Shindig! Magazine interviews The Youth
Forming a garage band in Denmark is not easy. It takes time. “There’s not a lot of people playing this kind of music,” The Youth’s bassist David Peter Jorgensen attests. The Youth are your typical begat-from-school act, where singer-guitarist Lasse Tarp hooked up with lead guitarist Jesper Agerbrek, then recruited drummer Sune Christian Thomsen and finally Jorgensen. Inspired by various garage 45s and the beat collection of Jorgensen they tuned into the Medway bands (The Masonics, The Milkshakes), ’60s UK beat and US garage, ’80s revival (Tell-Tale Hearts, the Paisley Underground, The Crawdaddys) plus of course the ’60s “pigtråd” (“barbed wire”) beat scene of their native Denmark (Sir Henry & His Butlers, Peter Belli The Defenders).
Conspicuous by its absence are contemporary Copenhagen compadres. As Agerbrek succintly puts it, “There’s a lot of bands but few are good.” The band have single-handedly built their support upon some incendiary live shows, and they’re already attracting hundreds to their hometown shows, as well as gaining new converts as they play around Europe. “I think a lot of people come because we play music that is good for dancing to. We’re a party band in some ways!” And what a party, where The Youth seemingly have the time of their lives. As Jesper suggests, “We have so much fun being around each other that it’s reflected on stage. We have a load of energy we have to get out there.”
Now that energy has been accurately captured on tape, as Nothing But… hones into view. Recorded at the much-loved Circo Perrotti studios in Spain, naturally it was all done live. “You won't catch the energy of garage beat music unless you record live,” argues Jorgensen. Or as Tarp puts it, “It’s more fun. It’s shitty to sit there alone and record some stupid vocal or guitar parts. It’s more fun to record together: you get the team spirit:” That spirit is condensed immaculately across its 13 tracks: hear it in the sharp guitar assault of ‘Come On’ or the blues-wailin’ ‘Bubblegum’.
The guys sing the praises of taking the self-promotion way, beginning with their first 45 from last year being self-released. Necessity is one thing ("No label in Copenhagen releases our sort of music”), but also because they feel part of the growing beatster rock scene and want to promote it every which way. Jorgensen again: “We want to play as many gigs as possible, get younger people interested in this scene. We aim to release an album and three singles every year now.” That's an ambitious manifesto, yet they think everyone should act alike. He continues, visibly excited. “It’s important that the people going to these gigs do something: start a band, start a club, start DJing. Sometimes it’s hard work to start a good band ... but just do it!” It has definitely worked for them. Nothing But... is out August 18th on Dirty Water Records.