Adrian Young Says New Band With Davey Havok Doesn't Sound Like AFI or No Doubt

Adrian Young in Las Vegas
Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

Adrian Young photographed backstage at Street Drum Corps' "Lost Vegas" show at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Jan. 26, 2013 in Las Vegas.

No Doubt drummer Adrian Young and bassist Tony Kanal were in the house Saturday (May 14) at KROQ’s twenty-fourth annual Weenie Roast. Though they are both Weenie Roast veterans, they were on hand this time as guests to enjoy the show. However, they could be back as performers in 2017 in their new, still-untitled project with Davey Havok. Young updated us on the band, which still doesn’t have a name, but does have some firm plans in place, starting with hitting the studio in June and a 2017 tour.

How is the project with Davey coming?

We go in to record a record in June, so next month. We thoroughly demoed like 30 songs and now we’re actually going in to record. It’s same songs, we’re gonna record in L.A.

When we spoke with Davey recently for Blaqk Audio he said you contacted him. What was it about Davey that interested you guys?

Well, he has spent a lot of time in similar circles with Tony Kanal and we knew Davey kind of because we’d played a show together and obviously we knew AFI and Blaqk Audio. But we didn’t know him that well so we met at Crossroads in Hollywood and said, “Tony suggested we talk to you, have a conversation, we want to experiment and see if it works, maybe do a couple of songs.” And it worked so great and we get along so well I’m still waiting for that red flag. It’s been over a year now and it hasn’t surfaced. He’s a great guy and we’re having fun making music together.

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What new things does he bring to the table musically?

I will say this, musical width or landscape is very wide and he’s just had full range to really go places he maybe hasn’t gone before and wanted to go. We’ve never sat down and said, “We have to be this kind of band or can we be more this style or that style?” It’s been purely organic and I don’t want to sound cheesy, but that’s just what it is. It’s just four dudes in a room making music.

Does it get you guys to branch out as well?

Yeah, it does. But, at the same time with No Doubt we never had limits musically there either. I would say that musical landscape was much wider when you start from the beginning of the band to where we are now. It covers a lot of territory, so that’s not new for us.

Is there a timeline for when people will hear music and do you plan to tour?

We plan to tour in 2017. I have no idea when this record will be done or when it will come out. We’re excited. On a personal note I never thought I’d get to start a new band, no way ever again, this late in life and it’s a lot of work. But then playing with Tom [Dumont] and Tony that’s not work, that’s easy. And then Davey’s been nothing but a pleasure. I’m sure there will be challenges. It’s like you’re married to three other people, here you go. But, as of yet, the challenges haven’t presented itself.

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So does this feel like a new band to you even though three of the four members have been together?

Oh yeah, because it doesn’t sound like anything, it actually doesn’t sound like AFI or No Doubt. And sometimes I’m not objective enough to really understand it. And I ask my wife or friends, I play them a snippet and I go, “Does this sound like either one of these bands” And they’re like, “No.” And I think that’s a good thing.

What was the moment working together you started to find the chemistry and realized this would work?

After Davey came in the studio. What happened was we set up a few songs, some music and he sent us back like a bedroom-style vocal idea, rough sketch, back to us. And at first I’m like, “This might not work.” That was my gut, this was foreign to me. Then I listened over and over again and I was like, “Wait a minute, this might work.” Then when he came into Tom’s home studio, he started singing it and we were in the same room talking parts I went, “Oh man, this is gonna work.” When we had the dialogue it was easy.