It’s been a massive year for six-piece Youngblood Hawke. Their debut album ‘Wake Up’ was released earlier this year, their most well-known song ‘We Come Running’ was snatched up by EA Sports FIFA 13 to feature on the soundtrack and also by Coca-Cola to feature on an advertisement and the latest music video for ‘Danny Boy’ has just been released to eager fans.
Members and close friends Sam Martin (lead vocals), Simon Katz (guitar, keys), Alice Katz (harmony vocals, percussion), Tasso Smith (rhythm guitar), Omar Ahmed (bass) and Nik Hughes (drums) are currently in Australia supporting Pink on her Truth About Love tour as well as doing some side shows of their own.
But that didn’t stop Sam from giving me a call to chat about the group’s first ever trip to Australia, what it’s like touring with Pink and their music and inspirations.
“We are having the time of our lives,” says Sam. “We’ve done five or six shows now with Pink. It’s been incredible and really exciting to play in front of all her fans. Every night is just an energetic party.”
A Youngblood Hawke show aims for people to leave with a sense that they got to see something unique.
“Musically it’s very upbeat and energetic [their shows]. It’s just a lot of fun and a lot of movement, group vocals and sing-a-long stuff going on,” describes Sam.
In return, the band feels rewarded with seeing people smiling out in the crowd and generally just having a great time. With the energetic beats of the band, there is no doubt this will happen.
Sam says that the heartbeat of the band is their live shows.
“I think we are definitely cautious about it [song writing] because the ultimate goal is to play them live. So we always have that in the back of our minds because we are a very live band. I think we like to keep things upbeat and energetic.”
When it comes to inspiration for the song writing process, the group draws influences from movies, art, books, bands of the past and their friends. The band name was actually inspired from a Herman Wouk novel of the same name.
“I’d say probably just the joy of doing this is the main thing,” says Sam when describing their influences.
Youngblood Hawke’s 12 track debut album ‘Wake Up’ was released April this year but over 100 songs were for consideration for the album.
“We did a lot of experimentation [with sound] and eventually it just kind of clicked,” says Sam. “We decided that the sound that was happening was really a great reflection of ourselves and what we wanted to say and how we wanted to approach things stylistically.”
Every song is a page out of the group’s life and are held close to their hearts.
“Each song is about a moment we’ve experienced. I think that it’s just the way we choose to write,” explains Sam. “I feel like it’s most honest and kind of always how we’ve done it. It’s just telling stories about our lives and people in our lives.”
Of course, as it is the first time the band has been on Aussie shores, they haven’t missed a chance to do some sightseeing.
“We went to Palm Beach and explored Sydney, Bondi Beach and Manly and the Blue Mountains,” says Sam excitedly. “I went to these caves called the Jenolan Caves. Those were just mind blowing. We’ve gotten out a bit but we’ve got shows almost every night so we can’t wander too far.”
After finishing up the tour in Australia, Youngblood Hawke plan to continue to tour back in the States.
“We have some plans to go to the UK and hopefully Europe. So we’re just staying busy but when we have some time off we’re going to start writing some more songs for the next album.”
With the positive reaction from Aussie fans, hopefully it won’t be too much longer before Youngblood Hawke return to our shores for an upbeat and energetic headlining tour.
Sam Martin from US band Youngblood Hawke talks touring with Pink, song writing and the group’s first trip to Australia.
By Angela Ruggeri