Introducing… Whenyoung: “Keep going for art, no matter what.”

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Whenyoung are Aoife Power, Niall Burns and Andrew Flood – a trio that met in London despite all being from the same town of Limerick, Ireland. Get to know the band flying the flag for Irish indie before they become huge!


How has the tour with Dream Wife treated you so far?

AP: Really good! They’re so nice.

NB: The shows have been sold out, it’s been great.

AP: We played at Heaven in London with them a few nights ago and that was crazy, it was the biggest crowd we’ve ever played to, we had so much fun.


So you guys are from Limerick, Ireland – how would you describe the scene there and are there any Irish bands that we should get to know?

AP: There’s a band called Slow Riot who are friends of ours, they’re really good.

NB: But we wouldn’t really know about the scene because we formed in London, we’ve played there once I think.

AP: Generally people there like more electronic music, so there isn’t much of an indie, guitar scene.

AF: It’s quite a small town, it’s hard to have a scene in a place that isn’t as large as Manchester or London.

NB: We were lucky to find each other really!


Do you think that the Irish government does enough to promote arts & culture?

NB: No, I don’t think so.

AP: I don’t think they do. A lot of artists have to go on the dole at home, but if they provided grants so that it wasn’t something that you felt like you had to hide, then it’d be better.

NB: There are virtually no grants for Irish bands, but there seems to be quite a bit for classical music, but not for guitar-based bands.

AP: I guess it’s the same in England though.

AF: We’ve never been supported by anything governmental really… But at the same time, if there’s a bit of struggle, it makes you work harder.

You’ve got a pretty crazy year ahead of you supporting the likes of The Vaccines, Peace and Declan McKenna. How excited are you for those shows?

NB: So excited, The Vaccines at Alexandra Palace is kind of mind-blowing for us. It’s gonna be amazing.

AF: The whole of May is a gig a day pretty much, so that’s gonna be intense but it’s gonna be so much fun.


Have you met any of them before? Are you mates?

AP: We played with Declan McKenna in Belfast last year.

NB: And we’re mates with Superfood and we know Dom who’s the drummer in Peace.


I love the video for ‘Pretty Pure’, it’s stunning! Can you talk a little bit about the process of filming that video?

AP: It was so cold, but it was my idea to stand in the sea and initially I was thinking that we should all get in and properly swim, but it was just far too cold. We filmed it with our friend Gwen and she also did our last video for ‘Actor’, she’s amazing and she’s got a great eye. The shots look really artistic.

AF: The day itself was really dreary, wet and cold, which was horrible to shoot in, but it made the video much better, with the overcast skies and everything.

I love the yellow vinyl you’ve just brought out for ‘Pretty Pure’ – are you big vinyl collectors? What are some of the prized items in your collection?

AF: I recently got Richard Hell’s ‘Blank Generation’, the 40th anniversary edition, which we all bought immediately because we’re massive Richard Hell fans. Most of our records are pretty cheap finds to be honest!


You’ve been working with Yala! Records which is an incredible new label created by Felix White (from The Maccabees) – how did you guys meet him and as a label, what have they been like to work with?

AP: He played ‘Actor’ on his radio show and then we played a Yala! night with Yak at Bermondsey Social Club and he liked it, so we got talking and he decided to put out ‘Pretty Pure’ and ‘The Collector’ through his label. He’s great, he’s really supportive. We also did a Yala! live session at The Maccabees’ old studio with his brother Hugo and Sam [Doyle], their drummer. It was so amazing, we were all a bit starstruck but it’s been great working with them.

NB: We’re really big Maccabees fans, we really admire what they did over the past 15 years. The way they’ve progressed has inspired us.


Looking ahead to the summer, I was excited to see that you’re playing Latitude on the Lake Stage – which is curated by Huw Stephens – how has it felt to see him supporting your band so much? Did you listen to his show before you were in the band?

NB: All the time! We’d see bands at our level getting played and think ‘they’re doing well!’. He’s just so nice.

AF: He got straight into the boiler suit that we made for him.

NB: Other established people wouldn’t engage or bother with that but he was just really fun and up for it. We were chatting to him after the show and we mentioned our friend’s band and he went and listened to them, then played them a few days later. So he’s really receptive to new music.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

AP: I think we have a lot of similar ones, but someone like Patti Smith is a good example.

NB: I was just gonna say Patti Smith!

AP: She carved her own journey from nothing. She arrived in New York, not knowing anyone and she just made friends and was really ballsy. But also just such an amazing artist and you can tell she has a softness underneath everything even though she comes across as being tough. I’m crazy about Debbie Harry too. They both worked so hard and kept going and believed in themselves even if they weren’t being well-received. That’s the most impressive thing, to keep going for art, no matter what.

AF: You find inspiration from someone who you can see a bit of your own path in I think.


Finally, ending on a bit of a random note, are Whenyoung cat people or dog people?

AP: We’re all dog people!

NB: I don’t dislike cats, but dogs always win…

AF: Cats hate me!


Whenyoung are supporting Declan McKenna at London’s Kentish Town Forum and Manchester Academy this month and they’ll also be supporting Peace for the entirety of their upcoming UK tour in May.

They’re playing a FREE show at Jimmy’s in Manchester on Friday 4th May – tickets available here.


Pretty Pure‘ is out now, via Yala! Records.

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