It’s rather rare for artists to quickly garner attention of major media outlets early in their career. It’s even more rare for them to venture out on one national tour, let alone six. That hasn’t stopped Civil Youth, an indie alternative/rock outfit based out of Philadelphia, PA who debuted their sound and style to the world in March 2015 to great fanfare. We were given the chance to talk with the band about themselves, their involvement with the community, their upcoming record (due out May 2017) and more. In addition, we are also pleased to premiere their acoustic rendition of one of their older songs, “Sleep”.
One of the things we start every interview off with is finding out more about the people we talk to. With that being said, what is something that you feel people may not know about you that you’d be willing to share for the world to see?
Some stuff you may not know about us is Mike loves to read, Dan loves to go hiking, and Evan is a brilliant writer for things other than music! Not many people get to see that side of us!
The original intent for Civil Youth was to be an outlet – much like most music is – to express your own internal conflicts. Has having the band as an outlet made it easier to talk about outside of the realm of music and along with that, easier to find people who can connect and relate to your own issues?
Most certainly. Being able to get things of your chest opens up a stress free life outside of music, and by meeting others with the same things plaguing them, you start to realize more and more how everyone in this life is just the same. I think that concept alone makes it easier to connect to anyone on any level.
Expanding further on the original intent for the band, there is a strong stigma around people and the discussion of mental issues in the US. It seems as if they are sort of swept under the rug so to speak and something people don’t want to discuss. Now that you essentially have a platform to voice your thoughts, do you have plans or a desire to use that to help move a discussion forward on the mental health issues in the country?
We always back our people who get “swept under” so to speak, and not only do we try creating a musical outlet for people, we also started this organization called Project Circle where we do community services with our fans as we’re on the road to create this sense of family and giving back other than just music. For the music side however, it’s great to be able to say things for others who might not know exactly how to say them.
With Civil Youth debuting last March, you’ve already had an extensive laundry list of releases and tours. Do you feel that with such success so early in the bands career that it helps motivate you further?
For sure I think having that success and drive keeps us going because it gives us both credibility, but also this feeling of “well we did this so know we must top it in X amount of time”. It’s a nice push to ourselves.
Premiere: Check out Civil Youth’s Acoustic Rendition of their song “Sleep” off of Disguised In Color.
“We hope ¥ou enjoy our video of “Sleep” from our first record, “Disguised In Color”. To preface this day, we drove from a show in Orlando to shoot this the following morning, then continued the day driving to Atlanta, GA for another show the next evening.”
Moving more into the realm of the music and overall sound of the band, it’s been best described as a mixture of indie alternative and rock. With the influx of talent coming through the ranks of the indie and alternative music scene, how do you separate yourselves now and continue to separate yourselves from these other acts?
We think especially with this new album set for release in May of 2017, we separate ourselves much more than others because we have such a HUGE list of bands that influence us spanning from Jazz to Death Metal, that we like to truly be ourselves lyrically and with the sounds we use. It also helps to have lots of training through TONS of other projects and schools like Berklee and Millersville.
You’ve announced that your next album will be coming in the May 2017 timeframe. While that’s 10~ months away, is there going to be an underlying theme to the record and what do you feel it’ll do in terms of progression for the bands overall sound and songwriting?
This next album ties a lot of musical themes we’ve had in our past and solidifies them much more maturely. We think it’s our most cohesive record and most in depth in terms of writing. We think this will be the album that “breaks” us.
I’ve seen it mentioned that Civil Youth puts on an incredible live show with a ton of interoperability and uniqueness in regards to light up drum solos, acrobatics and more. How important is it to the band to make the live show have such a unique aspect to it and bring such an intense level of energy?
Well I think most importantly is we’re so energetic on stage because that’s OUR time to release whatever tension we might being going through at the time, which then translates to our fans. Being unique or weird makes bonds stronger in our opinion because we’re being honest with you so people feel they can be honest with us which then builds this family.
At the end of June, it was announced that there was an extension to your national run with The Evolution Tour through the month of August. What can fans expect to see from this additional tour run and once it’s over, what’s in store for the band?
The biggest thing about The Evolution Tour is that we will be back on the West coast again, and that there will be a 2nd mic on stage which has never been done for Civil Youth… It should be even more energetic.
Lastly, this is your platform to voice whatever, so what would you guys like to say to anyone reading this?
For anyone who is reading this, please keep pushing for whatever you are striving for. It will come with hard work and time. In the meantime, we are here with and for you. Never forget that.