27.6.2019 @ Seinäjoki, Provinssi
Since making his full-length debut with 2018's 21st Century Liability, Yungblud has injected an unruly vitality into the musical landscape, setting his sharp-tongued social commentary to a wildly cathartic, guitar-fueled sound. With his force-of-nature energy and unhinged charisma, the London-based artist otherwise known as Dominic Harrison spent much of 2018 on the road, taking the stage at festivals like Lollapalooza, Life Is Beautiful and Reading and Leeds, and bringing his potent message of anti-conformity to a fast-growing and fired-up audience.
"This last year's just been mad; everything's coming together in the way I always dreamed it would," says Harrison. "I feel like I'm building something real: a community of people who feel like they can be themselves, no matter what the world tells them to be."
For his hypnotic new single "11 Minutes," Yungblud continued his long-held mission of resurrecting rock-and-roll and teamed up with two equally passionate artists: Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Halsey, and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. Made with producer/songwriters Matt Schwartz (Cold War Kids, Kylie Minogue), Zakk Cervini (Good Charlotte, Mayday Parade), and Chris Greatti (Grimes, Black Veil Brides), the track merges moody guitar work, high-powered drumming, and Halsey and Yungblud's urgent vocal exchange to spin a devastating story of love in the modern age.
"Our generation is always looking for what comes next, and we forget to focus on loving each other in the moment," says Harrison. "The song's about a couple who's sabotaged their relationship before it's really even begun, because they've gone along with what society tells us about how we should live our lives. They eventually end up reconnecting, but then something tragic happens on the way."
"11 Minutes" follows Yungblud's early-2019 single "Loner," a gloriously sneering anthem for tender-hearted misfits everywhere. "It's about feeling alone even if you're surrounded by people," says Harrison. "It's me saying to everyone, ‘I'm alone and you're alone, so then we're all alone together.'" Proving the power of that sentiment, a thousands-deep crowd at a recent show in Belgium disrupted Yungblud's set by launching into their own "Loner" sing-along. "They started singing it before I even came in on the vocals, and it took my breath away-I was crying my eyes out," he recalls.
In his relentless touring in support of 21st Century Liability, Yungblud deepened that closeness to his fans. "Every day I feel so lucky to have this fanbase, and I don't ever want to lose touch with them," says Harrison. "The craziest thing is when they say how hearing me talk about depression and thoughts of suicide helped them. It means so much to me that a song I wrote one day in my bedroom could have that kind of effect on another person."
A multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, bass, piano, and drums, Yungblud is joined onstage by a full band, electrifying each venue with his joyfully hellraising presence. "When I step onstage I have this hour when I can just be completely myself, just a massive ball of energy," he says. "Sometimes I get so lost in the performance, people look a little frightened-but that's a good thing." In the last year alone, he's brought his explosive live show to festivals like Reading and Leeds, Austin City Limits, NXNE, the last-ever Vans Warped Tour, and Pukkelpop, where he captivated a crowd of nearly 20,000 with his purposely stripped-back set. "I don't ever want my show to be drowned in production-that bores me, and makes me feel nothing," says Harrison. "All I care about is having a real connection with the crowd."
Born in Yorkshire, Harrison partly credits his hard-hitting lyricism to a lifelong love of literary-minded songwriters like Bruce Springsteen, Joe Strummer and Eminem. After picking up a guitar at age two, he began writing his own songs at age 10 and moved to London to kick-start his music career. Once he'd refined his musical vision- with the help of his rediscovery of firebrand artists like The Clash, Arctic Monkeys, and N.W.A-he independently released his debut single "King Charles" in spring 2017, and landed his deal with Geffen Records by that summer's end.
In fall 2017, Yungblud made his U.S. debut with "I Love You, Will You Marry Me"- a song whose gritty storytelling recounts the real-life tale of an ill-fated romance at a
public housing project in South Yorkshire. The track first appeared on his self-titled debut EP, a 2018 release that prompted the NME to praise Yungblud for delivering "the lyrics of a young Alex Turner, the fury of Sex Pistols leader John Lydon, the swagger of hip-hop king Travis Scott and a whole load of spirit that's all his own."
Arriving in July 2018, 21st Century Liability found Yungblud channeling his outrage into songs both confrontational and incredibly nuanced, sonically volatile and immediately infectious. Throughout the album, Yungblud spits truth on "whatever I feel inspired by or angry about," taking on everything from sexual assault to white
supremacy to the NRA. "The people in charge right now don't have a fucking clue," he says of the inspiration behind 21st Century Liability. "They're stuck living in these
old ideologies, when really the world should be moving toward a future that's about freedom for everybody." At the same time, songs like "Kill Somebody" speak to more personal issues like his struggle with anxiety, reflecting his intentions of creating an intense closeness with his listeners.
Now at work on his sophomore album, Yungblud has begun drawing inspiration from the stories fans have shared with him on the road, such as the transgender woman at Warped Tour who told him about coming out to her parents. "I'm so inspired by stories like that-it's exactly the kind of liberation we need to move the world forward," says Harrison. "My first album was me introducing what I'm all about, and now that I've done that, I want to make it more about the people I've gotten to meet. Instead of just having everyone listen to me fucking scream, I want the music to be like a conversation-so we can all come together and build a community that's undeniable."