Gang of Youths spread hope and joy in The Current studio

Gang of Youths perform "The Heart is a Muscle" off their 2017 album, "Go Farther in Lightness," live in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
Play/Pause
Listen:
Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio (full session + interview)
Download MP3
| 00:26:34
  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio (full session + interview) 26:34
  • Gang of Youths - What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out? (Live on The Current) 05:15
  • Gang of Youths - The Heart is a Muscle (Live on The Current) 05:33
  • Gang of Youths - The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows (Live on The Current) 06:05

"I think the whole point of our career was to bring a sense of hope and joy to the circumstances that are devoid of it. This is what we like to do, this is what we want to do," says Gang of Youths frontman David Le'aupepe. "I think every artist has their purpose, and I think in Gang of Youths, we've sort of found ours."

In town for a show at the 7th Street Entry, the Sydney-based band — consisting of Le'aupepe along with bassist Max Dunn, guitarist and keyboardist Jung Kim, lead guitarist Joji Malani and drummer Donnie Borzestowski — stopped at The Current studio for a session hosted by Sean McPherson.

In listening to Gang of Youths' music, McPherson says he's never heard hopelessness sound so triumphant. "I think the recognition of one's hopeless place in the universe is in and of itself a triumph," Le'aupepe says. "I think our status in the cosmos is one that's always contingent on our perception of it. And so I think instead of lamenting the potential meaninglessness of it all, we should glorify and revel in it and invent new and beautiful ways to reclaim our existence, reclaim our right to be. And I think that's where the hopefulness comes from."

There's something deeply philosophical and uplifting at the heart of Gang of Youths' songs. "Empowering music is good, and I think that's why I was drawn to things like hardcore punk as a teenager because they were empowering," Le'aupepe explains. "You have to remember the empowering parts of sad songs, for example, the uplifting moments, because I think the light and shade for us is really important in that regard."

Also important to the band is being kind; in fact, they happily embrace being known as a nice group of people. "We were just raised to be polite but I think the greatest thing you'd ever do is attribute dignity and value to someone's existence by just being kind," Le'aupepe says. "Treat everybody with dignity — people you disagree with, people you don't like, treat 'em with dignity."

Use the audio player above to listen to the complete in-studio session, including more on the philosophical underpinnings of Gang of Youths' songs, why Le'aupepe gets a thrill from performing at the 7th Street Entry, why Le'aupepe calls himself among "the hippogriffs of the anthropological world," and who some of their musical influences and inspirations are.

More Video

Songs Performed


"What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?"
"The Heart is a Muscle"
"The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows"
All songs from Gang of Youths' 2017 album, Go Farther in Lightness, available on Sony Music Australia.

Hosted by Sean McPherson
Produced by Anna Reed
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor

Resources

Gang of Youths - official site

14 Photos

  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio
    David Le'aupepe of Gang of Youths checks out the Steinway piano in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio
    Jojo Malani and Jung Kim of Gang of Youths in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio
    Joji Malani of Gang of Youths tunes his guitar in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio
    David Le'aupepe of Gang of Youths in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio
    Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio
    Sydney, Australia's Gang of Youths in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio
    Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio; bassist Max Dunn in focus. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio
    Joji Malani of Gang of Youths in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio
    David Le'aupepe Gang of Youths performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio
    David Le'aupepe Gang of Youths performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio
    Gang of Youths perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • David Le'aupepe of Gang of Youths, portrait at The Current
    David Le'aupepe of Gang of Youths, portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • David Le'aupepe of Gang of Youths, portraits at The Current
    David Le'aupepe of Gang of Youths, portraits at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • David Le'aupepe of Gang of Youths at The Current
    David Le'aupepe of Gang of Youths at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)

comments powered by Disqus