About To Break
Birmingham noise-punk trio Youth Man have plans of epic proportions.
Words: Jess Goodman. Photos: Andy Hughes.
Returning from a tour across Germany, Youth Man are in high spirits. “It was mad,” Marcus Perks exclaims. “I’d been wearing a t-shirt for two shows, and it was so hot in the venue I had to take it off.” Miles Cocker recalls, “It was absolutely soaked. I threw it to the side of the stage, and these two girls started having a proper fight over it. I was looking at it, going EURGH,” he laughs.
And it’s not just the fans that seem crazed over the band. “On the last night we all went out and had a bit of a blowout,” Marcus chuckles. “We’d told the guy at the venue we’d be up at 9am for breakfast, then when we came downstairs at about 11 he’s bringing loads of trays of freshly baked bread out. We realised that to keep it warm he’d been cooking batches since 9am and waiting.”
Hailing from Birmingham, with their unique brand of post-punk ‘heavy jazz’ and live shows, the trio have no trouble attracting the attention of fans and admirers worldwide – including those of Venn Records, who announced they’d signed the band in late October. With a record deal in the bag, an EP in the pipeline, everything seems to be driving forwards.
The group have come a long way to reach this point. “When we started three years ago, there was me, Marcus, and another guy,” Kaila Whyte describes. “We thought we were musical prodigies. We set out to be the mathiest, heaviest, fucking weirdest band you’ve ever heard. And we were. And it was shit!”
“When Miles joined it all made a bit more sense,” she continues. “Before, we were putting stuff in for the sake of it – trying to be different. Now we’re not really trying to be anything. We’re just trying to bring out of ourselves what is already there to be brought out.”
Finding their form amidst a haze of influences, Youth Man are finally paving their steps towards success. “I can’t remember what it was like before I was in a band,” Kaila states. “For me and Marcus, it’s our first proper band.” “It’s probably quite dangerous really,” Marcus contemplates. “You know like a kid that’s never been told no? Maybe we’re that.”
Already having graced stages at festivals, Youth Man are fast rising through the ranks. “When you first hear that you’re doing it, it’s all really exciting,” Miles states. “Then by the time it’s sunk in, and even more so by the time you’ve done it, you want to know what’s next.”
Indeed, the three-piece have no shortage of future plans. “If everything comes together, and if we write and tour in the right way, possibly an album,” Miles enthuses. “You didn’t tell me about this!” Marcus exclaims. “Miles has got a secret album that he’s written.” “I think it’s a natural progression,” Miles explains, “that the EP that’s already in the pipeline would be the lead up to a full-length.
“The plan is more records and more touring until we can be taken seriously enough to not have to have other jobs,” he closes. “And then I can buy a helicopter and a pet tiger,” Marcus adds. “If I was your pet tiger I’d bite your dick off,” Miles counters. “Why would you not just eat the whole body?” Marcus queries. “Because I’d let you live, just without a penis,” Miles grins. “I don’t think tigers are that calculated.” Premeditated or not, Youth Man have forged a firm foundation for further successes. Provided they don’t maul each other apart first.