After packing out venues around Australia on their sold out national tour, Gang of Youths are kicking off again around Australia. front man Dave Le’aupepe talks life and music with FOCUS…
What are your earliest memories of music, and how did that progress to where you are now?
Oh Jesus! Man … umm … probably breast milk! I dunno – I vaguely remember my family taking me to church and seeing the drummer and being really infatuated with the drums, but I think in terms of like a formative memory, my sister used to scoop me up out of bed when we were little. I would’ve been around 7 or 8, and we’d sit in front of the TV and watch Rage. So, watching Rage really late on a Friday night … my sister really loved Madonna when she was a kid. I saw a lot on Rage that I learnt to appreciate later in life. I very, very visually remember the Born to Run video by Bruce Springsteen – the 1987 tour video that he did.
The way you perform your lyrics is quite emotionally poetic, with some deep topics covered throughout this album. What is it that drives you to write so honestly and with such conviction?
There are enough cowards in the world to last us through to the 6th Millennium. If I’m going to make art, if I’m going to make anything, I’m going to do it honestly with the conviction of my heart and my soul. I can’t of do anything half arsed, just as a general rule – I’m really bad at it.
And to express the fullness of what’s going on in my heart and in my head is kind of … I suppose … my calling. There are others who aren’t called to do that with their lives, but I suppose it’s just what I find myself really enjoying. And I like the tension, I like drama, I like the banter, I like the dialogue and exchange with artists, and consuming that happens when there’s full disclosure. When there are no limitations, when it’s uninhibited – a visceral connection to the music … I think there’s one thing to say to write honestly, but it’s entire other thing entirely to write with conviction – to write with gusto. And I suppose in my formative years learning how to love music and learning how to love the art form, I was confronted with people who had conviction, who lived a long, crazy life and died broke, or kept pushing the boundaries. I think that was pretty important to me – to learn how to do that with absolute, dire conviction.
After nailing a sold out nationwide tour, you’re just about to kick off again this time visiting a lot of regional places this time, which is exciting for us. What are you looking forward to the most about continuing on from that last tour?
Well, there will be some places I’ve never been before, so that’s pretty cool. I think one of the things I hated about touring previously, is that I didn’t get to spend time in any different new places. It was always the same thing – especially when you’re in this country – but there’s an element of surprise waiting for me, I suppose, and I’m pretty interested in that. I’m pretty excited.
Any words of wisdom to share with our readers?
Don’t be a coward!
And lastly, where can we follow you guys?
Facebook and instagram are the best way to follow us round.