Marcus Warner 17/03/2009

GIITTV's Marcus Warner caught up with emerging Birmingham born pop/punk band LYU, to find out about their history, their new ep recorded with Romesh at Longwave, and their love of Travelodges and Stevie Wonder!

Firstly, what does LYU stand for?

Haha this is a tough question to answer first. Its basically, a stupid secret. We've been a band since we were pretty young, and well when things started getting a bit more serious, our name was a bit inappropriate. In fact our name was so stupid, our first label refused to sign us unless we changed our name. But we wanted to kinda stick to our roots, so we shortened the name to its initials, LYU.

Care to give us a bit of a potted history of the band?

Me (Drew), Joe and Tom went to nursery and school together, and started the band when we were about 12 years old. And then Rob joined as we signed to Lockjaw, when we were 15/16 and then we released our first ep called 'From Something To Nothing'. Then once we finished college we parted ways with Lockjaw, and started our own record label, Great Escape Records. It is through this label that we have released the new EP. We've been playing in the band for a long time, but its only been in the last 9 months that we've really thrown ourselves into it and started touring alot more. We love Travelodges!

The new ep, “The Sky is Yours” packs a punch, how was working Romesh @ Longwave?

Why thankyou very much. Working with Romesh and Rob at Longwave was awesome, we love those guys. They really pushed us to make the best EP we could, and even though we are still young and growing as a band, we are chuffed with how it sounds. The day we started recording, Funeral For A Friend were just leaving, and Kids In Glass Houses and The Blackout were there as well so it was a really cool atmosphere to record in. We are going back to Longwave later in the year to record some more new stuff.

Who do you see as your key influences, both musically and artistically?

We draw influences from countless bands, but at the moment we are listening to A Day to Remember's new album, Story Of The Year, Four Year Strong, and Thrice amongst others. Oh and I bought the Stevie Wonder Greatest Hits album the other day, and its amazing! Gotta love soul!

So what is the local Birmingham scene like for bands such as yourself?

When we first started the band the scene was amazing, there were tonnes of local bands and loads of kids would turn up to shows. However the main small venue eddies rock club, burnt down and the scene kinda died with that. There are loads of biggish venues in Birmingham from the massive NEC, to the 3 academy venues, to the barfly, so kids are spoilt for choice in terms of shows, so there hasn't been too much support for the local scene in general at the moment. Having said that, we just had our EP release show in Birmingham, and it was amazing, so well done Birmingham! So that's cool because there are some awesome Birmingham bands at the moment, like All Or Nothing, Sharks, Kyoto Drive and Maycomb.

Any plans to tour in the near future?

Yeah man, we have a couple of awesome tours being booked for later in the year so keep checking back for info on those. And throughout the year we are hoping to be playing at least about 5-10 shows a month around the UK, and then having a couple of bigger tours every few months. 09 is going to be awesome!

Your genre of music has notoriously been dominated by American bands, what are the challenges for British bands in this genre?

Haha yeah I guess it kinda is an American genre, so the main challenge for a British band is to not give in and force that American accent/sound. One of the main things we are trying to do in this band is be honest, so we just write songs that we like to play, and play them in the way that comes naturally to us. And we're having a load of fun. If ever you think we sound forced or unnatural, please come and slap me in the testicles.

Is the EP available digitally?

Yup! Yup! it is available on iTunes worldwide for only 3.19!!!! cheap as chips!

I have been impressed by the band's willingness to do things yourselves, is that important to you guys?

Yeah of course man, we are learning sooo much by doing things ourselves, and everyone has been so patient with us, and willing to help us. I mean, if someone could have given us exactly what we wanted, we would have signed to a different label and let them do everything for us, but with the state of the music industry at the moment, the business side of things is very harsh, and we didn't think the EP would get the release we believe it deserves if we released it that way. So we decided to start Great Escape Records, and it's been alot of work and hours of reading up on stuff, but I'm soo glad we've done it, and I'm excited as to where we can take the band, and the label.

What are the plans for the rest of 2009?

Tour, write songs, tour, write songs, tour, record, tour. That's basically it, with maybe a few breaks to sleep. But only a few.