Young Culture are one of pop punk's most recent additions. Slanted Press had a chat with vocalist Alex Magnan to find out more about the band.
Before the release of their newest EP, (This Is) Heaven, Young Culture experimented with their writing and sound with YC Tape. “When we made YC Tape, we were still experimenting with sounds after recording You. We weren’t sure what direction we wanted to stick with,” Alex (vocals) says, “It is a good precursor for the type of things we’ll like to play around with in the future too”. According to Gabe (guitar), other genres played a big role in the process. “We all are extremely into pop and hip-hop — (This is) Heaven definitely has little bits and pieces of new sounds and melodies that I think are new to the pop-punk scene”. If you’re looking for a song on the new EP with a similar vibe, Alex recommends ‘Never Changed’.
Following the trend of changing styles, the band feel completely different with the release of (This Is) Heaven. “We’re all still fairly young”, Alex says, “so with each EP we’ve done, we’re growing and finding our sound more”. Gabe touches on how the band has grown up a bit from their first EP, You. “We got to spend a lot more time experimenting with different sounds and techniques with this EP. By far it is absolutely all of our favorite project of music we’ve gotten to make. It is still YC, but better.”
My personal favorite track on (This Is) Heaven has been ‘Breathe It In’, an anthemic song that stems from Alex’s bad days and how negative outlooks on life don’t result in change. It’s a song Gabe thinks should be played in a stadium, based on the feelings it drives. Alex has some sound wisdom to offer alongside the track: “If you want to see the world change, then do something about it, don’t just tweet it!”
Touching back on their first EP, they’ve grown so much from the 15-year-olds putting out You. “Just like anyone looking back on their formative years, there’s some things we are a little embarrassed of, but those are the things that help you grow and get to where you want to be,” Alex says. (This Is) Heaven also happens to be the first EP the boys have done as a full band, adding Nick Cavin on drums and Troy Burchett on guitar.
In a bit of a bigger picture, Young Culture’s 3 EPs show a lot of musical growth and inspiration. The different musical styles from varying points in life have definitely inspired the sounds. As Gabe puts it, they don’t want a “cookie cutter pop-punk" sound — they believe having numerous influences can prevent recycled and boring styles.
I’m from the same area as Young Culture, and over the past few years they’ve been making moves in my local scene. But they’ve also been swept under the rug as a State Champs rip-off. They don’t mind — being compared to a band they appreciate so much is a bit of a compliment, though it’s not an accurate comparison. “Our sound and niche are very different from Champs.” Alex says about their friends. State Champs frontman Derek DiScanio has been a major help to Young Culture over the years, from production work, to featuring on their first EP.
Currently, Young Culture is out on tour with The Happy Alright, supporting the release of (This Is) Heaven. The future of Young Culture will be packed with touring and working on their first full-length album. They’re living out their dreams, and to them that’s the most rewarding part of it all.