Q&A: Electric Youth Together in Life & Song
When the members of a band are truly emotionally connected, the music sounds better. There’s an intimacy, honesty and fearlessness that shines through, often leading to a vibe that’s tough to attach words to, but easy to feel.
For Electric Youth, you can sense the unity of Austin Garrick and Bronwyn Griffin, a pair that started this electronic-pop project in 2009, but have in fact been dating since the eighth grade.
Music aficionados first got wind of Electric Youth in 2011, as their track “A Real Hero” was stood out as it played over the credits of the Ryan Gosling film, Drive. Since that point, the duo has released their long-awaited debut album, Innerworld (through Last Gang Records), and were declared by Rolling Stone as one of the ‘10 New Artists You Need to Know.’
This week, Riffyou.com spent some time with Griffin to discuss Innerworlds, Electric Youth’s brand of electronic-pop, as well as how being intimately involved with your creative partner affects the music.
(If you’d like to win tickets to see Electric Youth on November 18 at The Hoxton in Toronto, follow @riffyou on Twitter and RT this story. Use #riffyoutix to make sure we see your entry. The winner will be selected at random on November 17.)
RY: There is that expression that ‘you have your whole life to write your first album.’ With this effort, do you feel as if much of your life up to this point has made this album what it is?
Bronwyn: “Absolutely, we have taken a great deal from our own, very personal, ‘innerworlds’ to create this album. That being said, we have also taken a great deal of influence from the very real and surreal world of film, art and others.”
RY: What makes your brand of electronic-pop unique to me, is that it doesn’t club you over the head to try and force the attention of a listener. Instead, it acts in a seductive manner. Was this a conscious direction? If not, how’d this sound come to be?
Bronwyn: “Thanks, that’s cool to hear. No, it wasn’t really intentional at all; it just came to be throughout the creation process. However, we did intend to have a sound of our own, so when we made songs that we liked we would sometimes feed off of those to make others.”
RY: It’s no secret by this point that the two of you have been in each other’s lives for an exceptionally long period of time. What has it been like to be apart of each other’s personal and artistic evolution over the years?
Bronwyn: “It’s been an inspiring time of growth for me both personally and artistically. Austin continually shows me that I can be my own person. His influence helps me to fall deeper into my individuality and creativity, for that I am very grateful.”
RY: From a creative standpoint, what impact does the two of you being romantically involved have on the music?
Bronwyn: “I think it opens us up. We can be more honest and vulnerable, and that in turn translates into the music. We have always done my vocal recording with just the two of us, nobody else in the room. I can definitely say it allows me to go much deeper into myself when trying to express the lyrics. We’ve tried recording with others in the room and the end result is always missing something special.”
RY: Does knowing a person inside and out make the process of songwriting easier, or harder?
Bronwyn: “I find it helps to have someone you trust to bounce ideas off of. Then there are times when you may write something that reveals something that has never been touched on before and that can be a bit uncomfortable. But, it’s really just getting to know each other even better.
RY: The cover of Innerworld shows younger versions of yourselves, holding hands, seemingly embarking on an adventure. How long has life – either inside this band, or out – felt that way to you?
B: “Austin and I have experienced a lot together. There have been many different occasions where we will be embarking on some new challenge and we will just look at each other and say, ‘Hey, it’s an adventure!’ I have always been one to enjoy the art of escapism, so I would say I’ve been living an adventure as long as I can remember. I was one of those kids that played imaginary games until I was like 11-years-old…”
RY: When people really dig into Innerworld, what do you hope they hear?
Bronwyn: “I want them to hear our music and decide for themselves. I can’t say I want them to hear anything in particular, because I believe our music should be interpreted by the listener. I just want them to listen and enjoy what speaks to their hearts.”
11/13 – Washington, D.C. @ Black Cat
11/14 – Philadelphia, PA @ District N9NE
11/15 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
11/18 – Toronto, ON @ The Hoxton