The members of Young the Giant wrung their hands a bit about having their single “Cough Syrup” used in the latest episode of “Glee.” But the group was satisfied with its placement in a poignant and (somewhat) surprising suicide scene.
“I don’t think we ever had the intent of the song… in such a serious scene,” YTG frontman Sameer Gadhia tells Billboard.com. “It’s very, very intense, very, very impactful, and we most definitely empathized with that. All of us have been victims of bullying — and been bullies at some point in time. It’s something that hits everyone.”
| “Glee” Version
|| Young the Giant
Gadhia says the California quintet did have to think a bit about whether to grant permission for the series to use “Cough Syrup,” however. “Obviously there is that initial feeling of, ‘Oh yeah, it’s Glee,’ and none of us watch ‘Glee’ and there are some problems with that,” he explains. “But at the end of the day I think we’re happier people are watching something that’s music-based. There’s so much bulls*** on television. I mean, there’s ‘Jersey Shore,’ y’know? With ‘Glee,’ there are a lot of people that it really strikes a chord with and they feel emotional about it and it appeals to them enough to watch it every week. There’s nothing we can say about that. We’re open for all applications for the music…and just excited and gracious and happy that people want to use our stuff.”
Creating more “stuff” is on top of YTG’s agenda right now. Its self-titled debut album has been out since October of 2010 digitally and January of 2011 physically, and Gadhia says the group is chomping at the bit to add to its discography. In fact, the band members even holed up together in a house in East Los Angeles before its current tour to do some songwriting.
“We have three or four actual songs completely done and 10-12 ideas,” Gadhia reports. “Plus there’s a couple of songs from the previous record that never made B-sides or the full record that we want to re-introduce into the process. So we’re in a good place. I think we’re ahead of schedule.” Nevertheless, YTG plans to limit its touring after coming off the road in late April, with a few spring and summer festival appearances from May-July.
“We really want to spend a lot of time recording, so I think our schedule for the rest of the year will reflect that,” says Gadhia, who hopes YTG will hit the studio in September for an early 2013 release. “We’ll try to say no to things we’d love to do but don’t make sense and just do things that are absolutely necessary so we can focus on (recording).” He expects the band will produce its sophomore set itself, explaining that, “For the most part we all write together, so there’s already five minds that are checking and balancing each other. We have a little bit more trust in ourselves, so we’re ready to go in that direction.”
As for the sound of the new material, Gadhia says fans on the current North American tour will get a sense of the span from two songs YTG is previewing during the shows — an upbeat tune called “What You Get” and a slower, more orchestrated piece titled “Camera.” “(The album) is going to be a lot more far-reaching,” Gadhia predicts. “WE’ll get into some stuff that’s uptempo but at the same time delve into more acoustic stuff and slower things, and we’re going to try to experiment with some self-looping. But at the same time we want to keep that feel of a live atmosphere that our (debut) album has. We want to record most of the record live and be able to play everything live and have no backtracks. That’s the goal for our whole career; if we can never use backtracks, we’ll be happy.”
Those craving new YTG music can also check out a new video the group has posted for the acoustic-flavored non-album track “West Virginia,” which hails from a session that also produced the B-side “Typhoon.” “(‘West Virginia’) is a really good song,” Gadhia recalls. “We intended it to be on the record but just straight-up forgot about it. Only after the record was out did we realize it was a song we enjoyed playing…so we decided to do the video with it. It’s good to show people the versatility we have.”