If you don’t believe that Young and Sexy are fledgling rock stars, consider this: when you do a search on Google for “young and sexy”,the first result you get is actually the band’s official website, and not a wet teens page. Impressive, considering that 99% of the Internet is gorgeous porn. Paul Hixon Pittman and Lucy Brain took a break from recording their new album to chat with me.
ONLY: Your band went through a personnel change this year with the departure of Ron Teardrop and Ted Bois and the addition of Brent McDonald and Alex Brain. What sort of affect does that have on your music?
Lucy Brain: We don’t have keys anymore.
Paul Hixon Pittman: Not as much for sure.
LB: Definitely not piano for each song. We have an extra guitar. So Andre who used to play bass now plays lead guitar, and Paul plays rhythm guitar. There’ll be some organ and key elements but it’s not consistent throughout each song as it used to be.
ONLY: You’ve toured with the New Pornographers earlier this year under the new configuration?
LB: We totally threw them into the deep end. Brent, the bass player, joined us and he basically had a month and a half to learn all the parts. And he’s actually a musician that plays at home and never really tours.
PHP: He had only played two live shows in his life and he hated playing live.
LB: And my brother’s on drums.
ONLY: And he has always played drums?
PHP: He played everything. He played with us on a stint about a year and a half ago–we have to play a couple shows in the States where our drums couldn’t make it.
ONLY: I know you’ve only just started recording your new album, but any idea what it will sound like?
PHP: I think it’s going to be less overtly poppy; it’s going to be
more with a roots sort of thing. We’ve had songs like that on previous albums. There are going to be more songs that are hitting that way. Then there are a couple that are faster but not your typical fast pop song.
LB: We won’t have a “Herculean Bellboy” in this record.
ONLY: Is there a lot of pressure to follow up your last two albums, since they were so critically acclaimed and were on so many people’s Top 10 lists?
LB: I don’t think so. We didn’t reap any financial benefits from that.
PHP: I think it’s more just making another album that we like.
ONLY: A lot of people say that your live shows are a lot more
energetic than your albums. Will this album change that?
PHP: I don’t think it’ll change much.
LB: That’s the nature of playing live.
PHP: We play our faster songs live generally. When we play live we probably have more energy than when we record.
LB: You don’t want to put people to sleep. [Laughs]
PHP: We probably haven’t figured out a way to record with that energy yet.
ONLY: Does the energy level change depending on who you’re playing with? Say if you were to play with a punk band as opposed to playing with someone mellow like Low or something?
PHP: I think if I was to open up for a band like Low I’d want to rock harder. If we were opening up for Frog Eyes I might just want to play a softer set. Like why bother even trying to compete?
ONLY: Do you actually find yourselves doing that consciously, though?
PHP: Well, the last time we went out playing we only have twelve songs we could play so we didn’t have any choices. [Laughs]
LB: When we toured with the New Pornographers we got a lot of comparisons to them. Which is absurd–we don’t sound like them. But I think, superficially, five piece boy/girl pop band.
ONLY: Your next show is this Friday at the Anza?
LB: It’s going to be good! It’s a Halloween show. We’re going to
dress up. Drink lots.