Text: Laura Rosierse
Photos: Ruben Smit
On the 18th of January we are taking over one of the many stages within the Drie Gezusters in Groningen during the international showcase festival Eurosonic Noorderslag. The CHAOS team have selected the biggest promises of the upcoming year for you to come and play some riffing sets. Wasted Youth Club is one of them. They’ve played a crazy amount of shows over the past year and are currently preparing for the release of a debut album. We called singer and guitarist Sven about the past year, the year ahead and the hopes and dreams of the band!
Who are Wasted Youth Club, where do you come from and who inspires you?
We rehearse in Arnhem and originated there. We are a garage band in the broadest sense of the genre definition, but to get a better idea of what kind of music we make, you should know who inspires us. Fidlar is a great source of inspiration for us, the old Together Pangea, and currently a new band from Canada, Wine Lips, we think they’re great too!
What has the past year been like for you?
It’s been a busy year, we finished our debut EP which we recorded half of ourselves, and two songs were recorded at Katzwijm Studios. Because of the crisis we couldn’t play that much and took matters into our own hands, I recorded and mixed the EP myself. We made a video clip, and of course took part in Popronde. That was so much fun, it was one of the funnest things we’ve ever done, but it was also really hard work. We did 30 Popronde shows, plus an x amount of other shows, which amounted to an average of three shows per week. And we all have regular jobs too! Two of our members work full time, and I work as a freelancer so I just worked less, just about enough to be able to pay the rent. I also did all the administration for the shows we played, the other band members just had to turn up, plug in and play.
What did you get out of the Popronde?
We’re on a new level of being in sync. And we have learned that we really enjoy spending time together as a band and as friends. We have grown internally as a band, we can say anything to each other and learn a lot from each other. In addition, we have of course played in different places and networked a lot.
What was your favourite city or venue?
Vera in Groningen! We have been there twice in the past three months, once in the small hall and once in the big hall, both were very fun. The people there are always very enthusiastic, the hospitality is super good and it is of course a legendary venue.
What do you like most about being a musician?
Speaking for myself; the adventure. I couldn’t imagine doing this with people I don’t consider my friends. Doing this together and growing together and meeting new people, and the response you get from people. You have made something that you think is cool and if you get a good reaction from the audience; that’s a huge gift.
What’s on the agenda for 2023?
We are busy arranging shows during the festival season, there has to be a debut album, so we are busy with that. For the rest; a side project that I can’t say much about yet, but other music will be released before the debut album will be out… And of course playing as many live shows as we can, with the focus on releasing and promoting the debut album, we would like to grow and travel abroad, countries such as Germany and Belgium, to be able to do that you need to have a little more body than just an EP. A record feels like the next step!
What do you hope to get out of Penguin Showcases? Will you be staying in Groningen for a few days?
We may stay a little longer in Groningen, unfortunately we’ve run out of holidays, but we want to show that we still exist after the Popronde. We hope that international bookers will come and see us perform. We want to show that we are there and prove that we live up to what we say we deliver, we are really a live band and break the barrier between band and audience. We involve the public! We are in this band because it is our passion, we are not just a bunch of cool dudes, everything we do has to be sincere and we have to stand behind everything we release and perform. We make it a pleasant evening for the audience, to get them out of the rut of daily life.
What big dreams do you have for the band?
I’m way too humble for this! At the moment ‘thinking big’ is getting a booker who can give us a Europe tour, we really want to do that. Catching all the cool festivals during the festival season, strangely enough I wouldn’t want to be on the main stages, but rather on the somewhat smaller and more intimate stages. A booker or a manager who could help us with that, if we could achieve that, then I’d be through the roof!