INTERVIEW: Kaya Tarsus – Blood Youth

Despite only forming in 2015, BLOOD YOUTH have grabbed the melodic hardcore genre by the scruff of the neck and with two EP’s and a Download Festival appearance already under their belts they seem to have the world at their feet. The three piece hailing from Harrogate are poised to release their first full length album Beyond Repair on April 7th via Rude Records. We caught up with frontman Kaya Tarsus to get the low down.

BLOOD YOUTH really aren’t messing around! Your most recent EP Closer was only released last year!

Kaya: Yeah! That’s kinda how we’ve always been. I think that’s all of our mentalities as a band, especially if you are a fairly new band you have to remain active or people are just going to forget about you. There’s so many new bands coming out all the time and so much new music. We’ve always been writing all the time and the two EP’s we were experimenting to see what we could do and last year was really busy for us as we recorded the album at the back end of 2016. We’d just got off a full UK tour and a full European tour with WHILE SHE SLEEPS. The weekend after we went straight into the studio.

In the early stages was there an intentional theme to Beyond Repair or did you just think “lets go into the studio and write an album that will tear everyone’s heads off”?

Kaya: [Laughs] Every single song we write is about something that’s happened in my life or something that’s going on and how I feel about it, we wanted to write an album where you feel like you’re getting beaten up while you’re listening to it. It’s like machine gun fire and that’s something we have always wanted but we like being melodic as well.

Yeah, you seem to have that balance of catchy choruses and aggressive riffs.

Kaya: Yeah, we like stuff like that, we love sing along choruses but also like aggressive music and the riffs.

Do you feel you have had positive feedback from the songs I Remember and Reason To Stay you have released so far?

Kaya: Everything has been really cool, the reviews I’ve been reading have been cool and I’m really excited about it. When you record an album you have it for so long and I’ve heard it millions of times. As much as I love it and it’s my baby it’s like white noise now, but when people hear it for the first time and they notice things I’m like “Oh yeah I really like that about it too”.

After the album drops you have a few dates in the UK which also includes some in store acoustic sessions, is this something you have done previously?

Kaya: No, never! I’m more scared about the acoustic shows then about the actual shows!

It will be intriguing to see how your style of heavy riffs will translate to that kind of setting…

Kaya: Last year we did one in store show and it was really sick but the capacity of the record store was only like 25/30 people and we were playing with a full band, all the lights were on, just natural lighting, everyone was on the same level and the people at the show didn’t have much room to move around or anything so it felt really awkward! So we were like if we were every going to do this again we would try playing acoustically..and we are not an acoustic band! So we just thought “hey, lets just give it a try!” which will allow us to play in stores and kind of add another string to our bows if you know what I mean?

Who knows, you may decide it has gone really well and you will release an acoustic EP somewhere down the line!

Kaya: [Laughs] You never know! But our guitarist Chris may have something to say about that!

Despite having two releases under your belts BLOOD YOUTH are still a relatively new band on the scene, did you find it difficult initially to make that first impact?

Kaya: At first it was kind of annoying because everyone didn’t really know where to place us, we weren’t sure what kinda band we wanted to be and we were playing really heavy shows and then we did a show where we supported PVRIS. We were kinda all over the place, we would still do those shows now, we would play anything.

I guess its kind of cool that you are classed as that much of a diverse band that it may open new avenues to yourselves?

Kaya: I really like that, that’s the kind of band we’ve always wanted to be. I don’t think it was difficult but I think it was more “what path should we go down?” Within three months of being a band we played Download which is insane! Then a few months after that we toured supporting ARCHITECTS. We were just getting hit all the time by those huge shows. We were such a young band.

Wow, that’s quite a steep learning curve!

Kaya: Yeah, you kinda have to quickly learn what band to be really!

You already have Download scheduled this year, do you have any more festivals or tour dates in the works?

Kaya: There is a couple of things we are working on but I can’t really say! We are doing Groezrock which is really sick as we’ve never played Belgium before.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the future of BLOOD YOUTH?

Kaya: I want to play Wembley! Every time someone asks me that question that’s what I say and people are like “oh yeah…ok!” but seriously I want this band to be massive. If anybody in a band says they don’t think that then they’re lying!

Oh definitely, you’ve got to aim high.

Kaya: 100% and we’ve done that since the first song we’ve ever written and it may come across as arrogant when you say shit like that but I’d think that about anything. If I was a baker for example, I’d want to bake the best bread. So I think with anything you’ve got to set the bar high. Obviously we’re not going to play Wembley next year but when I say that in the future I want to be playing around the world in massive venues! But the whole point of being in a band is writing sick music that people can relate to and I want us to continue to do that and write music which people can connect with and talk about. If the success of playing massive venues comes with it then that’s even better!

If there was any band you could tour with who would it be?

Kaya: If you had asked me that question when I was younger it would have been EVERY TIME I DIE but we have done that now! We did like four shows with them and that was my dream! I’d love to tour with DEFTONES and would love to do something with ARCHITECTS again as that was really cool. I like a lot of different music which I guess we wouldn’t really fit into a tour with.

After hearing the album I was thinking “Wow, this material combined with someone like STRAY FROM THE PATH would make for an incredible tour!”

Kaya: Oh yeah, we have done a date with STRAY FROM THE PATH and that was in Bristol alongside BEARTOOTH and it was such a sick show! It was on a boat which was even better! We would love to tour with them again as they’re really cool guys.

That pretty much wraps it up! Just to close I’ll give you the floor, is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Distorted Sound?

Kaya: If you’re a fan of BLOOD YOUTH, thank you! Without supporters we wouldn’t even have an album, so that’s the reason we have an album because we are backed by the fans. If you’re already a fan thank you, if you’re a new fan, welcome!

Thanks very much for your time, Kaya!

Kaya: Thanks man!

Beyond Repair is due for release on April 7th via Rude Records.

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