Fresh off the plane after a performance at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware, Sameer Gadhia and Jacob Tilley of Young the Giant sat down for an interview with us backstage at Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa Sunday afternoon. The show marks the Irvine-based quintet’s largest headlining show to date – nearly 10,000. As Gadhia pointed out during our chat, just a few years ago, when they were known as the Jakes, YTG was performing in small local clubs like Detroit Bar, Hogue Barmichaels and Chain Reaction.
“I’m really excited for it,” he says, speaking slowly and admitting that he’s tired and a little jet lagged. “Just even looking and envisioning it, right now it’s completely empty but imagining it being filled up with all the people that have been seeing us perform since we were the Jakes … I think it’s going to keep us going.”
“It’s a very good milestone for us,” Tilley adds.
The last time we checked in with YTG, the band was living in a four-story home in the hills of Los Angeles in December while in the beginning stages of writing songs for its sophomore album which is now due out on Roadrunner Records by spring 2013, Gadhia says. Since then the band has been touring non-stop, but got a quick break from the road to set up at friend and Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger’s Malibu pad for a few weeks to once again dive into songwriting.
Tilley says the band really got the ball rolling while in Malibu and that even though they had been writing through the whole touring process, it was good to have some time to actually focus.
“We’ve just been practicing the new songs in sound check and keeping it going,” he says. “We’re not letting it fall stagnant I guess.”
With the U.S. dates coming to an end with the Pacific gig and only a few festival shows in Canada on the books for the rest of 2012, Gadhia says the band will spend the rest of the year in the studio working on the new album.
Though they came together in 2004 as teenagers just wanting to play music for fun, Tilley says that the band has grown substantially in the last couple of years.
“We’ve become a lot more comfortable with our instruments and we’ve been exposed to other bands and watching live performances so we’ve learned a lot about space, texture and tonality of things,” he says. “I think the songwriting on the (new) album may stay pretty true to where we were on the last one, but in terms of the sonic spectrum and what we’re more capable of doing now as players, it’s going to step it up quite a bit. I’ve never played the guitar this much in my life. We’re all kind of coming into our own at this point and I feel like we’re becoming a lot more creative.”
Check out more with Young the Giant in our video interview in the player below:
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