Young Statues are a band that have come a long way in the last 12 months. Since the release of their debut self-titled album through Run For Cover Records, the band has racked up tours with the likes of The Early November, Saves The Day, Misser and The Dangerous Summer, as well as finding the time to record a covers 7", and an EP that will be released in early 2013. We caught up with the band’s vocalist and guitarist Carmen Cirgnano to discuss the covers record as well as their new EP.
Start off by stating your name, your role in Young Statues, and what you are hoping to get for Christmas this year?
My name is Carmen, I sing and play guitar in the band. For Christmas every year I want to get a new dog, but it isn’t always possible. This year I’ll settle for a few good books to read while traveling.
With 2012 winding down very quickly, what has been some of your highlights for the year, both personally and with the band?
The shows we’ve been able to play have been great. Just touring on a record that you’re proud of, and seeing people’s positive reactions to it have been rewarding. We’ve been to so many great places and met so many awesome people. For me personally I’ve had somewhat of a quiet year, which is nice for a change. I feel a lot more comfortable with where my life is at right now.
You guys are currently on tour with The Dangerous Summer and Young London for some holiday shows. How have those shows been for the band?
They have been great. The Dangerous Summer is a great band and they have a group of really dedicated and enthusiastic fans. We appreciate those people being responsive to our music and just having an overall good time. Very upbeat and fun shows for everyone.
Earlier this month you released a covers 7”, where you covered tracks by Billy Bragg, Ryan Adams, The Magnetic Fields and New Order. What influenced you to do this record?
I’ve just always enjoyed cover songs. As a music fan first, it’s cool to hear an artist’s interpretation of song that they didn’t write. I thought doing our own spin on a few of our favorite songs would be a fun experience, and something that people might enjoy hearing.
Did you have a tough time deciding what songs you would cover?
The only song that was tough deciding on was Ryan Adams. I am a super fan of all of his music, so it was tough to choose which song to do. Some of my more personal favorites I wanted to steer away from, in my opinion some of those songs are so great that they don’t need any other interpretations. I chose ‘Ashes & Fire’ because it was the title track to his new record, a record that I though was a nice return to the vintage Ryan that I love. Plus it’s just an amazing song.
Do all those songs on the record hold certain significance with you personally?
Yeah, definitely. Whether it’s the song itself of the artist, each of them hold significant meaning to me. I think that’s why it was so easy for the most part when deciding which songs to do.
You got Brianna Collins of Tigers Jaw to sing with you on the Billy Bragg cover. What made you decide that Brianna was the right match for it?
I have known Brianna and her band, Tigers Jaw, for a while. I’ve always been a fan and we’re friends. When I thought of doing this she was the first person that came into mind. I think she has a very compelling voice, there isn’t anything unauthentic about it.
How has the reception been to the covers so far?
Everyone seems to really enjoy it. I think people respect that we didn’t pick a bunch of Top 40 radio songs or cover Kesha or something like that. Even though a lot of people didn’t necessarily know all of the songs, they enjoyed it and maybe even went out and checked out the originals. We’re really happy with that, and the overall response to it.
For the release of the record, you worked once again with Run For Cover Records. Do you feel that Run For Cover is a good match for the band?
Absolutely. They are the best. We couldn’t ask for a better group of people. Jeff is dedicated to doing the absolute most he can for all of his bands, we’re a lucky little family.
You guys recorded a new EP earlier this year with Ace Enders (The Early November), when is it looking like that will be released?
Very early in 2013. Looking like March right now. We also did some recording for it at our friend Steve’s studio The Gradwell House.
What was it like recording with Ace?
Recording with Ace was great. We’ve known him for a while, and spent a lot of time together when we opened for The Early November tour over the summer. We are very similar in the way that we value every single second in the studio, he puts his foot on the pedal and doesn’t stop, and I loved that.
You have mentioned that up to 60% of the EP was written in the studio while with Ace, was that an interesting experience for you?
Well I am not sure if that number is totally accurate, but what I was referring to was Ace’s method as a producer. We stripped the songs down to their bare form, just acoustic guitars and the vocals. We played through each part and critiqued everything we could, and didn’t start tracking until we were 100% comfortable with the song in the bare form. That was totally unique for us, and led to a lot of changes. These were changes that I think wouldn’t have happened unless we did it like that, and it was a very rewarding way of polishing up the songs.
How do the songs on the new EP compare to those on the previous album?
I think they are a bit more focused and also more upbeat. We also incorporated some new instrumentation. I don’t want to give too much away!
Did you ever imagine that the band would come so far in so little time?
So much of what we’ve been doing requires us to keep moving and not reflect on anything, so I really haven’t thought about it much. But when I see kids online or at shows saying how much a song or the record means to them, or that it’s helped them through something, it makes me feel really fucking happy. I can’t thank everyone who has been supportive of us enough, we’re certainly trying to hold up our end of the bargain every day.
What are some of the fondest memories that you have with the band so far?
There have been so many in only a year. Opening for the Early November reunion at the sold out Starland Ballroom was great. All of our families were there, and none of us had played a show that big, it was definitely exciting. Also, playing shows in the UK with one of my favorites bands ever, Saves the Day, was totally amazing. Having an opportunity to do a Daytrotter was a lot of fun also. There are too many, we’re lucky.
Do you think we could expect to see the band make the trip to Australia at some stage in 2013?
We would love that. I had a chance to go to Australia in 2011 and I had the absolute greatest time, it would be even more amazing to go out and play shows with the band. Fingers crossed.
Who are some bands that you have been enjoying lately that we should be checking out?
There is a band called METZ that just released a record on Sub Pop, it’s heavier garage rock stuff, I love it. Also the Father John Misty record has been on constant rotation, I love it.
What are your top five releases of 2012?
1) Fear Fun by Father John Misty
2) Tramp by Sharon Van Etten
3) Ryan Adams- Life After Deaf
4) In Our Heads by Hot Chip
5) Lonerism by Tame Impala
Do you have any certain goals that you would like to achieve with this band?
Just to make honest music and hopefully do it as long as we possibly can. I love all aspects related to being in a band, so as long as I can keep participating in them, I’ll be a happy camper.
What are the band’s plans for 2013 onwards?
We have the EP that will come out and some extensive touring plans to follow right afterwards. Not sure after that, we’re always demoing and working on songs though. More touring!
Thanks for doing the interview, any last words or shout outs?
Thank you! I follow you guys on Twitter and get a lot of good info, so thank you. Hi to all of the friends I’ve made in Australia if you’re reading this, I hope I get to see you all soon.