UK punk-rock band The Young Hearts come back from their twelve-month hiatus after their debut album, The Modern State, and release their new emotionally revealing single, "The Way Back."
When UK punk-rock band The Young Hearts burst onto the scene, their emotively nostalgic 2021 debut album, The Modern State, would jumpstart their popularity. Showing they took the time to hone their craft, it seemed that things were on the right track for the band. However, soon after, the band would go on a twelve-month hiatus.
"Lyrically ‘The Way Back’ captures everything about that journey, and how we found our way back to this point again."
The Young Hearts' future was unknown, and they had no idea where they were going. Unsure of The Young Hearts' future and of where they were going, the band would embark on a journey to discover their true path. Having learned from the past, The Young Hearts is not interested in reinventing the wheel or becoming a ground-breaking band. What has manifested is a sound that makes them happy with their new confident single, "The Way Back." While their way forward has not been the easiest, "The Way Back" displays a comfortable side of the band that shows that they are writing for themselves and doing music that they love.
What inspired The Young Hearts? What was going on at the time when you wanted to start this band?
Craig: The inspiration is simply a love of music. We’ve been doing this a long time and I don’t think we’d still have the drive and enthusiasm if we didn’t enjoy writing songs and making music as much as we do. At the time The Young Hearts started, we’d just split from our previous band. We knew we didn’t want to give up the dream, but I think we’d spent too long trying to fit into a certain scene and sound a certain way. The Young Hearts is just us, writing songs for us, playing the sort of music that we love.
What are your music influences? Anything outside of music that inspired your latest single, "The Way Back?"
Craig: We have a lot of musical influences, and we’re certainly not afraid to wear them on our sleeve. We love blue-collar punk bands like The Gaslight Anthem and The Menzingers, but we also love huge stadium bands like Bruce Springsteen and The Killers, and I think you can hear that inspiration in our songs. As I said before, we’re making music for ourselves, we’re not trying to create something new, or be this groundbreaking band, we just want to write songs that we love, and that we hope others can enjoy too. As for the inspiration behind "The Way Back." it’s us finding our feet again after the pandemic and coping with the challenges of growing up.
How has this process been different from any material you have worked on in the past? How is this different from your 2021 debut release, The Modern State?
Craig: With The Modern State, we knew we wanted to release an album, so it was simply a case of let’s write 11 songs and go in the studio. Once the pandemic hit, and the band went on hiatus, I got myself a home studio set up and just started writing and recording songs, with no real idea or plan of what might become of them. It gave me a lot more time to really dig into every section, writing and re-writing parts.
Even when we went into the recording studio, because we were in no rush, and didn’t have that pressure, we’ve taken our time and with each section, we were constantly asking ourselves ‘is this the best it possibly can be?’. The Modern State is something we are still incredibly proud of, and I wouldn’t change it cause it absolutely captures where we were then, and it’s the jumping-off point for where we find ourselves now. We’ve still got that sound and that energy but now we’ve grown as musicians, as people, and more importantly as a band.
You went on a twelve-month hiatus before this single came out. Can we talk a bit about that?
Craig: I feel, in some ways, this correlates lyrically to your new single. So, throughout the pandemic, two of our members decided that pursuing the band just wasn’t possible for them anymore, and for a short while it looked like The Young Hearts was done. To be honest, it had become more and more difficult to keep pouring so much of ourselves into it with little reward for so long. We actually called time on the band and it looked like that was it for our journey, but it didn’t take long for the two of us left to realize that playing music was such a huge part of our lives, that we couldn’t give it up completely.
I’d written a whole load of songs that I was excited about, so we just decided to get back in the studio and keep the band going without any of the pressure and commitment we felt before. We brought in Conor on guitar and Joe on drums, and they’ve helped breathe some life back into The Young Hearts with their enthusiasm. Lyrically ‘The Way Back’ captures everything about that journey, and how we found our way back to this point again.
In what ways has this process helped you evolve as artists coming back from last year's release to now with your new single, " The Way Back?"
Craig: I think the break has definitely given us a new perspective. We’re concentrating on enjoying ourselves more than anything and at the end of the day, we are all massive fans of music. We just want to write great songs, but in our own time, and not just putting content out for the sake of it.
Each of us has a life and responsibilities outside of The Young Hearts, and we’ve accepted that we can’t pursue this dream the way we did ten years ago, but we’ve also realized that we don’t want to stop. I genuinely think we are a better band because of this. It’s allowing us the time, conditions, and freedom to write the best material we ever have.
What do you want people to take from this release? What have you taken from this personally as an artist?
Craig: "The Way Back" is the start of a new era for The Young Hearts. We’ve got two new members and this is the first output for us as this line-up, so it feels fresh and has given us this new lease on life. This song has been the inspiration for us to push our sound to the next level but still keeps what makes us The Young Hearts. We hope that people can relate to the track, but also just enjoy it as much as enjoyed recording it.
What is next for The Young Hearts?
Craig: Our immediate plans are to release more of the new songs we’ve been working on intending to put out our second record sometime next year hopefully, but most importantly we just want to concentrate on enjoying being a band again, without any of the pressure we were putting on ourselves previously.