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  • Interview: The Young Veins

    Thu, 10 Jun 2010 17:52:39

    Interview: The Young Veins - The Young Veins' Ryan Ross talks to ARTISTdirect.com editor and <i>Dolor</i> author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about catching an old school wave and more...

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    The Young Veins Videos

    • The Young Veins - Take A Vacation! (Live)
    • The Young Veins - Change (Live)

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    The Young Veins rocked across the globe in order to make Take A Vacation! Former Panic! At the Disco creative cohorts Ryan Ross and Jon Walker tap into the '60s like never before on Vacation, and it happened while they were traveling the world—from Africa to Singapore and everywhere in between—while in Panic!

    Their last offering with Panic!, Pretty. Odd., showed signs of psychedelica, but Ross and Walker embrace that sentiment to the fullest on the sunny, dreamy and undeniably catchy mission statement from Veins. Vacation bristles with vibrant energy on the likes of "Change" and "Cape Town," equally challenging the two most important B's—The Beatles and The Beach Boys. It's the perfect soundtrack to your summer this year or any…

    The Young Veins' Ryan Ross sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about channeling the '60s without sounding dated, caper movies and so much more!

    You manage to embrace a lot of '60s influences without ever sounding derivative.

    We pretty much solely listen to the music our parents raised us on, which is kind of a weird thing. We feel like there's no one that can touch that stuff these days, as far as talent and songwriting ability. I'm lucky to be in a group with guys that feel the same way about pop music as I do.

    What are some of those bands you always come back to?

    The first song I ever remember hearing was "Catch a Wave" by The Beach Boys. As a teenager, you just want to go against anything your parents like or want you to do so I got away from all that stuff. My dad was really into Motown. He was from South Carolina so he liked this whole beach music thing too. Growing up, the only thing that was on the radio was the Oldies station, and I had no idea it was old music. I just thought that was what it was. As a little kid, I had this image in my head that if you went to the beach in California The Beach Boys would be playing there. That's what I thought it was [Laughs]. It kind of had a lot to do with Jon and I starting Panic! He really forced me to get into Bob Dylan, The Beatles and stuff like that. From there, I found The Rolling Stones , The Who, The Kinks, Phil Spector, Nuggets Compilations, Garage Music and all that. We're still sifting through all of that stuff on our own now.

    Take a Vacation! picks up where Pretty. Odd left off in many ways.

    We never made a conscious decision to change direction or anything. It was a natural progression for us. We just wanted to make sure this album sounded more like a live band. We wanted these songs to be more exciting and energetic.

    If you were to compare Take a Vacation! to a movie, what would you compare it to?

    [Laughs] I've never been asked that; I don't know! Some sort of caper movie for sure! That's how we felt when we were writing it. Most of these songs were written while we were still on tour with Panic! So we were all over the place like in Africa and Asia. We wanted to call it Take a Vacation! because we wrote this music everywhere. We wanted it to sound like around-the-world music.

    Perhaps Catch Me If You Can?

    Yeah, sure! I'm a big Leonardo DiCaprio fan so that works. It feels like we were on the run!

    "Heart of Mine" stands out. What's the story behind that?

    That's cool you like that one. I think that's a song people often overlook. I vividly remember writing the song. Jon and I were in Southeast Asia. I think we wrote the song in Singapore. It was really dangerous where we were at. We were pretty much holed up in our hotel because they told us it was too dangerous for us to go outside at night. So we'd just go to the hotel bar and play darts. One night, we came back to Jon's hotel room and we sat down and started writing a song. We hadn't been home in so long. It was about feeling really far away from home and truly disconnected from things—not being able to talk to your girlfriend and stuff like that. We wrote that song to each of our girlfriends at the time together. All of that stuff about the Philipines was happening while we were writing. It's crazy.

    Did the vacation theme come when all of the songs were done or was it a thought you went into the studio with?

    It pretty much came when it was done. That's when we realized it. We were all over the place when we wrote the music—that was the theme. What tied it together was how distant all of the songs were from each other.

    Yet it's so cohesive.

    We didn't want to write an album where everything sounds the same. Sometimes, you want to write a ballad and sometimes you want to write a song like "Change."

    Do you hear the places you traveled to in the songs?

    Yeah, of course! We wrote "Heart of Mine" in Asia, but after we came back from Africa, we got that song together. I was really into the music we heard in Africa with the big drums and droning on chords. We definitely try to make that stuff apparent in the songs.

    Was "Cape Town" written in Cape Town?

    No, it was written directly after but all of that is pretty much true [Laughs].

    —Rick Florino

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