influences range from Roots Manuva to The Strokes. We also draw influences from everyday experiences and encounters with the people and the world we live in.
LSJ: How long have The Icarus Youth been together?
TIY:The band started early in 2010, the original lineup being just Will, Jay and Jam - all seeking an exciting project in and around Brighton. Through the use of the internet and other means we met for a jam just to see what would happen… Within an hour we were jamming some material that Will had written which was a much more down-tempo, folksy/rap blend of styles.
We soon learned that this style was not what we were about and decided we were all looking for something a little more ballsy. So The Icarus Youth were born in the original three members, and from the day we first jammed onwards we were a hundred percent committed to this exciting new blend of styles which was naturally flowing between us.
Jamming in the rehearsal room and recording the first few songs together, we began forming our sound and gelling together as musicians. From day one we spent night after night recording, rehearsing, molding new songs, and getting experimental with production and recording techniques. That’s how we've always done it and still do today. It’s a massively creative process and we've always got loads of new ideas in the pipeline. We're always writing and developing together as a unit.
We played as a three piece, writing and recording demos for a while, then recruited our first bassist, Paul Mason, who made the fourth member. From then on we were writing, recording our own demos and rehearsing solidly three times a week, and in-between rehearsals we were steadily working on the material from our humble home studios. Within six months we were gigging and plugging our sound wherever we could, which leads us to now… We have now recruited a new bass player, Tristan Hall, and keys player, Jonathan Dear, and are set to tour, record and promote our arses off until we reach the world with our sound.
LSJ: The jamming theme has been part of the group’s identity and creative process from the first moments you played together!
TIY: Jamming is a big part of what we do. It’s such a fun part of being in a band, coming up with new ideas. It’s a great way to develop as an individual and as a band. The more you jam together the more you learn about each other's playing. There's something about creating a piece of music for the first time too; it always has this energy and character. We're really looking forward to doing that LIVE at London Summer Jam! It will be a totally new experience for us.
LSJ: What's been happening lately w/ TIY that you'd like music fans around the world to know?
TIY: Lately we have been shooting the video for our forthcoming debut single, "The City." We’ve also been in London recording our debut and second singles with producer Tom Loffman at Amplifi Studios. We have been rehearsing a lot to bring in the new members properly, and to orchestrate the new musical parts now that we have added synth/keys into the mix.
We are constantly writing together and separately. We have a few exciting new songs in the pipeline, one of which we currently recording demos in our home studios, and we will be producing it ourselves -perhaps even shooting our own video for it. (More news on this to come in the next few months.) We are also having talks of a European tour to back up our debut singles.
LSJ: What are your band's goals for the immediate future, and long-term?
TIY: For the immediate future we want to be playing more shows, mapping out our U.K. and European tour, recording our E.P.(which will follow shortly after our 2 singles), and finishing off the video. Regarding the long-term, we want to be in a position where we can do this full time and live comfortably off it, be actively touring, and playing bigger and better venues.
We play gigs all over the U.K. as we want to reach everyone if we can! We’ve also played in France. We have played in Amion, France, which was a gig for White Night, or "Noise Blanc." It was a great experience. The French really know how to look after their artists! We would love to tour America one day, but also Europe, which is what were focusing on in the coming year
Will Whiting/TIY: It was amazing hearing our song the other night. It was very late, about 3:30 a.m., but I was up as usual in a studio session working on new band material, so I managed to catch it! It’s great knowing somewhere very far away there is somebody bopping their head to our music. Awesome feeling! We have been aired once last year on Channel One U.S.A., which was great too. Our song "Falling" received some really good feedback from the American audience. We hope to broaden our reach as much as possible over the coming years so we can reach people all over the world with our music and our message.
LSJ: Since The Icarus Youth will be part of the London Summer Jam lineup making history, what message would you like to send out to our festival fans?
TIY: The message we would like to send out to our fans is that we are very grateful for their support! It is them who make the difference to people like us who strive to make ends meet and to build up a movement out of blood, sweat, tears and love. We also want to spread our message to them through the music and performance.
The Icarus message is a positive one aimed at all people from all walks of life, old and young, and it is about dreaming, taking risks and being yourself no matter what and staying true to your beliefs and morals.
LSJ: Thanks for being so generous with us, sharing your time and amazing insights. We’re thoroughly excited to welcome you!
ATTENTION! Foo Fighters, The Roots, Cinematic Orchestra, and Dizzee Rascall!! The Icarus Youth have informed LSJ they would like to open for you.
Sounds fantastic to us! They’re already booked for London Summer Jam: September 29th, 2012, in Brockwell Park, Brixton (London). Please keep that in mind.
United we JAM with The Icarus Youth! With loads of #LSJlove.