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.”
H: These songs come from the mind of Gonzalo which is unique enough on its own, but he's pretty laidback about what we decide to add on to it with our instruments. We all play in a different style, but it comes together pretty well.
T: What is the band’s favorite song to play?
H: Our favorite song to play is “Telephone Blues” for sure. However, my personal favorite would have to be “Hospitals” or “Marble Car,” basically any of our fast songs. They’re a lot of fun and have high energy.
H: Well, River, Gonzalo, and I hang out daily in North Park. We're never really busy with much besides finding out when to practice and trying to figure out when and how we want to record an EP. Thomas is usually busy up in his part of town going to school and stuff like that, but we all get together and jam as much as we can.
T: Who thought of the name and what does it mean?
H: The name Youth Martyrs came from our lead singer Gonzalo. It sort of means we put in work for the people who enjoy our sound.
T: Tell us about the band’s inspirations and influences.
H: I'm pretty sure we get inspiration from all sorts of different things. There is a lot of culture and music being made and I feel driven to produce creative things as well, and I think we all share that idea. We're heavily influenced by the blues. There's a lot of heart in our music thanks to having such an electric frontman.
T: Are you guys interested in writing new material soon?
H: We're actually putting some new songs together at the moment that should be ready by the time we play the Epicentre!
T: You guys are playing some shows this month. Are you excited to headline at the Epicentre and, more importantly, are you guys excited to play at a 21+ show?
H: We're super excited about headlining the Epicentre because a lot of our friends can come and support us and see us play live, plus we're all amped to play an hour long set; that means we can play almost all of our songs. We're excited every time we get to play a show, including bar shows. A majority of the shows we played in October were 21+ and a lot of fun.
T: What is the coolest thing about being in a band?
H: The coolest thing by far is playing live. That's really what makes everything worth it for everyone involved in Youth Martyrs, and it's always a great feeling when people enjoy hearing our music!
Keep up with Youth Martyrs on their Facebook page and listen to their material on their website:
Don’t forget to catch them at the Epicentre on Saturday, December 15th! Presale tickets are $8 each and you can buy them from anyone in the band. Tickets are $10 at the door. See you there!
Written by Jordan Mafi