We recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Arrested Youth after their show in Phoenix, Arizona on the Making Friends Tour. Here’s what they had to say:
What made you say screw corporate America I’m going to make music?
“I wanted to play music and perform music and be an artist the day I decided to graduate business school, but I didn't really have the means to do it, yet I didn’t have the funds to do it, and I didn’t really have a lifestyle that allowed me to do it, so I decided I was going to make music well before I took my job in corporate America. I took that job thinking I was going to do my time, treat it like a one-year prison sentence that was going to give me the funds and the ability to be an artist and I did just that. I said I'm going to be in this program for a year, then I’m going to make music, and I did just that. I made sure when that year was up I left it, and I never looked back.”-Ian.
Why did you choose the name Arrested Youth?
“It just fit. There wasn’t any super complex answer. I had a batch of songs, and I said what do all of these songs mean in a nutshell and the name and one day I thought of Arrested Youth and I picked it.”-Ian.
Your debut album fear was released late September. How has the response been to that?
“Awful, people hate it. They say it’s one of the worst alternative albums of the 21st century. I’m just kidding. People seem to like it.” -Ian.
You’ve been working a lot on your second album recently, do you have any concepts?
“I have my subconscious concepts, nothing that is going to be. But I am very, very excited about it. This is going to be a different album. I’m pumped about it. It’s good to do different things. Always gotta switch it up. Gotta keep them guessing.” -Ian.
This is your second tour, how was it been going so far? Do you have any favorite moments or comparisons from your first and your second?
“My favorite moment is when Brett ate a whole box of Scooby Snacks in one bite. Brett loves Scooby Snacks, not the gummies the ones that are like graham crackers.” -Ian.
“Ian forgetting to put his in-ears in, in Phoenix. He’s got a few simple tasks before he goes on stage.”- Eli Graff, tour manager.
You interact with your fans a lot, phone number, Facebook group, and you also let them design your merch. Why is that so important to you?
“I think it’s sick. I feel like every other artist in a way feels a bit like a phony. I want people who support the music to be a part of it, and more I guess you could say like how whole I feel as an artist. I think music is very self-serving in a lot of ways. The more I can like listen to the music like a part of it the more and more I have a purpose for doing it, other than myself. I think that is what keeps me interested; I think if it was just about me, look at me. I think I’d get bored of it and like tired of it quickly and I would probably end up resenting it. Cause I do that with a lot of things. So to allow everyone to be a part of it and then to watch people be inspired by it and take action is like to me like the fucking coolest shit ever. Y’know I think there are few things where you can evoke people to be that inspired, to create, and do things. If you’re going to choose to do that through my music, I think that’s dope as hell, and I encourage it one hundred percent.” -Ian
Nowadays not a lot of artist interact that much.
“Yeah, they don’t and like it’s tough. It’s tough especially when things get rolling and like I’m touring, and I’m thinking about the second album all the time, like constantly and it’s like then to also interact. It’s not like a selfish thing, but it’s like again I’m doing all of these things for everyone, the interaction gets much tougher because it’s like you’re already putting all of your energy into other things that involve those same people, but the interaction is huge.” -Ian
What message do you want fans to take away from your music?
“They just think about the world differently, and in a way, you know just going with your convictions on who you are in the world, and not everybody agrees with that.” -Brett, drummer
“I almost think it’s a cliche at this point of like social media only shows the good side like yeah, no shit. It’s like I just think the whole idea of social media, like these days I’m gripping with the fact that I can’t believe, now it’s to the point where it blows my mind that we even get on these things and use them, even that we’re having conversations about mental health and stuff on social media in this world blows my mind to the point where like, you know in the second album I don’t even talk about social media. I’m just so fucking mind blown by the whole thing. It’s like no matter what we’re a victim to it, it’s like no escape, and the only way to talk about it is to use it. It’s the most fucked up reality ever. Unless I like cut social media and went on a fucking talking to tour, where I just strictly went to venues and made verbal posts. Like “Here’s my post for today but I’m not posting it anywhere. So the two people that came to my verbal posting session at venue X you get to hear my thoughts.” Sick, ok. You didn’t use the beast, two people heard you today.
Social media has a hold on all of us. Artists and entertainers we don’t even want to talk about it, but we’re still a victim to it. I’ve also had these thoughts of getting over that and being like “Dude, get over yourself. It’s just social media.” I went that route for, but now I’m kinda back to like “You know what, I’m not getting over myself. That shit’s fucking nuts.” I think I’ve come back to that recently. I got over myself and said, “Stop being so cynical, stop being…” And I found power in that for a bit, but now I’m kinda back to like “This shit’s kinda crazy.” I can’t believe this is what we’ve got to as a society. I mean like you’ve also got to see both sides. People come to these shows, and we meet all of these kids who are amazing kids, and this shit is all through social media. So I get that it’s a double-edged sword, I wish it we didn’t all have to pivot into the fact that everything relies on social media. If we didn’t dig ourselves into the hole, we wouldn’t be in the fucking hole, but we did. Congrats humanity.
That sounds dark and cynical like “Wow this guy can’t get over himself.” but speaking from the most honest point I truly think it’s so fucked up. That’s also coming from someone who tries to see the other side, tries to see it from like “Are you just being a cynical asshole, are you just upset about something and you’re taking it out?” I go back and forth, but I genuinely think that social media is fucked up. It’s like, kids hate school. Probably should still go. Kids hate eating their vegetable, probably should eat them. I hate social media, probably should still engage if I want a career. You pay the piper.” -Ian
“We don’t want any more candy. We want green drinks and apples. Only a little bit of candy for Aaron but none of us want all of this candy.” -Ian
“VITAMIN C KIDS!” -Eli
Catch Arrested Youth in a City Near You!