Backstage with whenyoung at Kendal Calling


Irish indie pop trio whenyoung played Kendal Calling last weekend following the release of their most recent single ‘Heaven On Earth’.

We caught up with the band after their set to discuss their first headline tour, how they found their identity and why they hang out at a biscuit factory.

whenyoung live at Kendal Calling 2018

What’s your latest single ‘Heaven On Earth’ about?

Aoife: It’s about your heaven being other people’s hell and their hell being your heaven – everyone can exist but like different things.

That’s interesting in comparison to a band writing lyrics about standard real life situations (like relationships for example) isn’t it?

Aoife: Yeah. I guess it is coming from a real life situation – the experience of seeing different levels of wealth and elements like that and giving yourself the courage to keep going and believing in yourself, even if other people don’t like it. So it is personal – it just relates to lots of different situations.

Drew: It’s more so relating to your relationship with society.

What’s your story with regards to starting out?

Niall: We’ve all been friends since we were teenagers. We all moved to London, separately, but then we ended up living in a house together (it was actually a pub!) with loads of Irish people. We always wanted to play in a band but we just didn’t have chance until we moved to London. There was a rehearsal space next to where we lived, so we started the band then.  We didn’t really have a plan at first, we just started playing and it’s brought us here.

Where has been your biggest gig to date?

Niall: We supported Nick Cave in Dublin in front of 30,000 people – that was pretty cool.

You only became whenyoung a few years back – what were you named previously?

Drew: We were called Sisters – that was us starting out and getting to know our instruments, how we worked, and what kind of music we wanted to create and play.

I guess it takes a lot of time to figure out your identity and how you want to be perceived by fans – Did your sound change a lot when you changed your name?

Drew: Totally! Our sound wasn’t another world away; it was just a less clear version of our music now. Now, we’re more focused on who we are whereas back then we were still developing ourselves.

Are there any artists in particular that you love? Who’s influenced your music?

Aoife: The Clash, Blondie and Television! I love that they’re all still making music as artists (except The Clash) and they’re in it for the long run because they love it.

Drew: Collectively we all like that kind of music but that’s not necessarily to say that it directly influences our sound – we just love that music as people. We just want to create something that’s as important as that was at that time.

Is it difficult as an up and coming band to find your own unique sound?

Niall: It’s so easy to go for a sound that’s more current/more radio friendly, but we believe in the music that we’re making and just hope that people like what we’re doing.

How was supporting The Vaccines in London?

Aoife: It was great. They’re really lovely! We love their music and grew up listening to their first album so it was surreal for us. It was really cool and such a huge venue. They played Latitude Festival the same day as us, so it was nice we got to see them there too.

Where did you record your previously released singles?

Aoife: We recorded in Limehouse, London at a place called Cave. It’s nothing too glam – it’s a nice studio but it’s actually in a building which was an old biscuit factory. It’s always full of hippies!

Where do you spend most of your time when you aren’t playing gigs?

Aoife: We’ve been rehearsing and writing a lot. We go to a lot of gigs too!

Niall: We always spend a lot of time together as a three. We were still balancing jobs previously but then within the last six months it’s become pretty hectic, so it’s all been 100% music based since then.

When can fans expect an album?

Drew: We’ll start recording in October and release next year before the Summer!

You’ve got a few more festivals coming up like Y Not and Bestival – where else can we catch you?

Drew: We’re playing Neverworld in Kent, Electric Picnic and a new festival called All Together Now in Ireland. We also have our first headline tour in September! We’re doing two weeks in the UK then a few nights in Ireland. We’re then going back to supporting on a secret tour (which hasn’t been announced yet) in December. We’re really, really excited for that!