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INTERVIEW: The Young Presidents

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We are great! We are rehearsing a lot – excited to share everything with the public!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Loner”?

“Loner” is a song that comes from a realization – in this case a painful one. The lyrics tell the story of ending a relationship that may never have worked to begin with and it’s this realization that forms the arc of the story, the acceptance that from now on, he’ll always be a loner, always be a wanderer.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

The music was inspired by our love of stories. We all grew up loving bands like the Eagles, Jackson Browne and Jim Croce, so the sound was very much homage to the old singer/songwriter days of the ‘70s.  The story fell into place once the word “loner” came into it – then the lyrics followed immediately.

Any plans to release a video for the release?

Yes!  We hired Logan Epstein, a wonderfully talented dancer whose movement brings the story to life.  We want to make a statement with this video and we think that dance isa great medium for “Loner.”  We’re excited to see what Logan and the team puts together for us!

The single comes off your new album FireHorse – what’s the story behind the title?

Mitchell Kaneff – our bassist and producer – wanted to honor the memory of his childhood friend, who had recently passed away.  Ron introduced Mitchell to the bass when they were children and he was the inspiration for the title.  Ron was born in the Year of the Fire Horse, which isthe most passionate and daring of the Horse signs in the Chinese Zodiac.  They say this nature can lead to success, but recklessness is its shadow side.  We dedicated the album to Ron because he functioned as a muse to Mitchell – without him, this album never would have been made.  

How was the recording and writing process?

The process was incredible. We recorded the acoustic tracks in Sag Harbor and the electric tracks in Brooklyn at Room 17 Studios. Jake and Mitch had such a powerful vision for exactly how every song would be recorded – it motivated us and the work felt almost effortless.

What was it like to work with John Agnello and Rob Fraboni? How did those relationships develop?

We were extremely lucky to have been mentored by such great producers as Fraboni and Agnello.  They’re both amazing musicians and engineers who took a “song-first” approach to making a record and we learned a lot from their way of thinking about music. When it came to” FireHorse,” we took that approach ourselves and waited until we felt we really had songs that said what we wanted to say. We basically went from “Freedom of Speech,” which was a layered album, to “Coalition,” which was a full-on orchestral album. “FireHorse” was a departure:  we basically stripped it down to its core – guitar, bass, drums– and told stories. That’s it, that’s what’s on the record.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

As I mentioned, Mitchell’s relationship with Ron and what happened to his friend was a powerful inspiration for several of the tracks.  All in all, I’d say our inspiration is simple: it’s organic. We feel the emotion of the song, we write individual words down – and the theme is created. We each bring our own style of writing and poetry to the project so we have a lot to draw from – and it works!

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes. We’re playing the Cutting Room in Manhattan on May 24th to celebrate the release of the album and then on May 29th we’re at Brooklyn Bowl. Also we locked in a gig at The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett on August 24th.  So the road is calling us – hopefully soon you’ll be seeing us in a town near you!

What else is happening next in The Young Presidents’ world?

We’re super excited to be heading up to Woodstock for a band-only retreat in July. We all have so many hobbies and projects outside the band that we felt it would be beneficial to get together in a relaxed environment and focus on next steps: new music, new sounds, new stories, new memories. As artists we’re always evolving and this is the next chapter for us!

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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