There’s nothing better than some blues for your soul. Throw in some dirty garage tones and cool vibes and the product is Youth Martyrs. The band describes themselves as a blues group that plays surf music and garage rock. The dudes in Youth Martyrs are four average guys who live in San Diego, CA. Gonzalo Meza is the man on the vocals and guitar, River Torres strums his own guitar as well, Hunter Perrin slaps the bass, and Thomas Sypkens pounds on the drums. Well, in this case, there isn’t much pounding! Youth Martyrs are so chill that only good vibes and relaxed rock formulate their songs. The band is easily influenced by Rockets from the Tombs, Television, Talking Heads, and David Bowie. Tunage would like to introduce you to Hunter Perrin, the dude who gets down with his bass, as we delve into the story of Youth Martyrs.
Tunage: What is Youth Martyrs? Is it a representation of a group’s beliefs or is it simply just a band of average dudes just trying to make some music?
Hunter: Well, Gonzalo describes it as this sort of effort to bring back the older sound that our youth seems to have lost touch with. This is not to say we are the only ones doing this, but that we fully support this movement and enjoy playing this type of music.
T: How does Youth Martyrs stand out from the vast sea of local San Diego bands?
H: I suppose our sound stands out because it is a collection of various genres. It seems that each of us is into completely different music, but we all share a deep respect for unfiltered and unedited rock and roll. I find River listening to 80's new wave stuff like Siouxsie and the Banshees and Gonzalo is off listening to old blues and country music like Led Belly and Willie Nelson. I'm into everything from hip-hop to old punk music and Thomas and I both share a love for "Gun Club.”
You turn on the radio,
and what do you hear? Crap.
You switch the station,
and what do you hear? Crap.
Aren't you tired of modern music that's passed off as "hip hop" just being a constant disappointment?
Well my friends, the key, like in any genre, is to dig deeper, until you find the good stuff. The gold.
Like Black Paulie.
Tunage was turned onto Paulie by one of our designers,
and what a gem she found.
Tunage has finally dug up so good, true hip hop, with heart and soul.
Tunage: What artists are your major influences?
Paulie: I have a crazy long list, bear with me. Im a fan of all genres but my transformers would be Outcast, for their musical superior ability to push the envelop, Nas, for storytelling and his lyrical content, Coldplay, for making epic tunes, and conveying emotion through sound, and, of course, Jay Z, for translating music into a lifestyle and later entrepreneurship. Those guys together would be like Optomus Prime.
T: How old were you when you decided you wanted to get into making music?
P: I've always dabbled with instruments, turntables and poetry. I would say around 19 I took hip hop serious.
T: When you start to write lyrics do you have messages in mind you try to stick to or do you just let the words sorta spill out onto paper?
P: I do both. I've got messages for the most part, I usually write with an agenda or topic in mind. I freestyle write a lot too. See in hip hop, it's common to put out a 16 to 24 bar verse of thoughts or ideas just for listening purposes.