Youngblood Hawke Discuss the Success of ‘We Come Running’ + Future Plans
L.A.’s Youngblood Hawke, named after a novel by Herman Wouk, are bound to become one of those mega-successful bands that no one — not rock fans, not casual listeners, not your grandmother — can possibly escape. Their summery, sun-kissed indie-pop sound is contagious and ripe for mass consumption — the sort that only your Nirvanas and Lady Gagas typically enjoy. And it doesn’t take a trained A&R person to know that the group’s single ‘We Come Running’ is a bona fide smash hit.
Following the release of their self-titled debut EP, the guys (and gal) just wrapped up a tour of packed houses all across America opening for radio darlings Keane. Diffuser.fm caught up with up with histrionic frontman Sam Martin to find out what happens next.
Youngblood Hawke really started to pick up speed with help from Universal Republic’s A&R Rob Stevenson, who’s worked at Island Def Jam developing artists like Fall Out Boy, Lady Sovereign and The Killers. What has it been like to work with Rob?
It’s been an incredible experience working with Rob. He put his neck out for us and really got behind our band. He really has a contagious, genuine passion and excitement for building bands, and that was something we instantly recognized. He’s really easy to work with, and we really trust his ear and his judgement. We’re very fortunate to be working with such a talented A&R who’s had so many past successes.
Is it flattering that your music caught the attention of such influential ears? Do you feel any sort of pressure as a band, knowing what other artists have achieved under Rob’s care?
We were blown away when Rob wanted to take a meeting with us, considering his past. I think the only pressure we feel is the pressure we put on ourselves to make the best music we can possibly make. All the rest will follow.
Youngblood Hawke isn’t your first band, but it is arguably your most successful. What do you think YH has done differently than your previous bands, to get where you are?
We’ve done everything differently in this band, but the most important thing we’ve done is surround ourselves with bandmates that happen to be our best friends, who we care for and respect. It’s hard to make a band work when no one’s getting along. We also made the songs the most important focus. We put our heart and soul into these songs, and they’re very personal to us.
When you guys wrapped up the writing for ‘We Come Running,’ did you know the song was a hit? Are there other songs from the EP that you prefer, for personal or other reasons?
We never knew that people would respond like this! We had no idea that it would be a hit. We were hoping the message of the song would resonate with others, but we we’re blown away seeing such a positive reaction. I think ‘We Come Running’ was always the song we wanted to lead with from our EP. It was a hard choice though. Picking songs is like picking your favorite child.
Other artists with breakout singles often branch out into ghost-writing and co-writing — for example Nate Ruess of fun. penning the latest Kesha single, ‘Die Young.’ Do you see yourselves exploring a similar avenue? If so, who are some artists you would love to work with?
We’d absolutely love to write with other bands! We love writing songs so it would only be natural to work with other artists. We’d write with anyone, I think we’d enjoy the challenge of writing songs in different genres of music.
You guys just closed the book on a highly successful U.S. tour with Keane. What’s next?
Watch Youngblood Hawke’s Video for ‘We Come Running’