With a DIY mentality and psychedelic undertones, Young Creatures have no problem standing out in the SoCal indie rock scene. The quartet consists of vocalist and guitarist Mike Post, bassist Spencer King, guitarist Andrew Gleason, and drummer Mikey Escalante. Three out of four members hail from the East Coast and have found comfort thousands of miles away doing what they love—creating music.
In a mere four years, Young Creatures have already made their mark by constantly touring as well as participating in live sessions at Daytrotter, Jam In The Van, Balcony TV, and Converse Rubber Tracks. Their song “Lionheart” was also featured on ABC series, Stitchers. As you could imagine, their lives revolve around music when they're not working their day jobs. There's no sign of them slowing down anytime soon with the amount of drive and creativity they each possess.
The band kicked off their tour in San Diego on Sep. 29 and will be touring the west coast until Oct. 15. On Sep. 30, they debuted their latest single “Slow” to promote their new album that is expected to be released in early 2017.
OC Weekly (Yvonne Villasenor): How did you guys all start this?
Mike Post: First, it was kind of me and Spence just messing around. We were like, “we should do something and write some stuff” and then we were looking for a drummer for the longest time, Mikey came in through mutual friends. We jammed, hit it off, it was sick. That was like five years ago. We instantly wrote like 20 hit songs. It was pretty awesome. *laughs* We had another guitarist and a few years ago, Andrew joined the band.
Andrew Gleason: He and I went to college together in Boston, so we were playing in bands at that point and had been best friends since then.
MP: We had a completely different band. Then we came out to LA to play with Spencer before this.
AG: It just kind of made sense to join up the band when I moved here.
Spencer King: Plus, Andrew's insanely good so we really wanted him.
You guys went through a name change. How did you decide on Young Creatures from Four Round & The Sound?
Mikey Escalante: We really didn't like it, honestly. That band name came about because we were like, “we need a band name so we can start playing shows.” After a while, we would try to explain the band name to people, and it just would never stick. People would be like, “wh-what?” and we would need to repeat it like four times. Young Creatures came about and we just stuck with that.
S: We were playing with your puppy…you [Mike] observed them as young creatures playing.
ME: We were like, “that's a sick band name. We should go with that.”
“Slow” is the album's first single off the upcoming record. What can listeners expect from the new album?
M: I think it's going to be a different record for sure. The first track is one of the more aggressive rock tunes on there. We're still finishing up the record, but so far, every song is kind of a little different.
S: It's been really awesome to work in Mike's new studio. It's so unbelievably pristine, well wired, studio that's just a dream to work in. It's been cool. It puts pressure on Mike, of course, but it gives us the freedom to get in there and try stuff…He had Left Brain in there the other night too.
Your album covers have interesting artwork done by John Le. What is the inspiration behind your latest one?
ME: Me and John were brainstorming ideas to go along with the single.
M: John's done all of our artwork – flyers, all the album art, single art work.
ME: Almost everything…We've both been progressing together. He started drawing when we asked him to do the first EP cover. That's when he barely started doing art. He's built the ambiance for our stuff. He's a great artist.
Explain the thought process going into Fear All The Things versus the new album and how it was any different.
M: The first album was our first full length, so it was just doing a full length for the first time as a band. Not that there was that much pressure on this one, but it certainly feels like more than the last one. We have to live up to the last one.
A: For me, it was interesting because it wasn't that long after I joined the band that we started recording that one. I feel like for me, personally, this one I was a little bit more in tune with how things work and what I can contribute. Also, Mike just built a studio called Moosecat Recording because he's been engineering and producing for a long time. The fact that we can work there and spend a lot more time has been really helpful too. I feel like we're able to explore a lot more sounds and ideas. We're not watching the clock the whole time.
ME: There's not a lot of pressure in the sense of time. We have a schedule we're trying to meet, but we don't feel bad if we push it back a little bit more.
What can you tell me about the music video for “Fear All The Things”?
A: Spencer directed that, perceived the concept and arranged everything – producer, director…It's just cool to be a part of it. I've never done anything like that before.
M: It was a grueling weekend of shooting. One of the best times ever.
S: The thing with Joshua Tree is the off season is the middle of the summer because it's 110 degrees during the day…We got there on Friday night and left Sunday and shot it within two days. It was really hard, actually…We did a lot of practical special effects – we had a makeup person and props and stuff. It took a couple months. I'm honestly really surprised no one got really hurt or really sick being out in the desert. It [the video] was the imagery that came to mind with the audio ambiance of the track. We definitely have some flavors of a psychedelic band. Kind of like a shamanistic, heroes, quest thing with trippy elements was, to me, what came to mind.
What is a venue you'd like to play in O.C.?
ME: The Constellation Room, dude. I want to play there so bad. That place is so cool, I love it. Or The Wayfarer, that's another cool one.
M: We don't really play out in O.C. a lot. We played The Continental Room one time, and then Slidebar three times.
Best and worst things about L.A.?
S: Worst part, their pizza.
A: What I've noticed, at least, is that it's hard to get people's attention. They have so many options on what to do and go see. Every night, there's a band you've heard of playing a show if you know music. There's that and obviously, the million dollar things…we still manage to do a pretty decent job of getting people out. It's that and also, the competition is tough. There's a lot of bands. At the same time, it's hard to find a city that has that many people that are interested in music that people are in L.A. Because there's so many bands, there's a lot of camaraderie with other bands…There's scenes for every little thing you could imagine, psychedelic scene, emo scene…it's cool in that respect for sure, and the resources too. There's studios all over the place and equipment rental. If you need somebody to fix your amplifier, you have options. There's ups and downs, but they almost balance each other out.
S: It's an over-saturated market, but it makes you bring your A game. It's a challenge.
What is a message you want fans to take from your music?
A: That's kind of a tough question, I'm not even the primary lyricist, it's more Mike. My experience with music in general has always been I want people to take what they hear and think it out for themselves, and have it mean what it means to themselves. I would just encourage people to do that. We've heard interpretations of the songs that I don't think any of us have thought of before that might not be the same as ours, but that's kind of what it's all about. It's hard to pin it down, every song's different, every album's different, wherever you are in your life, listening and making it is different. Just listen and enjoy it, and hopefully find something you can relate to and can appreciate.
S: That's the cool thing about music, our stuff in general too. We make our stuff and anyone can kind of, whatever's happening in their life, can have a meaning they can attribute it to.
Young Creatures perform at The Slidebar Rock N Roll Kitchen on Fri. Sep. 30, 8 p.m. Free, 21+. For full details, click here.
Yvonne Villasenor is often in a sleep deprived daze daydreaming about ’90s heartthrobs, dogs, upcoming album releases, and what she’s going to eat for dinner. When she snaps back to reality, she writes about OC’s latest music and artists.