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Interview:
Young The Giant at Freedom Hill, 5 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Young The Giant's Home of the Strange Tour could just as easily be retitled Home of the Happy.

The Irvine, Calif. quintet has enjoyed a steady ride in the modern/alternative rock world since its 2010 debut thanks to hits such as "My Body," "Cough Syrup" and "It's About Time." It's "Home of the Strange" album is nearly a year old, and the group is headlining at some of the biggest venues of its career, giving both YTG and its fans truly, as the song says, "Something To Believe In"...

Drummer Francois Comtois says that YTG is keenly aware of the size of the mostly outdoor amphitheaters the group will be playing this summer. "It has to be bigger. It has to be louder, more brassy," Comtois, 29, says by phone from Nashville, where the band rehearse for the tour. "I don't want to give too much away but it's basically a huge installation with video walls. We had been in this place where we were doing the same-sized rooms for awhile and we always try to up our game as far as the show goes. So this is a big step for us. We're pretty giddy."

To accompany the tour YTG has released a new single featuring two songs ("Mirrorball" and "Mind Over Matter (Reprise)") originally released as limited edition vinyl for Record Store Day. "We didn't really do anything with them in any sort of digital platform; If you didn't buy them on vinyl it's very hard to hear the songs," Comtois explains. "As we were parsing through a lot of the songs we've written over the past few years and thinking about how we wanted to do the setlist for this tour we came upon both those tunes and were like, 'Why have we never properly put those out?' So we thought this would be a good opportunity to give them new life and hopefully people will get a chance to listen to them."

A year after "Home Of The Strange's" release, Comtois says YTG's perspective on the album -- including politically charged fare such as "Amerika" -- has changed and sharpened. "When we were writing it we had no idea just how the cultural and political climate would change over the following year," he says. "So it's taken on some context. Playing some of these songs, specifically 'Amerika,' 'Home Of The Strange,' some of these tunes I think meaning something to people they didn't when the album first came out, and they certainly didn't meant to us, at least to this extent, when we wrote the songs. It's pretty crazy."

Comtois says YTG has "at least a dozen tunes in different places for LP four, and as soon as we get back from (touring) we'll be going back in the studio and trying to finish it as soon as possible. It's in really early stages."

When YTG does hit the studio, however, it will likely be with a variety of collaborators. "There's been a handful of people we've worked with who are interested in working with us again," Comtois says. "We've made it clear we're not looking for co-writers; We're looking for people to help us take our writing to the next level. Everyone is open to that idea, and it already feels like our Miyagi quest to meet with different producers and musicians and try to glean what we can from their experience."

Young The Giant, Cold War Kids and Joywave

7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3,

Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill,14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights.

Tickets are $25-$49.50 pavilion, $20 lawn.

Call 586-268-9700 or visit palacenet.com

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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